On Christmas Day, I was so excited – as usual – to play with my new toys. Both my Kindle Fire and my 12-month subscription of Xbox Live allowed me to watch my Netflix subscription, but they both heavily advertised Hulu Plus as well.

Hulu Plus, at $7.99/month, piqued my interest. I’m a heavy TV watcher and the idea of having up-to-date shows on my TV and e-reader just seemed perfect.

But all that glitters isn’t gold. Hulu Plus is completely unfeasible for a college student.

College students aren’t Scrooge McDuck, so every expense is one worth scrutinizng, and Hulu Plus doesn’t stand up to its competitors – Netflix Instant Streaming and Amazon Instant Video.

The main issues come down to lack of unique, available content and lack of compatibility with the mobile devices – a feature it boasts. Not all shows were available on Hulu Plus, and that consistently dropped its credibility with me, even though I understand there’s much more to providing a TV show online than what’s seen at the surface.

Amazon Instant Video provides free content for Amazon Prime subscribers – a deal that some college students, myself included, have to provide for expedited delivery of textbooks and other supplies from Amazon. After a free year of Amazon Student, Amazon Prime is half-price for current students.

[Photo courtesy of Flickr user ilya. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.]

Netflix Instant Streaming has gone through a rough year on the PR front, but still consistently provides more content – TV and movies – than Hulu Plus and by far. The only benefit Hulu Plus would provide over Netflix is same-season availability for some series, and the availability of a few more programs like Modern Family and The Daily Show. I enjoy both shows, but not $7.99/month enjoy.

Hulu Plus certainly can stand as a formidable competitor to Amazon and Netflix, but it needs to provide for more access of its programming on mobile devices and more diverse programming than its competitors if it wants to break out of the mold.