TVoIP (Television over IP) is really gaining momentum. So much that your cable company might be your Internet provider only and you’ll have many options to choose from. Hulu wants to be one of those to deliver live tv, and they put together a great plan so you can start watching right away. It does come with some limitations, though.
What is Hulu Live TV?
Hulu.com has added 55 channels which you can stream at any time from your devices at home. Starting at $39.99, you will get favorite cable channels from AMC to USA. In some locations, you will also get local stations. The channel lineup is dependent on where you live, so check with the channel lineup in your zip code.
Advantages of Hulu Live TV
You can watch on many different devices. It’s in Beta, so more options can get added at any time. Currently, you can watch on iOS 10, Android 5.0 or better, Xbox One, Apple TV (Gen 4), Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast.
You have access to not only On-Demand content, but also have 50 hours of Cloud DVR to save and watch later. The standard plan allows for 2 devices to watch content, with an Unlimited upgrade option.
Disadvantages of Hulu Live TV
Not all channels are available in all areas. For instance, you might be able to get your local CBS channel, but no Fox, ABC, or NBC. Other broadcast channels like PBS and CW are not present.
Areas are subject to blackout of shows and events. So if you take your phone to the game to watch replays, and the area has blacked out the game due to attendance, you’ll just have to watch closer to the game and the big scoreboard.
You cannot connect to any TV outside your home Wifi. This means that Hulu is collecting your home data in some way. You have to come home every 30 days to keep your service active.
Still Needs Work
The one thing noticeably missing from this service is a show grid. I don’t have a way to check the lineup in a quick and easy method – let alone shows that happen in the upcoming hours. That is really why I have a DVR, right?
Speaking of DVR, this one is really difficult to operate. I still don’t know how to call up shows for record.
As I flipped through the devices, I noticed some channels were “pausing” a lot. Other popular channels (A&E, ESPN, etc. ) seemed to work well.
There is no Roku version. There is no Mac or PC version. There are many smart TVs that cannot use Hulu Live TV. If you don’t have any of those, this won’t be an issue.
Overall Thoughts on Hulu Live TV
It’s still a great option, even in beta mode. $39.99 is the monthly price and you can upgrade to unlimited screens, no commercials (not live TV, of course), 200 hours of DVR, and premium networks like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax.
It might be a service you want to wait a month or two before you pull the trigger. Especially if you have a Roku, or if you want Mac/PC access.
In the Video
I go over all the pros and cons, then show you the service on different platforms.