Hulu VOD + Live TV review

Hulu  VOD + Live TV review

Before streaming became a way of life, Hulu led the charge in encouraging viewers to cut their ties with cable television. It aggregated content from a variety of network sites, allowing you to (sometimes) find that episode of CSI that aired earlier in the week and watch it free of charge. It was a lousy substitute for a cable subscription, but it was an idea so far ahead of its time it just needed everyone else to catch up.

As the competition between video streaming services intensifies, Hulu continues to offer a strong library of shows and movies, as well as a robust live TV option. That said, Hulu’s original series is hit-or-miss and while offline downloads were recently added, they’re currently only available for premium subscribers. Also, the price of Hulu’s live TV service has increased. Hulu (barely) keeps its Editors’ Choice distinction in part for its unique combination of on-demand and live content.

Live TV and Sports

Hulu with Live TV’s channel lineup should please most general audiences, with a deep lineup of content across the news, entertainment, and sports categories. News channels include ABC News, CBS News, CNBC, CNN, CNN International, Fox Business, and MSNBC. Entertainment coverage is similarly varied with options such as Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Disney, Food Network, FX, HGTV, National Geographic, SYFY, TBS, Travel Channel, TLC, and TNT. You also get the movie channels, FXM and TCM.

Hulu review: Quality of Stream

We watched Hulu on an Apple TV, iPhone, and a desktop computer: playback on all was typically smooth, with no buffering or lag. However, Hulu did glitch on a regular enough basis to be noticeable. Playback would occasionally simply stop for no apparent reason, backing out to the menu, and when we hit play, we’d get a message saying the content wasn’t playable at the time. Backing entirely out of Hulu and starting fresh fixed it, but it’s an ongoing annoyance.

Should I subscribe to Hulu?

If you enjoy television and don’t have cable or satellite TV already, yes, you should have Hulu. But what if you have yet to cut the cord? Then it’s more about ease of use than access. Hulu makes it incredibly easy to find something you want to watch. No need to hunt for the channel in your cable guide or the VOD menu on your satellite, just go to Hulu and you’ll find it in seconds. The ability to watch recently-aired programs in addition to past seasons is a clear upgrade over normal TV, too.

Good news, TV lovers! As promised back in January, US streaming service Hulu just dropped the price of its basic plan. Previously $7.99 per month, it’s now $5.99.

At $5.99 per month, Hulu currently offers the lowest price for its VOD film and TV library. For $54.99, you also gain access to over 60 live television cable channels, that include NBC, Comedy Network, and TCM.

What channels does Hulu with Live TV have?

Unlike cable and other internet TV services, Hulu with Live TV does not have multiple channel bundles – you get all of the channels they offer, except for premium networks. HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime are available at their standard monthly fees.

You can view the full list of channels available below:

Is Hulu + Live TV good for live sports?

The lack of live sports has been one of the biggest drawbacks to cutting the cord, but Hulu attempts to bridge the gap with their Hulu + Live TV service.

The service comes with many sports networks you’d get from a cable or satellite TV provider, plus local channels, TNT, and TBS.

As far as cutting the cord without sacrificing live sports, Hulu + Live TV is one of your better options, but it doesn’t quite live up to what you get with traditional TV service.

We’ve listed the good and potentially bad sides of Hulu + Live TV below to help you decide if the service is right for you.

Live sports streaming with Hulu + Live TV:

Hulu + Live TV has the major sports networks you’d get from a cable or satellite TV service, even some that are typically reserved for higher-tiered packages. Sports networks that come with Hulu + Live TV include:

  • Big Ten Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNEWS
  • ESPNU
  • ESPN Bases Loaded
  • ESPN College Extra
  • ESPN Goal Line
  • FOX Sports 1
  • FOX Sports 2
  • Golf Channel
  • NBC Sports Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC Network

Local channels and regional sports networks included

The national networks are great for keeping up with the sports world, but many sports fans just want to watch the local teams. Hulu + Live TV includes local channels and regional sports networks so you can watch your local NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL teams.

Your location determines which regional sports networks you get. Regional sports networks may not be available in all areas and are subject to blackouts. Go to hulu.com/live-sports and enter your ZIP code to see which regional sports networks are available in your area.

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