Top Ten Tips for Hulu (and Hulu Plus)


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Top Ten Tips for Hulu (and Hulu Plus)

I can't imagine living without Hulu,because it's my primary method for keeping up with current seasons ofTV shows. However, I'm not a fan of many of their business practices,so I encourage getting as much from the service as you can for aslittle money.

Some parts of the service are availablefor free, and you don't even need an account to watch. But forviewers who need more than an occasional clip or episode, the HuluPlus service offers more options.

Hulu Plus costs $8 a month, and inaddition to allowing access to more content than is on the “free”accounts, it also allows you to view content on devices such as theRoku, smartphones and tablets, or gaming consoles.

1. If you are fine watching on a laptop or desktop computer only, skip Hulu Plus.
Only pay for the premium service if you regularly use other devices. If it were just me, I'm perfectly comfortable watching on my laptop, so I would not pay for the premium service. However, my family is not as tech-savvy, and I share the service with them.

2. Use a cheap $3 HDMI cable to connect your computer to your TV.
If you have a laptop or other computer you can put near your TV, and don't need to watch on mobile devices, this can help you watch on the bigger screen. You need to have a fairly current computer and TV for this to work. It's a little trickier and may require some troubleshooting to work well, and the quality may not be top-notch, but it's much cheaper than buying a set-top box and subscribing to be able to use it. (This also works for Plus subscribers to see “web only” shows that they can't normally access on a Roku or other device.)

3. Check which content is actually available before you pay.
Look at each show and see which seasons and episodes are available, and when they expire. Ask me or our other members on the forum here if you can't find info on a particular show. Do not see a show listed on Hulu's ads and assume you can watch every episode. Do not assume since it was posted before that it will be again. Their licensing deals are always changing.

4. If you only need Hulu Plus for a few older shows, binge watch!
Everybody's doing it. Concentrate on one or two series at a time, and you can probably finish what you need to in a month. Then you can put your membership on hold until they add new content, or just cancel it. You can put your membership on hold at:

5. If you only need Hulu Plus for a few current shows, put your membership on hold while the shows are on hiatus.
Most shows don't run all year, and shorter seasons or split seasons (around 12 episodes instead of the former average of 24) are becoming more and more popular. Depending which months your shows air, you might be able to only pay for a few months a year.

6. If you're paying for Hulu Plus, buy gift cards.
My local grocery chain Giant Eagle offers “Fuel Perks,” a discount on gas at their stations, when you buy gift cards at their store. They even offer double points on gift cards a few times a year. Other stores may have similar promotions. There are also several online outlets that may sell gift cards at a discount. Although a few cents' savings may not seem like much, it can add up. Plus, if you buy a 3-month gift card, you don't have to remember to pay as often.

7. If you can't find savings on gift cards, try using a credit card that offers points, or some other reward.
There is probably some way you can save a few cents. Maybe you can even be a extreme coupon fanatic and get multiple discounts by buying your gift cards with your credit cards? You can also try to convince friends to sign up with your referral link, and you'll both earn two free weeks. A referral link looks like this: (Disclaimer: that's mine! So when you click on it and sign up, I'll thank you profusely.)

8. Regularly check for what new shows are available.
You can do this at The main pages of Hulu will only highlight certain popular shows every week, and will never let you find the many undiscovered gems (including foreign shows, classics, and many obscure ones) that the service has. If you just go by Hulu's ineffective recommendations, you'll miss a lot of great shows.

9. Be sure to “favorite” the shows you are interested in, so new episodes are added to your queue automatically.
I often favorite upcoming shows as soon as they are added to the site, even before the first episode airs, so I don't forget about them. You can always remove the individual videos from your queue or delete the show from your favorites, if you find it's not suited to your tastes. You can also go into the "favorites" settings to choose whether you see full episodes only, clips only, or both added to your queue.

10. Manage your queue! Don't let it get out of control.
If there's something that's expired or you don't plan to watch, delete it. Use the “group by show” feature most of the time, and you'll see a cleaner interface with all the queued episodes or clips from a show together. Once in a while, switch the view to list view, then click on the “expires” column to sort the videos with the ones that expire soon at the top. (Or just visit which should show you this view.) That way, you can be sure not to forget about a show only to find it expire before you have time to watch.

I hope these suggestions were helpfulto you, and if you have any more creative ideas, leave them in thecomments!



Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
I used the Hulu+ free trial, but stopped after 2 weeks. Some thoughts on my experience with Hulu and Hulu+:

*You can't watch Hulu free on a device, only a computer (Wait, isn't a tablet just a flat computer? Hmmm.)
*"The Simpsons" are not available on "devices", only on computer!
*Hulu will decide for you if they will allow their Hulu+ app to run on your device. I own a generic tablet, and Hulu won't allow me to install the Hulu+ app.

To get Hulu free on my Roku and my tablet on my home network, I use PlayOn. Otherwise, a laptop connected to your TV via a cable compatible with your laptop and TV - HDMI, DVI, VGA, composite, and/or audio - is the next best thing. If you need help connecting a computer to your TV, ask in our forums!
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