Hulu Live vs YouTube TV: The Better Streaming Service for Cord Cutters

Now You Know

The battle of streaming services was inevitable ever since the fall of cable TV. Now, more and more streaming giants have entered the game to fill the hole cable TV has left behind. In this article, we’re looking at Hulu Live and YouTube TV. Which one will come out on top in this battle of the streaming services? Let’s find out. 

 

 

Hulu Live vs YouTube TV: Overview

Youtube TV Hulu Line TV
Photo by AllConnect

 

Features Hulu+ Live TV YouTube TV
Monthly Basic Price $64.99 $64.99
Free Trial 7 Days 14 Days
Number of Channels 76 101
Ads Yes Yes
DVR Hours 50 Unlimited
Offline Playback Yes
Simultaneous Streams Allowed 2 3

 

A quick overview of Hulu Live and YouTube TV shows that the two services are pretty similar from the outside. Both packages have similar monthly prices and have equally strong offerings in terms of size and content. However, YouTube TV seems to have the advantage in the number of channels, DVR hours, and streams. On the other hand, Hulu Live seems to only have offline playback.

However, an in-depth look at either streaming service can show that there’s a lot more to unpack here. Is YouTube TV truly the winner in this battle of the streaming services? Well, the answer depends on what you’re after. That goes for both the type of content and features you’re looking for in a streaming service. Both have their merits and deserve a second look beyond the overview. Let’s go over their similarities and differences in terms of price, content, and features before deciding on a winner.

 

Hulu Live vs YouTube TV: Pricing Compared

Hulu Live vs YouTube TV
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You can’t compare Hulu Live and YouTube TV without comparing the price. After all, price is a major factor people always consider before jumping into any kind of purchasing decision. It’s even more important to weigh the cost if it’s something that you’ll have to pay for monthly.

Unfortunately, there’s no service we can give credit to for being affordable between Hulu Live and YouTube TV. Many people haven’t been so pleased by either company’s decision to increase their monthly prices. That’s especially so because they’re both incredibly huge platforms that many people use. On the other hand, perhaps their size is what gave both of them the confidence to raise prices.

Regardless, whether you opt for Hulu Live or YouTube TV, you’re going to pay quite a bit to stream content. That’s because both of them cost $65 monthly — and that’s only for the base package. However, YouTube TV leaped from $35 to $65 fairly quickly compared to Hulu Live. YouTube TV only cost $35/month back when it first launched in 2017. 

Nonetheless, it’s $65 monthly, whether you like it or not, for either service. Thankfully, however, it’ll be only $65 monthly, as there are no hidden fees like you’d find from local cable companies. Although you might have to contend with local sales taxes depending on your place of residence. It’s still a pretty high price to pay considering Sling TV and Philo only cost $35 and $25 (monthly), respectively.

That’s why the real tie-breaker will come later when we discuss the offerings between Hulu Live and YouTube TV. Both cost the same, so it’s a matter of which one provides the kind of content and service you want. With that said, let’s move on to the content offerings between Hulu Live and YouTube TV.

 

TV Channel Listings

TV Channel Listing
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If the sheer number of channels is what makes service better, then YouTube TV wins by a landslide. That’s because it offers 25 more channels compared to Hulu. Between Hulu Live and YouTube TV, YouTube is the obvious winner, right? Well, again, that depends on the content you want.

 

Broadcast & Cable Channels

Losing access to your favorite channels is probably what hurts the most for cord-cutters. Most people would still want to watch their favorite channels even after switching over to a streaming service. That’s why people tend to look for a service that has all of the channels they can’t do without.

Thankfully, regardless of what you choose between Hulu Live and YouTube TV, you’ll get most of the popular channels. This includes ESPN, CNN, TNT, TBS, and many more. Moreover, popular broadcast channels like FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS are also all included in both services. However, you’ll have to check your zip code on either website since some of these channels are regional.

On the other hand, YouTube TV does have a slight edge over Hulu Live, thanks to its access to PBS channels. Other than that, however, they mostly provide similar offerings to all of their users. 

 

News Channels

A lot of people consume news through social media nowadays. However, that doesn’t mean news from live TV isn’t still a thing. TV news watchers will want their favorite news channels on the list when choosing between Hulu Live and YouTube TV.

In this regard, there is a clear difference between Hulu Live and YouTube TV. That’s because Hulu Live only offers 10 news channels in total. These include ABC News Live, FOX Business, FOX News,  CNN International, CNN, Cheddar, CBSN, CNBC, HLN, and MSNBC.

On the other hand, YouTube TV has an advantage over Hulu Live because it offers 14 news channels in total. Most of what you get on Hulu Live (except CBSN and CNN International) is already on YouTube TV. In addition, it also includes BBC America, BBC World News, Newsy, TYT, CNBC World, and Local Now.

