Note: Hulu + Live TV now includes both Disney+ and ESPN+ with its base plan. We’ve long said that Hulu had the best overall entertainment package but these additions put it in a whole new league. We highly recommend giving it a test with Hulu’s free 7-day trial!
With Hulu + Live TV you gain access to both on-demand showings of the latest TV series, movies, and sports events, as well live TV channels.
Hulu is one of the few streaming providers that allows you to watch on-demand programs ad-free, while you can also fast-forward commercials on pre-recorded shows and sporting events on your cloud DVR.
There are no fancy plans for Hulu Live + TV — you pay a fixed price of $69.99 per month with the option to cancel anytime.
In this review, we pick apart the Hulu Live + TV package and explain why it may be a decent choice for families or roommates with broad interests and advert allergies.
Table Of Contents
Hulu Live TV Service Overview
The basic Hulu plan gives access to the on-demand streaming library for $5.99/mo. The no-ad version costs $11.99/mo.
Hulu + Live TV is an access pass to 75+ live TV channels without cable for $69.99. This includes the basic Hulu on-demand library. If you want the ad-free library, it costs an extra $6 per month for a total of $75.99/mo. That’s the Hulu Live + TV (No Ads) plan. Both packages include major sports networks like Fox Sports and ESPN.
You can also see the full list of Hulu + Live TV channels, subject to availability based on your location.
Students can get a 65% discount on the basic (ad-supported) Hulu plan. There is no such discount for the live TV plan.
There are four main add-ons you can buy that include premium movie networks like HBO and Starz. There are other channel add-ons as well as tech add-ons like increased Cloud DVR storage above the 50 hours that comes with the Hulu + Live TV plan.
To review the Hulu + Live TV plan, we opted in for the free 7-day trial. You can do the same to test the service for yourself.
Pros & Cons Of Hulu Live TV
|✔ Ad-free option to stream on-demand content||❌ Lack of league-specific networks, even as add-ons (though there are ESPN and Fox Sports channels)|
|✔ Picture-in-picture live TV streaming||❌ Only 50 hours of DVR space included|
|✔ Customizable subtitle styles on live TV streams||❌ Premium movie networks add-ons are exempt from unlimited screen streaming|
|✔ Lower internet speed and bandwidth required compared to other services|
Hulu + Live TV vs Hulu Basic (With and Without Ads)
All Hulu plans are contract-free and can be canceled anytime. There are no installation fees, equipment rental fees, or any home appointments required — all Hulu plans can be set up by the subscriber from home.
There are a total of four Hulu plans, two of which are the live TV plans we review in this article.
All four plans come with:
- Access to the streaming library with pre-recorded shows and movies
- New on-demand episodes shortly after their air-date
- Access to Hulu Originals shows
- Up to six customizable user profiles
- Watch Hulu on up to two separate screens
Here are the main differences:
+ Live TV
+ Live TV
|Ad-Free Streaming Library||❌||✔||❌||✔|
|Download On-Demand Content||❌||✔||❌||✔|
|75+ Live TV Channels||❌||❌||✔||✔|
|50 Hours Of Cloud DVR||❌||❌||✔||✔|
What Channels Does Hulu Live TV Have?
Hulu + Live TV comes with 14+ sports channels, some nature and travel networks, kids programs, and a variety of national and local news channels. There are few movie channels, the better ones come as add-ons.
Remember that the sports channels are subject to availability based on your location. See the full list of Hulu + Live TV sports channels and what sports you can stream on them live.
Here are all the live TV channels on Hulu + Live TV in alphabetical order:
|A to D||D to L||M to Z|
|ABC News Live||Disney XD||MotorTrend|
|FOX||ESPN2||Nat Geo Wild|
|Adult Swim||ESPN College Extra||Olympic Channel|
|Animal Planet||FOX Business||Pop|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)||FOX News||QVC|
|Bloomberg Television||FS1||SEC Network|
|CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)||FXM||TBS|
|Cozi TV||History Channel||Travel Channel|
|Dabl||ID (Investigation Discovery)||Universal Kids|
|Disney Channel||Lifetime Movies||Vice|
Additional channels added as of June 2021: BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, MTV, TV Land, Paramount Network.
