There are not one but two different streaming services that are called 'Hulu', which can be a little confusing. One is the video-on-demand streaming service which airs classics like Futurama and Reservation Dogs, and the other is a cord-cutting live TV streaming service for people who want to stream cable channels over the internet.
These are Hulu and Hulu with Live TV respectively, though if you pay for the latter you also get the former. Each of them are leaders in their respective fields for fans of movies and TV shows.
Hulu with Live TV doesn't have the low price of Sling TV, the sporting selection of FuboTV or the long channel list of DirecTV, but what makes it popular is that it has plenty of options for entertainment fans who want loads of options for watching movies or TV shows on various channels.
Thanks to its offerings, Hulu with Live TV is one of the most popular live TV streaming platforms in the US, partly thanks to its price and partly thanks to the on-demand library of Hulu shows and Hulu movies that comes bundled with it. Not only that, but the live TV streaming service also offers access to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.
That means you also get series like Loki, The Handmaid's Tale, The Great, The Mandolorian Life & Beth, Pam & Tommy and lots of live sports. You also get all of FX's shows, like The Old Man, What We Do in the Shadows and Welcome to Wrexham the day after they air on traditional TV.
There's a lot going on with Hulu these days. Here's what you need to know.
What's the difference between Hulu and Hulu Live TV?
THE BASICS: A standard Hulu subscription is $7.99 a month
or $69.99 a year and gets you the full on-demand catalog.
NO COMMERCIALS: For $17.99 a month you'll get the on-demand catalog and almost zero adverts.
HULU WITH LIVE TV: For $76.99 a month you'll get more than five dozen channels, plus the on-demand catalog. $75.99 per month for no ads.
DISNEY BUNDLE: Or sign up for the Disney Bundle — that's Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus all for just $14.99 a month.
You have to think about Hulu as two separate things with mostly the same name. Hulu proper is the on-demand streaming service that has all kinds of movies and TV shows from a number of different places. Sometimes they're exclusive to Hulu — say, The Handmaid's Tale — and sometimes they pull from multiple studios.
Hulu with Live TV is exactly what it sounds like — it's live TV, available through Hulu.
Does Hulu with Live TV have a free trial?
Yes, there is a Hulu with Live TV free trial. First you'll have to sign up for Hulu itself. But new and existing Hulu customers (who don't already have or previously had Hulu With Live TV) can try it for free. The standard free trial is seven days, but right now Hulu is offering a month long free trial to Hulu.
That free trial of Hulu with Live TV will get you full access to all of the live and on-demand channels, cloud-based DVR and the full streaming library.
If you decide to cancel Hulu with Live TV before the end of the trial, your credit card won't be charged.
How much does Hulu with Live TV cost?
Hulu and Hulu with Live TV are available together for $76.99 a month. That's for the ad-enabled tier and it's $89.99 if you want to get rid of ads. You can't get the live TV service without the video-on-demand one as they're tied together.
With your subscription you can get more than 80 live channels (see the full list below), the ability to watch on two devices at one time and the ability to record 50 hours of live TV onto cloud-based storage.
- Hulu With Live TV: $76.99 a month
- Hulu With Live TV and no VOD ads: $89.99 a month
How to sign up for Hulu or Hulu with Live TV
- In your favorite web browser, visit Hulu.com/live-tv.
- Choose whether you want Hulu without ads, or Hulu with ads or Hulu with Live TV.
- Enter email address, choose a strong password and feed Hulu your name and birthdate and gender.
- Click Continue, then enter your payment information. You can use a credit or debit card, or choose "Express Options" for PayPal or AMEX Express Checkout.
- Now choose any premium add-ons like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax or STARZ. (If you've chosen Hulu with Live TV, you also can choose from the live add-on options.)
And that's that. You can now start watching anything and everything on Hulu.
The Disney Bundle
With Disney owning Hulu, it is offering US consumers what is known as the Disney Bundle, which combines Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu (all ad-enabled) for $14.99 per month.
