Many in recent years have opted in to services offered by Netflix, Hulu, and the like due to the flexibility and amount of streaming content available anytime, anywhere, and on multiple devices. Recently, I decided to eschew a cable TV subscription altogether in favor of a smart TV and Hulu Plus subscription. With the announcement of the launch of theWWE Network next month, I am certain I will sign up for that service as well due to being able to access a vast amount of content at a low, monthly price. Since I am not a big sports fan outside of pro wrestling, I do not feel as though I’m missing out on much from live TV. The only minor downside, in my opinion, is the inability to watch a show while it airs live on cable, however, many of these get added to Hulu within 24 hours. Patience is not a big issue for me, so I’m totally fine with the wait. For my parents, I purchased a Roku device for each television set in the home and was able to find a live streaming channel that offers about 6 channels (the ones offered in a bare-bones, basic cable package, like NBC, ABC, CBS, etc.) though the channels aren’t entirely local to their area. It goes without saying, but Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and a plethora of other services can be accessed via the Roku device. It is a great option for people who do not own a PS3/PS4, XBox 360, or smart TV and who do not prefer to watch content just on tablets and smartphones.
Until recently I wasn’t aware of this but there is a Hulu subscription service that launched in Japan on August 2011. This was Hulu’s first launch outside of the U.S and includes unlimited, instant access to hundreds of premium feature films and thousands of episodes of TV shows from a variety of content providers, such as CBS, NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company (Japan) featuring content from Disney/ABC Television Group and The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Subscribers can watch at any time across connected TV’s, gaming and entertainment consoles, blu-ray players, smartphones, tablets and PCs. As in the States, users can try a free 2-week trial. Afterwards, the monthly subscription costs ¥980 per month (down from the initial launch price of ¥1,480 per month).
Taking a look at their current offerings, hit TV shows like The Walking Dead, Lost, Heroes, Glee, Friends, and more are featured, along with movies like I Am Legend, The Matrix, 300, The Expendables, and Iron Man. I wish I would have known about this most recently when I was living in Japan as it would’ve been a great way to keep up with American television and movies. However, if you know anyone in Japan who is interested in American television/movies or feels like they are missing out, this would be a great subscription to have!