Disney+ and ESPN+
As of December 2021, Hulu + Live TV now includes both Disney+ and ESPN+. You can find out more about both:
By themselves, you’ll have more entertainment and sports programming than you could reasonably watch. But combined with Hulu’s on-demand library and 80+ live TV channels, you should be able to watch anything you’re interested in.
Add-Ons With Hulu Live TV
The Hulu channel selection is family-friendly because it has a range of channel categories. Its lack of premium movie networks is compensated to some extent by its excellent on-demand library. For those who want more, there are premium and other channel package add-ons.
- HBO Max for $14.99 per month
- Cinemax for $9.99 per month
- Showtime for $10.99 per month
- Starz for $8.99 per month
Hulu provides premium channels in an unusual way. Instead of providing live streams, they provide large libraries of on-demand content. As a result, these add-ons are available for the basic Hulu on-demand plans as well as the Hulu + Live TV plans.
That’s $45 worth of add-ons in premium movie networks — considering that Sling TV has basic plans from $35 with further customizable add-on bundles, this is an expensive overhead alongside Hulu + Live TV’s $69.99 monthly cost. Then again, some AT&T plans that include channels from these premium networks range upwards of $120 per month.
- Entertainment add-on for $7.99/mo that includes channels like AHC, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Crime + Investigation, Discovery Family + Life, DIY Network, and the Military History Channel.
- Espanol add-on for $4.99/mo that includes CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, History Channel en Español, and Universo.
- ESPN+ add-on for $5.99/mo that includes original programming, live events, and content from the ESPN+ library.
The basic Hulu + Live TV plan allows you to simultaneously stream on two screens. To watch live TV with Hulu on unlimited screens, you need to pay $9.99 extra.
When you pair the $9.99 unlimited screen bundle with the $9.99 enhanced cloud DVR upgrade bundle, you get a $5 discount and pay $14.99. The DVR upgrade also allows you to fast forward through commercials on your DVR-streamed content.
When you purchase an unlimited screen add-on alongside premium channel bundles like HBO MAX or Showtime, only five separate devices can stream from one account at-a-time. Out of these devices, three can be away-from-home mobile devices.
Hulu Live Performance & Experience
We signed up for the free 7-day trial of the Hulu + Live TV plan and here’s what we found. Note that this review is done on a 14″ notebook, so the experience may be different on smaller mobile devices and TVs.
After you enter your personal details and billing information, you’re offered the add-ons we covered above. Then, you get a chance to personalize your Hulu account before you start streaming live channels.
Hulu + Live TV looks average on paper, but the product is far better. Whether it’s useful features like picture-in-picture live TV or the simple account management options, it’s definitely easy to learn and use.
Perhaps the hundreds of categories of shows can be confusing, but that’s the gift and curse of customization.
Personalizing Your Hulu + Live TV Account When You Sign Up
You can select what types of content you want to watch, like documentaries, or even genres like Horror, Sci-Fi, or slow-burn drama, to name a few. Then, Hulu asks you to choose some specific movies and TV shows you might want to stream on-demand — these are added to your library of favorites.
Sports fans will be glad to know that Hulu + Live TV streamers can also select their favorite teams to watch live from six different sports leagues across five sports.
Before you complete the sign-up, you also choose your favorite channels, which will appear in the My Stuff tab. As you complete the personalization process, Hulu will ask if you want to share your data with content providers — we said no.
You can also toggle your Hulu dashboard between light and dark color schemes.
Browsing and Navigation On Hulu + Live TV
The main dashboard greets you with a featured movie or TV show. As a Hulu + Live TV subscriber, you’ll then see rows of streamable content from both the live networks and the on-demand content library.
