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Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV In 2023
YouTube TV recently surpassed 4 million subscribers, and offers a great replacement to cable TV. How does it stack up against a worthy competitor, Hulu + Live TV?
Table of Contents
- Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV Overview
- Hulu + Live TV Plans, YouTube TV Plans
- Does Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV Have Better User Experience?
- Can You Customize Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV?
- What Channels Do Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV Have?
- Do Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV Have Originals?
- Is Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV Better?
YouTube TV tops Hulu + Live TV based on categories that users care about: pricing, experience, DVR storage, personalization and content. Both services offer a convenient, modern way to consume live TV if you aren’t a fan of cable TV services from providers like Spectrum or Optimum. At the end of the day, if you want a solid service with a healthy mix of original content and live TV, YouTube TV is your best bet. It is also our best choice for cord-cutters overall.
YouTube TV vs. Hulu Live: Which Streaming Service Is Better?
YouTube TV is currently $72.99 per month*, and you really do get a full package of features and live channels like ABC, CBS and NBC. The way a streaming channel plus live channel works is that you don’t have to worry about paying for the equipment with a TV provider, such as a cable box. Instead, you can enjoy most of the same channels you would get with a TV service on a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, gaming console or your smart TV. This saves you money on renting equipment from a provider and it gives you the ability to download more apps on a different device.
Hulu + Live TV is $69.99 per month and also includes ESPN+ and Disney Plus (both with ads).
Hulu Live and YouTube TV's Plans and Prices
Ah, yes, the meat and potatoes: pricing. What is this going to cost you?
Hulu + Live TV has about 75 channels that users can choose from. On the “regular” side of Hulu, there are a lot of Emmy award-winning originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale.” That kind of entertainment pairs super well with the live sports and local channels you get when you sign up.
YouTube TV does have more channels as well as all kinds of rabbit-hole binge-worthy videos that come with YouTube. Live sports are available, but no original content from YouTube the company, although content creators around YouTube are constantly making original content. And if you love football, NFL Sunday Ticket is now available to YouTube TV customers.
The defining factor in our decision about which service edges the other out here is what kind of original content each service produces. Although Hulu + Live TV has fewer channels, this platform his creating its own full-length shows and movies that are professionally vetted. YouTube TV’s original media may feature awesome content, but this content is still ultimately a YouTube video. For much the same price, Hulu + Live TV gives you access to live channels through a growing platform that offers award-winning titles. If you still need to watch something great on YouTube, that’s still free.
|Price||Free Trial||Channels||Original Content||Live Sports|
|$69.99/mo.||7 days||75||Yes: Shows and Movies||Yes|
|Price||Free Trial||Channels||Original Content||Live Sports|
Winner for this category: YouTube TV
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How Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV Users Watch
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV has a very simple user interface that doesn’t vary too much from Hulu without live TV. There is your account name, your browse, queue (My Stuff) and a Live TV section where you can find all your channels in one spot. You have the option to like or dislike shows, and in the live section it is the same set up as something as DIRECTV or Spectrum (times, dates, episodes on air) and it helpfully separates movies and shows for us so we can save time hunting for what we want to watch.
When you live in a large household, the amount of simultaneous streams is worth looking into. If you have you and your partner on one couch watching Hulu Live, and someone using a tablet in another room watching a different show, that would be possible with Hulu. Fantastically but also expensively, if you knock up your Hulu an extra $10 a month you get unlimited streams at a time. That’s a lot of people watching Veep on Hulu.
The design of YouTube is already nice and personalized, and YouTube with the Live TV add-on is no different. Users can enjoy the colors and layout of their channels the same way they would enjoy their cable service. Hulu Live runs closely to YouTube in this category as well. The dark interface, bright and readable titles, and thumbnails is a steal.
Under your account info, there are icons of all the channels you have so far, and the options for other categories of channels (more entertainment channels, for instance) that you can add on for a certain price. If you want to add on premium channels like HBO or Showtime, there is another option for that under your account that is as easy as pressing a click-able plus sign. The free trial for premium add-ons is one month, compared to the seven-day free trial of Hulu + Live TV.
