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Hulu, Netflix, or both? Choosing online streaming service in Japan

The pros of Hulu

The application works perfectly on all devices. So far, I haven’t experienced any difficulties entering. Streaming is never interrupted in the middle of watching. The app opens immediately.

Some recent dramas appear on Hulu very quickly.

This one is my personal preference, but… They stream my favorite dramas like Desperate Housewives, BBC Sherlock, Columbo. Netflix does not.Columbo on Hulu

The cons of Hulu

So far there were no choices of subtitles and audio. You can watch the movie or drama only as it is.

Free trial period is only 2 weeks.

The cheapest package is roughly 1000 yen, which is 300 yen more expensive than Netflix.

The pros of Netflix

Netflix has a free one-month trial period, and their cheapest package is 700 yen (after tax).

There are more movies than on Hulu.

Some dramas and movies have a choice of Japanese and English audio and/or subtitles. However, not too many of them, especially when you are trying to watch a Japanese drama with Japanese subtitles. Anyway, it is good for language learning purposes.

The cons of Netflix

The app opens rather slowly. You have to wait 30 seconds until you are able to do anything.

My iPad app is often down. Sometimes it just doesn’t start; sometimes an error message 1016 pops up on the screen, and it closes down.Netflix error 1016After that my choice of subtitles (Japanese, for study purposes) changes to the default (English). I’ve tried to reset the WiFi, reset the iPad, and tried a different Internet connection. Now the error doesn’t appear so often. Netflix website says that it must caused by my wireless connection dropping. However, such thing never happens when I watch Hulu.

When they charge your monthly bill, there is no notice from Netflix. Sometimes I get surprised when receive an email from the bank, and it takes some minutes to recall what payment it is.

No matter what the cons are, I like Hulu and Nextflix, and can’t give up either one. Just don’t tell my husband I’m using both!

Article by Olga Kaneda

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