Money expert Clark Howard is a YouTube TV subscriber, but Hulu’s live TV streaming service may be just as good for some Americans who want to cut the cord to save money.
In this article, we’ll compare the key features of these two streaming TV services to help you make the best pick.
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YouTube TV’s plan costs $64.99 per month after a price hike went into effect in June 2020. Hulu + Live TV implemented its own price increase in December 2020 and now costs the same ($64.99) as YouTube TV.
Those monthly prices are for the base plans only. Premium channels and features will cost extra.
Unlike many cable and satellite TV providers, internet-based streaming services have no setup or equipment fees. You can cancel at any time.
New subscribers can also take advantage of free trials, typically for a week.
Cable and satellite TV costs a lot more, but some packages have more than 150 channels to choose from.
YouTube TV carries about 85 channels — about 20 more than Hulu + Live TV. In June 2020, YouTube TV added these ViacomCBS networks to the lineup:
- Comedy Central
- Paramount Network
- TV Land
ViacomCBS announced in January 2021 that its networks are also being added to Hulu Live.
YouTube TV offers more live sports than Hulu Live. However, Hulu + Live TV has a respectable mix of sports, news and entertainment networks. It also includes full access to Hulu’s streaming library with ads — a $5.99/month value.
To determine which service has the best channel lineup for you, follow these steps:
- Open your cable or satellite TV guide
- Scroll through the channels and list your favorites
- Search for those networks in the chart below
Channel Lineups: YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV
|YouTube TV||Hulu + Live TV|
|ABC News Live||ABC News Live|
|ACC Network (ACCN)||ACC Network (ACCN)|
|Adult Swim||Adult Swim|
|Animal Planet||Animal Planet|
|BBC World News|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)||Big Ten Network (BTN)|
|Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network|
|CBS Sports Network||CBS Sports Network|
|Cozi TV||Cozi TV|
|Discovery Channel||Discovery Channel|
|Disney Channel||Disney Channel|
|Disney Junior||Disney Junior|
|Disney XD||Disney XD|
|ESPN College Extra|
|Food Network||Food Network|
|Fox Business Network||Fox Business Network|
|Fox News Channel||Fox News Channel|
|Fox Sports 1 (FS1)||Fox Sports 1 (FS1)|
|Fox Sports 2 (FS2)||Fox Sports 2 (FS2)|
|Golf Channel||Golf Channel|
|Investigation Discovery (ID)||Investigation Discovery (ID)|
|National Geographic||National Geographic|
|Nat Geo Wild||Nat Geo Wild|
|NBC News Now|
|Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel|
|SEC Network||SEC Network|
|Smithsonian Channel||Smithsonian Channel|
|Start TV||Start TV|
|TCM (Turner Classic Movies)||TCM (Turner Classic Movies)|
|Travel Channel||Travel Channel|
|Universal Kids||Universal Kids|
If YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are missing some of your favorite channels, see our expanded channel comparison chart that features other live TV streaming services.
Be prepared to make some sacrifices with the channel lineup, especially if lowering costs is your #1 priority.
The price and channel lineup are perhaps the two most important factors, but cloud DVR is another feature that many people look for in a live TV streaming service.
YouTube TV’s cloud DVR is not only better than Hulu’s, but it’s the best of all the live TV streaming services.
Cloud DVR: YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV
|YouTube TV||Hulu + Live TV|
Supported Devices for TV
YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are both compatible with some smart TVs and streaming media players like Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV. (Roku does not support YouTube TV for new subscribers as of April 30, 2021.)
Hulu’s live TV offering has been compatible with Amazon Fire TV from the start, while YouTube TV added Fire TV players and smart TVs to its list of supported devices in September 2019.
For families or individuals who want to use a streaming TV service on multiple devices at once, YouTube TV has an advantage over Hulu + Live TV.
You can stream on three screens at a time with YouTube TV and only two with Hulu Live.
However, Hulu’s live TV streaming service does have an option to upgrade to unlimited screens that are connected to your home network for an extra $9.99 per month.
With this add-on, you can also stream on the go from up to three separate mobile devices.
Cable and satellite TV providers have made their services so easy to navigate that some users find that live TV streaming services are just too complicated.
But YouTube TV is easy to navigate and has a very simple TV guide, as you can see in the video below:
Hulu + Live TV has made changes to its interface to mirror traditional cable TV — including a two-week grid guide.
From my experience with Hulu’s live TV streaming service, it can take an extra click or two to find what you want. That’s the frustrating part. But there’s so much more content to discover from Hulu’s streaming library.
There’s less of a learning curve with YouTube TV, but I was able to comfortably navigate Hulu within a few days.
YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are both on the expensive side, but you get more for your money with YouTube TV.
When choosing any live TV streaming service, you have to consider the factors that matter the most to you: price, channels, DVR, supported devices, multiple streams, ease of use and more.
They all have free trials, so you can test out multiple streaming plans until you find a suitable cable TV replacement.
This article was originally written by Michael Timmermann and published on June 17, 2019.