Hulu + Live TV Review


Alexander Metz, Staff Writer

With the rising cost of cable, many people are considering cutting the cord, but do not wish to stop watching television altogether. Well, they’re in luck. Fortunately, many streaming platforms are providing less expensive alternatives to traditional cable television. The one live television streaming service that I currently use and have the most experience with is Hulu + Live TV (Hulu Live). Once you sign up, you get 6 profiles for different family members to watch the shows and movies they like. I came up with numerous criteria to rate this platform. I will score each category out of 10 points. The scores are at the end of each category and the final score is at the end of this article.


Category 1: Price

Hulu Live is one of the more expensive live television services. Without any add-ons, Hulu Live costs 55 dollars per month with commercials on recordings, live television shows, and on-demand content. Hulu Live costs 61 dollars per month with no commercials only for on-demand content. Note that if you get the no commercials package, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have an ad before and after each episode due to streaming rights. In addition, if you watch an episode or movie that is not in the Hulu streaming library (i.e. extra on-demand shows and movies provided by networks), there will be ads on it. Therefore, the no commercial package is not as worthwhile as it sounds. One of the best live television services to compare Hulu Live to is Youtube TV. Youtube TV has similar features but no commercials and only costs 50 dollars per month. Once you get to add-ons, Hulu can become very pricey. However, since you get live television shows, on-demand content, and a 50-hour cloud DVR, it would be unlikely for the price to be any lower.

Score: 7 points out of 10

Explanation: While Hulu Live is expensive, it gives you a lot of stuff for that price and is still much cheaper than cable.


Category 2: Content

Hulu Live has a lot of different types of content. From original shows such as Future Man or The First to over 65 channels of recordable television to hundreds of cable television shows, there’s something for everyone with Hulu. While Hulu is newer than Netflix and thus has fewer originals, its on-demand library is the most expansive out of all the live television options. The biggest issue, however, is the commercials on some of the shows can be frustrating and difficult to keep track of.

Score: 6

Explanation: Hulu has a wide variety of shows but its lack of original content and commercials on pre-recorded content lowers the score for me.


Category 3: Add-ons

Hulu Live has plenty of add-ons. First, Hulu Live offers four premium channels for an additional fee: HBO MAX, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz, which range in price from 9 to 15 dollars per month. These channels are nice options for people who want a more premium live television experience. In addition, Hulu Live offers two additional add-ons for larger families. Hulu Live offers an “Unlimited Screens” add-on for 10 dollars per month. Instead of being able to stream live television on only two devices, people can stream unlimited devices at home and three on the go. The “Enhanced Cloud DVR” add-on also costs 10 dollars per month and gives a whopping 200 hours of DVR space to record content (for all profiles), instead of the 50 hours that you get when you sign up. While a quadrupling of the DVR space is nice, a feature that many people do not realize about Hulu Live is that with the base subscriptions, people cannot skip through commercials on recordings. To do that, you need to get the “Enhanced Cloud DVR” add-on. You can also get both of these add-ons together for only 15 dollars per month. Lastly, the Español and Entertainment add-ons cost 5 and 7 dollars per month, respectively, to add a handful of channels to your Hulu Live subscription. The Español add-on adds the following channels: CNN en (in) Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, History Channel en Español, and NBC Universo. The Entertainment add-on adds the following channels: the American Heroes Channel, CNBC World, the Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY, FYI, Lifetime Movies, and the Science Channel.

Score: 9

Explanation: Hulu Live has several add-ons to customize your television experience. The only reason it did not get a perfect score is because some streaming services have more add-ons than Hulu Live. I did not lower its score because of the commercials because I mentioned that in other categories.


Category 4: Interface

While the Hulu Live interface appears daunting, if you don’t use the Home tab, the rest is pretty straightforward. While all of the tabs might take some getting used to, I appreciate Hulu giving me options within their live television streaming service.

Score: 7


Final Score: 29 out of 40

Explanation: Overall Hulu Live got a decent score but mainly lost points due to two reasons. First, its interface has many tabs and can be confusing to a new user. Second, there are still many commercials with the no-ads option on on-demand content and recorded shows. Having to get an add-on just to be able to skip through commercials on recordings can be offputting to some. However, these issues should not turn you away. Overall, Hulu Live is a great live television streaming outlet with lots of shows and great features.