You can choose from seven different tabs:
- Home: The main directory of both on-demand content and live networks, recommended based on your favorites and general popularity. Here you can also carry on watching unfinished programs, and browse between funky categories like “Bingable TV” and many more.
- Live: A live network guide where channels are categorized by sports, news, movies, and kids channels. You can also view all available channels in a single list, or view your recently watched or favorite networks under a separate tab.
- My Stuff: All of the personalized content, including favorite movies, TV shows, sports teams, and networks are shown under this tab. Any of your favorites that are set to be taken down from the Hulu streaming library appear under an “Expiring” row — this is pretty useful.
- TV: A directory of TV shows split into 35+ browsable categories. You can navigate by clicking on a category, which then shows you even more categories of live, upcoming, popular, and various sub-categories of the types of networks you want to watch. The categories are useful if a bit overwhelming.
- Movies: Similarly laid out to the TV tab, categories on categories, along with featured movies in the foreground.
- Sports: A directory of all the current live sports shown on Hulu as well as upcoming sports games categorized by leagues like MLB and NHL. You can also see a row of all sports networks offered by Hulu + Live TV.
- Hub: This is Hulu’s unique section for its Hulu Originals and FX on Hulu series. You can watch originals like The Handmaiden’s Tale and Litte Fires Everywhere, or go with FX on Hulu and watch shows like Dave, Breeders, and A Teacher. The Hub tab also shows all available channels below the featured original and FX streams.
Useful Live Streaming Features
Here are some features that stand out from the live streaming experience on Hulu Live TV:
- Picture-In-Picture: Hulu allows you to minimize streams and carry on wandering in the browser/app. We opened a stream and then went back to the browsing screen, but the stream stayed open. We carried on browsing while watching the show, even when we switched between different tabs within the Hulu website.
- Carry-On-Demand: We began to watch a live episode of Rick & Morty on Adult Swim East, and Hulu then suggested that we keep watching the episode in its on-demand version at the time where we left off. This is cool.
- Stream Settings: You can set video quality as well as the autoplay function. When available, you can set audio preferences and subtitles. The subtitles can be customized in font, color, and size.
- DVR Management: When you record a live show, the DVR manager can be accessed through My Stuff > Manage DVR. Here you’ll see a visual presentation of how much space you’ve used, and what you’ve recorded so far.
Hulu’s live TV features are practical, especially the picture-in-picture mode since you can roam your Hulu dashboard freely while watching live TV on the same screen.
Account Management On Hulu + Live TV
The account overview section shows you the following billing and subscription info:
- Upcoming Charges: The amount and date you’ll be charged next. In the free trial, this is useful to know in case you want to cancel the service.
- Base Plan & Add-Ons: The base plan, it’s cost, and any add-ons you’ve selected. Some add-ons like HBO Max, Starz, Showtime, and Cinemax also come with a 1-week free trial. The Enhanced Cloud DVR + Unlimited Screens Bundle comes with a free 1-month trial.
- Payment Info: Manage your payment method and use any gift codes.
- Pause or Cancel: Take a break or cancel your plan entirely.
- Personal Settings & Devices: Manage your personal data as well as active devices.
It’s clutter-free and simple to manage.
How To Create User Profiles: Step-by-Step
Under your Account > Profiles, you can create a new streaming profile to customize by clicking “Add Profile.”
- Give the profile a name
- Choose whether you want the content to have an active child filter for kid-friendly programs only
- Enter your date of birth
- Select “Create Profile.”
Then you can customize the profile for someone else, or just let them do it.
Hulu Live TV Technical Specifications
Anyone who subscribes to the Hulu + Live TV plan is opting in for the following specs:
- Available Resolutions: SD (480p), HD (720p, 1080p), Ultra HD (4K)
- Frames-per-second (FPS): 60 fps
Note that 4K streaming is only available on selected on-demand shows, while live TV channels have a maximum resolution capacity of either 720 or 1080 pixels.
