Hulu vs Hulu + Live TV: What's the Difference?

If you're after sports and live TV, your choice is clear

The main difference between Hulu vs Hulu Live TV is in the name: Hulu + Live TV gives you access to all of Hulu's on-demand content, plus dozens of live TV channels. Both Hulu and Hulu + Live TV offer a variety of plans with add-ons that allow you to customize your TV streaming experience.

Hulu vs Hulu Plus Live TV

Overall Findings

  • Thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows.

  • Original shows and movies you won't find anywhere else.

  • One of the least expensive streaming services.

Hulu + Live TV
  • All the same on-demand content as Hulu.

  • More on-demand TV shows and 85+ live TV channels.

  • Live sports including NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB games.

  • Less expensive than cable.

Hulu is an on-demand video streaming service like Netflix or Disney Plus. For a monthly fee, you can stream thousands of movies and TV episodes whenever you want. Hulu boasts originals like The Handmaid's Tale and Love, Victor that aren't available on regular TV, along with hundreds of current and classic TV shows. There are also Hulu original movies like Prey and Vacation Friends.

Hulu + Live TV is an internet TV streaming service like Sling or Youtube TV. On top of everything you get with regular Hulu, the Live TV plan also gets you subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN Plus. You can use the same password to access all three streaming services.

Plans and Pricing: Pay More, Get More With Hulu + Live TV

  • Ad-supported and ad-free options.

  • Option to bundle ESPN+ and Disney Plus.

Hulu + Live TV
  • Ad-free options for on-demand content.

  • ESPN+ and Disney Plus are included.

  • Option to add more on-demand and live channels.

The streaming service offers two basic plans: Hulu (With Ads) and Hulu (Without Ads). Hulu can be bundled with Disney Plus and ESPN+ to get multiple services at a discount, with or without ads.

Hulu + Live TV is significantly more expensive, but you get over 85 live television channels in addition to everything on Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN+. With the ad-free version of Hulu + Live TV, you can watch on-demand streaming content from Hulu and Disney Plus without ads, but live TV and ESPN+ content still includes ads.

Both services offer add-ons like Showtime, Cinemax, HBO, and Starz if you want even more mainstream movies or streaming originals. With Hulu + Live TV, you can pay for even more extras. For example, the Español add-on gives you Spanish-language channels, while the Sports and Entertainment add-ons give you niche channels like NFL RedZone and MTV Classic.

Streaming Content: Live TV Includes Disney Plus, ESPN+, and Much More

  • Content from networks like NBC, ABC, Fox, FX, AMC, A&E, and others.

  • New episodes are on-demand the day after they air.

Hulu + Live TV
  • Watch new episodes as they air.

  • National and local channels.

  • Additional on-demand content through Network on Demand.

On Hulu, you can catch new episodes of popular shows like The Simpsons and 20/20 the day after they air. Current seasons of mainstream shows are available alongside the entire series. Oscar-nominated movies occasionally make their way to the service, too.

The Hulu Live TV lineup includes BET, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, MTV, TNT, and USA. Also included are national news networks like CNN and MSNBC and local and regional channels like ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC, and Telemundo. The availability of channels depends on where you live so that you can watch local sports and news.

Both Hulu Live TV plans are bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+, which gives you instant access to their programming. Some networks offer additional on-demand TV and movies you won't find on regular Hulu so that you can binge older seasons of current shows. Network on Demand content may include ads, even if you have the no-ads plan.

Extra Features: Get Unlimited Screens and Cloud DVR With Hulu + Live TV

  • Watch Hulu on two devices at the same time.

  • Add-ons for Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.

Hulu + Live TV
  • Option to pay for unlimited screens.

  • Record live unlimited TV with DVR.

Aside from channel add-ons like Showtime and Starz, Hulu + Live TV subscribers can pay extra for unlimited screens. Otherwise, you're limited to watching Hulu on two different devices at once,

Hulu + Live TV comes with cloud DVR, so you can record live TV and watch it later. There's no limit to how many hours of TV you can record, but DVR content is deleted after nine months.

Hulu and Hulu + Live TV use the same app and are available on the same platforms, including web browsers, mobile devices, game consoles, smart TVs, and streaming devices.

Final Verdict

Compared to similar competitors, Hulu + Live TV has much more content, making it a formidable replacement for cable. With all the extra on-demand content and potential add-ons, it'll more than meet most people's needs.

By itself, Hulu is less expensive and has less content than other on-demand streaming services like Netflix, but it has a lot of shows and movies you can't find elsewhere. If you're ok waiting a few hours to watch new TV episodes and don't care about live sports, regular Hulu might be enough for you. You can always start with the basic plan and upgrade your Hulu subscription later.

  • How do I watch Disney Plus on Hulu?

    Disney Plus and Hulu are separate apps. If you subscribe to a Hulu bundle that includes Disney Plus, you'll watch it on a separate app or website, but you'll still use your Hulu credentials to log in.

  • How many people can watch Hulu at once?

    Hulu supports streaming on two screens simultaneously. You can have up to six user profiles per account.

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