Cut The Cord: The Best Television Streaming Services
Hulu & Hulu With Live TV
Hulu is a fan favorite for catching up on most of your favorite television shows and movies. If there is a popular show on TV, you can almost guarantee that the latest episode will be available for streaming on Hulu, and usually you can watch as far back as 4 or 5 episodes. For $7.99 a month you get unlimited access, original shows like The Mindy Project, and exclusive access to on-demand shows like Fear The Walking Dead.
Now, Hulu is getting even better with access to their brand new Live TV service, still in Beta. For $39.99/month, you can stream over 50 live and on demand channels, as well as get full access to the standard Hulu library and subscription content.
Like other streaming plans, the full channel lineup is dependent on your area, but they include local favorites like ABC, NBC, and Fox, as well as several traditional cable channels like ESPN, E!, Disney Junior, Chiller, Cartoon Network, Travel Channel, TNT, TBS, SEC Sports Network, Fox Sports 1, Food Network, and National Geographic.
$8 per month is a fair asking price for keeping up with your favorite shows and accessing great original content through a standard Hulu subscription.
Both Hulu and its Live TV service are available on your computer, Android, iOS, Xbox, Apple TV, and Chromecast, but you are out of luck if you want to connect with Roku or PlayStation. Note, however, that it is still in beta and more devices are being added.
Live TV includes access to 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, so you can record your favorites and worry less about getting more than a few weeks behind.
A standard Hulu subscription comes with those annoying commercial breaks that most people hate. If you want to get rid of commercials during the show, you will have to pay a bit more at $11.99 a month.
You also have to make somewhat of an effort to keep up with your shows or risk losing an episode into the great beyond. Some stations allow entire seasons of content to be accessed through Hulu, but most only allow a handful of older episodes before they are replaced.
Hulu with Live TV provides access to Hulu and its original content, but that includes the commercials that you have to pay extra to remove. You are also limited to watching on no more than two devices at a time, so if you are planning on providing access to the entire family, you may need to pay for the unlimited screens upgrade. That allows unlimited screens at home and up to 3 screens on the go, which is perfect for the whole family. But it’s going to cost you.
Hulu is an excellent streaming TV service for those who don’t have TV service or just want to catch up on their favorite shows. If you already have another streaming service, like Sling TV, it might be a nice alternative to purchasing the $5 cloud DVR add-on service, especially if you are fairly good at catching up on your shows within a week or two after they air.
The new Live TV experience is also an affordable option for someone wanting to cut the cord. Even without the add-ons, it’s perfectly suited for a small family, couple, and college students, thanks in large part to its multi-device capability and affordable price point. Although it offers several channels already, it’s still too early in the game to compare it to streaming giants like PlayStation Vue or Sling TV. Still, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
With free trials of both services available, it’s also worth giving it a shot.