Hulu live TV‘s performance and speed also depend on the device you stream on since each device has its own performance peak and capacity. See the list of supported devices, or refer to Hulu.com for the exact supported models.
The recommended internet speed varies based on the content you want to stream:
- Hulu Streaming Library On-Demand: 3.0 Mbps or higher
- Hulu Live TV Streams: 8.0 Mbps or higher
- 4K Streams: 16 Mbps or higher
When you stream on Hulu, you can also select a”Data Saver” mode at the expense of higher resolutions.
50 Hours Free Cloud DVR Storage
Hulu’s live TV plan comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage included in the monthly price of $69.99.
The Hulu + Live TV plan allows you to pre-record multiple shows on your DVR, and stream those recordings on any supported device.
This sounds all right until we realized that for the same price of $69.99, the FuboTV starter plan offers five times as much space at 250 hours. And if you really need that DVR space, its second-tier plan offers 1,000 hours. YouTube TV offers unlimited recording space (although any given recording will be deleted after 9 months).
With Hulu + Live TV, you can only fast forward past commercials if you buy the enhanced cloud DVR add-on for $9.99. This add-on also provides you with 150 additional hours of Cloud DVR storage, to make a total of 200.
Hulu does offer a 1-month free trial for its DVR upgrade with the live TV plan, plus the DVR management dashboard is neat and tidy. See for yourself.
Stream Sports On Hulu Live TV
The Hulu + Live TV plan has a decent list of sports channels. You get immediate access to ESPN, ESPN2, and three other ESPN network channels.
With these ESPN channels, you can catch baseball, soccer, UFC, college basketball, NHL, NFL, and many more popular sporting events.
Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and Fox Sports 2 (FS2) are also included where you can watch sports streams like the Nascar series, Thursday Night Football, and Major League Soccer.
If you want to catch the NFL, NBA, and MLB Networks, see the channel comparison to FuboTV and YouTube TV.
All Sports Channels On Hulu + Live TV
Sports fans on Hulu can create a custom list of their favorite sports teams from the following sports leagues:
- NFL & NCAA Football
- MLB Baseball
- NBA Basketball
- NHL Hockey
- MLS Soccer.
Here are all the sports channels you can stream with Hulu + Live TV along with the live sports and events you can watch:
|Channel on Hulu Live TV||Live Sports and Leagues|
|CBSSN||Football, Basketball, Baseball, Ultimate, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Wrestling, Volleyball|
|ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra||NFL, MLB, Soccer, College Basketball, College Football, NASCAR, NBA, NHL, Tennis, Golf|
|FS1, FS2||College Basketball, College Football, MLB, NASCAR, Soccer, Boxing, USGA Golf|
|CNBC Golf||Major live golf tournaments|
|NBCSN||NFL (Sunday Night Football), Olympics on NBC, NHL, NASCAR, IndyCar, Premier League Soccer, Golf (U.S. Open)|
|Olympic Channel||Olympic sports disciplines as per licensed to televise in particular regions|
|SEC Network||Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Olympic Sports|
Other sport-related channels include ones like MotorTrend where you can stream motorbike races and car shows, including professional machine reviews and performance testing.
Is Hulu Live TV Worth It?
Until we gave Hulu live TV a real try, the offer seemed disappointing, but then we realized that the app is smooth and clearly designed for simple learning and use. The platform is child’s play and becomes second nature to navigate within a few minutes.
Where Hulu Live + TV stands out is on-demand Ultra HD 4K streaming without ads — that’s if you choose the ad-free plan for $70.99 per month. Hulu seems to be the only streaming service to offer an ad-free add-on.
If you want some 4K, hate adverts, are fine with Hulu Live TV’s channel roaster, plus you don’t mind spiking your monthly bill with a few add-ons, Hulu can be a good choice.
Still, Hulu recently raised the price of the Live TV plan from $54.99 to $64.99, without offering much additional value for money.