 

Sports Channels

Access to sports channels is one of the biggest factors people consider when choosing between Hulu Live and YouTube TV. Of course, some sports air on broadcast networks already. However, overflow coverage, non-primetime shows, and others only exist in more niche sports channels.

There’s no winner between Hulu Live and YouTube TV when it comes to the number of sports channels they provide. That’s because both services offer roughly similar coverage. Hulu Live has 18 sports-specific channels, while YouTube TV falls short of one at 17 channels. 

Regardless, where they do differ is in which sports channels each offers. Here’s a quick list of which sports channels the two services have: 

Both Hulu Live Only YouTube TV Only
ACC Network ESPN Bases Loaded NFL Network
BTN ESPN College Extra MLB Network
CBS Sports Network ESPN Goal Line NBA TV
ESPN ESPN 3 Tennis Channel
ESPN 2 YES
ESPNews
ESPN U
FS1
FS2
Golf Channel
NBC Sports Network
Olympic Channel
SEC Network
SNY

 

Others

Aside from the channel listings, Hulu Live also comes with access to Hulu’s on-demand library. If you don’t know what that is, it’s essentially a standalone Hulu service offered for $5.99 monthly. Subscribing to Hulu Live instantly gets you that benefit (although you’ll have to deal with ads in between).

Moreover, Hulu Live has also added anime to its library. Hence, anime lovers might want to consider the service over YouTube TV if they’re after anime shows and movies. Lastly, Hulu Live also has the benefit of being able to bundle with ESPN+ and Disney+. 

 

Hulu Live vs YouTube TV: Original Shows

Original Shows
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Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are both great at producing original content that other streaming services simply lack. In the case of Hulu Live vs YouTube TV, Hulu Live might have the upper hand. That’s because Hulu Live, while not quite matching up to sites like Netflix, does produce originals.

Hulu Live has produced some stand-out shows including Castle Rock, Catch-22, Casual, The Handmaid’s Tale, Harlots, and Ramy among others. On the other hand, YouTube TV also provides a couple of YouTube Originals. However, they don’t quite match Hulu’s library. 

This is, in part, because subscribing to Hulu Live also opens up the Hulu library of on-demand content. While YouTube TV also has on-demand shows and movies, they’re only taken from YouTube TV’s participating networks and shows. With all of that said, between Hulu Live vs YouTube TV, Hulu is the clear winner in terms of originals.

 

DVR Hours and Offline Playback

People have turned to platforms like Netflix and Disney+ because they’re able to consume content on their own time. However, in the case of streaming services that offer TV channels, the problem arises yet again. That’s why checking a streaming platform’s number of available DVR hours is so important.

As we saw in the overview, Hulu Live only has 50 hours of cloud DVR, while YouTube TV has unlimited. Hence, if you love recording shows and watching them later on, you’re better off choosing YouTube TV. Unlimited storage is the better option — and it’s already included in the monthly subscription.

In contrast, Hulu Live lags behind with only 50 hours’ worth of cloud DVR. It does have an “Enhanced Cloud DVR” upgrade that you can purchase for $10 more (also paid monthly). However, it still only adds 200 hours of storage — mere pennies compared to YouTube TV.

In addition, YouTube TV also offers better overall quality when it comes to recording content. Hence, it’s truly the way to go if you’re more into watching content on your own time. Moreover, it even allows you to stream your cloud DVR library from any platform and device by default. There’s also a handy feature that allows you to fast forward through commercials within the recordings. 

Unfortunately, Hulu Live just can’t match up even when it comes to these basic features. You’ll have to sign up for the Enhanced Cloud DVR add-on if you want any of those perks. Thanks to that, YouTube TV wins by a landslide — no questions asked.

 

Simultaneous Streams and Profiles

When choosing between Hulu Live and YouTube TV, everyone has to consider the number of simultaneous streams you can do. That’s because both have a limit, with Hulu allowing only 2 devices at a time and YouTube TV allowing 3. You may think that’s not a big difference. However, large households with a lot of kids, relatives, or housemates staying with them might need the extra device.

With that said, YouTube TV is a better choice by default. Unfortunately, the benefit ends there as YouTube TV doesn’t provide an option to upgrade their simultaneous streams. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem for most households who simply need channels on 3 home devices. However, there’s no way for folks to exceed that number.

On the other hand, Hulu Live only allows for 2 concurrent viewers at a time with their base plan. However, they do provide the option to upgrade the number of concurrent devices to unlimited. Moreover, this upgrade also provides the option to stream from outside the house on up to 3 mobile devices. However, it will cost an extra $9.99 monthly. 

