Hulu was one of the early leaders in the television streaming space, and it has continued to be one of the most popular, with more than 17 million subscribers at the end of 2017. If you are one of them, you’re probably familiar with some of the service’s many features. But if you’re new to Hulu (or haven’t explored it thoroughly yet), there are a lot of tricks you can use to maximize your Hulu experience and get the most value out of that monthly subscription.
How Hulu works. Hulu comes in two flavors. The traditional subscription features on-demand content with a large library of movies, TV shows and Hulu originals. This library costs $7.99 per month and includes advertisements, though you can get an ad-free version for an additional $4. The other subscription type includes live TV, meaning you can watch channels and sports events in real time as they air. This subscription costs $39.99 per month and includes the on-demand library as well.
How to get the most value out of Hulu on demand. Hulu’s on-demand library comes with a wide selection of movies and TV shows you can watch whenever you want. As with Hulu’s live offering, you can watch on-demand titles either via smart TV, streaming device or mobile device, which means you can take your shows with you wherever you go.
Find new content with Hulu’s preference features. Hulu comes with several features built to customize your experience to your preferences. First, the home screen makes it easy to find your favorite shows and get recommendations for new content. Paying attention to these recommendations can help you make sure you’ve always got a “next” show because there’s nothing less efficient than scrolling through titles trying to find something to watch (though Hulu’s browse feature isn’t half bad).
You can also search for specific shows and movies and add those titles and networks to the My Stuff feature. This will collect all your content in the same place and organize it for you, so you always know where you’re at in your series.
Finally, you can use the navigation guide, called Fliptray, to scroll through episodes and browse features, even while you’re watching something. This is useful with the live TV function as well. You can see what’s on and what’s up next from this menu, and record while you’re watching.
Watch current, classic and award-winning original TV shows. Hulu offers quite a bit of content you can’t find on other streaming services. For example, its Emmy Award-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale” is one of many original series exclusive to Hulu. In addition, many new episodes of network shows are available on Hulu the day after they air, so even if you don’t have the live TV package, you can still stay up-to-date on a lot of great series. If you’re feeling nostalgic, Hulu’s on-demand library features plenty of classics, from “The Golden Girls” to “Seinfeld.” The lineup of classic TV is one of the best on any streaming service, and there’s something for everyone. Taking advantage of these older, nostalgia-inducing titles, along with more recent ones and originals, adds even more value to what you can get from your subscription.
Take advantage of bundling for the best deals. Hulu and Spotify rolled out a deal recently to offer a combined package for $12.99 per month. This deal includes Spotify Premium, normally $9.99 per month, and Hulu’s on-demand package, normally $7.99 a month. This will get you savings of $4 every month, which adds up over the course of a year. Plus, you can try this bundle for 99 cents for the first three months.
How to get the most value out of Hulu with Live TV. Hulu’s live subscription comes with more than 50 channels, including many local networks and popular channels such as HGTV, ESPN, CNN and FX. You can also add other channels such as HBO and Showtime for an additional cost, but if you’re looking to get some good content for the lowest price possible with Hulu, the basic subscription will probably do just fine. Even the most bare-bones subscription package has great features to add value to your TV experience. Even better, you can watch live content at home using a smart TV or streaming device, or watch on-the-go with a mobile tablet or phone.
Take control of how you watch with cloud DVR. One nice thing about Hulu’s live package is how much control you have as a viewer. While you’re watching live TV, you can pause, rewind and fast-forward, meaning you won’t have to miss a moment. If you want to maximize the amount of live content you can watch, use Hulu’s cloud DVR to record shows you miss. The standard subscription includes 50 hours of storage.
Manage multiple users to maximize how many people can watch. If you have multiple people using your subscription, you can make up to six individual profiles, with preferences and personalized options catered to each individual user. You can also watch live TV on two screens at once.
Add extra features. If you want more features, there are plenty of add-ons you can get on Hulu. The nice thing is that you control how many you buy. If you don’t want anything beyond a standard subscription, that’s up to you. But maybe there’s an add-on or two you just can’t live without, and that’s OK, too. For example, you can add Hulu’s Enhanced Cloud DVR for $14.99 a month, which allows you to record up to 200 hours of content and fast-forward through commercials. If you want to add more screens, you can upgrade to get unlimited in-home use and up to three mobile streams for $14.99 a month.
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How to Get the Most Value Out of a Hulu Subscription originally appeared on usnews.com