Is the Hulu DVR worth using?

Estimated read time: 3 minutes



Over three years ago we cut satellite television and nobody complained about that too much and the family adjusted just fine.

We then got a Roku box like this one. That worked well and streams many services. Amazon Prime has shows and we already paid for that for faster shipping mostly. We also signed up for Sling TV – which says it’s watching TV a la cart. It’s really just TV via the web. Anyway, I didn’t hate it. The whole switcheroo from satellite saved money, too.

We also signed up for Netflix.

Until June 2018, which was when I made this decision and posted this to social media:

Cut Sling – $29/month

Cut Netflix -$19

Added Hulu which now has live TV – $39

So I just saved $120/year.

I think I mostly made the switch because I was looking to watch some sporting event and Hulu had it. Or it was easier for me to see that they had it.

Spending less money per month was also nice. Hulu includes:

  • Shows – similar to Netflix and Amazon
  • Live tv
  • DVR services


I hadn’t used DVR for years but used to use it all the time to watch things time delayed and to skip commercials.

The one time I tried Hulu DVR the skipping didn’t work. I got a note saying that the skipping of commercials wasn’t allowed:

What a bummer. That is literally the one and only reason to record shows in my opinion now.

Some people might argue that it’s also because you couldn’t watch a show live – appointment viewing. People still do that? I don’t. Because of this I also like the function of Amazon Prime where you can buy entire seasons of shows that are currently on TV. Once a new episode is up they’ll email you and you can watch it. So convenient.

The Hulu DVR was a disappointment and also didn’t easily let me return to “watch live” without making it fast forward – which didn’t even show the current video frame so no way of knowing if I should stop.

Now, the DVR function was included in the package I bought so I don’t feel that bad about it, but if you are considering switching and really are planning on the DVR, this may not be the route to go.

But other than that no complaints. It’s comparable to the other two combined services.

It’ll be interesting to see how the industry of on-demand viewing evolves. For now, the differentiators seem subtle.

Some different shows and viewing options seem to be it.

Pricing can play a part and also how easy it is to view shows. Of course, Hulu, Netflix Amazon Prime have apps, you can watch on your internet-enabled television, etc.

Maybe one differentiator will be the use of virtual reality. I can’t wait to see how it evolves.

For now, I was surprised that they are still holding on so fiercely to such a traditional monetization strategy – commercials.