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Streaming media has moved from being a fringe player in television and movies to being one of the dominant forces in the industry. Everyone wants to stream content on their mobile devices, smart TVs, and even their computer desktops. Instead, using various online services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. Physical media is dead, and everything is on the Internet.
Well, that is the vision that a lot of streaming companies have and, to a large extent, that vision has come to fruition. Media companies love being able to control the delivery of movies and shows because it preserves their ability to charge for access.
However, consumers are pushing back on this all-streaming vision of the future. There is a growing consensus among knowledgeable consumers that, while streaming is terrific, if you really like a show or a movie, you need to have your own copy and not rely on some cloud server somewhere to keep it for you.
We want to download our movies and shows from sites like Hulu so that we are not dependent on these services should we want to watch a favorite movie over and over and over. Not only does having your own copy of materials save it from being deleted later after someone gets into a squabble over rights, but it also has practical benefits.
In this article, I am going to show you several different ways to download local copies of your content from Hulu. In , Hulu finally promised that show and movie downloads would come to their platform sometime in the television season, but when May rolled around—the time of year where most broadcast shows air their season finales before going on hiatus—offline downloads were nowhere to be found.
That all changed in October when, finally, Hulu began to roll out downloads for customers watching on iOS devices. Much like how Netflix runs their platform, movies keep their downloading icons right next to the movie itself, while television shows have you choose from a list of episodes in each show that can be downloaded. While all streaming services make their downloads temporary, Hulu takes this to an extreme.
Hopefully the promised download ability comes to ad-supported accounts in the future, but for now, we do have a few work arounds you can check out in this guide. A lot of people ask whether downloading content from Hulu is legal. There is no criminal law that prohibits saving a local copy of streamed content. However, on the civil side, there are questions of property rights that are frankly murky.
However, it IS a violation of the Hulu terms and conditions to download movies and TV shows from Hulu, even if you are a subscriber. Accordingly, be aware of reading the following sections that TechJunkie does not endorse or suggest the use of any of the technologies under discussion.
This article is for informational purposes only. The quickest and dirtiest method of recording Hulu shows is to use QuickTime as a screen recorder. You can download a version of QuickTime for Windows or Mac for free. Once you have installed and opened it, open Hulu in your browser and play the show you want to record. The message above will appear. Follow the instructions and click the stop button when the video is finished playing.
There are two downsides to using QuickTime: one, you have to have a microphone to record the audio, so you will be playing the sound for the video through your speakers and then recording it with the mike, so the audio playback quality is likely to be poor at best. Two, QuickTime files are notoriously huge, so you might run into issues with storage on your device. For a more robust recording experience, you can use a product such as the Movavi Screen Recorder which is also available for Mac.
This software, like QuickTime, records the screen, but it does it at 60 frames per second. It also captures audio directly without having to play it through your speakers and re-record. It also has a more robust feature set. The advantage with this program is that you can save your media in any format, usually the super-efficient and space conserving MP4.
There are no time limits and no limitations on how you keep or use the media. It is compatible with Hulu, Netflix and a wide range of other streaming services. This means that once you set it up, you have to leave it completely alone or you will compromise the recording.
Like Movavi, Hulu Downloader is a paid app. Both versions also offer multisite and business versions at a significant price premium. PlayOn is a service that lets you record and download streaming movies from Hulu as well as from several other sites. It is not a screen recorder, but rather actually creates a browser session, goes to Hulu or whatever other streaming sites you are using, and records the video directly from the stream, giving you a perfect lossless copy of the video content.
PlayOn has two variants. There is a Cloud version which lets you pull videos to your mobile device, as well as a Desktop version that turns your PC into a video recorder and media server. The pricing model is different for each version. On the Cloud app, you pay 25 cents per discrete video that you want to download. PlayOn offers a number of features that less robust apps do not. For example, it has ad-skipping technology, which lets you skip past any ads in shows that you have downloaded.
You can also stream shows from your PC to your TV. Overall, PlayOn is feature-rich and very useful. Video Keeper will download SD, HD and even 4K video streams, allowing you to save the resulting video files for playback on your phone, tablet, or desktop. One neat feature of the software is that it lets you download YouTube channels and playlists with a single click.
Video Keeper can also convert video files to any standard format without having to add new codecs or install additional software. In addition, with the full version, you can download up to five video feeds at once without slowing down the other downloads.
Video Keeper also has a feature called Discover mode, which lets you automatically download any video file that you are currently watching online, transparently in the background. Steam Transport is more retro and looks like it dropped right out of the s. You can auto-capture videos and not have the hassle of copying and pasting URLs unless you want to. One possible downside: Stream Transport has not had an update since and the program does not appear to be developed any longer.
AllMyTube allows you to convert as you download, so that your downloaded video files are in the appropriate format for your playback device, and also includes a screen recorder program for websites where its download mechanism is software-blocked.
AllMyTube includes a QR code feature that allows you to scan the code to transfer downloaded files wirelessly to your portable device s using your WiFi network. There is a built-in player within the app so you can watch your Hulu videos directly. Of course, you can download multiple videos at once and at up to 3 times playback speed depending on the size of your network pipe.
Need more information to get the most out of your Hulu subscription? Trying to decide if Hulu is right for you? See our guide on the pros and cons of a Hulu subscription. Learn how to delete your Hulu history. Trying to get Hulu outside the US? Check out our tutorial on getting Hulu in Canada …or getting it anywhere else in the world.
Have you got any other suggestions for downloading content from Hulu? If you do, then please share them with us in the comments section! Sign Me Up. Is it allowed? Is it legal?