So, yeah, slacking again. What have I done recently? Well, there was that week that I spent in bed [probably depression related], and then the extra day I spent in bed [my intestines exploded — it was very yucky], so I haven’t been doing much of anything.
That last day I spent in bed, though, I ended up experimenting with a free trial of Hulu+.
I won’t be paying them.
So, there I was, curled up in bed. Gremlin was watching West Wing on Netflix, and I didn’t want to find out that Netflix had gone off on some sort of horrible new direction and limited us to one device at a time, so I fired up Hulu to see what was available, since I’d signed up for a free trial the day before.
First impressions: the app isn’t terrible. It’s not great, but I haven’t actually encountered the pinnacle of streaming video apps yet, so I couldn’t hold that against it. Everything has flaws, so…whatever. It’s the videos that count. Especially the selection. If there’s enough overlap with Netflix and Amazon Prime [which are damn near identical], then there’s no point.
So I hit up the documentary movies. I didn’t find a lot of NOVA. I did find a lot of loony conspiracy shit, though. And, after watching a couple, I decided to check out the TV series.
TV series are what sell these services to me. If there was even one good one available, I might consider keeping the service.
I remembered that Supernatural was on Hulu, so I checked for that first, because I missed this season entirely.
And Hulu lost major points.
Firstly, they didn’t have the full season. They had a few episodes from the beginning, and then the final episode. That’s it.
What the hell?
So I watched it.
And there were ads.
I gave them my credit card number to have access to shows with ads in them?
Oh no. Oh hell naw.
‘Maybe it’s just the mobile streaming thing, though,’ I thought as I drifted off to sleep. ‘Maybe it’s just that app. I’ll check it out on the BluRay player tomorrow.’
Which I did. I tracked down Bones — and hey, they had all of the most recent season, so good for them.
Two ads at the beginning. Then clusters of three evenly [but not always appropriately] spaced throughout.
Instead of ‘are you still watching’ judgements, the player boots you back to the episode list. To the episode you started at, not the last played.
Halfway through one episode, their adserver apparently puked, and I couldn’t watch another episode until I backed out of the player to the BluRay main menu and reloaded it [that’s, like, twelve button presses! Not counting the fiddly ‘search’ thing, which is annoying on the player].
So what exactly am I paying for here? Certainly not the expected streaming experience. And, okay, I’m spoiled. I’ve got Netflix and Amazon Prime, which both work out to around the same price per month as Hulu+.
Where, exactly, does the ‘plus’ come in? Does it represent the extra money you get? Because it feels like you’re charging me twice.
Ads plus 7.99. What am I getting? Specific episodes arbitrarily locked behind a paywall, the ability to watch them on Not My Computer, and the privilege of seeing ads — ads that sometimes go offline and make it so I can’t use the service at all.
You have failed to impress me, Hulu. I’m sure that means nothing to you, because I am spoiled by other services, and that makes me feel like a monthly fee entitles me to no ads, and my petty, entitled revocation of 7.99 won’t dent the gigantic pile of money you’re making…but you’re still not getting it.
Because your service is not worth it to me.