Prior to December 2019, Hulu + Live TV cost $39.99 per month. That’s a 55% price hike in less than 2 years! So is the Live TV plan worth it today?
There are many kinds of channels for all kinds of streamers, so it’s a good all-rounder for roomies or house shares. Sports fans are also well-served with a dozen channels. Though if you like to record a lot of shows and stream on separate devices, an add-on is required that costs $14.99 extra each month.
Once you pile on the add-ons, premium movie networks, and even the entertainment add-on, your monthly bill is well over $120. In that price range, you should be looking at what value AT&T’s Premier plan offers with over 140 channels.
Alternative Services & Available Channels
For some of us, $69.99 is a whole day’s work, so we want to know what we’re paying for. One way to get an idea of the value you’re getting is to compare Hulu Live TV’s offer to similarly priced live TV streaming services.
We choose to compare Hulu’s live service with YouTube TV and the FuboTV starter plan, because both cost roughly the same and are contract-free. Note that these are the basic plans compared, and add-ons are available for all three.
|Hulu + Live TV||FuboTV Starter||YouTube TV|
|Price per month||$69.99||$64.99||$64.99|
|Free Trial||✔ (7 days)||✔ (7 days)||✔ (7 days)|
|Cancellation||Free & Anytime||Free & Anytime||Free & Anytime|
|Live Chat Support||✔||❌||✔|
|Ad-Free Streaming*||✔ (+ $6 for ad-free plan)||❌||❌|
|Fast Forward Ads*||✔ (+ $9.99 for Enhanced Cloud DVR Add-on)||✔||✔|
|Free DVR||50 hours||250 hours||Unlimited|
|DVR Upgrade||Up to 200 hours||Up to 1000 hours||❌|
|Available Resolutions||480p ✔|
|Frames Per Second (FPS)||Up to 60 FPS||Up to 60 FPS||Up to 60 FPS|
|Min. Internet Speed**||Based on content:|
Hulu’s Streaming Library – 3.0 + Mbps
Live streams – 8.0 + Mbps
4K streams – 16 + Mbps
|Based on device performance:|
480p – 3.0 + Mbps
720p – 7.0 + Mbps
1080p – 10 + Mbps
4K – 25 + Mbps
|3.0 + Mbps|
Channels On Hulu Live TV vs FuboTV Starter vs YouTube TV
Here’s a comparison of the 150+ channels — see what Hulu Live TV has to offer compared to FuboTV starter and YouTube TV for the same price.
Both FuboTV and YouTube TV have substantially greater sports coverage.
|Channel||Hulu + Live TV||FuboTV Starter||YouTube TV|
|BBC World News||❌||❌||✔|
|beIN Sports 4||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports 5||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports 6||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports 7||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports 8||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports LaLiga||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports Ñ||❌||✔||❌|
|beIN Sports Xtra||❌||✔||❌|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)||✔||✔||✔|
|Big Ten Network Alternate 2||❌||✔||❌|
|Big Ten Network Alternate 3||❌||✔||❌|
|Big Ten Network Alternate 4||❌||✔||❌|
|ESPN College Extra||✔||❌||❌|
|fubo Movie Network||❌||✔||❌|
|fubo Sports Network||❌||✔||❌|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||❌||✔||❌|
|MLB Game of the week||❌||❌||✔|
|Nat Geo Wild||✔||❌||✔|
|NBC News Now||❌||✔||✔|
|NBC Sports (NBCSN)||✔||✔||✔|
|NBC Sports Bay Area||❌||✔||❌|
|NBC Sports Bay Area +||❌||✔||❌|
|NBC Sports California||❌||✔||❌|
|NBC Sports California +||❌||✔||❌|
|The Weather Channel||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 1||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 10||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 11||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 2||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 3||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 4||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 5||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 6||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 7||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 8||❌||✔||❌|
|TUDN Xtra 9||❌||✔||❌|
What’s Missing On Hulu Live?
