Netflix & Hulu

Updated on May 17, 2011
L.P. asks from Uniontown, PA
13 answers

I keep reading about people who are ditching cable and satellite tv, and opting to use things like Netflix and Hulu instead. I've used Netflix just to get DVD's, but not for anything more, so I don't know/understand exactly how it works for streaming tv shows. Never used Hulu, so I know nothing about it...

Can those of you who use these or other similar services for all your tv needs, can you tell me how it works? I know you have to have a computer hooked up to your tv, but from start to finish, can you tell me how you watch tv? Like, if you decide that you want to watch MTV's 16 and pregnant (I know, it's a horrible show... I'm not addicted to it at all ;), how would you go about it? Or are you limited to certain shows, etc. that you can stream?

I'd like to try this, as there are only a few channels that I ever even watch, so cable is SUCH a waste... how do you do it?

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answers from Dallas on

For us we have a blue ray DVD player in the living room that we bought simply because it will play Netflix (we used to watch it on our Wii). Netflix does not have a limit on what you can view on their site. In our bedroom we have a laptop hooked up to our tv. We can watch Hulu, Netflix and anything else online here. There are several websites that will post the newer shows for you, although I am unsure of the copyright legalities of some sites. And several channels (MTV is one of them) will have their own shows available to watch on their website. We gave up cable about 10 years ago. It's been a good choice for us. The initial shock of life without cable was hard, but we got over it quickly. We are much more selective about what we watch. We watch MUCH less tv than others we know. And our children aren't subjected to an onslaught of commercials and advertising all day long.

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answers from Kansas City on

hulu shows the 4 or 5 most recently aired episodes of most network stations. Not all of them will allow their shows online (Castle used to not be on hulu, I'm not sure if it is now or not.)

Netflix you can watch many shows that are on DVD. For example, I can watch all but the most recent season of Doctor Who or Glee off of Netflix.

The cool thing about Netflix is if you have a blu-ray player that does it, or a WII, you can watch instantly on your tv.

I dont know about cable channels, except I know you have to actually have BBCAmerica to watch their shows online. I would recommend either going to hulu to see what programming they have, or going to the actual site of the station, for example, going to MTV's website, to see if they show their shows online.

and most shows will go online either a day or week after they air, if they show them online.

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answers from Albany on

We use Netflix. We have the Wii console hooked up to the internet (via cable), we use the Wii controllers on the big tv, but everyone can access it through their laptop, iphone, or cable ready tv in the house.
I've never had dvds sent.

A lot of times our choices are 'not currently available' which sucks.

If you go to their website, they give you step by step instructions on how to hook up all of your devices. I'd like to say it's easy, cept I don't actually do it myself, I've got a fleet of teenagers and one computer engineer to to it for me!

I think it's worth the $9 dollars a month.


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answers from Joplin on

Well I can watch it streaming on my computer or on the tv that is hooked up to the PS3 and my son who is 15 can watch it on his tv that is hooked up to the xbox360, and I am pretty sure there is a way ( we just have not looked into it) that we could also get it to play on our daughters tv that is hooked up to the Wii.
Yes, you are limited to what shows you can watch, and the set up that we have only allows for two different netflix movies or shows to be streamed at the same time, but we have always been really happy with the variety, and not only that they add new movies and shows monthly.
We have been cable free for 7 ish-plus years. We have Netflix and HULU plus and are totally happy. Occasionally if we Really want to see a newer release we will rent a movie from Redbox.

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answers from Biloxi on

We got rid of DirecTV and went to NetFlix streaming video via our Xbox. We can now get Hulu Plus the same way. If you don't have an Xbox or PS# you can buy a Roku for about $80 and hook that up to your TV and internet connection. You can also do Amazon streaming via Roku. You don't need a computer, per se, but you do need internet. We absolutly love it. Yes, you can get 16 and Pregnant, and other MTV shows. Just about everything I watched on TV I can watch either on NetFlix or Hulu Plus. Some shows on Hulu Plus are web only (like Housewives) and some shows/movies on NetFlix are disc only, which can be annoying, but for the most part we haven't missed Directv at all and we've been doing this for about 6 months now.


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answers from Dallas on

I'm also looking into Roku that supports Hulu and Netflix along with a few other streaming sources. You use it instead of the Wii or Bluray player (neither of which we own or need) and they start at about $60.

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answers from Kansas City on

We ditched our Directv about 3 months ago for hulu plus & netflix. We have it hooked up to my husbands xbox. We just bought an extra phone cord and have it running from the xbox to the internet modem.

