Hulu new grid guide 2019

Hulu With Live TV on Roku: 7 Things to Know Before You Sign Up

Hulu with Live TV is my favorite live TV streaming service, but there are some things that Roku users need to know before they sign up for a free trial.

In this post, I’ll explain how to get started with Hulu’s live TV streaming service and cut the cord.

Hulu with Live TV Review: Roku edition

I’ve tested all of the major live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now and Philo, but I keep coming back to Hulu.

The reason? Hulu’s live TV plan has the best mix of live news, sports and entertainment.

The biggest complaints I hear about Hulu with Live TV 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. Read on for the details…

Hulu with Live TV using a Roku: Table of contents 

  1. Plans and pricing
  2. Channel lineup
  3. Cloud DVR
  4. Supported devices
  5. Multiple streams
  6. Reliability
  7. Roku navigation

1. How much does Hulu with Live TV cost? 

Hulu with Live TV has a single plan that costs $54.99 a month. It includes access to Hulu’s entire on-demand streaming library with limited ads.

The price will increase to $64.99 per month as of December 18, 2020. 

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:

  • Enhanced DVR: $9.99/month
  • Unlimited screens: $9.99/month
  • Enhanced DVR + Unlimited screens bundle: $14.98 month
  • HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz: $8.99 to $14.99/month each

Hulu with Live TV has a 7-day free trial. There are no contracts or long-term commitments.

2. What channels do you get with Hulu + Live TV? 

Hulu’s live TV streaming service offers more than 60 news, sports, entertainment and children’s networks  — plus the on-demand streaming library.

The live TV service is part of the regular Hulu app that you may have seen on Roku before.

With this service, you may or may not receive your local networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), but you can enter your ZIP code on Hulu’s website to find out.

Here’s Hulu’s live TV channel lineup in Atlanta, Georgia: 

Live local channels

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • Fox Sports South
  • Fox Sports Southeast
  • NBC
  • Telemundo
  • CW

Entertainment and lifestyle channels

  • A&E
  • Animal Planet
  • Bravo
  • Discovery Channel
  • E!
  • Food Network
  • Freeform
  • FX
  • FXX
  • FYI
  • HGTV
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies (LMN)
  • MotorTrend
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Oxygen
  • Pop
  • QVC
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • SyFy
  • TBS
  • History
  • TLC
  • Travel Channel
  • TNT
  • TruTV
  • USA
  • Viceland

Sports channels

  • Big Ten Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN College Extra
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • FS1 (Fox Sports 1)
  • FS2 (Fox Sports 2)
  • Golf Channel
  • NBCSN
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC Network

News channels

  • Cheddar
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • CNN International
  • Fox Business
  • Fox News
  • HLN
  • MSNBC

Family and kids channels

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

Movie channels

  • FXM
  • Turner Classic Movies

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.

The base plan includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. You can upgrade to Enhanced Cloud DVR and get 200 hours of storage for $9.99 a month.

The upgrade provides users with the ability to skip the ads of their recordings.

4. What devices does Hulu with 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 Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku Express 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 with Live TV supported devices:

  • Android phones and tablets
  • Apple TV (4th generation or later)
  • Chromecast
  • Echo Show
  • Fire Tablets
  • Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • iPhones and iPads
  • LG TV (select models)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Mac and PC browsers
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Samsung TV (select models)
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One

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 in my household use Hulu with 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 two streams aren’t enough for you, there’s a $9.99 add-on for unlimited screens.

6. How reliable is Hulu with Live TV? 

I’ve tested Hulu with Live TV a handful of times since it first launched in mid-2017. It wasn’t always my favorite live TV streaming service, mostly because of reliability issues.

The first couple of times that I paid for Hulu with Live TV, I encountered quite a bit of buffering while using Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick and a Roku Express.

When I rejoined Hulu in August 2018, I only used my Roku and have experienced few problems since then. I wrote this review in January 2019 and updated it in October 2019.

For some context, my internet service is for download speeds up to 60 Mbps. That’s plenty fast for Hulu. The provider recommends 8 Mbps for live TV streaming.