Considering that the Hulu + Live TV plan costs $69.99 per month, other streaming services outshine Hulu in a few areas. Still, Hulu + Live TV is cheaper than most cable plans, and it’s a user-friendly app for those looking to go cable-free.
Some sports channels like the MLB Network, NBA TV, and NFL Network are missing, although Hulu Live does have the entire ESPN suite available, including ESPN College extra. Besides, plenty of MLB, NFL, and NBA games are still streamed on Hulu live.
The two-screen capacity on multi-screen streaming is a downside since Hulu + Live TV’s broad channel categories make it an ideal choice for roommates or families. If one such group wants to stream the maximum of six screens at a time on separate devices, it costs an additional $9.99 per month.
That said, if six people split the bill, that’s reasonable. However, that changes if you opt-in for the premium movie network add-ons — then the bill would quickly reach over $110 per month. Hulu + Live TV is a little skinny on the movie channel front, so these add-ons might seem essential to some streamers. Add the entertainment add-on and you’re paying more than you would for an AT&T Premier plan.
Finally, the 50 hours free DVR is like Google Drive’s free 15 GB storage — it fills up fast. Not to sound spoilt and we sure appreciate that it comes included in the plan, but FuboTV’s starter plan offers 250 hours, while YouTube TV offers uncapped DVR space for the same monthly price.
Competing streaming services set the bar high, and Hulu needs to keep up to stay competitive in value. Still, Hulu + Live TV with the right add-ons can make a decent all-rounder cable-free TV plan, and the streaming experience is clearly designed for easy learning.
Can I watch Hulu Live TV ad-free?
Yes, you can watch on-demand content ad-free with the Hulu + Live TV plan for an additional $6 dollars on top of the $69.99 monthly subscription price. The ad-free live TV plan is listed on Hulu as the Hulu + Live TV (No Ad) plan for a monthly cost of $75.99 with anytime cancelation. This allows you to watch and download ad-free streaming library content — it does not apply to live TV shows.
What internet speed is needed for Hulu Live TV?
Hulu recommends minimum internet connection speeds based on the content you stream, and for Hulu Live TV, the service provider recommends a minimum bandwidth of 8.0 Mbps. For the minimum internet speed recommendations to stream library content or 4K streams, see this technical specification review of Hulu Live TV.
Why does Hulu keep buffering?
Sometimes users experience buffering problems with live streaming services like Hulu Live TV — this is because the data transfer is too slow. If your internet speed is fine and you’ve tested your connection speed, it might also be that Hulu is sending the data slower than needed. Hulu has close to 40 million users, so the servers may be overloaded at times. Check with technical support.
Why am I not getting my local channels on Hulu live?
Hulu states that live local and regional sports networks are available subject to your location. If you can’t stream a particular live sports channel, it may be that you’re outside the required location. You may also experience this on the move. To see what you can and can’t stream from your location with Hulu + Live TV, go to Hulu’s website and use the location checker to see access requirements.
How does Hulu determine your local channels?
Not all areas have the same local affiliates. Hulu must contract with the available stations. Hulu Live TV offers national, regional, and local TV channels that are determined by the streamer’s location. As an online service provider, Hulu has access to your IP address, and so your location. This is how they restrict and free up access to the applicable TV channels in your locality.
How many devices can Hulu Live TV be used on simultaneously?
The Hulu + Live TV plan allows two simultaneous screens to stream separate shows on a single Hulu account. This is true for both the $69.99 live TV and the $75.99 ad-free live TV plans. Hulu offers an add-on for $9.99 where users can stream unlimited screens at once on a single account.
What devices can I watch Hulu Live TV on?
You can stream Hulu Live TV on Android phones and tablets, selected Android TV models, Apple TV (4th generation or later), Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, iPhones, iPads, some LG and Samsung TV models, Nintendo Switch, browsers or browser apps on Mac and PC, PlayStation, newer Roku models, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, Xbox, Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box, and Xfinity X1 TV Boxes. For the exact model requirements, visit Hulu.com.