Reviews

Hulu vs. Netflix: Which One Should You Choose?

This is it, the post I've been putting off for months just because I couldn't choose (and I honestly still can't). The question is this: between Netflix and Hulu, which service gives you your money's worth and access to the shows you love?

Just to give you a little background, I started my Netflix subscription last November 2015, a few days before I subscribed to Hulu. Back then, you couldn't stream either one here in the Philippines - still can't, really - except for Netflix (though the titles available are still quite lacking). I had to use a proxy on all my devices just so I could get the full experience.

 

The Cost

Netflix costs $7.99 for Basic, $9.99 for Standard, and $11.99 for Premium. Hulu offers two viewing options, $7.99 for streaming with limited commercials, and $11.99 for commercial-free viewing. I, for one, hate commercials, so it made sense to subscribe to Premium on Netflix and Commercial-free on Hulu. Converted to Peso, it costs around Php 381.00 (Netflix Basic) to Php 572.00 (Premium & Commercial-Free) each, monthly - not a bad price to pay to stream all your favorite shows.

 

The Collections

Since I subbed to both services at the same time, I got to see their strengths and weaknesses in terms of available shows for streaming.

Here's what I discovered: Netflix turned out to be my go-to service if I wanted to watch incredible documentaries and have a large list of movies for a binge-watching session (especially now that multiple sites have listed URLs which can widen your Netflix options). Hulu, on the other hand, turned out to be my choice for watching American TV shows, animé, and kid shows (yes, kid shows - no, don't look at me like that).

Now, here's what I like about Netflix - Netflix enables you to setup multiple users using one account. I had my main channel set up, then I set up another one for kid titles. I made my mom her own channel as well. This just basically enables you to switch users depending on what mood you're in at the moment (or at least, that's what I used it for).

In terms of available movie titles, Netflix has a lot of horror, thrillers, and crime genres. I fell in love with the collection and had a bunch of movies queued up for the long holidays. Hulu also has its own movie collection, but I feel like it's quite smaller than the other.

Hulu, on the other hand, has a collection called "Criterion", and I BECAME OBSESSED with it. There was a time during the Christmas season that I had trouble leaving films on queue because I want to watch them right away. (If you have Hulu, head over to the Criterion collection and search for Pierre Étaix. You won't be disappointed.)

Another thing (that kind of gives Hulu the advantage) is the amount of Animé titles it has. God. I actually spent the whole night watching (and finishing) series and movies because I couldn't get enough of anything. I watched Non-Non Biyori (look this up, it's a really light, relaxing animé), Himouto! Umaru-Chan (watch this if you want to be entertained and have fun), rewatched Sailor Moon, Totally Spies, Adventure Time, and a whole lot of other shows. I'm telling you - once you go down this road, there's no going back.

 

The Buffer Time

The Philippines has such crappy internet, you'd think the satellites were buried underground. It was a fear of mine that if I subscribed to HD and SuperHD streaming, I wouldn't get what I paid for because of the internet speed. Well, in this case, Netflix takes the money. Hulu takes quite longer to load (I have a 5Mbps plan, by the way), but when it does, it's a steady pace. Netflix, even though it loads faster, can sometimes stop in the middle of a video and reload from there. I'm not sure if this counts as a criteria, but the numbers have been consistent with me, so I'm guessing it's not only my internet that causes it.

 

The Decision

I still can't make up my mind about which one I should let go, and after the past three months, I've held on to both. I've been using Hulu more lately, though, so that might be something worth looking into.

 

I hope this gives you some sort of idea about which service would better suit your needs. For my fellow indecisive folks, you won't lose anything by subscribing to both, hehe.

Anything else you'd like to know about my experience with Hulu and/or Netflix? Leave a comment and I'll answer you back the best I can.

Pewdiepie: Legend of The Brofist

'Tis the season to be jolly!

Regardless of Typhoon Nona (who rudely decided to crash for a while in the Philippines), I still believe we have reason to stay positive. So far, things are still quite calm and everybody is hoping it'll stay that way until it leaves the PAR (soon, I hope). My internet is "turbulent", and I'm desperately trying to get back to work and all. But still. Let's me joyful! Think positive! Pray! Relax!