You can check your download speed for free at SpeedTest.net and Speedof.me.

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 with Live TV using a Roku device?

As I mentioned at the start of my review, the reason why I prefer Hulu with Live TV comes down to the content, including the channel lineup.

However, some people say finding the content they want to watch is a chore.

Hulu has responded to some of the criticism and improved its live TV guide in late 2019. You can now see what’s coming up with a two-week grid guide.

I put together the video below to explain how to navigate Hulu with 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 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Final thought 

What I’ve learned over the past couple of 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.

For around $50 a month, I think the content that’s available with Hulu’s live TV streaming service sets it apart from the competitors. I never feel like there’s “nothing on TV.”

Hulu with Live TV: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
One simple plan for $55/monthExpensive add-ons
Hulu's on-demand streaming library included Must upgrade DVR to fast-forward through commercials
Personalization features Only two screens at once
Great channel lineup: News, sports and entertainment networksCan't watch outside home network on a living room device

Action items: 

  • Sign up for a free 7-day trial of Hulu with Live TV and test it out
  • If you don’t want to continue, cancel the trial before you’re billed
  • Repeat this process with other streaming TV services
  • Cancel cable or satellite TV service only after you find a good replacement

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42 thoughts on “Hulu With Live TV on Roku: 7 Things to Know Before You Sign Up”

  1. I had regular Hulu and accessed it with my Roku Express. I signed up for a free trial of Hulu with Live TV on my computer. Hulu Live is showing up with my computer but not on my Roku. Lightning bolt just isn’t there. Do you have any idea what I need to do?

      1. I have the same issue. Hulu will only load when I restart my router, otherwise the Rokus say I am not connected, but it comes up on my phone and my lap top??? I have tried everything

  2. I was planning on getting a TIVO Bolt, since 95% of what I watch on TV (networks & Showtime, mainly) is recorded first and watched later. I know I can pay extra to be able to skip through commercials on live TV. Big question — can I set up TIMERS on Hulu (either on a Roku or a newer Samsung TV) for all new episodes of a show?

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by timers, but you can use DVR to record all new episodes. The regular Hulu ($5.99) also has current season episodes of many hit shows available the next day.

  3. We have a home in Arizona and Wisconsin. Both homes have Roku sticks. I have one account with Amazon Prime Video, I can get that in either home. If I sign up for Hulu Live TV, can I get that in both homes on my Roku sticks?

  4. Using DirecTV Now on Roku mainly because HBO is included. The included 20 hours cloud DVR is enough for me now. What I dislike is the DVR audio having a momentary echo from time to time; Direct said they would re-sync the account and “guaranteed” it would fix it. Of course, it did not; it’s better, but not cured. The audio issue does not appear on iOS (iPad), and Roku is not a problem on all services, and they deny it’s anything from their end. Direct may have some tweaks to make on the app/DVR, I don’t know. DVR reported as still being beta, so perhaps it will improve. Plus, there’s no local channels in my area (yet). I’m willing to play out DirecTV Now for awhile longer, but have no issue canceling and going with Hulu+ if it is more reliable, even paying a little more to add HBO.

  5. I have a regular TV in my living room with Apple TV and Hulu Live, as I have cut ties with my cable companies. I would like another TV in my bedroom and am thinking of getting a Roku TV. Can I stream Hulu Live on both TVs without having to buy another Apple TV?

  6. Awesome information. I’ve tested all of the major live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, AT&T TV Now, Philo and AT&T Watch TV, but I keep coming back to Hulu. I think it’s very interesting article and knowledgeable. It’s many tips are required TV guide, your account, search are etc. Using DirecTV Now on Roku mainly because HBO is included. The included 20 hours cloud DVR is enough for me now. What I dislike is the DVR audio having a momentary echo from time to time; Direct said they would re-sync the account and “guaranteed” it would fix it. Of course, it did not; it’s better, but not cured. I will share in this post. Thank you.

