Are Apple TV's $1 episode rentals a better deal than Hulu Plus?

How do you prefer to get your television fix, from a buffet or à la carte? With the next iteration of Apple TV, you'll be able to rent any television episode available for a buck. With Hulu Plus? It's always there when you want it for $10 a month.

Both Hulu Plus and Apple TV offer the same instant television gratification. Yet, for Plus, you pay $10 a month, where Apple TV nickles and dimes you along the way. The $1 episode rentals will come in right under the $2 episode purchases that play in standard def, with $3 for HD up top. You'll probably have access to the episode for a 24-hour period starting when you first start watching.

So, let's break this down. If you rent more than ten television episodes in a month, you may as well spring for Hulu Plus instead and save a few bucks, right? Not necessarily. Hulu Plus will have a larger selection than the website currently offers, but it'll miss out on the kind of cable network content — Mad Men, True Blood and the like — that's on Apple TV.

That said, with Apple TV you've got to get the piece of hardware to use the service. Hulu Plus doesn't have its own hardware. You'll find it on video game consoles, mobile phones and even the iPad.

Really, whether one or the other is a better deal all comes down to your current situation. If you've got cable TV and a DVR, there's really no need for either, though the Apple TV will allow you to rewatch television episodes you no longer have access to. Meanwhile, Hulu Plus is looking like the cheap option for those of us who haven't thrown down for cable.

What kind of setup do you have at home? Would you prefer to pay as you go with Apple TV, or have access all the time with Hulu Plus?

Via NewTeeVee

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