Speaking of relaxing, I've been playing the Steam release of Pewdiepie's
"Legend of the Brofist" on co-op with my brother, and we've been having too much fun with it. Too much. The iOS version (priced $4.99) was great, but it had no co-op mode and I'm not really comfortable playing on a small screen, so the Steam version was a real treat.

As my first Steam purchase (I usually just play F2P's and free games on there), I feel like I was under an obligation to enjoy this game. Thankfully, I didn't have to force myself at all.

I LOVE THE GAME! I'd been waiting for a new release on a different platform since the original iOS version came out, and watching Pewdiepie and other Youtubers play the game got me all hyped for a PC/Mac release. It's just SO fun! It's one of those rare games that I wouldn't mind raging over ('cause of me dying a lot and being stupid in-game) and doing over and over again.

With co-op mode available, you can use two controllers or have one use the keyboard instead. Using the controller is easier for me though, but my brother says it's easier on the keyboard. It really doesn't matter as long as I get to play. Haha.

More stills for you, 'cause you know, I couldn't take enough. ;)

Like I said, I love the co-op feature on this release as I get to play with my brother (who's also a fan of all the Youtubers mentioned in the game). It took me a while to memorize certain buttons (uhuh, definitely slow) but that's just me. The games quite easy to play with someone else, but solo? I tried playing on the hard level and I was a noob. Pretty embarrassing for an FPS gamer like myself. I should be used to arcade games by now. (I played as Pewdie and my brother played as Markiplier. Above screenshot shows my brother has died two times already. No worries, I probably died more times than he did.)

Anyway, I'm really excited for the updates they'll be rolling out (hopefully soon!). The Christmas and Halloween maps were pretty cool as well and I can't wait to play more. I especially loved their Halloween costumes. Haha! Pewdie-chan! :D

Of course, a Pewdiepie game wouldn't be complete without Stefano, Jennifer, Shannen, and FalconLover.

Regardless of whether you're a fan or not of any of these Youtubers, the gameplay itself is really great. There's still room for improvement with the controls and the actual physics of the game, but it's too early to complain. The game IS new, so I doubt the developers will stop working on this any time soon. I just hope the next updates are free, though I wouldn't mind otherwise. I support games like these, especially if it involves people I like.

Apologies if this post is a bit all over the place - the Typhoon's getting stronger by the hour and I'm thinking about the internet stability and current, among other things. 

If you haven't purchased Pewdiepie: Legend of the Brofist yet, I highly recommend it for people who just want to play pixel games, who are a fan of it, or those who just want something to play with. It's really cheap, so it's not a big deal if for some reason you realize it's not for you.

Have fun!

Software of The Month: Sketch 3, Autodesk, & MacClean

This month, I've made a couple of purchases that have become a part of my art-making process. I've always used Photoshop for work and other projects, and Paint Tool SAI for other random doodles or light drawing studies. Although I greatly enjoy working with these products, my love for discovering other tools thankfully never dies.

Around two weeks ago, I went software-hunting. It lasted for three-fourths of the whole day but I came out of it feeling really satisfied with my finds. Of course, my primary goal was to find free software that didn't suck, but there are seriously great products out there that are worth the price. Note: These applications were made for Apple devices. I'm not sure if there are versions for these on other systems.

 

MacClean (FREE)

Image © Imobie

Image © Imobie

Since the upgrade to El Capitan, my Mac has been lagging a lot. Photoshop was at its worst, just opening a Finder window would take a minute or two, and it felt like my Mac was at least three years old. After installing MacClean and allowing it to sweep my system, my former issues were gone.

I've tried other cleaning apps but most are only free to try for a limited number of days with incomplete functionality, while some have even worsened the state of my system. I highly recommend MacCleaner to others who suffer from a slow OS after upgrading. The cherry on the cake? It's FREE FOREVER.

Download the software here: MacClean

 

Graphic by Autodesk ($24.99)

Image grabbed from graphic.com

Image grabbed from graphic.com

Autodesk has some incredible products on their catalog. I don't think there's anything I'm not fond of in their list, from Maya, Mudbox, and now, Graphic.

