Hands-On with Hulu’s New Live TV Service




For almost a week now I have been testing out Hulu’s new live TV streaming service. During that time I have had a great opportunity to play with the service, and I wanted to bring you my thoughts.

For $39.99 you get over 50 live TV channels and access to Hulu’s current limited-commercial plan. You can add the commercial-free on-demand option for a few extra dollars.

So let’s dive in. These are my thoughts on Hulu’s live TV streaming service.

Here is a video I shot of the service.

My First Impressions

Hulu made no effort to make Hulu live TV a replacement for traditional cable TV. It does not look like cable or feel like cable TV. Instead Hulu made an effort to make live TV more like a video on-demand service such as Hulu or Netflix.

They are using its recommendation system to try and predict what you will want and put that upfront. Whether that be live or on-demand Hulu wants to present what it thinks you will like. To accomplish this Hulu uses your viewing history and will even ask you for what type of shows and live sports teams you want to follow.

Hulu seems to be working on trying to find a way to address new viewing habits. The question is will this system connect with subscribers. Though it is nice to see Hulu making an effort to improve the 30-year-old way we watch TV, and it clearly put a lot of work into it.

Things I Really Liked

There is much to love about the Hulu live TV service. Because it includes the current Hulu on-demand content and even more on-demand content along with a DVR there really is a ton of content on Hulu’s live TV service.

I also found the image quality to be excellent with quick load time and smooth playback.


Hulu has over 50 channels included with the Hulu live TV streaming service. The service has many of the most popular channels including channels from FOX, NBC, and Disney. There is also a decent lineup of sports channels including hard-to-find CBS Sports Network along with regional sports networks of FOX, CSN, and more.

Several important channels are missing including AMC and for sports fans channels such as MLB Network, NFL Network, and the NBA Network.

You can find the full lineup of live TV channels HERE.


The Hulu live TV service comes with about 50 hours of DVR time. The base package will not allow you to fast-forward through commercials. You will be able to add extra time and the ability to fast-forward past commercials for an extra $14.99 a month.

Though there is a work-around here. If a show you DVRd is also available on Hulu’s on-demand service and you are a commercial-free subscriber you can select the on-demand version without ads.

Channel Guide

As we already talked about there is no traditional channel guide. You can find an alphabetical list of channels. In that list you can look forward about 24 hours to see what will be on and add shows to your DVR.

Final Thoughts

As with all these services there is no one service that fits all needs. There is a lot to like about Hulu’s new live TV streaming service. The question is will it be right for you. My suggestion is to try it out and see if you enjoy it.

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