Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV enable people cutting the cord on cable TV to watch live channels and on-demand content at a fraction of the price. Hulu offers more than 70 live channels through its Hulu + Live TV service, which also allows access to its on-demand library of more than 2,000 movies and TV shows. YouTube TV brings subscribers 80 channels of live TV.
Subscribers to both services can get access to further content through add-on channels, which include live and on-demand entertainment, foreign language programming, news and sports.
Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV Compared
|Hulu + Live TV||YouTube TV|
|On-demand library size||2,553 movies and TV shows||N/A|
|Number of channels||72||80|
|Cloud DVR storage||50 hours||Unlimited|
|Subscribers||3.2 million||2 million +|
|Video quality||60 fps HD||60 fps HD|
|Free trial length||7 days||7 days|
Hulu + Live TV costs $54.99/mo., which is slightly higher than YouTube TV’s price of $49.99/mo. Hulu’s on-demand service is available for $5.99/mo. — but the basic service is supported by commercials. The ad-free, on-demand option is $11.99/mo.
Both Hulu and YouTube TV offer additional channels on top of their regular subscriptions. Hulu subscribers can buy Cinemax for $9.99/mo., HBO for $14.99/mo., SHOWTIME for $10.99/mo. and STARZ for $8.99/mo.
YouTube TV charges $11/mo. for SHOWTIME and $9/mo. for STARZ. It also provides access to Acorn TV for $6/mo. AMC Premiere and Shudder cost $5/mo. CuriosityStream comes in at $3/mo. and Sundance Now is $7/mo. It also offers FOX Soccer Plus for $15/mo. and NBA League Pass for $40/mo.
Hulu + Live TV subscribers get a choice of 72 live channels compared to the 80 available on YouTube TV.
Hulu + Live TV’s channel lineup includes several national news networks like ABC, CBS, CNN, CNN International, FOX News and MSNBC. It also provides access to a number of entertainment and lifestyle channels such as A&E, Animal Planet, History Channel and Viceland. And children can enjoy channels like Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Universal Kids.
Movie fans don’t have a huge choice with the regular Hulu + Live TV lineup, but its channel list does include Turner Classic Movies. Sports lovers are better served with national networks CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and NBC Sports Network. Subscribers can also enjoy Big Ten Network, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN College Extra, ESPN Goal Line, Golf Channel and SEC Network.
Subscribers also have access to Hulu’s on-demand content library. This includes Hulu’s own additional programming, with TV shows like psychological horror Castle Rock, comedy Letterkenny, true-crime thriller The Act and dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale. Other TV options are headed up by comedies like Arrested Development, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Parks and Recreation.
Hulu also has a strong lineup of on-demand movies includes the continuation of the Rocky Balboa series in Creed II, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Fallout and the Oscar-winning South Korean movie Parasite.
YouTube TV offers a wide selection of entertainment, lifestyle news and sports across its 80 live channels. Subscribers can stay on top of the latest events with major networks like ABC, BBC America, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, MSNBC and NBC.
It also offers popular entertainment channels such as AMC, Bravo, FX and USA. Further entertainment is provided by nine channels from Discovery Inc., including Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel. While movie fans are well served by EPIX, TNT and Turner Classic Movies.
Sports fans also have plenty of options available with national sports networks CBS Sports, ESPN, FOX Sports and NBC Sports Network. Other channels available are Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, Olympic Channel, Tennis Channel, ACC Network and Big Ten Network.
Hulu + Live TV can be watched through apps and browsers for gaming consoles, mobile phones, smart TVs, streaming devices and tablets. These include Android and Apple phones and tablets. Viewers can also watch via web players through Mac and Windows browsers. Gamers can access Hulu + Live TV through Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s also accessible through internet-connected TVs such as Android TVs and Apple TVs, as well as LG and Samsung smart TVs. Other viewing options include streaming devices like Amazon Fire Sticks, Fire TVs, Google Chromecasts and Rokus.
YouTube TV is accessible via any device that supports its apps and web players. Mobile viewers can watch on Android and Apple phones and tablets. While computer users can access the service via web browsers on Mac and Windows. YouTube TV subscribers can stream the service via AirPlay for Apple TV, Google Chromecast and on TVs with built-in Chromecast functionality. It can also be watched by downloading apps for Android and Apple TVs as well as HiSense, LG and Samsung smart TVs. The service is also compatible with Amazon Fire TVs, Fire TV Cubes, Roku Streaming Sticks and Roku TVs.
Hulu + Live TV enables viewers to stream content in up to 60 frames per second (fps) high-definition (HD) video quality. Its live TV channels and on-demand library are also available in 720p, 1080p and 4K Ultra HD resolution. The quality automatically adjusts based on the viewer’s available bandwidth and varies based on the content being watched and the device being used.
YouTube TV supports content in up to 1080p resolution at 30 fps and up to 720p at 60 fps. However, streaming quality may differ based on the channel being watched.
Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV enable subscribers to record live TV to watch at a later date. A Hulu + Live TV subscription comes with 50 hours of storage, which can be quadrupled to 200 hours by signing up for Enhanced Cloud DVR ($9.99/mo.) YouTube TV offers unlimited recording space for nine months and no restrictions on simultaneous recordings within its standard subscription.
Hulu + Live TV enables viewers to stream the service on two devices at the same time. This can be boosted to unlimited home devices and three mobile streams by purchasing the Unlimited Screens add-on for $9.99/mo. YouTube TV provides three simultaneous streams in its regular subscription. It also enables users to create six profiles per account. Each profile receives its own space for recording content, personalized show recommendations and a customizable TV guide.
Live streaming on both Hulu and YouTube TV includes the commercials shown on regular TV. But users can avoid these by recording content and fast-forwarding through ads.
Both services also enable users to place parental controls on the content available across their accounts. Hulu + Live TV lets viewers create a Kids Profile, which only permits access to content in the Kids Hub section. YouTube TV subscribers can make profiles that limit viewers to specific content from the Kids Hub. Users can also restrict content access by turning on the “Allow TV-Y, TV-G, G and PG Only” setting.
Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV subscribers can boost their entertainment options by purchasing HBO, SHOWTIME and STARZ as add-ons. These all have large libraries of on-demand movies and TV shows, while SHOWTIME and Starz also provide live, around the clock programming.
Hulu + Live TV also enables subscribers to purchase an Español add-on, which includes Spanish language versions of CNN, Discovery, History Channel and NBC as well as ESPN Deportes and FOX Deportes.
YouTube offers several extra entertainment channels, including dedicated British TV channel Acorn and independent films channel Sundance Now. These will soon be joined by Cinemax and HBO, which will include HBO Max when the service launches in May. It also provides sports fans with access to FOX Soccer Plus and extra live basketball action through NBA League Pass.
Should I Cut the Cable TV Cord With Hulu + Live TV Or YouTube TV?
Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV provide good options for people looking to cut the cord on cable TV. Both offer live TV that includes several national news and sports networks as well as entertainment and lifestyle channels. The added appeal of Hulu + Live TV is that subscribers also get access to Hulu’s sizeable library of on-demand movies and TV shows. YouTube TV gets the edge on user experience, with features like unlimited storage for recording content, multiple profiles per account and more simultaneous streams.
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