Hulu Live TV - Live TV Streaming Service Review

Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 55 channels for $40/month. This plan includes local channels, 22 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs).

Upgrades are available for premium channels, unlimited screens, and commercial-free access to Hulu’s on demand library.

$40 Hulu Live TV

  • 55 Channels
  • Local Channels
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • 22 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
    • Major Channels: 7
    • Includes RSNs
    • College Networks: 4

Features

⚫︎ Cloud DVR

50 hrs

⚫︎ 2 Device Streams

Watch on up to 2 devices at the same time.

⚫︎ On Demand

Most channels have on demand content.

⚫︎ TV Everywhere Apps

App logins provided for up to 14 apps.

⚫︎ Parental Controls

Has “Kids Mode” Profiles

Tech Specs

HD Video

720p
30 fps
Stereo

Streaming Reliability

Great

On Demand Reliability

Great

Live Delay

30 seconds

Channel Switching

3.5 seconds

Optional Add-Ons

Cinemax

$8.99

HBO

$14.99

Showtime

$9.99

7-Day Free Trial

Hulu Live TV offers a 7-day free trial. Your subscription is month-to-month and you can cancel at any time.

Review

We tested Hulu Live TV and five other live TV streaming services for more than 100 hours. Hulu Live TV is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Xbox consoles; Android, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch mobile devices; and computer browsers.

User Experience

  • The apps look pretty, but it’s hard to find live TV.
  • There is only a standard channel guide on web.
  • Search is very accurate and easy to use.
  • You can rewind most live channels to the beginning of the show.

Home Screen

The Hulu Live TV home screen has a personalized lineup of your favorite shows and list of your frequently watched channels.

TV Guide

There is a basic TV guide on their web version. On other platforms you can swipe up to see a list of live channels. They expect to roll our their TV guide on all platforms later this year.

Search

The Hulu app’s search functionality really shines. Search results appear quickly and are grouped into “Top Results,” “Movies,” and “Episodes.”

Show Details

The show details page has nice visuals and a description of each episode available live, upcoming, and on demand.

Playback

Hulu Live TV has a really nice feature: you can rewind most live channels to the beginning of the show.


Features

50 hrs Cloud DVR

Hulu includes a Cloud DVR with 50 hours of recording space. You cannot record individual episodes of a show—only an entire series.

This is the only service with a cloud DVR that doesn’t allow you to fast-forward through commercials.

For $14.99/month, you can include an “Enhanced DVR” add-on, which lets you skip commercials and includes 200 hours of recording space.

streams Simultaneous Viewing

This service allows for two simultaneous streams (among TV devices, smartphones, tablets, and computers).

For $14.99/month, you can upgrade to use Hulu Live TV on unlimited screens at home and three mobile screens.

Great On Demand

Hulu’s major strength is it’s on demand library. You will get access to their full streaming library, which means full seasons from most major networks.

You also get access to their original content like Handmaid’s Tale, Casual, and Difficult People.

One frustrating part of Hulu’s on demand content is that the ads are exceedingly long (~3 minutes). If you want to remove commercials, they offer an upgrade for $4/month.

14 apps TV Everywhere

Similar to traditional cable and satellite subscriptions, Hulu Live includes “TV Everywhere” logins for 14 channels’ apps, which was the least of any streaming service.

All TV Everywhere Apps

“Kids Mode” No Parental Controls

To use parental controls with Hulu Live TV, you need to create a user profile with “Kids Mode” enabled.

Only Hulu and Sling offer some form parental controls.


Hulu offers two unique features: “Hulu Originals” and “Commercial-Free On Demand.”

Hulu Originals

Hulu Live TV includes access to Hulu’s full streaming library, including their original series like Casual and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Commercial-Free On Demand

You can watch Hulu’s entire streaming library commercial-free for an additional $4/month.


Tech Specs

  • High definition video is similar to other streaming services.
  • Live streaming works well and rarely has playback issues.
  • Live content is about 30 seconds behind cable TV, which is average compared to other services.

720p / 30 FPS HD Video

Streams are at least 720p and at 30 fps. Hulu will reportedly offer 60 fps on most channels later this year.

To reduce playback interruptions, Hulu Live TV will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.

Great Connection Reliability

Other streaming services usually have unstable playback with frequent buffering. Hulu’s streaming is rock solid.

