Hulu’s New Live Streaming Service – Pricing, Channels, Features and more…
Ever since Sling TV helped usher in the second wave of the online streaming revolution, we’ve started to see more and more services emerge that allow you to stream live television. Hoping to cash in on this new trend, even some of the more “traditional” streaming services have started to get in on the action.
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Most recently, streaming giant Hulu launched their own live TV streaming service. Simply dubbed Hulu Live, this service hopes to combine the best of live television with the companies extensive on-demand library, and it’s actually better than you might think.
Here’s a quick look:
How much does Hulu Live Cost?
Let’s go ahead and discuss one of the more important parts of Hulu Live TV: it’s price. One month of Hulu Live TV is going to cost you $40 a month; which is quite more expensive than Sling TV and PlayStation Vue’s base price of $20 and $30, respectively. Even DirecTV Now is priced at $35 (60+channels).
But, what you may not realize at first glance, among other features, is that $40 will net you 50+ live channels (which we’ll get to in just a moment) AND Hulu’s entire on-demand library commercial free. If you already have a live TV streaming service AND Hulu (which costs $12 a month if don’t want commercials), then odds are you’ll save a couple of dollars by just going all in on Hulu Live TV.
There is also a Commercial-Free option that costs $44 a month. Yes, that is very close to a standard Cable TV bill, but never needing to fast forward, or sit through a commercial doe sound pretty awesome.
As previously mentioned, Hulu Live TV will give you a little over 50 live television channels, plus a couple broadcast networks IF you live in select areas. Here’s what the lineup looks like:
ABC*, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, CBS*, CBS Sports Network, POP, CNN, HLN, CNN International,TBS, TNT, TruTV, TCM, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network & Adult Swim, Boomerang, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel,NBC*,Telemundo*, Comcast RSNs, NECN, USA Network, Bravo, E!, Syfy, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Chiller, Oxygen Network, Sprout, Fox*, Big Ten Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox regional sports networks, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Wild, A&E, History, Lifetime, Viceland, Lifetime Movie Network (LMN), FYI
*In Select Cities
As you might notice, pretty much anything owned by Viacom, like Comedy Central, is conspicuously absent. Also absent is AMC, which is home of one of the most popular shows in America right now, The Walking Dead, and is also available via Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and Direct TV Now.
Hulu Live DVR & Screens Streaming
Hulu Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, which sounds like a lot but honestly leaves more to be desired. You can upgrade your DVR storage to 200 hours for an additional $15.
Hulu Live allows you to stream on up to 2 screens simultaneously. If you want unlimited screen viewing (which most services don’t offer) you can add that on for an extra $15 a month.
Or you can bundle both features (unlimited screens & 200 hrs. of DVR) together and only pay an extra $20. Goes without saying, however, if you add $20 to the $40 you are already paying, you are inching closer than you ever want to be, to the cost of standard cable TV.
As Hulu Live TV is still technically in beta, it does not have as wide streaming device support as the original Hulu app. Currently, you can get Hulu Live TV on:
- Apple TV
- Xbox One
- Hulu’s iOS and Android apps
Sorry, no Roku or PS4 support quite yet. But there is big money behind this launch, so this will change very soon.
Hulu Original Series
One of the great advantage that Hulu has over DirecTV, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue, is that they create incredible Original Content. Much like Netflix (though not as good), Hulu is committed to becoming not just a content pusher, but a content producer; and I for one, love it. To learn more, read “Hulu Original Series Part I“.
Hulu Live TV Guide
Something worth mentioning is that Hulu Live TV does not have a television guide like many other live TV streaming services. Instead, you can search for your favorite shows by either following the show directly or browsing the network. For a lot of people, this can not only be confusing but annoying at first.
But once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. Personally, the only Live TV I watch is sports. Either way, some people might get turned off by this feature, or lack thereof. But again, big money behind this, so if users complain enough, Hulu could build a guide very quickly.
Hulu is Alive
Overall, Hulu Live TV is a promising new direction for the streaming company but we are still in the very early stages. Hopefully, Hulu will start to offer small and cheaper packages in the future to attract more cord cutters; but regardless, it’s still a service that’s worth nice long look. Go to Hulu Live to learn more.
To close out, more competition is always good for us. With every new company, who joins the fight for our hard-earned dollar, quality will increase, and the cost will decrease. So if nothing else, today is the best day ever – to be a cord cutter.