Nearly a year after Hulu first confirmed it was going to offer a live TV service, that day has finally come. The streaming movie and TV show service has launched what it calls Hulu with Live TV. It offers access to over 50 broadcast and cable TV channels for cord and satellite TV cutters, for the starting price of $39.99 a month.
Hulu with Live TV, which is launching to the public with a “beta” label, will let customers access four of the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, but sadly not The CW), along with a number of cable TV networks. The selection includes news channels (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC), sports networks (ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports) and other cable TV channels (A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, and more).
The basic service also includes free access to Hulu’s current on-demand streaming movie and TV service, which normally costs $7.99 a month, with commercials. It still offers users access to over 3,500 movies and TV shows, including current episodes for many TV series, and all the acclaimed Hulu original shows such as The Path and the current new series The Handmaid’s Tale. If you want to get rid of those pesky ads, you will have to pay an extra $4 a month. In addition, the basic live TV service also offers 50 hours of video storage with its Cloud DVR feature. Subscribers can set up to six different profiles, and can access up to two simultaneous streams.
If you have a little extra money, you can get up to 200 hours of Cloud DVR storage for $14.99 a month
If you have a little extra money, you can get up to 200 hours of Cloud DVR storage for the live TV service for the add-on price of $14.99 per month, which also lets users record as many shows as they want to at the same time, and lets them fast forward through commercials. For another $14.99 a month, you can have as many simultaneous streams as you want in the home, and three simultaneous streams outside the house. If you want both the enhanced Cloud DVR and the unlimited home screens, you can do that for $19.99 a month, which will save you $10 a month. Finally, Hulu with Live TV users can add on-demand access to the Showtime network’s library of TV shows and movies for $7.99 a month.
Hulu with Live TV is available now on Android, Chromecast, iOS, Apple TV and Xbox One platforms. It will be added later to Amazon’s Fire TV devices, Samsung’s smart TVs, Roku and on the Hulu.com site for PC and Mac users. Hulu is also debuting a new user interface alongside their live TV service, which you can see in the screenshots above. The revamped UI offers subscribers a much cleaner look compared to the previous design, with menus and icons that hover over full-screen images.
Hulu with Live TV is launching today, but this market is already crowded with similar services. They include Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now and the recently launched YouTube TV. Recent unconfirmed rumors claim Verizon is also planning to launch an online TV service sometime this summer.
By the way, Hulu also announced today that it has renewed its recently launched TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale for a second season. It has also confirmed it will show two more original drama series in 2018; Runaways, based on the Marvel comic book about six teenage superheroes, and The First, about the first manned mission to Mars.
What do you think of Hulu’s new live TV service? How does it compare with the other cord-cutting services that are already available? Let us know your opinions in the comments!