After a long day of going to classes, commuting, or working, most students just want to lay their heads on the pillow and wind down by watching television shows and movies. Fortunately for many students, two online-based, on-demand streaming media services, Hulu and Netflix, have revolutionized the way people in the 21st century watch this content, both new and old.
The services make it possible to watch a particular television show at any time of the day without actually turning on the TV or recording the program. They also allow subscribers to access to movies on demand, negating the need to travel to movie rental stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, former staples of the film industry.
Although similar in function, students do have their preferences in using either Hulu or Netflix.
Hulu’s strong suit comes in its immediate access to recently aired shows; episodes of popular shows are often available to stream within the same week that they appeared live on television. However, Hulu is regarded as lacking the same variety of shows and movies that Netflix offers, so Hulu users may not find all of the shows or films they are looking for within the confines of the service.
Netflix is unparalleled in its choice of films and television program episodes compared to other streaming media services, totaling over 3,000 movies and over 25,000 television program episodes in its database. Where Netflix is considered inferior to Hulu is immediacy; users generally have to wait for an entire season of their favorite show to conclude before it is available for streaming on Netflix.
Sophomore Tom Davies said he enjoys using Netflix because it is free of advertisements, something Hulu cannot live up to.
“I have a Netflix account and use it all the time to watch some older shows, and I avoid watching commercials, too” Davies said.
Senior Sagarika Gujar also uses Netflix and appreciates the variety of movies and shows, including the eclectic foreign collection.
“Netflix has a better variety of foreign films and television programs than Hulu by far, especially Indian movies, which are important to me” Gujar said.
Both Netflix and Hulu offer subscribers access to unlimited streaming of popular television shows and feature films for the low price of $7.99 a month, but it seems personal preference of individuals should decide which of these evenly matched services is best.
Brett Montana can be reached at brett.montana@ student.shu.edu.