February 13, 2020

Hulu Plus Review: Pros and Cons

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Hulu Plus offers tons of on-demand content and live TV. That seems like the best of both worlds. So is it worth adding another streaming service to your monthly bills? Find the answers in our guide.

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In our guide, we cover:

With the rise of streaming platforms, it's hard to keep track of all the places to watch your favorite shows and movies. It's even harder to decide which ones are worth your time (and money).

For TV lovers, in particular, Hulu Plus is worth a look. It combines a huge library of on-demand content, much like Netflix and other competing platforms. But it also has live television streaming for news, sports, shows, and other programming similar to cable or satellite service.

You can watch Hulu from a variety of streaming devices (including cell phones and tablets) as long as you have an internet connection. All you need to do is sign up for the free trial and download the app.

What Is Hulu Plus?

Hulu Plus Live TV is a streaming plan offering a huge library of on-demand television shows and movies, plus more than 60 live channels. You subscribe monthly with no long-term commitments, so you can change your plan or cancel at any time.

Read on for a sampling of what Hulu Plus Live TV offers.

Hulu Plus Free Trial
Hulu offers new customers a 7-day free trial for its Hulu Plus Live TV plan and a full free month for its basic Hulu service. Visit the website to learn more.

What Channels Does Hulu Plus Live TV Have?

Hulu Plus Live TV offers a combination of local networks and popular national and syndicated channels, though the lineup may vary by region. In most places, you'll get local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX.

Other live channels may include:

Entertainment and Lifestyle

  • A&E
  • Animal Planet
  • Bravo
  • Cozi TV
  • Discovery Channel
  • E!
  • Food Network
  • Freeform
  • Fox
  • FX
  • FXX
  • HGTV
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Motor Trend
  • My TV Network
  • NASA
  • National Geographic
  • National Geographic Wild
  • Oxygen
  • Pop
  • Smithsonian
  • SyFy
  • TBS
  • History Channel
  • Travel Channel
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • TruTV
  • USA
  • Viceland

Family and Children

  • Boomerang
  • Cartoon Network
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney XD
  • Disney Junior
  • Universal Kids

Movie Channels

  • FXM
  • TCM


  • ABC News
  • CBSN
  • Cheddar
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • CNN International
  • Fox Business Network
  • Fox News Channel
  • HLN Channel


  • ACCN
  • Big Ten Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • ESPN-SEC Network
  • ESPN Goal Line
  • ESPN Bases Loaded
  • ESPN College Extra
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Fox Sports 2
  • Fox Sports West
  • Fox Sports Prime Ticket
  • Golf Channel
  • NBC Golf
  • Olympic Channel

Hulu Movies and TV Shows

Hulu Plus Live TV also includes unlimited access to the platform's streaming library. While the platform offers a broad selection of movies, it's better known for its television.

Subscribers can watch shows from a variety of networks. That means your favorite shows from channels like AMC, A&E, FX, and TNT as well as exclusive Hulu Originals produced for the platform. You'll find something for every taste and mood, from comedy to drama to reality TV.

Here's a sampling of Hulu's on-demand content.


  • Shazam
  • Us
  • Book Smart
  • Creed II
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Shrek
  • Gone Baby Gone


  • Shameless
  • The L Word
  • It's Always Sunny
  • Rick and Morty
  • Seinfeld
  • This is Us
  • Black-ish
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Keeping Up With the Kardashians
  • Shark Tank
  • Fixer Upper

Hulu Originals

  • Handmaid's Tale
  • Castle Rock
  • Letterkenny
  • Ramy
  • Catch-22

You can watch your favorite shows all in one place with Hulu Plus Live TV. But what will it cost you? Keep reading to find out.

Difference between Hulu vs Hulu Plus
Hulu and Hulu Plus are both types of plans offered by the same streaming platform. The basic service offers only on-demand content from Hulu's wide collection of movies and TV shows. Hulu Plus expands that service to include local and popular live TV channels.

How Much Does Hulu Cost?

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Hulu offers two main plans along with some add-ons. We break each down below.

Does Hulu offer Disney+?
Though both platforms are owned by Disney, you can't watch Disney+ programs through Hulu. However, fans of the new streaming service can bundle Disney+ with Hulu's basic plan (including ads) and ESPN+ for $13.99 a month.

Hulu Plans

Looking to subscribe to Hulu's streaming platform? Here are your choices.

The basic service lets you watch anything in the platform's streaming library, from movies to popular television shows to exclusive series like Handmaid's Tale produced by Hulu. You can only watch on one screen or device at a time.

$5.99/monthly with limited ads
$11.99/monthly with no ads

Hulu + Live TV
This "deluxe" option combines Hulu's library of popular movies and TV shows with access to live television channels (more on this below). That means you can watch your favorite shows, news programs, and sports in real-time, just like you would with a cable subscription.

Hulu + Live TV also offers 50 hours of DVR storage. You can watch on two screens or tablets at one time.

$54.99/monthly with limited ads
$60.99/monthly with no ads

Hulu + Live TV's ad free option does not apply to live broadcasts. In other words, you will still see ads if you are watching (or DVRing) a local news broadcast, network show, or sporting event. In addition, some shows in the Hulu library may contain ads at the beginning or end even for those subscribed to no-ad plans due to licensing agreements.