Most people are generally familiar with the layout and user interface of YouTube without TV. You may have needed to look up a how-to video to open a wine bottle, or videos of cats cuddling. Just the typical stuff. The YouTube experience with Live TV is similar in design, it’s also similar in design to something like DIRECTV. The top tabs break off into your home page, library, and the Live section.
Like Hulu, there are options for add-ons for premium channels like STARZ, HBO and SHOWTIME that are easily accessible to you when you go to your account settings. You can update at any time through the app or on the website. You can also click on the several ads they show you for YouTube TV when you go on YouTube.
Ultimately, user interface is very subjective, meaning every customer might prefer a slightly different design. Both services have easy to use designs.
Winner for this category: Both
YouTube TV and Hulu Live DVR Storage
When you cut the cord, something you may miss is being able to record your favorite shows on your most-watched channels. YouTube TV is your best bet for filling that hole in your heart: they offer unlimited DVR hours. That is almost unheard of in the live TV industry, let alone the DVR industry. Hulu Live only gives you 50 hours of cloud DVR storage (to save indefinitely), and if you want more, you’re going to have to pay an extra 10 bucks a month to get an extra 200 hours.
That would make your Hulu bill more expensive than that of YouTube TV, where you can get unlimited hours of recorded shows. The top choice regarding DVR capabilities is obvious here.
Winner for this category: YouTube TV
Much like other streaming platforms (with live TV or without), your account and your feed is personalized to you. If you are in the works of watching a show or have been watching the same show for months now (we all indulge in our over-watched favorites from time to time), both Hulu Live and YouTube TV keep up with that. Netflix does this same sort of thing, showing you icons and titles that are based on what you’ve watched before. In addition, both platforms provide viewers with several accounts (up to six) you can personalize to each user.
Overall, this makes for a pretty solid tie between the two services.
Winner for his category: Both
Popular Channels on Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV
|Channel||Hulu + Live TV||YouTube|
YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV Original Content and On Demand
Again, the On Demand content on YouTube TV is merely from the participating channels and the shows that come with the your live TV subscription. There is no original content from YouTube TV, unless you count the videos from the content creators and posters on YouTube.
Hulu + Live TV passes this category with flying colors. They offer not only tons of content from ESPN+, Disney+ and live TV, but also Hulu originals like “Ramy,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and their first original documentary “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – the Touring Years” won awards across the board.
Winner for this category: Hulu + Live TV
The Final Decision
YouTube TV checks off all our boxes for most categories, leaving it to be our pick. And customers seem to agree, as the service recently surpassed 4 million paid subscribers.
Frequently asked questions
What's the difference between Hulu and Hulu + Live TV?
Hulu is the platform that offers content on demand. Some of this content is original to Hulu, and some of it is not. Hulu + Live TV involves the main Hulu platform plus 75 live cable channels and DVR service.
How do I get Hulu with live TV?
Whatever existing Hulu plan you have, you can always upgrade at any time. If you are new to Hulu, you can always sign up for whatever plan you want, including Hulu + Live TV.
Which is better Hulu or YouTube TV?
We've narrowed down each service by category, and it all boiled down to Hulu + Live TV being the best option over YouTube TV. Despite our final top pick, it should be noted that YouTube TV still has a plenty of perks as well.
Does YouTube TV include NFL Sunday Ticket?
NFL Sunday Ticket is available to YouTube TV customers as an add-on.
How long is the YouTube TV free trial?
The YouTube TV free trial lasts for seven days.
How long is the Hulu + Live TV free trial?
The Hulu + Live TV free trial lasts for seven days.
Does Hulu + Live TV include Disney+ and ESPN+?
Yes, the $69.99 per month Hulu + Live TV plan includes Disney+ and ESPN+, but both included services are the ads-included versions.