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answers from Dover on

We gave up our regular satellite TV back in November. At first it was horrible to adjust all of us, especially the kids, to no regular tv, but just like anything, you get used to it. We went out & spent $35 at Radio Shack on a small antenae (sp??) that gives us ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW & PBS totally clear most of the time, a bit fuzzy during storms. We do use Hulu a lot on the laptop for shows that we miss, or when 2 things come on at the same time since we no longer have access to a dvr. For that it's just streaming the show through your internet. For a while we just watched whatever they had available, but my husband told me last weekend that he joined for I think he said $10 or it might have been $7 & that allows us access to more episodes of each show they have available.

We're looking into changing our internet provider so that we can have a wireless router & join Netflix to stream movies through the Wii. It's my understanding that it works pretty much the same way as Hulu does through the computer, but I could be wrong. We use Red Box a lot on the weekends, too.

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answers from Austin on

We have Hulu and Netflix. We really like them..
We can see a lot of things through both of them, but not all of the shows we really love.. Not all of the channels from cable we also love.

With Hulu there are some basic things you can watch the next day or a few days after they have aired, but no premium channels.. HBO, Cinemax, Starz.. also not all shows are available..

Through Hulu you can pay to also get some of the shows or channels you want, so there is a pick and choose option, but again not all of them. Not sure about the shows you mentioned.. You may want to research some of the things you do watch..

Netflix is great for movies, and TV shows, but not all are available yest to watch through streaming, so we still have our regular Netflix renting so we have access to all.

We tried watchiing things through our computers but the largest screen we have is 19 inches and many times, we are working on our computers laptops while watching TV, so that was not always available..

Also I am totally addicted to the news. I have it on all day long and I have not found anything on Hulu, I like as much as what is on my cable, so we have not totally given up on cable..

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answers from Minneapolis on

You need a VGA or maybe it's an HDMI cable to plug into your computer and TV to watch video directly from your computer. If you recently bought a flat screen tv, the product guide will have the details on how to set up your computer so you can watch stuff from sites like, Youtube, PBS, and so on. By the way, all of these sites are FREE.

Here are links to tutorials on how to do it:

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answers from Fort Wayne on

We did that! We have a HD antennae that picks up net work TV (ABC, CBS, NBC, CW, PBS) and we use that for most of our viewing. We also have Netflix and Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus offers a wider variety of shows and movies that the free Hulu. The fee is about $7.99 a month (I think) for Hulu Plus. You have to have Hulu Plus to stream through a device other than your computer.

In order to stream Netflix or Hulu Plus to your TV, you either have to hook up the computer to the TV with an HDMI cable, or have one of the devices that they will stream through. We have an XBox 360 with an XBox Live Gold membership and a wireless router. The Live Gold membership gives us access to Netflix and Hulu Plus as well as several other features. You can go to Netflix or Hulu's website to find out which devices are supported for streaming.

With Netflix you can only stream things that are on their "Watch It Now" list. You won't find anything from show seasons that are currently airing. You can stream a variety of movies through Netflix as well. Most of them won't be super current though We like it because they have lots of cartoons that the kids can watch.

Hulu and Hulu Plus are really nice. You can watch current shows through either. Hulu is the free version and Hulu Plus is the paid version. You can watch a lot of stuff with Hulu, but you'll need to plug your computer into your TV if you don't want to watch on your computer. With Hulu Plus, you get more shows, some movies and you are able to stream through a variety of devices. Keep in mind that you can't always find everything you want on Hulu or Hulu plus. Some cable channels aren't on there. I have no idea if MTV is on there or not.

I'm pretty sure you can watch shows like 16 and Pregnant on MTV's website. I used to watch The Hills on their site.

I would go check out the websites for Netflix and Hulu and see if it will meet your needs. We rarely ever watched our cable when we had it, so I don't really miss it.

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answers from Chicago on

With netflix, you can only watch things that are on DVD not sure about Hulu. We use our Wii, PSN & Laptop to stream on Netflix... LOVE IT!

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answers from Biloxi on

I don't know Hulu.
But I have and love Netflix.
We have the plan where we can get one DVD at a time and it comes with unlimited "instant play". You do not need a computer hooked up to your TV for Instant Play. You can do it 2 ways (1) go to the Netflix site and watch on your computer or (2) watch through your internet connection and TV via a gaming system - I know both PS3 and Wii support just download the Netflix "app" on your game system and have access to instant play search menus.

You can get fairly new releases via DVD from Netflix, but most Instant Play are a few seasons older. So if you want to watch the current "16 and pregnant you can't do that from Netflix.

I have a couple of friends who refuse to have cable or satellite or anything and exclusively use Netflix, Huly, and other on line sites to watch TV shows. They do catch current stuff via the internet sites. Also, many current shows are played on their stations websites.

Oh, we also use RedBox for movies - you really can't beat a movie for under $2. LOL

Have Fun
God Bless

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