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Replacing Cable: Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV

If you’re ready for a smaller monthly TV bill, but you’re not sure where to start, take a look at two of the most popular cable replacement streaming services available.

Consumer Reports said this week that cable companies’ add-on fees could top $450 a year. If you’re ready for a smaller monthly bill, but you’re not sure where to start, take a look at two of the most popular cable replacement streaming services available. They’re popular with consumers because they’re easy to use, work with most equipment, and give you a wide variety of channels for a small price.

YouTube TV

If you’ve hung on to cable because it’s too much trouble to replace it, YouTube TV gives you the same features with a lower price tag. You’ll need a reliable internet connection to stream the platform’s collection of channels, but you’ll be able to completely replace cable without buying a bunch of hardware or remembering multiple logins.

Watch all of your favorite channels

YouTube TV delivers every show, sport, movie, and video on just about any device you have. People know that it’s a trusted video delivery service, and the app is already on just about every phone, smart TV, and streaming device on the market.

The YouTube TV lineup includes live streams of more than 70 channels. Viewers can watch all of the major broadcast networks - just like when using an antenna - like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, as well as Telemundo. For cable news channels, YouTube TV includes CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC. All of your favorites from the Discovery networks are there, like Animal Planet, Food Network, and NatGeo. You can add premium subscriptions for Starz, Showtime, HBO, and the like from within the app, so it’s all billed together.

Live sports offerings include all of the ESPNs, Fox Sports, Big Ten, and CBS Sports. Like all streaming services, blackout restrictions dictate what can be viewed live depending on your physical location.

Easy to set up and use

Signing up for YouTube TV is as simple as it gets. There’s no cable box, contract, or hidden fees. You don’t have to rent a DVR, or pay extra for HD feeds. YouTube TV is available to 98 percent of households across the country. You even get a free trial, so you can kick the tires before you cancel your cable contract.

Set up as many as six family profiles in your account. Each one has unique recommendations, history, and preferences, so you don’t have to see Dancing with the Stars if you like to watch A Million Little Things.

You can watch YouTube TV from almost any internet-connected device. Watch picture-perfect live TV in your living room on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, or Vizio, Samsung, and LG smart TVs. Or stream to a handheld iOS or Android device.

If you can’t watch your favorite show when it broadcasts live, there’s no need to worry. YouTube TV is the only streaming service with an unlimited cloud-based DVR, so you can record any show and watch it later. If you forgot to record something, most popular shows are on-demand. Recordings are stored for nine months, and each family member can keep their own library of recordings. Watch your favorite games, shows, movies, and videos live at home with three concurrent streams. If you’re on the road, you can stream content on-the-go from any location in the United States.

Price: Starts at $49.99 a month.

Hulu + Live TV

Now operated by Disney, Hulu + Live TV does it all. Hulu’s channel lineup and massive library give you everything you need to enjoy television at a better price than cable TV. It’s the second most popular live TV service, with more than 2 million U.S. subscribers. Hulu reliably delivers local channels, original content, and old favorites. It’s a complete cable replacement that doesn’t require anything other than a fast internet connection.

Watch all of your favorite channels

The platform offers live TV with a lineup of more than 60 channels. Hulu + Live TV has more local channels than any other similar service. Viewers also get full access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library.

Viewers can watch all of the major broadcast networks, like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo. You can check to see if Hulu Live carries your local channels here. For cable news channels, YouTube TV includes CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC. Kids will enjoy the Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD. Watch the History Channel, HGTV, NASA, and USA Network. You can add premium subscriptions for Starz, Showtime, HBO, and the like from within the app, so it’s all billed together.

ESPN, ABC, and TNT. Hulu + Live TV subscribers can stream live sports on ESPN, ACC Network, NBCSN, the Olympic Channel, and the SEC Network. Like all streaming services, blackout restrictions dictate what can be viewed live depending on your physical location.

For a few extra dollars a month, viewers can add news and lifestyle programming from the Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, the DIY Network, Lifetime Movies, and more. You can also add premium networks like HBO, Starz, and Showtime, upgrade the cloud-based DVR or choose unlimited streams so everyone in your family can watch at the same time.

Easy to set up and use

Visit the website to see transparent pricing and channels for Hulu + Live TV. Unlike your cable bill, you won’t get hit with hidden fees and upcharges. Check to see what channels you’ll receive in your area before signing up. First-time users get a one-week free trial.

Set up as many as six family profiles in your account. Each one has unique recommendations, history, and preferences, so you don’t have to see Dancing with the Stars if you like to watch A Million Little Things.

You can watch Hulu + Live TV from almost any internet connected device. Watch your favorite teams play live on your handheld iOS or Android device or the big screen in your living room on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, or Vizio, Samsung, and LG smart TVs.

Hulu’s Live TV Guide makes it easy to follow more than one game at a time with a traditional timeline view that lets viewers see what’s on now, what’s coming up in the next 24 hours, and switch channels quickly. For mobile users, tilt the phone into portrait to view the main content and the timeline simultaneously — swap back to full-screen mode in landscape when you’re done with the Guide.

Set up as many as six family profiles in your account with unique content recommendations and history. You can even set the profile to Kids to restrict access and recommendations to kid-friendly content. Each account gets 50 hours of cloud-based DVR storage to share amongst the profiles, so any recorded content is ready and waiting when you want to watch.

Hulu is compatible with almost every streaming internet device, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV Apple TV, Chromecast, and the Nintendo Switch.

Price: $44.99 for Hulu + Live TV. Customize your subscription with add-ons.

Disney offers Disney +, ESPN + and Hulu as a bundle, but hasn’t mentioned whether Hulu + Live TV is eligible for bundling.

Choosing between the services

If you feel like your cable bill keeps going up, you’re not alone. Cable fees are getting so high that even reluctant cordcutters are making the switch.

The bottom line is that either of these streaming services will meet the needs of most consumers. Hulu and YouTube have years of experience delivering video with reliable infrastructures and service models. The base price is comparable, and both offer upgrade options so you can customize your subscription. The choice comes down to which service delivers the local channels and sports that you want to watch.

 Tagged: subscribers sports hulu live tv youtube tv broadcast tv

Article Author
Megan Southard
NoCable.org Contributor

Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."

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