If you’re tired of paying a big cable bill each month, you may find that cutting the cord and subscribing to Hulu + Live TV is a great money-saving solution in 2021.
In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Hulu’s live television subscription service.
What Is Hulu + Live TV? Team Clark Reviews the Live TV Streaming Service
|Hulu + Live TV|
|Channels||76 (Full list)|
|Free Trial||7 Days (Sign up)|
Streamers who want both live TV and on-demand content
|Cloud DVR Hours||50|
|Supported Streaming Devices||
Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Apple TV and select smart TVs (Full list)
But what you may not know is that the company also has a live TV streaming service, called Hulu + Live TV, and it offers many of the most popular TV channels on the market.
The “plus” in the name means you’ll get both services for one price. So you’ll enjoy popular TV channels in addition to that aforementioned on-demand library from Hulu that includes popular original content like The Handmaid’s Tale.
And unlike cable or satellite, this will come without cable box fees, a dish or a long-term commitment. You can cancel at any time.
“What makes Hulu + Live TV interesting to me is that it’s a combo of Hulu on-demand programming and Hulu Live, which is basically like traditional pay TV,” money expert Clark Howard says.
Team Clark has tested Hulu + Live TV and the other major live TV streaming services. Read on to learn what you need to know before you sign up!
Table of Contents:
1. What Channels Do You Get With Hulu + Live TV?
Unlike many of its competitors that offer several different subscription options, Hulu + Live TV keeps it simple with just one basic package.
And it’s a pretty solid one.
For $64.99 per month, Hulu + Live TV includes dozens of channels and access to the provider’s entire streaming library. For an additional $5.99 per month, you can watch ad-free.
You’ll want to visit the website to confirm local channel availability by entering your ZIP code. Where I live, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliate stations are included with a Hulu + Live TV subscription.
(Many of you will notice that many regional sports networks (RSNs) are not included; that’s because of contract disputes with a channel provider.)
Team Clark has assembled a searchable list of Hulu + Live TV’s channel offerings.
|Hulu + Live TV ($64.99)|
|ABC News Live|
|Big Ten Network|
|CBS Sports Network|
|ESPN College Extra|
|FOX Business Network|
|FOX News Channel|
|FOX Sports 1|
|FOX Sports 2|
|Lifetime Movie Network|
|Nat Geo Wild|
Add-on Channel Packages
Just because there is one basic live TV streaming package doesn’t mean your options are limited to that channel menu.
For an additional fee, you can pay for the following add-on packages that are tailored to specific channel interests.
|Entertainment Add-on ($7.99)||Español Add-on ($4.99)|
|American Heroes Channel|
|Crime & Investigation|
|Discovery en Español|
|Great American Country|
|History en Español|
Premium Channels and Services
In addition to add-on channel packages, Hulu + Live TV also offers premium subscription services.
For example, you can opt into paying $15 per month for an HBO Max subscription as a part of your monthly Hulu + Live TV bill. That content would be available to stream on your Hulu app alongside the content from your base subscription.
Here’s a sampling of the premium channels or services that are available through Hulu + Live TV:
- HBO Max
Disney+ and ESPN+ Bundle
If you enjoy the Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel content mashup that is Disney+, you may want to consider maximizing your streaming dollar with a bundle.
But many people don’t realize that Hulu + Live TV customers also can get in on the fun. You can get all three of the services mentioned above, plus the base Hulu + Live TV service for $72.99 per month.
This bundle allows you to add Disney+ and ESPN+ to your Hulu + Live TV experience for just $8 per month.
2. Does Hulu + Live TV Include DVR?
The good news? Hulu + Live TV comes with cloud DVR storage that will allow you to record and watch your favorite live TV shows, movies or sports games from any of your devices.
The bad news? It’s not nearly as good of a deal as the cloud DVR service offered by chief competitor YouTube TV.
Hulu allows you 50 hours of cloud DVR storage with the base subscription, but that doesn’t come with the ability to fast forward through commercials.
If you want that feature, you’re going to have to pay more.
Hulu says you can pay an extra $9.99 per month for its Enhanced Cloud DVR Add-on, which boosts your cloud DVR storage to 200 hours and provides an ad-free DVR experience.
YouTube TV gives unlimited storage for cloud DVR with its base subscription, so Hulu’s offering in this area leaves a lot to be desired.
Hulu does help users manage their DVRs by showing the amount of storage left and giving the option to record only new episodes of a show to avoid clogging things up with reruns.
Here’s a quick video from Hulu showing how its DVR service works.
3. What Equipment Do I Need To Get Started?
One of the biggest perks of cutting the cord and opting into a service like Hulu + Live TV is the variety of ways in which you can enjoy the content.
Not only can you move seamlessly from device to device, but you can also take your recorded content with you thanks to the portability of the cloud DVR. So you can take your favorite movies and shows with you on vacation (more on this later).
You can watch Hulu + Live TV on your phone, tablet or computer. But many of us still like to enjoy entertainment on a television from the comfort of our couches.
Hulu + Live TV has you covered in that area, too.
The streaming service’s list of supported devices for TV includes:
- Android TV
- Apple TV (4th gen or later)
- Chromecast with Google TV
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- LG TV (select models)
- Nintendo Switch
- PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
- Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
- Samsung TV (select models)
- Xbox 360 and Xbox One
4. Can I Watch Hulu With Live TV on Multiple Devices at the Same Time?
While Hulu + Live TV is available on quite a few devices, you’re going to find that the number of devices you can use at the same time is somewhat restrictive.
You’re only allowed to watch on two screens at a time with your basic Hulu + Live TV subscription. However, you can upgrade to unlimited screens for an extra $9.99 per month.
That all seems simple enough, but you’ll have trouble if you try to use a “living room” device such as a smart TV, Roku stick or the like when you’re away from your primary residence.
You can’t access Hulu on a living room device outside of your home network, according to Hulu’s FAQ page. The live TV service is for use by a single household, so sharing a subscription is not allowed.
So what does that mean for travel?
Accord to Hulu’s website: “You’ll be able to stream Hulu on your mobile devices while you are traveling within the U.S. — just make sure you check in at Home before you leave. You’ll need to do this once every 30 days to avoid any interruptions in service.”
This requirement also rules out using one Hulu + Live TV subscription if you have more than one residence. Hulu’s same FAQ page suggests paying for second subscription to remedy the issues of going back and forth between homes (yuck!).
Hulu + Live TV: Pros and Cons
|Access to local channels||Cost of add-ons can really add up!|
|Hulu’s on-demand streaming library is included.||Must upgrade DVR to fast forward through commercials.|
|Can bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+.||Only two screens at once unless you upgrade|
If you’re looking to cut the cord from the cable company, Hulu is a great place to start your search for entertainment.
Hulu + Live TV offers a good variety of popular cable channels, which includes access to a good variety of sports and news channels in addition to your local channels. And the subscription comes with access to Hulu’s on-demand library for free.
There also is an easy opportunity to add content to the experience with a bundle that gives you Disney+ and ESPN+ for just $8 more per month.
However, when compared to YouTube TV, you may find that Hulu + Live TV is more restrictive on things like multiple streams, cloud DVR and watching content while traveling.
And since they have the same monthly subscription price, that may be hard to reconcile for streamers looking to get the most for their money.
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