During this past weekend, I had the opportunity to try out the new offline content feature in Hulu. This only works because I currently have the ad-free version of Hulu for $11.99 a month, which is the only tier of service where users are allowed to download full episodes and movies to a device like their iPhone or iPad.
For this “experiment” I downloaded a couple of my favorite TV show on the service, FOX’s Last Man Standing (season eight starts on January 2, 2020). I also used my iPad fifth generation as my device-of-choice too.
In my time using this, everything worked well, but the only flaw that I saw was that the video quality seemed like it could have been better. It looked and felt as though it should have been in HD and was only available in 480p.
Thankfully for Hulu, I’m not a complete freak about this, but I will say that it is a little disappointing, especially if you consider the fact that people are going to pay $11.99 a month to get use this feature (as well as an ad-free experience) and are not getting that complete HD experience.
I was also quite impressed with the number of TV shows and movies that can be downloaded and watched offline, such as How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy and many others. However, I did see that it was hit-or-miss with select shows on ABC or popular old shows like Seinfeld and Home Improvement, where you cannot download episodes to watch offline.
I can’t speak for ABC shows, but you know Netflix is going to do everything in its power to make sure that episodes for Seinfeld are available offline when the series comes to the service in January 2021.
If I were Hulu, I would make the video quality better and try to make it so that those that don’t have the ad-free version can still get offline content on their selected device by making it so that users could watch pre-downloaded ads on the episodes of TV shows or movies that they download.
Overall, the feature is still getting 3.5/4 stars from me. It’s a great feature for Hulu to offer and makes them more competitive with Netflix and Prime Video, as well as Apple TV Channels, which have all had the offline content feature for years now (excluding Apple TV Channels since it just launched this year).
Rating: 3.5/4 stars