Lastly, things come back to a tie between Hulu Live and YouTube TV when it comes to streaming profiles. That’s because both offer 6 profiles by default so it doesn’t make much of a difference which you go for.

 

Picture and Streaming Quality

Hulu vs Youtube TV stream
Photo by terovesalainen on Adobe Stock

In terms of picture quality between Hulu Live and YouTube TV, the latter might have the upper hand. However, that comes at a great cost that not everybody might be ready for. Let us explain.

When you subscribe to Hulu Live, the quality you’ll get won’t be in 4K. That’s because Hulu has a very small selection of 4K content in its library. On the other hand, most channels don’t stream in 4K anyway, so sticking to HD and FHD makes more sense. Hence, you can only watch videos in 720p@60fps or 1080p@60fps with Hulu Live. Moreover, the quality will adjust based on your internet speed, the source channel’s quality, and the streaming device’s capabilities.

On the other hand, YouTube TV mostly offers things with about the same quality. However, it does have the option of watching all of the content in 4K (if compatible). Unfortunately, this comes at an extra $19.99 monthly. That’s a huge increase in price for many users, especially when you’re on a budget. 

Nonetheless, at least YouTube TV has the offering available. However, you should note that it’s subject to the same kind of restrictions most 4K content have to contend with. That is the internet speed, whether the content itself comes in 4K, and whether your device supports it.

 

Device Compatibility

Devive Compatibility
Photo by YouTube Tv

When it comes to compatibility, we are, again, faced with a tie between Hulu Live and YouTube TV. That’s because both services are accessible on mostly the same platforms. This includes Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, and Fire TV. 

Moreover, both services are also accessible through select smart TVs, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. However, the only difference is that YouTube TV isn’t accessible on the Nintendo Switch, while Hulu Live is. That’s hardly a deal-breaker because most people won’t stream through gaming consoles anyway.

For a more detailed list of each platform’s supported devices, check out the table below:

Hulu+ Live TV YouTube TV
Android TV Android TV*
Apple TV (4th generation or later) Apple TV (4th generation) and Apple TV 4K
Chromecast with Google TV Amazon Fire TV line of products
Fire TV and Fire TV Stick Chromecast with Google TV
LG TV (certain models) HiSense TVs
Nintendo Switch PS4 and PS5
PS4 and PS5 Samsung & LG Smart TVs (2016 and later)
Roku and Roku Stick (certain models) TiVo Stream 4K
Samsung TV (certain models) Vizio SmartCast TVs
Xbox 360 and Xbox One Xbox One, One X, One S, Series X, and Series S

*Some TVs running Android’s mobile OS might not be supported

 

What We Like About Hulu Live

hulu Live
Photo by monticellllo on Adobe Stock

As you can see, Hulu has some clear advantages in the fight between Hulu Live vs YouTube TV. That’s because it has an excellent selection of original and on-demand content, despite having fewer channels. Overall, it’s enough to satisfy most consumers who are looking for good-quality content and the opportunity to cut the cord.

Moreover, Hulu Live also has the option of bundling with Disney+ and ESPN+. If you’re a big fan of those services, then it might be worth looking into Hulu Live a bit more. It’s also the better choice if you’re willing to pay more for additional concurrent streams — something YouTube TV doesn’t have. 

 

What We Like About YouTube TV

Youtube TV
Photo by monticellllo on Adobe Stock

On the other hand, YouTube TV also has tons of advantages over Hulu Live in terms of features. For one, it offers 3 simultaneous streams by default, which is enough for most households. Moreover, its cloud DVR storage is superior as it comes with unlimited storage. It also has the option to fast-forward through commercials on those recordings whereas Hulu forces you to sit through them.

Furthermore, YouTube TV also offers the ability to upgrade to a 4K plan. While this does come at a cost, it’s still better than not having the option at all. Lastly, YouTube TV also provides an extensive lineup of channels for sports, news, and entertainment. 

 

Verdict

With all of that said, which one is the winner between Hulu Live vs YouTube TV? The answer: it depends. Both streaming services are great for cord-cutters, regardless of which you choose. That’s because either way, you’ll be able to access most of the channels you used to love on TV. Moreover, both of them also offer similar features and similar prices — making it tough to choose. 

Hence, it mostly depends on the more minor details. Consider which one carries most of the channels you can’t go without. That alone can narrow down your choice fairly quickly. On the other hand, you might also want to consider the add-ons and the other features. Is having more original content to watch what you want in a service? Perhaps you prefer having tons of DVR recordings to watch on your own time? Regardless, both of the services are top-tier so there’s truly not a good or bad choice.

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