Hulu Basic now costs $1 extra, but the service is still competitively priced – here’s what you get for $7 a month

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Hulu's ad-supported plan costs just $7 a month.
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Streaming services continue to surge in popularity, offering viewers plenty of subscription options to choose from with tons of on-demand movies and shows. In fact, a survey of American households suggests the average home now has four streaming subscriptions.

Many people are looking for the best value to help build their repertoire of digital services, and Hulu Basic remains competitively priced. For just $7 a month ($70 a year), the ad-supported plan gets you access to a huge library of shows, movies, and Hulu Originals you won't find anywhere else.

What is Hulu Basic?

Hulu Basic is the company's most affordable streaming option. For $7 a month you get access to Hulu's entire on-demand catalog, but you will have to sit through some ads while you stream.

New subscribers can receive a free 30-day trial when they sign up. If you're a student, you can get Hulu Basic for $2 a month with a verified college enrollment.

Hulu's catalog hosts a wide variety of content, including a mix of original shows, current network series, and classic titles. Highlights include entire seasons of sitcoms like "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "American Dad," dramas like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Law & Order: SVU," and Hulu Originals like "The Handmaid's Tale."

You can also use Hulu to keep up with select network shows as they air - or the day after they air - like "Saturday Night Live," "The Bachelor," all FX series, and many more. This is a huge advantage over Netflix where you have to wait up to a year or more for an entire season to show up.

Hulu regularly adds new and classic movies to its catalog as well, including popular films like "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar," "Shrek," and "Bohemian Rhapsody." Several Hulu Original movies are also available to subscribers, including "Palm Springs."

What's the difference between Hulu Basic and Hulu Premium?

Hulu Basic costs just $7 a month, while Hulu Premium is $13 a month. Both offer access to Hulu's entire on-demand catalog, but Basic has ads while Premium is ad-free.

In exchange for a cheaper monthly rate, Hulu Basic serves you unskippable ads before and during your stream. Hulu typically airs five minutes of ads for 30-minute programs and 10 minutes of ads for hour-long programs. It's a small price to pay for halving the cost of your subscription, and it's still less overall ad time than you'd find on cable.

You can also sign up for Hulu Basic as part of a bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+. This bundle costs $14 a month, which is about $8 cheaper than the price of paying for all three services separately. You also have the option to upgrade your bundle to Hulu Premium for a total monthly cost of $20.

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How does Hulu Basic's price compare to other streaming services?

Hulu Basic's current $7 monthly price is the result of a $1 price increase that went into effect on October 8. The service remains competitively priced, but there are cheaper ad-supported options out there.

Though Hulu Basic is still cheaper than ad-supported HBO Max ($10/month), it's more expensive than ad-supported Paramount Plus ($5/month) or Peacock ($5/month). It's also cheaper than Disney Plus ($8/month) and Netflix Standard ($14/month), but those services are ad-free.

How can I stream Hulu?

Most smart TVs have Hulu already built in, so all you'll have to do is launch the app and sign in to start watching. You can explore our guide for the best cheap smart TVs if you want a new display on a budget.

Aside from streaming on your laptop, phone, or tablet, you can also use a streaming stick or box. These devices connect to your TV, offering access to apps like Hulu. We recommend the Roku Ultra as our top streaming option, but there are tons of other devices across price ranges.

Visit the Hulu website for a full list of supported devices.

Does Hulu support 4K and HDR?

Select entertainment options on Hulu are available to stream in up to 4K Ultra HD resolution and high dynamic range (HDR).

The selection isn't as large as competing services like Netflix, but several Hulu original titles, like "Nine Perfect Strangers" and "The Handmaid's Tale," are now available to watch in 4K with HDR on compatible devices. A "4K" and "HDR" badge will appear on the title page for supported programs.

Hulu recommends a 16 Mbps connection for 4K streaming. Hulu HDR titles are presented in HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision formats depending on the capabilities of your playback device.

You can see a full list of devices that support Hulu streaming in 4K HDR on Hulu's website.

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