TL;DR: Hulu + Live TV is a good service if you want access to a ton of live channels and traditional TV channels. It also adds some useful features like DVR recording and live sports channels.
Gone are the days of cable TV. Streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ have captured the market on TV viewers and have ushered in a new age of streaming. Streaming services are a great way to catch all your favorite shows and movies without having to shell out for an expensive traditional cable package.
Hulu + Live TV is a streaming service from Hulu, one of the most popular streaming providers on the globe. Hulu’s Live TV service offers users access to live channels, and sports, along with Hulu’s large catalog of shows and movies.
You have probably heard of this streaming giant but may be wondering, Is Hulu + Live TV worth it? We put together this comprehensive review on Hulu + Live TV so you can judge for yourself whether this streaming service is for you.
Access to a lot of great channels including some big national networks and a ton of live sports channels. You also get access to Hulu’s library of original shows and movies.
Hulu + Live TV gives you DVR storage so you can record all of your live programs.
Hulu’s livestreaming quality is good, or about as good as any other streaming platform out there. We did not notice any drastic dips in quality when testing the platform.
Hulu + Live TV: Overview
First, though, we should answer the question: What is Hulu + Live TV?
We should mention right off the bat that Hulu + Live TV is not the same as Hulu, the brand’s base subscription streaming service. Hulu + Live TV is an add-on to the basic streaming package that adds live TV channels and a bunch of new stuff to your Hulu streaming account. Hulu launched Hulu + Live TV back in 2017, shortly after Hulu was acquired by the Walt Disney Company (Seriously, what is not owned by Disney at this point?).
Hulu + Live TV adds a wide range of live TV channels for sports and other entertainment in addition to Hulu’s big library of on-demand TV shows and movies. Hulu + Live TV also adds DVR storage so you can record your favorite live events and watch them later. In that sense, Hulu + Live TV is a lot like other streaming add-on services like Sling or fuboTV.
How Does Hulu + Live TV Work?
Hulu + Live TV is an add on to Hulu’s base streaming service, so you will first have to have a Hulu account. Once you buy the add-on, the extra functionality integrates directly into your main Hulu interface. Like the main service, entries are organized in small blocks you can highlight to see the details. You can search for Hulu + Live TV programs much in the same way you would the regular on-demand library.
Hulu + Live TV’s main feature is that it adds several livestream channels, including things like news and sports. Most of the time, these live channels operate on a 30-second delay from truly live. Like the main service, the streaming quality is good and can handle multiple people livestreaming at the same time, provided you have the bandwidth to support multiple users.
Hulu + Live TV adds some extra features to the main Hulu overlay, such as the TV Guide tool and a new home screen that adds a “Live” category. From the TV Guide widget, you can access all your DVR recordings and set up recordings for the future.
Other than those few features, Hulu + live TV works mostly the same as the base subscription package. You can search for titles and navigate shows based on seasons and episodes. In our opinion, Hulu’s search function and navigation are not the best out of all the streaming apps, but it is good and you should not have too much trouble finding your shows and movies.
What Devices Does Hulu + Live TV Support?
Hulu + Live TV can be used on any device that is Hulu compatible. This includes pretty much all smartphones and smartTVs, along with devices such as
- Amazon Echo
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Android TV
- Google Chrome OS
- Samsung Smart
- Sony Bravia
- Vizio SmartCast TVs
- Nintendo Switch
- Xbox consoles
- Roku Express, Roku Stick, Roku Ultra
- Nvidia Shield
- macOS X 10.9 or higher
- Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari browsers
- And more
In other words, if your device can stream stuff, then it likely can stream Hulu + Live TV. For a full list of compatible devices, you can check Hulu’s website here.
How Much Does Hulu + Live TV Cost?
The Hulu + Live TV package starts at $54.99 a month. This includes all access to everything the base subscription package has, plus all the live channels and extra features. From there, you can add on different features and channels for an extra payment each month, usually around $10 a month depending on the channel or feature.
At that price, Hulu is cheaper than some other live streaming options such as YouTube TV, which is currently $64.99 a month.
What Can I Watch on Hulu + Live TV?
Like the regular service, you can search through Hulu +’s live categories. Hulu + Live TV features channels from some of the country’s most popular networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS. They also have access to live news channels such as CNN, FOX News, and more.
Other popular channels to watch include Discover, History Channel, National Geographic, truTV, Lifetime, and Turner Classic Movies, just to name a few. Keep in mind that you get all of these channels along with the entire catalog of Hulu’s original TV shows and movies, which, if reviews are anything to go by, are very good (Personally, we are big fans of Future Man and Castle Rock).
Hulu + Live TV also has a huge number of sporting options, with channels such as ESPN, NBC Sports, ACC Network, Golf Channel, SEC Network, and more. So if you want to get your live sports fix, the Hulu + Live TV is there for you.
Hulu + Live TV Add-Ons
Like the base package, you can add extra channels through Hulu + Live TV’s add-on packages. Extra channels you can add include Lifetime Movie Network, CBC, Discovery Family, ESPN Deportes, CNN En Español, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and HBO.
Hulu + Live TV also adds DVR storage to your Hulu package. When you purchase the add-on, you get the first 50 hours of storage for free. You can increase that amount to 200 hours total for an extra $9.99 a month. You can set up automatic recordings on the My Stuff page so the DVR will record your favorite live programs without your input.
How Many Users Can Hulu + Live TV Have?
You can make up to 6 individual accounts on Hulu + Live TV. Each account can save their preferences and set automatic DVR recordings. You can also set restrictions on accounts if you have children and want to limit the content or amount of time they spend watching TV. You can even put restrictions on the search option so it only returns certain programs.
Up to 2 users can stream Hulu + Live TV simultaneously. You can upgrade this number to any number of home systems and up to 3 mobile devices for an extra $9.99 a month.
How Does the Livestreaming Perform?
Aside from the occasional dips and lag, Hulu’s livestreaming works very well, or about as well as any other livestreaming platform. When testing the platform, we never found the quality so bad that a channel was completely unwatchable. There were a couple of times the stream dropped and we had to wait about 15 seconds before it came back on, but nothing that ruined the livestreaming experience. You would probably have similar problems with any livestreaming service.
Hulu + Live TV Pro & Cons
- Great selection of channels and programs. Hulu + Live TV gives you access to a lot of great channels including some big national networks and a ton of live sports channels. You also get access to Hulu’s library of original shows and movies.
- DVR Storage. Hulu + Live TV gives you DVR storage so you can record all of your live programs. You can set up DVR to automatically record your shows each week, without your input. You get up to 50 of storage for the base Live TV package.
- Good quality livestreaming. Hulu’s livestreaming quality is good, or about as good as any other streaming platform out there. We did not notice any drastic dips in quality when testing the platform. Even when multiple people are livestreaming at the same time, picture quality does not drop significantly.
- Too many add-ons. If you want to get the entire Hulu experience, then you have to buy a bunch of add-on packages. Each package costs a few bucks to $10 per channel, so they can add up quickly.
- Limited users. Hulu can hold up to 6 profiles but with the base Live TV package, only up to 2 people can livestream simultaneously. You have to pay an extra fee if you want to increase that number.
So, is Hulu + Live TV worth it? If you want to basically replace your cable subscription, then we say yes, Hulu + Live TV is worth it. They have a lot of channels, a big library of on-demand programs, and Hulu has some great original series and movies you should check out. The starting price is pretty affordable, although it can add up quickly if you have a bunch of add-on channels and services. Otherwise, we think Hulu + Live TV is a great evolution of the streaming industry and are excited to see what kind of things they will do next.