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.

$40 Hulu Live TV

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

Features

Cloud DVR

50 hrs

200 Hours (+$15)

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 33 apps.

Parental Controls

Has “Kids Mode” Profiles

Tech Specs

HD Video

720p
60 fps
Stereo

Streaming Reliability

Great

On Demand Reliability

Great

Live Delay

30 seconds

Channel Switching

3.5 seconds

Optional Add-Ons

Cinemax

$9

HBO

$5

Showtime

$10

Sign-up For Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV 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 are well designed and make it easy to find both on demand and live TV
  • There is standard channel guide across all platforms
  • 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

They have a standard grid guide across all platforms. It makes it easy to find what’s currently on and quickly record shows to your DVR.

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.

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.

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 / 30/60 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.

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

Hulu recently redesigned all their apps to make it easier to discover and access live TV.

Device Compatibility

Hulu Live TV is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Android Phone/Tablet, iPhone/iPad, Web Browser, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Switch.
All Compatible Devices

Hulu Live TV is not compatible with Android TV, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3.

TV App

On television devices, Hulu recently added a Live TV tab which includes a grid guide to see live channels.

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.

They recently added a new feature called the Live Guide which makes it much easier to find live shows in their apps.

The Live Guide includes a portrait video player with a grid guide below. If you turn your screen horizontally, the live channel will play in full screen mode.

Computer

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


Channels

Local Channels

Hulu Live TV offers local channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and Telemundo. Hulu recently added The CW in 8 major markets.

“Hulu Live TV”
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$40
ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC
Telemundo
The CW
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.

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”
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$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 -
Paramount Network -
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”
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$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”
Sign Up
$40
Altitude -
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh -
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain -
AT&T SportsNet Southwest -
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
LA FC Sports Network -
Longhorn Network -
MASN -
MASN2 -
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 -
Orlando City SC Sports Network -
Root Sports Northwest -
Seattle Sounders Sports Network -
Spectrum SportsNet -
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”
Sign Up
$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”
Sign Up
$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”
Sign Up
$40
beIN Sports -
Eleven Sports -
ESPNEWS
Fox Soccer Plus -
Golf Channel
Olympic Channel
Tennis Channel -

Premium Channels

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.

“Hulu Live TV”
Sign Up
$40
Cinemax ^ $9
EPIX -
HBO ^ $5
Showtime ^ $10
Starz -

Live TV Streaming Pages