Hulu with Live TV is a popular live TV streaming service, but there are some things that Roku users need to know before they sign up.
In this post, I’ll explain how to get started with Hulu’s live TV streaming service and cut the cord.
Hulu + Live TV Review: Roku Edition
I’ve tested all of the major live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, Fubo, DIRECTV STREAM and Philo, but Hulu Live offers something a little bit special.
After its latest price adjustment, the service includes the Disney Bundle (Basic Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+) with the live TV plan.
The biggest complaints I’ve heard about Hulu with Live TV over the years are related to the navigation, but some improvements have been made to its home screen and live guide.
I’ll address everything in my real customer review. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Plans and Pricing
- Channel Lineup
- Cloud DVR
- Supported Devices
- Multiple Streams
- Roku Navigation
1. How Much Does Hulu + Live TV Cost?
Hulu with Live TV starts at $69.99 per month. It includes access to Hulu’s entire on-demand streaming library with ads, plus Disney+ and ESPN+.
Although Hulu has just one main package for its live TV service, there are several add-ons that can reduce the savings over cable or satellite TV:
- Unlimited screens: $9.99/month
- Sports add-on with NFL RedZone: $9.99/month
- Entertainment add-on: $7.99/month
- HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz: $8.99 to $14.99/month each
Hulu with Live TV has no contracts or long-term commitments. You can cancel anytime. The service does not offer a free trial.
2. What Channels Do You Get With Hulu + Live TV?
Hulu’s live TV streaming service offers more than 90 news, sports, entertainment and children’s networks — plus the on-demand streaming library.
Hulu Live’s channel lineup is very similar to what you get with YouTube TV, but it’s not identical. Here’s a look at some of the networks included:
- Locals: ABC, CBS, FOX NBC, PBS
- Sports: ESPN, FS1, FS2, ACC Network, Big 10 Network, SEC Network, Golf Channel, NFL Network
- News: CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, HLN, CNBC
- Entertainment: A&E, BET, Bravo, Discovery, Freeform, HGTV, Lifetime, Paramount Network, TBS, TNT, USA
With this service, you will most likely receive all of your local broadcast TV stations (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), but make sure to enter your ZIP code on Hulu’s website for the official channel list.
3. Does Hulu With Live TV include DVR?
There’s so much on-demand content with Hulu’s live TV service that I don’t use my DVR very much, but it does come in handy when you want to record live sports or news events.
As of April 13, 2022, Hulu Live offers unlimited cloud DVR storage at no additional charge. Recordings can be saved for up to nine months.
You can also fast-forward through the commercials of your recordings.
Previously, Hulu Live’s base plan offered only 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and you couldn’t skip ads. To get more storage and skip ads, you had to upgrade to the Enhanced Cloud DVR add-on.
Not anymore. Unlimited cloud DVR storage is available to all Hulu Live subscribers with the base plan.
4. What Devices Does Hulu + Live TV Support?
Whether you want to stream on your TV, phone or computer, Hulu with Live TV has you covered.
To watch on the big screen, I’ve used Chromecast with Google TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku Express 4K+ to stream Hulu with Live TV — and I like Roku the best.
The Hulu app loads quickly and has very infrequent buffering when I use a Roku device.
Hulu + Live TV Supported Devices:
- Android phones and tablets
- Android TV (select models)
- Apple TV (4th generation or later)
- Echo Show
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- iPhones and iPads
- LG TV (select models)
- Nintendo Switch
- Mac and PC browsers/apps
- Roku (select models)
- Samsung TV (select models)
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box
Important: Hulu with Live TV is for a single household — no sharing allowed.
If you’re outside of your home network, you can’t stream using a living room device (like a Roku), but you can watch live TV on your phone anywhere in the U.S.
5. Can Multiple People Use Hulu + Live TV at the Same Time?
Hulu with Live TV allows users to stream simultaneously on two devices, which is definitely important if you have people in your house with different TV tastes.
For example, you could watch something on Hulu with Live TV from the living room and your kids could watch something else in the basement.
If you have a larger household, two streams may not be enough. Unfortunately, Hulu Live has not increased the number of streams allowed in the base plan like some of its competitors.
Instead, it offers a $9.99 per month upgrade for unlimited streams.
6. How Reliable Is Hulu + Live TV?
I’ve tested Hulu Live many times since it first launched in mid-2017. Back then, I had quite a bit of trouble with reliability issues despite a strong internet connection.
But more recently, I’ve experienced very limited buffering and error messages while streaming Hulu Live on Roku devices.
For some context, my internet service has download speeds of up to 300 Mbps. Hulu Live recommends a download speed of 8 Mbps for a “consistent, quality viewing experience.”
If you’ve had a different experience with Hulu’s live TV streaming quality, share a comment below. Include your internet download speed and the streaming device you use.
7. How Do I Stream Hulu Live Using a Roku Device?
Hulu’s live TV service is part of the regular Hulu app that you may have seen on Roku before.
I put together the video below to explain how to navigate Hulu + Live TV using a Roku device. I hope this will be helpful to people who are trying to cut the cord.
(Scroll past the video if you prefer to read a text summary of the Roku navigation features.)
Hulu + Live TV on Roku: Navigation Tips and Tricks
- Create a profile: After you sign up for Hulu with Live TV, create a profile and don’t skip the personalization! This will help Hulu recommend programming for you. This first step will make navigating Hulu so much easier for first-timers.
- Home screen: This is where you’ll find recommendations based on your favorite interests, shows, movies, networks and even sports teams. Click over to Keep Watching to pick up on content that you’ve already started streaming.
- TV guide: When you navigate to Live TV, press down on your Roku remote to access the traditional TV guide, also known as the grid guide. After an update in late 2019, you can now see what’s airing up to two weeks in advance.
- My Stuff: When you’re watching live TV, click the asterisk (star) button on your Roku remote to add the program to My Stuff. From the My Stuff tab, you’ll find everything that you save, including DVR recordings. You can also select recording options, like whether to record new episodes or new episodes and reruns of a particular show.
- Browse: Hulu tries to make it easy to find content to watch by showing it in multiple places. The browse tab displays different types of programming (TV shows, movies, sports, news, kids, on-demand) with graphics, similar to Netflix. This is where I go when I don’t know what to watch.
- Search: If you know what you’re looking for and want to get there quickly, the search bar may be your best option. Click over with your Roku remote and a keyboard will appear. As you enter letters, Hulu will bring up top results. You can also find trending searches from this tab.
- Your account: The last tab is where you can set up new profiles for different family members, up to six profiles total. Aside from that, most other account activities must be completed online at hulu.com/account. That’s where to go to manage your plan, change your payment method or cancel your account.
- Exiting the Hulu app: When you’re finished watching Hulu with Live TV, don’t just turn off the TV and go on with your day. The app may still be running in the background. To avoid this, click the home button on your Roku remote to close the Hulu app before you power off your TV set.
Hulu + Live TV Pros and Cons Summary
What I’ve learned over the past few years is that people like the idea of saving money with live TV streaming services, but they really want it to look and feel like cable.
Hulu with Live TV is nothing like traditional cable or satellite TV, so it takes some adjusting.
|Great channel lineup||High monthly price; tends to raise price every December|
|Disney Bundle included (Basic Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+)||No free trial|
|Unlimited cloud DVR storage included||Only two simultaneous streams allowed|
|No contract or hidden fees||Few regional sports networks offered|
|Poor user interface, particularly the live guide|
With the sharp increase in Hulu Live’s price over the years, the service makes the most sense for people who take advantage of the Disney Bundle that’s included as of the December 2021 price increase.