Hulu Add-ons

You can enhance your monthly Hulu or Hulu Plus plan by subscribing to premium channels like:

  • HBO: $14.99 a month
  • SHOWTIME: $10.99 a month
  • CINEMAX: $9.99 a month
  • STARZ: $8.99 a month

Hulu Plus Live TV subscribers can also add the following features:

Enhanced Cloud DVR
Boost your Live TV storage from 50 to 200 hours for $9.99 more a month.

Unlimited Screens
Go from two screens to as many as you like for $9.99 a month.

You can combine the Enhanced DVR and Unlimited Screens Add-ons for $14.98/monthly. That's a savings of $5 every month.

Español Channels
For $4.99 a month, you can add Spanish-speaking channels, including:

  • CNN en Español
  • Discovery en Español
  • Discovery Familia
  • ESPN Deportes
  • FOX Desportes
  • History Channel en Español
  • NBC Universo

Entertainment Channels
Hulu offers additional channels focused on cooking, lifestyle, history, news, and other interests for $7.99 a month. These include:

  • Science
  • American Heroes Channel
  • CNBC World
  • Cooking Channel
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Family and Life
  • DIY
  • FYI Channel
  • Great American Country
  • Lifetime Movies

Hulu Customer Service
You can contact Hulu through chat or by phone 24/7. Call 877-824-4858 to speak with a live customer service rep. Hulu also proves a comprehensive help section on its website for a variety of issues related to your service.

How to Watch Hulu Plus

You can watch Hulu Plus on a number of streaming devices. Many come with the Hulu app pre-installed. In other cases (like with your phone or tablet), you may need to download it.

Here are just some of the streaming devices that support Hulu (you can find the full list on the Hulu site):

Latest App (with live TV)

  • Fire tablets
  • Android devices including Android TV
  • Chromecast
  • Roku and Roku Stick
  • Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players
  • iPhones, iPads
  • Apple TV (latest generation)
  • Xbox
  • Playstation
  • Mac and PC browsers
  • Nintendo Switch

Classic App (no live TV)

  • Apple TV (2nd & 3rd generation)
  • LG Smart TVs and Blu-ray players
  • Roku and Roku Stick
  • Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players
  • Sony Smart TVs and Blu-ray players
  • TiVO
  • VIZIO Tvs

Is my internet fast enough for Hulu Plus?
Hulu's streaming content requires different speeds for certain types of content:
  • 3.0 Mbps for on-demand streaming library
  • 8.0 Mbps for live streams
  • 16.0 Mbps for 4K content
Internet speeds vary greatly by provider and region. Check your connection before subscribing.

How to Sign Up for Hulu Plus

You can subscribe to Hulu Plus or basic Hulu service by visiting the site on your computer or mobile device. Follow these steps:

  1. Scroll to the Select Your Plan section on the homepage.
  2. Choose Hulu or Hulu Plus Live TV
  3. Select either the No Ads or Ad Supported option
  4. Pick any Add-ons

You'll then be asked to create an account with basic information, including your email address, name, address, and payment information. You won't be charged until the end of your free trial (1 month for basic Hulu and 1 week for Hulu Plus).

Once your subscription is complete, you may need to download the Hulu app and sign in with your email and password to start watching.

How do you cancel Hulu?
Hulu lets you cancel service right from your account. Simply log in, click on your profile number, and find Cancel Subscription. You will be asked to give a reason, but the cancellation will be automatic as soon as you confirm. However, you can still watch Hulu content until the end of that billing cycle.

How Hulu Plus Compares

As the number of cord-cutters continues to grow, there is no shortage of streaming services for TV and movie lovers. Read on to see how Hulu Plus stacks up.

Arguably the best known on-demand streaming platform, Netflix has a huge revolving library of content. While Hulu can't compete with Netflix's ever-growing roster of original programming, its selection of current and popular television shows may be superior.

Netflix has (so far) no live TV options, so it's not an apples-to-apples comparison to Hulu Plus. But Hulu's ad-supported basic plan actually costs less.

Bottom Line: Choose Netflix for its original programming. But if you're looking to keep up—or catch up—with your favorite TV show, Hulu is probably the better bet.

Amazon Prime Video
Another popular streaming platform, Amazon Prime Video has a more modest library of shows and movies. Like Netflix, it's steadily building a roster of original shows that you can't watch elsewhere—even on Hulu.

But it's live Thursday Night NFL Football games can't compete with Hulu's robust Live TV options. An Amazon Prime membership costs more than basic Hulu, too, though you're getting a boatload of other features, including 2-day shipping.

Bottom Line: Treat Amazon Prime Video as a perk in the overall Prime package, but don't sign up for that reason.

Sling TV
Sling TV competes with Hulu Plus mainly on the strength of its live TV offerings. The platform has more packages than Hulu, including some cheaper plans. But you'll get fewer channels and less DVR storage. Its best plan offers 51 channels for $45 a month, with the option to add extras for extra cash.

Bottom Line: Hulu offers roughly the same live TV options for a similar price AND you get access to its huge on-demand library. That's a no-brainer.

Bottom Line

Hulu Plus gives you a comparable amount of content to Netflix (particularly on the TV side) and live TV like a cable or satellite provider. And the price is reasonable enough to consider subscribing to an additional streaming platform (or maybe a couple of streaming platforms).

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Hulu Channels and Plans Explained

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What channels come with your Hulu plan? And is it worth it? Learn the full lineup, price, and how to watch your favorite shows.

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