Hulu Live TV Review - Live TV Streaming Service
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.
Sign-up For Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV subscription is month-to-month and you can cancel at any time.
Limited Time: Add HBO for Only $5
For a limited time, add HBO to your Hulu Live TV subscription for only $5/month for the next 6 months.
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.
- 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.
The Hulu Live TV home screen has a personalized lineup of your favorite shows and list of your frequently watched channels.
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.
The Hulu app’s search functionality really shines. Search results appear quickly and are grouped into “Top Results,” “Movies,” and “Episodes.”
The show details page has nice visuals and a description of each episode available live, upcoming, and on demand.
Hulu Live TV has a really nice feature: you can rewind most live channels to the beginning of the show.
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.
2 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.
33 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.
“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 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.
- 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 / 30/60 FPS HD Video
Streams are at least 720p and most channels now stream in 60 FPS.
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.
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
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.
You can watch Hulu Live TV on Mac or Windows computers with any popular browser.
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
- Amazon Fire TV
- Fire TV media player
- Fire TV Stick
- Apple TV
- 4th generation
- 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)
- Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Edge
Computers may need Adobe Flash installed.
Hulu Live TV offers local channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and Telemundo. Hulu recently added The CW in 8 major markets.
Live local channels are available only in certain markets. However, on demand content is available in all areas the following day.
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.
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, Paramount Network, 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”|
|Fox Sports 1||•|
View the Hulu Live TV full channel lineup for a list of all 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”|
|Fox Sports 1||•|
|Fox Sports 2||•|
|NBC Sports Network||•|
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)
Hulu Live TV gives access to regional sports networks (RSNs), which are generally from Fox and NBC/Comcast.
You should check the Hulu Live TV RSN lookup tool before subscribing, to make sure it has the regional networks you need.
Professional sports league channels (MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and NHL Network) are not available on Hulu Live TV.
Hulu Live TV offers some college sports channels, including Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network.
|“Hulu Live TV”|
|ACC Network Extra||-|
|Big Ten Network||•|
|CBS Sports Network||•|
|Fox College Sports||-|
Other Sports Channels
ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel are available on Hulu Live TV.
|“Hulu Live TV”|
|Fox Soccer Plus||-|
For a limited time, you can add HBO for $5/mo. for the next 6 months. You can also add Cinemax $9 or Showtime $10 to your Hulu Live TV account.