Millions of people worldwide are giving up expensive nights out for a cozy night, chilling on their comfy couch in front of the TV. However, this doesn’t mean that these people do not still desire entertainment. Since many pay-per-view shows are not an option, many people are turning to Hulu.
Hulu is one of the best websites for streaming TV shows and movies. There is something for everyone on this site, but you can’t enjoy what’s on there until you know how to use it properly. Therefore, here are some practical hacks that will help you make the most out of Hulu.
Switch to HD
You might want to start by switching your video quality. Yes, Hulu’s default is low, but you can watch everything in high definition if you choose that option. All it takes is a few simple steps. When you go on the Hulu website, make sure you are logged in (if not, sign up for an account). Once you’re logged in, hover your mouse over the little arrow next to your user name and click on settings. Scroll down until you find Video Quality and select 1080p under High Definition. Finally, refresh the page with F5 (or Ctrl+R ). Now, whenever you watch TV shows or movies, their quality will be de-restricted, allowing you to see every scene in all its glory.
Also, make sure that the video quality depends on your internet connection. If you’re watching a movie, and it seems like the streaming quality of Hulu is not up to par with the level of quality you selected, it’s because your internet connection isn’t fast enough. Hulu will only allow its content to be streamed at a certain speed or faster, so make sure that your internet can handle streaming HD movies. If this is not an option for you, then skip HD altogether and watch in regular definition.
Extend Your Watching Time
Unfortunately, Hulu has an extremely limited time that you can watch TV shows and movies. This is because the content available on this site is not up to par with what Netflix offers. Though, there are a few tricks that will help you extend your viewing limits:
- Watch 1 episode per day: The best way to do this is by using the playlist feature. When you click on a show or movie, select ‘add to my Playlist’ instead of selecting play immediately and give it a name (for example, “watch later”). Then go back to your recently watched list and press continue watching without selecting any other episodes.
- Get one week free: If you don’t want to think about how many days away from the next episode is, and you don’t want to add episodes to a playlist, just select “add at least one episode” and keep it in your recently watched list. The next time you open Hulu, this series will be available for up to 7 days without ads.
- Use the season pass: This is another way to get more than 1 episode in every series. If you didn’t know, there is a blue plus sign in each TV show picture. By pressing this button, you can subscribe to that particular show and receive an email when a new episode becomes available (the time after which the new episode is eligible for viewing varies from show to show). You can also access your season passes from your account anytime by going into My Subscriptions.
Use Different Devices
Another practical hack that will make the most out of Hulu is using different devices. Hulu knows that its users are always on the go and therefore made its services accessible from mobile devices and tablets. For example, if you have a computer but also want to watch movies from your TV, Hulu has an app for Roku. If you can’t afford a Roku player, there is always the option of using a Chromecast or Airplay (Apple TV). You can stream everything that’s on your computer onto your television with these devices. If you own a smart TV but don’t have any of the devices mentioned above, you can use your phone as a remote control and stream everything from your Hulu account onto your big screen.
Though Hulu is still accessible worldwide, some countries are more limited than others. To trick Hulu into thinking you’re located in a different area, you need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). These “unblockers” enable users from restricted areas to watch everything on Hulu and help users outside of Asia bypass regional restrictions. When looking for a good VPN, make sure that it has servers in countries where you know Hulu is available, and also be familiar with the different protocols and encryption types it offers.
Also, before you start using VPNs, consider that they may slow down your internet connection. Data has to go through more servers and computers than if it went directly to its destination. (Since watching movies on Hulu already takes longer than just about any other streaming service, adding more delay is not the way to go).
Don’t Use Ad Blockers
Yes, you read that right. Hulu heavily relies on advertisements to provide its services for free and is the only streaming site that doesn’t offer a paid subscription option (unlike Netflix or Amazon Instant Video). You can choose between two ad types: text ads and video ads. If you have an ad blocker enabled in your browser when you try to watch Hulu content online, then Hulu will not be able to load videos. There are also certain episodes of TV shows where ads are part of the broadcasting schedule, so if you skip them, you might miss out on important scenes. The bottom line is, just don’t use ad blockers.
Your Hulu watching experience can be greatly improved by taking advantage of at least some of these hacks and tricks. The most important thing is to know what Hulu offers and how it can help you. So next time you log in to your account, make sure to take a moment to think of these options and see which ones you can use to make the most out of your Hulu membership.
Featured Photo by Tech Daily on Unsplash