Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV: Which is better?
With an increasing trend in favor of switching from the traditional cable tv or satellite connections to wireless streaming, aka cord-cutting, the digital war among the top companies in the online streaming service market has just begun.
People are streaming more and more on-demand content these days via portable devices, Smart TVs with seamless internet connectivity at the palm of their hands.
However, with an abundance of streaming services shooting up the stakes every other day, it’s never easy to pick and choose from among the myriad of options.
Cord-cutters especially, sports channels’ enthusiasts, look for the best live TV streaming service that is reliable and provides a great value for their money.
A VFM streaming service would ideally let you access a wide range of major news broadcast networks and cable channels, including local channels, history channels, and discovery channels.
It must also consist of several different regional sports networks like fox soccer, tennis channel, NFL Network, MLB Network, Olympic channel; local channels; live TV news broadcasters like ABC news live, CNBC World; local stations like ABC, CBS, Fox; anime, cartoon channels like Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and more to cater to every user needs from different age groups.
It will also provide you with various additional features like content bundles and supporting simultaneous streams for a large selection of its on-demand content so different members within the same family or friends can access and stream content simultaneously.
The on-demand content can be accessed using portable media streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV sticks, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku streaming stick, or Nintendo switch.
Apart from the usual content-based offerings, additional features like an enhanced cloud DVR with the program guide and exclusive-only features are the main target for potential customers.
In our Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV face-off, we will analyze, contrast and let you decide on a verdict that, after all, which one of these streaming services provides a bang for your buck?
YouTube TV :
Launched in 2017, YouTube TV, one of the live TV streaming services from Google’s video-sharing social media platform, YouTube, has garnered a lot of eyeballs from its audience and competitors alike.
A YouTube TV subscription will typically set you back by $64.99 on a per month basis. YouTube has kept its subscription options simple with its one-plan-fits-all approach, unlike Hulu Live TV.
A user-friendly interface can greet YouTube TV users with a familiar red & black background and three main menu tabs: Library, Home, and Live.
The Video and Playlist tabs can be sorted by Most Popular, Oldest, or the Newest videos. You can see an option labeled “Sort by” and choose your sorting preferences from the dropdown menu. Its search functionality is quite handy.
YouTube TV also has a significant presence in the Chromecast with Google TV remote, Unlike Hulu live tv.
Let’s take a glance at the most important features YouTube TV offers its users (as advertised) –
- YouTube TV offers 85+ top channels package of entertainment, news, live sports, & more.
- It provides a Live TV Recording without any storage limits.
- It includes NFL, NBA, and MLB Network.
- It includes PBS, BET, Comedy Central, HBO Max, Sundance TV, MTV, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon.
- YouTube TV serves us with an unlimited cloud DVR storage space along with rewind, fast forward, and pause capabilities.
- It also offers 3 streams and 6 accounts per household.
- It offers 3 simultaneous streams (an unlimited option also available in the $84.99 monthly package)
- Devices supported– Apple TV, Android, Chromecast & Chromecast-enabled TVs, Amazon Fire TV stick, desktops, iOS, Roku, TiVo Stream 4k, Vizio, PS4, Xbox One, Smart TVs.
It does NOT include– DVR Fees, Rental Box fees, Cancellation fees, Broadcast fees, Local channel fees. (YouTube TV advertises this as one of their major selling points!) So basically, no hidden fees.
Overall, it seems to be pretty close to our VFM criteria for the cord-cutters with a large selection of premium channel lineups (probably more than any other streaming services that we’ve had seen by far) and a solid cloud DVR on offer.
But, we won’t pronounce the verdict for our Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV face-off just yet without analyzing all the pros and cons of both the streaming service towards the end of our review.
Hulu + Live TV, the live TV streaming service from Hulu, launched in 2017 around the same period as YouTube TV, at $40 monthly, is a leading name among the online video streaming services.
Hulu + Live TV includes ad-supported access to Hulu Live’s vast on-demand content library along with Hulu’s Live TV services package, costing users $64.99 per month, which is about the same as YouTube TV.