Whenever Photoshop flips out for some reason (it probably just needs an update/optimization fix for El Capitan), I find myself immediately shifting to Graphic. While Photoshop has an insane amount of features for editing and creating, Graphic has a simple interface with straight-forward functions meant for graphic design and vector illustration. They both have the pen tool (Graphic's pen tool has become my personal favorite), layers and blending modes, the brush tool, and a few other similarities.

I'll say it again to be clear: Graphic is a vector creation software. It doesn't pretend to be a replacement for Photoshop and it also doesn't say it's the ultimate art software around. It's great for it's primary purpose, but it's also an awesome substitute for Photoshop.

Know more and buy this software here: Graphic

 

Sketch App ($99)

SOURCE

SOURCE

My favorite out of all the software I've purchased this month, Sketch is a GODSEND. For someone looking into UI and wanting to get started, this application is truly one of the best (if not the best) available.

It does come with a huge price tag, but when you think about the vast capabilities, the number of things you can do with this in your software inventory, it just makes sense to purchase this awesomeness. Personally, since buying Sketch 3, my interest in UI has gone up at least 50%. Everything is easy with Sketch 3, from creating wireframes, full-blown website mockups, to creating UI for iOS and Android devices, plus.

The money you'll spend buying this app is used to it's full potential. They have tutorials, kits to get started, a sh*tload of resources to help you get on the train, and more.

Discover and purchase Sketch 3 here: Sketch App


What are some of your favorite software this month? Let me know - I'd love to try them out too!

OSX El Capitan - Initial Thoughts

Ever since Apple's new OS became available for download last September 30, mixed reviews (some bad, some good) have been popping up, and as much as I wanted to upgrade on that same date, a number of reasons held me back. Now that I've been able to test OSX El Capitan on my Macbook Pro, I'd like to say a few things that I like and those that could be better.
 

 

The Positives

General Notes

Compared to Yosemite, El Capitan looks even more slick and intuitive. The new OS also runs incredibly well (and surprisingly fast) on my mid-2012 MBP, even with Adobe CS and a whole lot of files stored. I didn't even bother clearing my cache before installing, and it still works great. The trackpad functions (swiping, zooming, etc.) have become smoother and transitioning between screens is a lot better than before. It looks cleaner and more minimalist, something Apple has been doing very well recently with its iOS and OS releases. The lag has definitely decreased (especially when opening Word and Spotify) and the waiting time for opening apps has gone down. It totally feels like a new computer.

 

Apps

Since I'm a Graphic Artist by trade, the usability of certain software is crucial. After installing, I proceeded to test them one by one and I'm incredibly relieved that they ARE running on El Capitan. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and the whole suite is functioning nicely, Mixed In Key is also good, and Riffstation as well. Reading a bit of the documentation for this OS, I found out that most apps that ran on Yosemite will work like a charm on El Capitan as well.

The only thing left for me to test is if the current driver for my Wacom Manga Pen & Touch Tablet will continue working.
 

The Negatives

The Split feature has been on Windows for forever, and now that Apple has taken steps towards the same thing, it should be a good thing, right?

Well, not so much. I agree that being able to view two windows/apps at once is great, allowing for multitasking, but the way the pages are fitted into each side could've been thought out more. They could learn a few things from looking at a Windows screen with the split feature.

Another feature I'm having second thoughts about (takes a lot getting used to personally) is the ability to 'pin' your most visited or your favorite websites to the browser for easy access. Here's how it looks:

If you look at the top left corner, my pinned sites are there. The reason why they take effort to get used to is because it sometimes gets confusing, and I find myself looking for that "Facebook" label on the tabs. I know it'll be helpful in the long run, but for now, I'm not so sure. Does it double the mac's processing need or not? It'll always be active whether or not you're actually using it, right? (This might be more of a positive than a negative though.)

Basically, this is just a short, right-off-the-bat review of OSX El Capitan. I might post a follow-up once I play with it more, but for now, here's my two cents.

 

Original post date: October 3, 2015