Hulu + Live TV Review: Seeing Past the Hype

It looks like a lot of networks are noticing how popular cord-cutting has become. So, they have decided to step up their online game. As it’s a famous online platform, it comes as no surprise that Hulu now has its own live TV streaming feature.

But how good is Hulu with Live TV’s offer? Where does it stand compared to other popular live TV providers? You’ll get all the answers in this Hulu + Live TV review!

The Offer

When it comes to Hulu with Live TV’s offer, you have two options. For $39.99 a month, you’ll be able to watch more than 57 channels with limited commercials. On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for a commercial-free plan, Hulu offers that service for $43.99 a month. For both packages, you’ll get a free trial that lasts seven days. That way, you’ll get to check if you’re satisfied with the service before you start paying for it.

In addition, you can share your account with five other people. That’s great news because your roommates or family members can each have their own My Stuff section with their favorite shows. However, you should know that you’re only allowed to live stream on two devices at the same time. But, for a bit more money, you can get the Unlimited Screens add-on. You’ll read more on that later.

There is one more important thing that you should know. Since Live TV is still in beta testing, you can expect changes in pricing in the near future. What’s more, for the same reason, there’s a chance that you’ll experience some problems and bugs, especially if you have Apple TV or Roku.

Available Channels

The list of channels depends, of course, on where you live. The good news is that Hulu allows users to check which channels they can get in their area. You just have to enter your ZIP code on Hulu’s website, and you’ll get a list of available channels.

But, Hulu with Live TV doesn’t offer as many channels as other platforms, such as YouTube TV and DIRECTV NOW. What’s more, unlike many other platforms, Hulu still doesn’t have Viacom channels, which are Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV. Hopefully, this will change in the future. In the meantime, it’s best that you check if Hulu + Live TV has TV shows that you want to watch before committing to a monthly payment.

Even though the channel list isn’t the best out there, you shouldn’t give up on Hulu + Live TV just yet. Live TV offers both Hulu original shows and the most popular content from other platforms. So, you probably won’t even notice the difference in the number of channels.

What’s more, in case you opt for Live TV, you’ll also get Hulu’s Limited Commercials plan that costs $7.99 a month. On the other hand, those that already have Hulu will definitely enjoy a wider range of things to watch with the Live TV feature.

Add-ons

Add-ons are extensions that you don’t have to purchase but would certainly make your live TV experience more fun. So, what does Hulu offer when it comes to extra features?

As mentioned before, for an additional $4 a month, you get to experience Hulu + Live TV without commercials. If you want to add $14.99 more every month, you can get 200 hours of storage with the Live TV Cloud DVR feature. In case you don’t, you’ll have just 50 hours of storage, which probably won’t be enough, especially if you share the account with your family.

Another useful feature for those that want to share their account with others is the Unlimited Screens. The regular package only allows you to live stream on two screens at the same time. Thus, this add-on will give you the ability to use the platform on an unlimited number of screens simultaneously. You can get it for $14.99 per month.

So, those who want to have every available add-on for Live TV will have to pay $73.97 a month. That’s not cheap, especially because you’ll still have a small number of channels available. However, Hulu does offer a $10 discount to those who want to buy both the Enhanced Cloud DVR and Unlimited Screens add-ons. But, is $63.97 a month worth it? Well, you’ll be the judge of that.

How the Cloud DVR Feature Works

Hulu + Live TV’s Cloud DVR feature lets you record up to 50 hours of content. In addition, for a couple of dollars a month more, you can get the Enhanced Cloud DVR, which will allow you to record 200 hours of content.

An upside to this feature is that it’s very easy to use. You’ll just need to click on the plus icon and add content to the My Stuff section. When you add a show, Hulu will save every episode that comes out in the My Stuff portion of the platform.

But, the thing is, 50 hours are practically nothing when it comes to TV shows. Even 200 hours won’t be enough for most TV show enthusiasts. Thus, the cloud feature is good to have, but it’s debatable whether it will really be that useful to everyone.

What’s more, in case Hulu has an on-demand version of the show, you’ll have to watch that one. That means you won’t be able to skip through commercials, which makes the DVR option kind of useless in some cases.

However, there is a possibility to upgrade Hulu + Live TV to the plan without commercials. Thus, if you really hate ads, you’re not out of options.

How User-Friendly is Hulu + Live TV?

If you’re familiar with Hulu’s interface, you probably know how this part of the review is going to play out. Since the big update in 2017, there have been a lot of complaints from users that have had a hard time navigating the platform. Thus, if you’re a first-time user, you can expect to have some difficulties while learning how to use Live TV and find TV shows that you want to watch.