Besides, Hulu Live also offers a plan that combines the ad-free version of Hulu with its Hulu Live TV plan for $70.99 per month.
In short, if you want to view Hulu’s on-demand library without any unwanted ads ruining your experience, you’re going to have to splurge on its $71 per month plan. (yikes, I mean, who’d want to watch those annoying ads?)
Hulu Live’s user interface is much more complex and feature-rich compared to YouTube TV’s.
It has 7 tabs at the top center of the homepage: Home, Live, My Stuff, TV, Movies, Hubs. You can sort the content by Most Watched or alphabetically on its channel guide.
Let us quickly look at the prominent features Hulu Live offers to its premium subscribers (as advertised) –
- Unlike YouTube TV, Hulu Live offers several subscription plans catering to its different user base.
- Hulu (ad-supported version) + Live TV – at $64.99.
- Hulu (no ads) + Live TV – at $70.99.
- Live TV with 60+ premium channels lineup. A streaming library with thousands of popular TV episodes and movies.
- Ad-free streaming library
- 2 simultaneous streams simultaneously (can upgrade to unlimited screens for an additional $9.99/month).
- Live TV recording with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (can upgrade to enhanced Cloud DVR add-on worth $9.99.
- Devices supported – Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Firestick, Android TV, iOS, Roku, Xbox, Vizio, Playstation.
Hulu Live sounds like quite a feature-loaded deal with many subscription plans and Hulu on-demand library on offer.
Let’s move on towards the final round of our Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV comparison and weigh in on the pros and cons of each of the two live TV streaming services through several metrics–
Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV: Pricing & Affordability: (Winner– A draw)
- It provides a contract-free, easy cancellation with no charges option.
- It has no hidden fees (as claimed by YouTube TV).
- It also provides a 2 week of free trial option for new eligible customers (still available as of November 2021)
- It’s an expensive deal, but since its competitors are way costlier than what YouTube offers, the verdict sort of goes in favor of YouTube TV.
- Its 4k streaming is not worth shelling an extra $20k over it, considering the limited amount of 4k content available to stream on the platform.
- A 7-day or one-week free trial for new eligible customers (still available as of November 2021)
- You may cancel or pause your subscription without any charges
- It’s also an expensive deal for many customers, especially the ad-free Live TV plans.
- The content quantity and offerings don’t justify the exorbitant pricing of Hulu Live TV.
Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV: Content Library: (Winner– YouTube TV)
- YouTube TV offers an extensive 85+ Live TV channel library including BBC World News, Fox news channel, Paramount Network, NBA TV, CNBC world, golf channel, Disney Channel, Olympic Channel, NBC sports network, BBC America, Food Network, CBS sports network, NBA league pass, NFL network, etc.
- In terms of cable news availability, YouTube TV offers CNBC, Fox News, CNN, Newsy, and MSNBC.
- YouTube TV apps on certain devices will hit you with the latest updates about the game you’re currently watching, and you can also see the score and more info during the commercials.
- It offers exclusive PBS, A&E, Fox Sports channels, History Channel, MLB Network, Sundance TV, NBA TV (not on Hulu Live)
- YouTube Red Originals are also available on YouTube TV.
- The constant rise in prices and extra charges by YouTube to justify more and more content added.
- Extra charges to be paid for 4k content Unlike Hulu live TV (not that it matter as much since there are not enough available options to watch)
- 60+ Live cable tv channels and major broadcast networks of sports, news, entertainment, anime, cooking channel, including Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BBC America, Fox Business, Food network, Paramount Network, ESPN, CBS sports network, Golf Channel, NBC sports network and many regional sports networks.
- Hulu Live TV’s on-demand content library and Hulu Originals are plus points.
- No extra charge for 4k content is included with the plan (not that it matter as much since there are not enough available options to watch).
- Limited content quantity offering in Hulu Live TV compared to YouTube TV.
