Hulu now streams live TV.
A year after announcing its live TV plans, the video-streaming service has launched a live TV beta. It's a paid feature that combines 50+ channels and cloud DVR with Hulu's existing service. It's perfect for cord-cutters who already love Hulu but miss the convenience of live TV, local programming, and sports. So, here's everything you need to know about it, including how it works.
- YouTube TV: What is it and how does it work?
- Sling TV: What is and how does it work?
- PlayStation Vue: What is it and how does it work?
What is Hulu?
Hulu is a premium streaming service in the US. It offers video content such as hit television shows and feature-length movies. For $7.99 a month, you get access to Hulu's content library, but for an extra $4 a month, you can enjoy a commercial-free experience.
What is Hulu Live TV?
Hulu Live TV allows Hulu to better compete with Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and others that offer live TV and cloud DVR features. Hulu Live TV is a $40 bundle that provides access to on-demand content and live TV from over 50 channels (depends on your area), plus 50 hours of cloud DVR space. You'll be able to manage up to six individual profiles and up to two simultaneous streams at once.
How does Hulu Live TV work?
Go here to see the full list of channels in your area. It includes ESPN, Fox Sports, FX, USA, Viceland, CNN, Fox News, and more. You can watch live news anytime, with local news channels in many cities. You also get access the full Hulu streaming library included, which is a $7.99 per month value, meaning you can watch Hulu Original series, hit movies and episodes, kids shows, and tons more.
Hulu said you will be able to stream live games from major pro and college leagues, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA. You can watch the top national sports channels, with local sports channels in many cities, though some games are subject to regional availability and blackouts. Also, due to rights restrictions, live streaming of NFL games is not available on smartphones.
The interface has the usual Hulu features such as a Watchlist and recommendations. The video above shows that while you're watching, a push or swipe up on your remote control will let you add what's currently playing to your favourites or search for something else to watch. Everything is mixed in with TV channels, but Hulu is suggesting that it can smartly make your favourite shows or channels appear first.
Hulu Live TV at launch will work on iOS devices, Android devices, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Chromecast. Support for Roku, Samsung smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV are also in the works.
Hulu Live TV offers extra cost add-ons. You can bump up your cloud DVR to 200 hours of storage. You can also get "unlimited screens" so that people can watch video simultaneously on as many devices as they want while at home, as well as up to three devices anywhere else. These features each cost $15 per month, or you can get them together for $20 - on top of the Hulu Live TV subscription cost.
How much does Hulu Live TV cost?
You can get a seven-day free trial, but after, Hulu Live TV will cost you $39.99 a month.
How does Hulu Live TV compare to rivals?
PlayStation Vue offers a similar service for $35 to $65 a month, depending on what plan you get. Sling TV does too, but it's DVR function is still in beta and doesn't work on every channel. There's also YouTube TV, which offers unlimited storage for $35, but it only works in a few cities and doesn't have as many channels. You also need a Chromecast to watch it on your TV.
Where is Hulu Live TV available?
At launch, Hulu Live TV is available in the US.
When can you try Hulu Live TV?
You can sign up now for the Hulu Live TV beta on Hulu's website.