Hulu

What It Is:
Hulu is a streaming video service that features select movies and episodes of current and classic television shows.

What It Does:
Hulu is pretty simple in its iteration: it is a way to (legally) stream rights-managed content like movies and television shows. Additionally, Hulu has a few exclusive shows that it has either created on its own or purchased the sole rights to.

Hulu is available in its regular free version as well as the subscription-based version called Hulu Plus. Both versions feature commercials, but Hulu Plus provides access to a deeper catalogue of viewing options.

It’s also worth noting that, before you can watch anything that’s been rated by Hulu as “mature,” you must first create an account and verify that you are old enough to view it. Accounts can be created through Facebook or with a valid email address, and Hulu keeps a record of your viewing history.

Would My Child Want It?:
In all likelihood, your child is probably interested at least tangentially in Hulu, especially if they’re interested in certain movies or popular television shows that are available through the service.

Where Can It Be Used?:
The free version of Hulu can be used on any computer, while Hulu Plus can be used on computers as well as just about any internet-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, or Roku players.

What Should I Watch Out For?:

  • Some content is inappropriate for children.
  • Additionally, since a portion of Hulu’s revenue is based around commercials and therefore those commercials are not able to be skipped, some ads might be inappropriate for your child.
  • Each Hulu video page has a Facebook-connected comments section, so in addition to the ability to be exposed to inappropriate content through comments, your child’s Facebook account can also be exposed to people outside Facebook.

What Are The Positives?:

  • Hulu provides easy and free access to current television shows, with new episodes usually available to view the day after they air.
  • Hulu is a convenient way to stay on top of what many people in your child’s social circle may be watching.
  • Hulu is very easy to navigate and use.

What Are The Negatives?:

  • Some content might be inappropriate for your kids.
  • Some advertisements might be inappropriate for your kids.
  • Occasionally, the first ad, which appears before the show begins, is for online casinos, offering you the opportunity to “play” blackjack and “win” a commercial-free presentation of the show you want to watch. This inevitably leads to the opportunity to visit that casino’s website.
  • Hulu does not offer parental controls, so if you are watching while logged into your account, you will have access to mature content.

What We Think:
Ultimately, Hulu is actually a pretty good way to watch the types of movies and shows that would be on network television or basic cable, so monitor your child’s usage and treat it like you would a regular television; just be careful when creating an account for yourself and make sure to log out every time you use it.