Unfortunately, Hulu failed to provide a proper guide that would help new users learn how to navigate the interface. You’ll also have problems with seeing what’s currently playing on different channels. What’s more, there isn’t a section that shows what you’ll be able to watch that day. So, you’ll just have to wait and see, which is a major downside.

Another thing that makes Hulu + Live TV less user-friendly is the layout of available shows. Instead of listing TV shows by category and making all of them easy to find and see, Hulu chose a less logical approach. You’ll have to scroll through every show in order to find your favorite one. That will take up too much of your time and energy.

The My Stuff Section

There is a section called My Stuff, which lets you pick your favorite shows so that you can easily find them every time you open the platform. When you go into the My Stuff section, you’ll see that all of the shows are listed by category. After you choose a category, Hulu will list the shows from it, and you’ll be able to choose a show and the episode that you want to watch. Good layout, right? Well, not quite.

When you start watching episodes from different shows, you’ll realize that it takes too much time to find episodes that you have yet to watch. That’s because, unlike a lot of other platforms, Hulu doesn’t have a special section for the episodes you haven’t watched. So, every time a new episode comes out, you’ll have to go through the whole process of picking the category, the show, and, finally, the episode.

Overall, the Interface Is a Problem

As you can see, the updated Hulu interface has major downsides. You’ll spend too much time finding the show that you want to watch, as well as searching for episodes that you haven’t seen yet. What’s more, you’ll have trouble searching for TV programs of every channel available on Hulu.

On the other hand, you should keep in mind that Hulu is still in the process of beta testing. That means that the interface isn’t necessarily here to stay. So, hopefully, Hulu will realize that the interface is really making it hard for users to enjoy its great content. Don’t forget that the content is amazing, and that, unlike many other platforms, Hulu is available everywhere in the United States, which is a big plus.

Devices You Can Use to Watch Hulu + Live TV

Live TV by Hulu is available for many different devices. However, since Hulu hasn’t finished testing it yet, the installation process might require additional effort. You can expect to follow a few extra steps in order to install Live TV.

The extension works for Fire TV, TV Stick, and tablets. It’s compatible with Apple TV from its fourth generation, as well as with most models of Roku and Roku Sticks. In addition, you’ll be able to install it on both iOS and Android devices using the Hulu app.

It also works for Samsung and LG TVs, Xbox 360 and One, and Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and Switch. You’ll be able to use it with any web browser too, as well as with your Chromecast.

Comparing Hulu with Live TV and Other Platforms

Hulu with Live TV has good prices, and its great content, both original and on-demand, is reason enough to choose this platform. However, the lack of live TV channels can be a big problem for many users. So, let’s see if there’s something better out there to spend your money on.

Hulu with Live TV Compared to Sling TV

As the cheapest live TV streaming platform, Sling TV is a great option for those that don’t want to spend too much money on live TV. The prices go from $20 a month, which is half of what you’ll have to pay for Hulu + Live TV. On the other hand, Hulu offers a larger number of channels. In addition, Sling TV can’t compete with Hulu’s rich original and on-demand content.

Thus, it all depends on your preferences. If you want to save some money and don’t care about having many channels, you should buy Sling TV. However, fans of Hulu’s content should choose Hulu + Live TV.

There is another option, though. In case you are not that into Hulu’s Live TV feature, you can always opt for Sling TV’s Blue plan and combine it with Hulu’s no-commercials one. So, for $36.99 a month, you’ll get Sling’s live TV and Hulu’s content, which is a bargain.

Hulu with Live TV Compared to YouTube TV

Both of these platforms are great options for different users. If you would like to have more options when it comes to devices that the platform works with, and you’re a fan of Hulu’s content, you should choose Hulu with Live TV.

On the other hand, if you appreciate having more channels and a user-friendly interface, then YouTube TV will be perfect for you. So, there isn’t a clear winner in this situation. It all depends on what you want from live TV and which platform suits your needs better.

Hulu with Live TV Compared to PlayStation Vue

Hulu + Live TV trumps PS Vue in every aspect besides the interface. You’ll get more channels for a lot less money in case you opt for Hulu. In addition, PlayStation Vue’s content isn’t that great. Therefore, if you don’t mind spending a bit more time on figuring out the platform, then Hulu with Live TV is the way to go.

Hulu with Live TV Compared to DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW offers the largest number of channels by far. What’s more, sports enthusiasts won’t get a better selection of sports channels anywhere else.

However, DIRECTV can’t compete with Hulu’s content. Thus, if you’re a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, and you’re looking forward to many other shows that are coming in 2019 and 2020, your choice is easy.

Final Thoughts

As it turns out, Hulu has presented users with a high-quality live TV feature. Unfortunately, the interface needs a few tweaks, and the expanded channel list is certainly something to hope for in the future. Still, right now, the competitive price and amazing original and on-demand content are good enough reasons to opt for Hulu with Live TV.

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