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Service Comparison: Redbox Instant Vs. Hulu Plus

by on July 15, 2013
 

There are many players in the video streaming service market right now so it can be difficult to differentiate which service is best for you. Hulu Plus and Redbox Instant are both reputable names in the industry therefore I will do my best to break down each service and pick an ultimate winner between the two.

Content Selection & Variety

Redbox Instant

The selection of streaming content found within the Redbox Instant service is focused strictly on movies and does not include any TV shows. This is a downfall compared to a competitor such as Hulu Plus which includes TV shows as well as movies. As for the movie selection, there is a reasonably good amount of new titles available for streaming, but the most popular titles will need to be rented in the physical DVD form via a Redbox kiosk. Fortunately, each Redbox Instant subscription comes with 4 DVD credits per month that allow you rent a physical DVD from your local Redbox Instant kiosk and return it the next day up to 4 times per month for no additional charge.

Hulu Plus

Unlike Redbox Instant, Hulu Plus offers streaming TV shows on their service as well as movies. The TV show realm is where Hulu Plus really shines as they have a wide selection of popular shows including Prison Break, Hannibal, Saturday Night Live, Deception, Shark Tank, Scandal, Grimm, Downton Abbey and hundreds more. Unfortunately, their movie selection is severely lacking as most titles I have never heard of mainly due to them being foreign, documentaries, or indie films. I must stress that Hulu Plus’ movie selection is not comparable to Redbox Instant’s movie selection in any form.

Winner: Tie

If you are strictly trying to stream movies instead of TV shows then Redbox Instant is the winner here. If you are more interested in streaming TV shows instead of movies then Hulu Plus is the service to go with.

Supported Platforms

Redbox Instant

  • Xbox 360
  • Samsung Smart TVs & Blu-ray Players
  • LG Smart TVs
  • Google TV
  • Apple iPhones & iPads
  • Android Phones & Tablets
  • Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, & Windows 8
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or higher

Hulu Plus

  • Wii U
  • Apple TV
  • Xbox 360
  • PS3
  • Roku
  • Wii
  • Apple iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch
  • Android Phones & Tablets
  • Windows 8
  • Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Nook
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or above
  • Windows XP or above
  • Samsung Smart TVs/Blu-ray players
  • VIZIO Smart TVs/Blu-ray players
  • Sony Smart TVs/Blu-ray players
  • LG Smart TVs/Blu-ray players
  • Panasonic Smart TVs/Blu-ray players
  • Sharp Smart TVs
  • Philips Smart TVs
  • Toshiba Blu-rays
  • Dynex Blu-rays
  • Denon Blu-rays
  • Marantz Blu-rays
  • Funai Streaming Player
  • Netgear Media Players
  • RCA Media Players
  • WD TV Media Players
  • Tivo Premiere
Winner: Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus is the clear winner here with many more supported platforms for streaming. Redbox Instant does have the main devices covered, but Hulu Plus goes above and beyond to bring their streaming capabilities to as many consumers as possible.

Pricing

Redbox Instant

A monthly fee of $8 gives you unlimited video streaming and 4 DVD credits towards your local Redbox kiosk.

Hulu Plus

A monthly fee of $7.99 gives you unlimited video streaming.

Winner: Tie

Both services are offered at $8 per month. It is debatable whether Redbox Instant should win this category as they offer the 4 DVD credits per month, but as for pricing and the affordability factor both services are reasonably priced.

Free Trial Offer

Redbox Instant

A 30-day free trial offer is available which requires a credit card, but can be canceled before the 30-day period and you won’t be charged a dime. Both unlimited streaming and 4 DVD credits are awarded to you during this trial period.

Hulu Plus

A 2-week free trial offer is available which requires a credit card, but can also be canceled before the 30-day period without any cost to you. Unlimited streaming is awarded to you during this trial period.

Winner: Redbox Instant

Redbox Instant provides double the amount of time to test their service without being charged and allows you to get 4 free Redbox kiosk rentals for no extra cost.

Function

Redbox Instant

Streaming is simple and easy with no hiccups or issues when viewing content from my end. The user interface is decent, but could be a little simpler in some aspects. You are not subject to any advertisements when streaming content through the service.

Hulu Plus

My streaming experience was also positive with a very simple UI and auto-play from where I left off in a video is extremely convenient. I prefer the user interface of Hulu Plus better than Redbox Instant, but the fact that Hulu Plus displays unavoidable advertising while watching your content brings up a major annoyance to deal with especially when you’ve paid good money for a “premium” subscription.

Winner: Redbox Instant

If I’m paying the same money for two similar services and one service forces me to sit through annoying video advertisements at various points throughout my content then I really can’t be too thrilled with that service. Due to this, Redbox Instant takes the cake on this one.

Overall Winner

The overall winner of the Hulu Plus and Redbox Instant showdown is Redbox Instant. Though it was a close one, Redbox Instant took the prize with their lengthly trial period, lack of advertisements, and free DVD rental credits. Keep in mind that everyone is different and Hulu Plus is still an excellent video streaming service so some of you may have a difference experience with one service or the other.

The main factor to decide between the two is whether you are looking to get access to streaming movies or TV shows. If you want movies, you will want to go with Redbox Instant. If you want access to TV shows then it’s Hulu Plus all the way. Either way, I highly suggest signing up for each service’s free trial (Hulu Plus or Redbox Instant) to get experience what each service offers for yourself.

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Service Comparison: Redbox Instant Vs. Hulu Plus

Colt Agar

Founder & CEO at TheTechReviewer.com

Colt is a 23 year old technology fanatic and a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts. He loves testing out the newest products and helping people make smarter purchases when it comes to tech gadgets and services. When he is not working on new content for TheTechReviewer.com, he can be found spending time with his Australian Shepherd, Mia.

Service Comparison: Redbox Instant Vs. Hulu Plus

Service Comparison: Redbox Instant Vs. Hulu Plus

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  • Nina
    August 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Thorough comparison, thanks!
    Another online video player that lets people easily enjoy watching is called OVO. It's complementary with mobile/web app OVOQ to build a complete experience. Welcome to check it out and give some feedback!

    Reply

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