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5 Reasons Why You Might Want To Avoid Hulu Live TV

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Hulu offers a very good live TV service but there are some reasons why you might want to avoid it. Here we are discussing the five things that would make us think twice before signing up.

Hulu Live TV is not the only live TV service that has downsides, and there are plenty of reasons why you should go with Hulu as your live TV provider. For example, the selection of channels, additional content, the DVR, app experience, and overall value.

Hulu Live TV
Hulu LIve TV guide$77+ a month
95+ channels
2 streams
Unlimited DVR
Disney+ and ESPN+
Sign up

However, Hulu’s subscription service does come with various caveats and restrictions. While they all won’t matter to every home, you may find that one of them could be a deal-breaker for you and the live TV needs of your home.

Reasons to avoid Hulu Live TV:

Below are five things we think you should take into consideration when deciding on whether Hulu Live TV is the right service for you.

  1. Cheaper options available
  2. Missing channels
  3. Home network restrictions
  4. Limited simultaneous streams
  5. No free trial

Reason 1: Cheaper live TV plans available

Hulu Live TV is priced fairly when you consider everything that’s included with a subscription. That said, fairly is not the same as cheap, and Hulu’s live TV service is very far from being cheap.

A standard Hulu Live TV subscription also includes access to basic Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, and all of this costs $69.99 per month. At this price, however, Hulu’s live TV package is more expensive than plans from Sling TV, Philo, and Frndly TV.

ServicePrice (p/m)
DirecTV Stream$75
YouTube TV$73
Hulu Live TV$70
Sling TV$40
Frndly TV$7

Even though the price is competitive when comparing to DirecTV Stream, Fubo, Vidgo, and YouTube TV, some homes may find one of these services offer a more suitable channel lineup or better features for the same price or a few dollars more.

Again, Hulu’s live TV service does offer good value overall, but if you don’t need or want all of what Hulu bundles with its live TV package, then you will likely find a cheaper or better live TV plan elsewhere.

Reason 2: Missing channels

Overall, Hulu does provide access to a varied selection of live TV channels and manages to strike a good balance between news, sports, and entertainment. However, Hulu Live TV is still missing plenty of popular channels and just one of them could be enough of a reason to avoid signing up.

Hulu Live TV is missing the likes of AMC, BBC America, IFC, Tastemade, and Univision. However, its channel gaps become even more apparent for anyone interested in watching live sports.

Not only is Hulu Live TV missing MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network, but it is also missing many regional and local sports stations, including Bally Sports RSNs, Longhorn Network, Marquee Sports Network, and YES Network.

Reason 3: Home network restrictions

One of the major limitations with Hulu Live TV is its home network policy which requires live TV subscribers to confirm a network (internet connection) as their ‘Home network’ within the first 30 days of signing up.

Once a network has been designated as the home network, subscribers will then be locked out of accessing the service on living room devices (smart TVs, streaming players, etc) that connect to a different network.

While mobile devices (phones, laptops, etc) are able to be used outside of Hulu’s Home network, they still need to ‘check in’ at least once every 30 days to avoid any interruption. Basically, if you own two homes and want access to live TV in both, you will likely need two different live TV subscriptions.

HUlu live TV away from home
Can’t access away from home on living room devices

This restriction doesn’t only affect homeowners, but also anyone who routinely spends time at two different locations. For example, students who spend some of the year away studying will also run into issues on certain devices.

To be fair to Hulu, other live TV streaming services do tend to impose similar ‘home network’ or ‘home area’ restrictions, so this isn’t just a Hulu problem. Regardless of those other services, if you are considering Hulu Live TV, and for use in more than one property, the Home network policy could end up being a major reason why you don’t subscribe.

Reason 4: Limited simultaneous streams

Another reason that might make you think twice before signing up to Hulu Live TV is the service’s simultaneous streams support. More specifically, the limited support when compared to other live TV services.

Over the years, other live TV streaming services have upgraded their plans to offer an unlimited number of streams at home. While Hulu does also offer unlimited streams, the additional streams are only available to subscribers that pay an additional $9.99 per month for the Unlimited Screens add-on.

For those that don’t upgrade to Unlimited Screens Add-on, they will be limited to just two screens at the same time. Compared to the other streaming services, including those that also limit the number of streams, Hulu offers one of the fewest streams at the same time.

While two same-time streams might be enough for some homes, busy households where multiple people are likely to watch live TV (or on-demand content/recordings) at the same time on different devices may find find this restriction too much.

Reason 5: No free trial

A final reason to consider skipping Hulu Live TV, at least before trying the others, is the lack of a free trial. Even though this is less of a reason than the channel selection or the price, it is still an important distinction between Hulu’s live TV service and others.

For example, if you know the channel lineup is what you are looking for, and at a price that you are happy to pay, then it makes sense to sign up, pay, and try Hulu Live TV. However, if you are unsure of what you want from a live TV service, then you are looking at paying $70+ just to find out.

In contrast, DirecTV Stream, Fubo, Sling TV (on select devices) and YouTube TV will all let you test run their live TV packages before paying.

ServiceTrial length
Frndly TV7 days
Fubo7 days
Philo7 days
YouTube TV7 days
Directv Stream5 days
Sling TV3 days (select devices)
Hulu Live TVNone

While some of these free trials might only last a few days, it still makes them a better choice to try before signing up and paying to find out if Hulu Live TV is right for you.

Avoid Hulu Live TV: recap

Hulu is a great live TV streaming service and, overall, does offer enough features at a decent price to suit the needs of many homes. However, either the cost, the lack of a free trial, the channel selection, the number of streams, or the home network policy could prove problematic for some homes.

Obviously, the more of these reasons that apply to your individual situation, the more likely that Hulu Live TV is probably not the right live TV service for you and your home.

At the same time, if none of these reasons have put you off, then Hulu Live TV is probably the live TV service you should check out next.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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