We rarely had issues with video playback freezing, pausing, or hiccups changing channels.

Stereo Audio

All live TV content has standard stereo audio.

30 SECS Live Delay

Live content is about 30 seconds behind cable TV, which is average compared to other services.

3.5 SECS Channel Switching

It takes about 3.5 seconds to switch between channels, which is slightly slower than average.


Devices and Apps

TV App

On television devices, the Hulu app shares the same design as their mobile app. Unfortunately, this means it’s plagued by the same usability issues.

Phone & Tablet Apps

When you first sign-up for Hulu, you build a profile of your favorite channels, shows, and sports teams. When you launch the Hulu app, it brings you to a “Lineup” of live, recorded, and on demand content from your favorite shows.

It is very hard to find live shows on Hulu. The easiest way is to go to “My Channels” and then scroll to “All Networks,” which will bring you to a grid of all shows currently live. Alternatively, while you’re watching a live show, you can bring up a “flip tray” to horizontally swipe through live channels.

Although the Hulu app is very pretty, it desperately needs a standard channel guide across all platforms. They recently added it on the web version and expect to add it on other platforms soon.

Computer

You can watch Hulu Live TV on Mac or Windows computers with any popular browser.

Device Compatibility

Hulu Live TV is compatible with many smartphones, tablets, TV streaming devices, Xbox consoles, and computers. There is no support for PlayStation video game consoles.
All Compatible Devices

TV Devices

  • Amazon Fire TV
    • Fire TV media player
    • Fire TV Stick
  • Apple TV
    • 4th generation
  • Chromecast
  • Xbox
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One

Phones & Tablets

  • Android 5.0 or newer
  • iOS 10 or newer
    • iPad (4th gen) or newer
    • iPhone 5 or newer
    • iPod Touch (6th gen)

Computers

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari

Computers may need Adobe Flash installed.


Channels

Local Channels

Hulu Live TV offers local channels, including ABC, Fox, NBC, and Telemundo. Hulu announced that The CW will arrive in the coming months.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
ABC ⚫︎
CBS ⚫︎
The CW ⚪︎
Fox ⚫︎
NBC ⚫︎
Telemundo ⚫︎
Univision ⚪︎

Live local channels are available only in certain markets. However, on demand content is available in all areas the following day.

Missing Channels

You can get free access to CW shows with The CW apps with no subscription needed.

Popular Local Markets

These popular markets have live local channels on Hulu Live TV.

  • Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM
    • Fox
  • Atlanta, GA
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Austin, TX
    • Fox
  • Baltimore, MD
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Boston-Manchester, MA
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Buffalo, NY
    • NBC
  • Charlotte, NC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Chicago, IL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Clarksburg-Weston, WV
    • CBS
  • Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Columbus, OH
    • CBS
  • Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, MS
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Denver, CO
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Detroit, MI
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Gainsville-FL
    • Fox
  • Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI
    • Fox
  • Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem, NC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA
    • Fox
  • Hartford-New Haven, CT
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Houston, TX
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Indianapolis, IN
    • Fox
  • Jacksonville, FL
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Kansas City, MO
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Las Vegas, NV
    • Fox
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Louisville, KY
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Memphis, TN
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Milwaukee, WI
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Nashville, TN
    • CBS
  • New Orleans, LA
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • New York City, NY
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA
    • Fox
  • Oklahoma City, OK
    • CBS
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Philadelphia, PA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Phoenix-Prescott, AZ
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Pittsburgh, PA
    • CBS
  • Portland, OR
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Raleigh-Durham, NC
    • ABC
    • NBC
  • Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Salt Lake City, UT
    • Fox
  • San Antonio, TX
    • CBS
  • San Diego, CA
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • St. Louis, MO
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Tampa-St Petersburg-Sarasota, FL
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Topeka, KS
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Washington DC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC

For complete local availability, check the Hulu Live TV Channel Lookup tool.

Top Cable Channels

Hulu Live TV offers 24 of the top 35 cable channels. The service is noticeably missing Viacom channels (such as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, and VH1). Hulu also lacks AMC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Hallmark, OWN, and TLC.

