Hulu allows subscribers to stream on up to two devices at the same time. The two-stream limit is regardless of whether subscribing to basic Hulu or Hulu with live TV. Hulu live subscribers do have the added benefit of paying for an Unlimited Screens add-on that greatly increases the number of simultaneous streams. However, the exact number of same-time add-on streams will depend on whether connected to the home network.
Simultaneous streams is one of the few features that consumers should be aware of before signing up to a new service. Like price and channels, the number of streams varies greatly between services and these limitations can have a direct impact on the overall user experience. Therefore, understanding a streaming service’s same-time streams policy is a good way to make sure the streaming service is actually the right one for an individual or household.
Hulu provides subscribers with up to two simultaneous streams. This limitation applies to both Hulu basic and Hulu live subscribers equally. Furthermore, this is a combined total and not an individual total for the two Hulu subscriptions. In other words, although basic Hulu is included with a Hulu live subscription, there are no additional streams added. A Hulu live subscriber can only stream on two devices at the same time, regardless of whether they are streaming from the basic catalog or live TV.
Adding more Hulu live streams
While basic Hulu subscribers currently have no option to upgrade the number of streams, Hulu live subscribers can. At present, Hulu offers an Unlimited Screens add-on for an additional $9.99 per month.
Once added to a Hulu live TV package, the add-on provides the subscriber with the option to stream on as many devices as they want. However, while it is unlimited, there are some restrictions as it is not as unlimited as the add-on name suggests. The main difference comes down to the home network.
When connected to the home network, Hulu allows streaming on as many devices as is needed. Technically, Hulu doesn’t say unlimited but does say “any number of supported devices.” Therefore, some users might find they are still unable to stream on select devices, regardless of how many streams are being used at the time.
Where the issue gets more complicated is when trying to access Hulu away from home. Due to Hulu’s home network policy, the company does not allow as many streams to be used when away from home as when home. This is not the case with the default two streams, but as additional streams are added, the number is affected.
For example, when away from home and paying for the Unlimited Screens add-on, Hulu subscribers can still only stream on up to three devices at the same time. That is, three devices at the same time that are not currently connected to the home network.
This limitation is specific to mobile devices as the service tends to not allow connections through ‘living room’ devices when away from home, irrespective of stream allowance.
Hulu simultaneous streams summary
Hulu’s approach to simultaneous streams is fairly simple, considering both basic Hulu and Hulu live subscribers only get access to two streams at the same time. With no option to upgrade, that’s the only number of same-time streams available to basic Hulu subscribers.
Unlike the basic subscription, Hulu live TV subscribers can choose to pay an additional $9.99 per month for the Unlimited Screens add-on. Once enabled, the add-on allows live TV subscribers to stream on as many devices at the same time as they want, as long as those devices are connected to the home network. When away from home, Hulu live subscribers will see the Unlimited Screen add-on only provide the option to stream on three mobile devices at the same time.