There's another tier that excludes ESPN Plus, but only costs $9.99. A few other tiers let you get ad-free streaming too, but both cost more.
The live channels you get with Hulu Live
Hulu with Live TV currently has more than 80 channels. It's possible that what you get where you live may vary slightly (local and regional rules still apply here, especially when it comes to local broadcast channels), but the broad strokes should remain the same.
Here are the Hulu with Live TV channels:
- ABC (select markets)
- ABC News Live
- ACC Network
- Adult Swim
- Animal Planet
- Big Ten Network
- Bloomberg Television
- Cartoon Network
- CBS (select markets)
- CBS Sports Network
- CBS News
- Cheddar News
- CNN International
- Comedy Central
- COZI TV
- Crime + Investigation
- The CW
- Discovery Channel
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- ESPN College Extra
- ESPN News
- Food Network
- Fox (select markets)
- Fox Business
- Fox News Channel
- Golf Channel
- Investigation Discovery
- Lifetime Movies
- Military History
- National Geographic
- National Geographic Wild
- NBC (select markets)
- NBC LX
- NBC News Now
- NFL Network
- Nick Jr.
- Olympic Channel (until September 30)
- Paramount Network
- SEC Network
- Smithsonian Channel
- Start TV
- Travel Channel
- TV Land
- Universal Kids
If you want to see what movies and TV shows are now streaming on Hulu with Live TV, check out our breakdown of what's new on Hulu in September.
What add-ons are available with Hulu with Live TV?
Live channels aren't the only thing you can get with Hulu With Live TV. So long as you don't mind paying for them, there are a number of extras that can be had. Here's how they break down:
- HBO Max: $14.99. a month
- Showtime: $10.99. a month with a free one-week trial
- Cinemax: $9.99 a month with a free one-week trial
- STARZ: $8.99 a month with a free one-week trial
- Entertainment add-on: $7.99 a month, adds American Heroes Channel, BET Her, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Crime & Investigation, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Magnolia Network, Great American Country, Military History Channel, MTV2, MTV Classic, Nick Toons, Science Channel and Teen Nick.
- Español Add-On: $4.99 a month, adds CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, NBC Universo, and History en Español.
- Sports Add-On: $9.99 a month, adds NFL RedZone, TVG, TVG2, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel and MAV TV.
- Unlimited screens: $9.99 a month with a free one-month trial, includes ability to work with three screens on the go
DVR space for Hulu with Live TV has been upgraded. After previously providing up to 50 hours of DVR space as standard for all accounts, with the option for an add-on feature that allowed for 200 hours on DVR, Hulu with Live TV now offers unlimited DVR space no additional cost. Anyone who was paying for the DVR space add-ons will see their monthly bill reduced by those amounts. In addition, the unlimited DVR feature allows subscribers to fast forward through commercials at no extra cost
One thing to note, though the DVR space is unlimited, Hulu says that the content will only be available in the DVR for nine months.
What devices support Hulu with Live TV?
If you can watch Hulu, you can watch Hulu With Live TV. They're built into the same app. And that means that you can watch Hulu With Live TV on just about every modern piece of streaming hardware.
That includes on a web browser on a Mac or PC. That means you're good to go on an iPhone or Android Phone, or and iPad or Android tablet. You can watch Hulu With Live TV on Roku and Amazon Fire TV or on Apple TV and Android TV. Chromecast and AirPlay work, too, as do Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 and 5.
Certain smart TVs are supported, too, including select models from Samsung, LG and Vizio.
Does Hulu With Live TV have live sports?
Perhaps you've seen the commercials? Yes, Hulu has live sports. That includes broadcast events like you'll find on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, plus live sports on networks like ESPN and FS1.
There also are games on ACC Network, SEC Network and the Big Ten network.
The only caveat here is that local and regional channels can vary depending on where you live, so you'll want to plug in your ZIP code with Hulu first to double check.
Can you record live TV on Hulu?
Yes. Hulu with Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage out of the box, so you can record up to that much before having to make some tough choices about which Real Housewives series has to go.
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