- Bundled add-ons for HBO Max, SHOWTIME, Cinemax, STARZ, ESPN+. PBS, BBC World, MLB, etc., are missing in Hulu Live TV compared to YouTube TV.
Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV: Supported Devices: (Winner– Hulu Live TV)
Compatible with- Smart TVs (Android TV, Samsung, LG Smart TVs, Sony, Hisense, Vizio, SHARP), streaming media players (Chromecast, Fire TV & Fire TV stick, Apple TV, Roku (as of November 2021), gaming consoles (Xbox, Playstation), and smartphones (Android, iOS).
YouTube TV is not available on Roku Channel Store. Also, a recent negotiation failure between Roku and Google turned out to be a headache for the end-users.
This also means Google is likely to end all support to Roku by the end of this year, that is, December 2021. Roku has also issued a warning about the end of its ties with Google to its current customers.
- Compatible with- Android TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, iOS, Roku, Xbox, Vizio, Playstation.
- Nintendo Switch is also supported by Hulu Live TV, unlike YouTube TV.
- Moreover, with the Roku-Google feud already ongoing, Hulu will be the only one with Roku support in the future. So yet another reason Hulu live TV scores here over YouTube TV.
Hulu Live vs. YoutTube TV: Extra Features & Add-ons: (Winner– YouTube TV)
In addition to the usual channels and other streaming content, most live TV streaming services will offer you a ton of exclusive add-ons and premium channel bundles or packages to provide an option of extending customer offerings related to a particular type or genre of content.
Moreover, other advantages of subscribing to one or multiple add-on features besides a live TV service (rather than separately) may include not having to bother yourself with multiple logins, monthly bill deductions, or setting up and customizing different interfaces each time.
- YouTube TV subscription can get you Cinemax, Acorn TV, AMC Premiere, CuriosityStream, EPIX, HBO Max, NBA League Pass, Showtime, Starz, Sundance Now, and UMC alongside as part of their subscription package.
- YouTube TV also introduced a Sports Plus package add-on consisting of FOX College Sports, NFL RedZone, FOX Soccer Plus, GOLTV, Stadium, TVG, and MAVTV Motorsports Network.
- Another big pro with YouTube TV is its unlimited cloud DVR storage space which hooks you to keep your Live TV recording for up to 9 months, unlike Hulu Life. You can record your favorites and stream them wherever you are, on the go.
- You can unlock the following features on YouTube TV with the 4K Plus add-on:
4k Plus add-on-
It offers 4K playback of limited content available in 4k on a limited number of compatible devices.
It also supports offline viewing with a download option. There are also no limits on the number of simultaneous streams at home.
- YouTube TV’s 4k plus Live streaming add-on is expensive, and besides, it isn’t that appealing to customers as there is hardly a lot of content available in 4k.
Hulu Live TV–
- Some of the most popular add-ons on Hulu Live TV include an enhanced DVR storage system (200 hrs) at $9.99 per month, Unlimited Screens at $9.99 per month, and if you want to opt for both of these add-ons at the same time, you can get it at a $14.99 per month of the discounted price.
- Hulu Live doesn’t offer an unlimited DVR storage space; it provides only 5 hours of live TV recording compared to YouTube TV’s unlimited cloud space availability with recording up to 9 months.
- Besides, Hulu Live only provides you with 2 simultaneous streaming options, which are just not enough for people living within the same households willing to stream the content on multiple devices simultaneously.
To wrap up our Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV face-off, we won’t concern ourselves with winners and losers here because clearly, it’s an objective decision based on every customer’s needs and criteria.
However, in general, YouTube TV emerges as a clear winner in terms of the easy-to-use user interface, the vast array of add-ons and premium features, a solid DVR space, and the huge catalog of channels that it offers compared to the price. On the other hand, Hulu + Live TVs’ integration of Live TV, along with its attractive on-demand library, makes it a perfect choice for those looking for more varied content options at the same price.
I hope you found this Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV comparison interesting. And hopefully, your dilemma is clear to some extent.
So, who do you think is the winner of the big face-off between Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV? Do tell.