The top 35 cable channels are listed below. For a list of all channels, look at Hulu’s full channel lineup.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
A&E ⚫︎
AMC ⚪︎
Animal Planet ⚪︎
BET ⚪︎
Bravo ⚫︎
Cartoon Network ⚫︎
CNN ⚫︎
Comedy Central ⚪︎
Discovery ⚪︎
Disney Channel ⚫︎
E! ⚫︎
ESPN ⚫︎
Food Network ⚫︎
Fox News ⚫︎
Fox Sports 1 ⚫︎
Freeform ⚫︎
FX ⚫︎
FXX ⚫︎
Hallmark ⚪︎
HGTV ⚫︎
History ⚫︎
Investigation Discovery ⚪︎
Lifetime ⚫︎
MSNBC ⚫︎
MTV ⚪︎
Nickelodeon ⚪︎
OWN ⚪︎
Spike ⚪︎
Syfy ⚫︎
TBS ⚫︎
TLC ⚪︎
TNT ⚫︎
truTV ⚫︎
USA Network ⚫︎
VH1 ⚪︎

View the Hulu Live TV full channel lineup for a list of all channels.

Sports Channels

National Sports Channels

Hulu Live TV includes all the national sports channels, such as ESPN, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, TBS, and TNT.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
ESPN ⚫︎
ESPN2 ⚫︎
Fox Sports 1 ⚫︎
Fox Sports 2 ⚫︎
NBC Sports Network ⚫︎
TBS ⚫︎
TNT ⚫︎

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

Hulu Live TV gives access to regional sports networks (RSNs), which are generally from Fox and NBC/Comcast.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
Altitude ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Northwest ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Southwest ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Utah ⚪︎
Fox Sports Arizona ⚫︎
Fox Sports Carolinas ⚪︎
Fox Sports Detroit ⚫︎
Fox Sports Florida ⚫︎
Fox Sports Indiana ⚪︎
Fox Sports Kansas City ⚪︎
Fox Sports Midwest ⚫︎
Fox Sports New Orleans ⚪︎
Fox Sports North ⚫︎
Fox Sports Ohio ⚫︎
Fox Sports Oklahoma ⚪︎
Fox Sports Prime Ticket ⚫︎
Fox Sports San Diego ⚫︎
Fox Sports South ⚫︎
Fox Sports Southeast ⚫︎
Fox Sports Southwest ⚫︎
Fox Sports Sun ⚫︎
Fox Sports Tennessee ⚪︎
Fox Sports West ⚫︎
Fox Sports Wisconsin ⚫︎
MASN ⚪︎
MSG ⚪︎
MSG+ ⚪︎
NBC Sports Bay Area ⚫︎
NBC Sports Boston ⚫︎
NBC Sports California ⚫︎
NBC Sports Chicago ⚫︎
NBC Sports Northwest ⚫︎
NBC Sports Philadelphia ⚫︎
NBC Sports Philadelphia+ ⚪︎
NBC Sports Washington ⚫︎
NBC Sports Washington+ ⚪︎
NESN ⚪︎
Spectrum SportsNet LA ⚪︎
SportsNet NY ⚪︎
SportsTime Ohio ⚫︎
YES Network ⚫︎

You should check the Hulu Live TV RSN lookup tool before subscribing, to make sure it has the regional networks you need.

Pro Sports

Professional sports league channels (MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and NHL Network) are not available on Hulu Live TV.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
MLB Network ⚪︎
NBA TV ⚪︎
NFL Network ⚪︎
NFL RedZone ⚪︎
NHL Network ⚪︎

College Sports

Hulu Live TV offers some college sports channels, including Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
ACC Network Extra ⚪︎
Big Ten Network ⚫︎
CBS Sports Network ⚫︎
ESPNU ⚫︎
Fox College Sports ⚪︎
Longhorn Network ⚪︎
Pac-12 Network ⚪︎
SEC Network ⚫︎

Other Sports Channels

ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel are available on Hulu Live TV.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
beIN Sports ⚪︎
Eleven Sports ⚪︎
ESPNEWS ⚫︎
Fox Soccer Plus ⚪︎
Golf Channel ⚫︎
Olympic Channel ⚫︎
Tennis Channel ⚪︎

Premium Channels

You can add Cinemax $9, HBO $15, and Showtime $10 to your Hulu Live TV account.

“Hulu Live TV”
$40
Cinemax $9
EPIX ⚪︎
HBO $15
Showtime $10
Starz ⚪︎