Now that Netflix has finally brought their streaming video experience to the iPhone, it seems like a Hulu Plus versus Netflix client comparison is in order (via my 3GS). We’ll save the content selection and video quality comparison for another day, but some quickly comparable metrics are related to app launch time and battery usage. And, actually, launch time wouldn’t have been on my radar… except that Netflix comes up surprisingly slowly.
On average and while on WiFi, from a cold start the Hulu app fully loads it’s first screen in about 5 seconds as opposed to the ~8s Netflix requires. On my 3G connection, Hulu came up in about 10 seconds, whereas Netflix took 18 seconds… or more. Ouch. Of course, your connections and coverage will differ from mine but the relative comparison stands: Hulu launches significantly faster.
Winner: Hulu Plus