Whether you're looking to cut the wire and save yourself some money on monthly cable or satellite bills or simply expand your entertainment options, an on-demand streaming service is a must these days. But what to choose? It's a growing market where new players take part in space every few months and make what used to be a "Netflix or nothing" decision significantly harder. To make things easier, we've compared two of the most popular Netflix streaming options: Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Each one has unique content, features and pricing, and unlike Netflix, both Hulu and Amazon Prime Video offer offers channel packages if you want more content. Below we select a winner in each of several categories and a single winner.
Amazon offers two main price levels: $ 119 annually (reduced to $ 59 annually when you sign up for a valid email address) or $ 13 per year. month. Both versions include all the Amazon Prime benefits, such as two-day shipping, discounted prices on selected items, cloud storage and – most importantly, our purpose – on-demand video and music streaming.
The best part is, Unlike Netflix, 4K Ultra HD content with HDR standard is at no extra cost. Plus, you can share accounts with friends and family so everyone can access the offers. You can also supplement Amazon's included content with optional channel additions, such as CBS All Access, at an additional cost. Amazon does not have a live TV streaming service in itself, but many of the content providers who have partnered with Prime Video have the opportunity to watch their shows live as well.
Hulu starts at just $ 6 for ad-based service or $ 12 for the ad-free option (which we highly recommend, even at double price). Hulu's options do not stop there as it also offers a live TV streaming package similar to Sling TV or PlayStation Vue. Hulu with Live TV streaming service is $ 45 per. Month and includes 50 plus live streaming channels on top of the service's regular on-demand library and there are also add-on features like enhanced DVR for additional fees. However, it can be very expensive very quickly.
Although Hulu is $ 6 tier alone, it is technically cheaper, especially for those who want to stream 4K at the lowest possible price, Amazon gives the most value when considering all its other perks and its complete lack of ads . Amazon has also stated that the company will not raise prices for 4K streaming. Throw in Amazon's student discount and it goes away with victory here.
Amazon Prime has a catalog of thousands of titles to watch before adding any premium options like Starz or Showtime. Plus, Amazon continues to invest heavily in original content, such as Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel . Where Amazon really shines is in pure quantity. It has more movies than Netflix and Hulu combined with over 17,000 titles from January 2019. Of course, the amount is not equal to quality, and when it comes to reviews, Amazon and Hulu are around couples with about 200 "fresh" movies each judged of rat tomatoes. And of course, if you leave a cable provider and think you will miss pay-per-view opportunities, Amazon has a comprehensive collection of new releases available for purchase or rental.
On the other hand, Hulu, which is partly owned by Disney, has access to unparalleled collection of TV shows, making it a great choice if what you really want is a replacement for cable TV access to the major networks. Most shows are available the day after they live live on their respective TV stations, with the exception of CBS, which is not part of Hulu. It has a decent collection of movies, but you can see that movies are not the main attraction.
We will give this to Hulu for now, because although it may not be possible to match Amazon's breadth of selection, we actually think you will see more of Hulu's catalog.
Both services are available on a long list of devices – for a long time To list here, actually. The full list of compatible devices for each service is available here: Hulu, Amazon Prime.
The only real remarkable hole comes with Amazon, which is absent from Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra. It's not surprising, as these are Google's devices, and the Google Play Store is in direct competition with Amazon. Nevertheless, having such limitations is an annoyance. However, Amazon has its own line of streamers, though with the affordable Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.
Considering the nearby ubiquity of Hulu, this is what you want if you are worried about getting the greatest device support.  Winner: Hulu
Interface and ease of use
Amazon has a scattered interface across devices that are not very well-designed, though constantly improving. One point in its favor is that you can browse Prime Instant Video directly on the Amazon website and its various apps, and it also works well with Amazon's Four TV streaming devices. But these interfaces tend to separate, and honestly, some are not as intuitive as others.
Hulu has a relatively intuitive interface that is much more uniform and offers categories like Keep Watching, TV, Movies and Kids making it quite easy to navigate. You can also add on premium channels like HBO, and shows and movies from these channels will appear on your main interface. For its fast interface and the ability to incorporate premium channels, we will designate the Hulu winner.
Audio and video quality
As Affected above, Amazon offers 4K Ultra HD resolution and HDR streaming support, and does so at no extra charge. With regard to video quality, it is huge and those with high quality, large TVs (55 inches and above) should take serious note. Hulu can't seem to get up to 4K. In 2016, it said it would add more 4K content, but as it stands right now, there is no support for 4K on any device.
As for sound quality, Hulu is limited to stereo sound for the vast majority of its content, despite the fact that the same shows are available in 5.1 surrounds elsewhere. Yes, there are select shows and movies that support 5.1, but it is not as impressive as Amazones 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos surround sound encoding on selected content. Did we mention that there is nothing extra for any of this advanced A / V support? Yup, Amazon wins this without sweating.
Release Date for New Content
It's hard to find fresher content than Hulu's list of TV shows. With few exceptions, each episode will be available within 24 hours of the initial aeration, and if you are on the more expensive non-ad plan, you will see them continuously, which is worth waiting for a day in and of itself.
If you're not willing to move up to the premium level ($ 12 per month in relation to the standard price of $ 6), the ads can really get in the way of Hulu's greatness. Non-moving users will need to see a stream of ads, the number of which grows more often (and yet less varied) as the service has expanded. Hulu's films are less current, but no worse than what you find on most competing services.
As mentioned earlier, Hulu has live TV available at $ 45 per. Month includes live sports and news if you are willing to pay while Amazon has "Channels" that allows you to add selected premium channels with newer content. Of course, if you don't pay for channels on Amazon (which are expensive to add on), you can buy the latest episodes, but you will end up paying a massive prize that makes it anything but prohibitive ($ 2 to $ 3 per episode for SD, $ 3 to $ 4 for HD or $ 40 or more for a "season pass").
For serious cutters who want to stream the latest series, Hulu is the only way to go.
Free 30 day trial
Amazon and Hulu have caught up to Netflix when it comes to quality in their original programming. In fact, one of the best rated current TV shows, The Handmaid's Speech, is a Hulu original and exclusive to the US service, located among many other options. Moreover, now that Disney has taken over most of the ownership, we expect much more from the programming that the company will not show on its Disney Plus service to show up at Hulu.
As for Amazon, remarkable content contains highly reviewed shows as The Man of the High Castle, Jack Ryan, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who are all worth discovering. In addition, Amazon uses hundreds of dollars on its new Lord of the Rings series, and Jeff Bezos has deep enough pockets to compete with almost everyone in streaming.
Although none of these services can hold a light to Netflix when it comes to original content, we give it to Amazon because – at the moment – yet – we think it uses more aggressively on new content than Hulu, that fits well for the future. Having said that Disney takes control of Hulu, it can change quickly.
Other Features to Consider
- Will the Children See? If you need parental control, Amazon offers a comprehensive set of filters for young viewers, both on its Four TVs and within the Amazon Prime itself. Hulu says it respects the content settings of your device, but doesn't offer any specific self-control.
- Live TV ? Hulu + Live TV is really the only choice between the two services. Amazon's Fire TV Recast is an exciting way to acquire free OTA broadcasts, but it's not quite the same. Sure you pay a lot more for the addition of Hulu + Live TV that complements your on-demand content, but the monthly $ 40 subscription is a fraction of what you would pay for a normal cable bill.  Conclusion
If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, then there is hardly any competition – you already pay for Prime Video so you might as well enjoy it. You may want to consider adding Hulu's cheaper ad-supported plan as a quick and easy way to get some of the shows you might be missing.
If you do not have a Prime membership, however, there is an unannounced Hulu subscription is our winner. Despite the lack of 4K and better audio formats, Hulu has the kind of content that will satisfy almost any viewer, especially if you like big network TV shows.