  7. I have been streaming for 4.5 years in combination with limited cable service for news and a select set of TV networks. I have four ROKU Ultras in the house and recently attempted to convert from cable to HULU Live + No Ads. I also tried SLING earlier. Since the switch to HULU, the complaints have been endless. I have never experienced so much anger and hatred of this particular service since we started to stream. The user interface is too complicated for some people, especially the elderly who find the PC-like user interface bewildering. In my scenario, the ROKU remote serves as a mouse of sorts and the HULU user interface is more or less patterned after a computer application. There is no way of paging up or down with a ROKU remote, so I’m getting a lot of complaints about how slow it is to navigate through the Live lineup. The second big complaint is the recording of advertisements with the DVR feature. Commercial recording does not happen on our cable service, thus this is a daily source of frequent ire here. I believe that some resistance to change about the user interface is taking place because people are accustomed to conventional cable, but I believe that the two major complaints are valid. I’m probably going to keep HULU + No Ads without the Live feature for myself and reinstall cable for the rest of the family.

  8. steffie arington

    can I use Hulu Live on a Roku Ultra? If so which one? [there’s one for $69 that a renewed 2018 model and a $103 2019 model with many prices/listings between them..] Also if I use Hulu Live do I still need to buy an antenna?

    1. Yes, Hulu Live supports Roku Ultra. The service may have all of your local stations, but you have to enter your zip code on Hulu’s website to find out. If it doesn’t carry your locals, you need the antenna.

  9. I left a post here nearly two weeks ago and haven’t seen you include anything from it. I know it was long; but did you not find the information useful? I know the workarounds would help a lot of your posters work past their issues. Curious as to why it was excluded.

      1. Have you still not received anything? I re-posted on 11/12/2019 at 00:10. Perhaps the SW you use has some undocumented size limit?

  10. Hi Michael,
    I really enjoyed several of your videos! You are very clear and concise with your explanations.
    I just watched your video about cable cutting. I had finally decided on YouTube TV, but just found out that “older” Samsung Smart TVs don’t support it. So, I am going to try ROKU and get HULU with Live TV. My question for you about ROKU and HULU is about 4K. It doesn’t appear that HULU or ROKU supports 4K. Is this correct? Will they soon be coming out with a 4K device?

    Secondly, I did exactly as you had explained about cutting the cord. First, I unbundled my home phone. I ported over my number to MagicJack. Then I changed my TV service to Basic, for $30 month from xfinity. They my “Blast” internet is $80. If I set up automatic bill pay, I will also get $10 discount. Now I am going to purchase my own Router/Modem Combo. You have an excellent explanation about how to do that!

    Many thanks for all your great advice!

    Susan from Jupiter, FL

  11. just read the pro’s and con’s of Hulu live and was confused as to what the last con was – “Cant watch outside home network on a living room devise”. Have no idea what that means. Can you explain?

    1. Yes. It basically means you can’t share your subscription. It’s for one household. You are allowed to make very infrequent changes of your home network, however. But I couldn’t use Hulu Live on my living room TV at home and then at my parent’s house on their TV set.

      1. This is a question I have as well. So can I watch on my laptop or iPad or iPhone away from home ( including out of state) and put it onto a bigger screen via hdmi?

  12. I have signed up for a free trial but cannot login to it on my Roku because another family member is already logged in. How do I log them out? I don’t see an option and I have tried removing the Hulu channel, resetting the Roku, and adding Hulu again. The old account is still logged in

  13. Great video and info – I am getting rid of Dish ($118/month) for Hulu -Live (no ads) for $60/month. I only ‘lost’ Hallmark and Paramount channels, but I am not looking at 250 channels of which I was only watching about 5% of them on Dish. The Hulu interface took a little while to learn, but Hulu with Roku Express is a great choice. Our broadband is 25Mg and no dropouts. If I have a fuzzy picture (rare) I just go up one channel on the guide and back down which clears it up. One thing to add: on the Roku remote, if you use the FF button, it will jump four hours at a time – saves having to push the right arrow so often. Thanks again.

  14. My friend and her daughter who live in seperate homes both share a Hulu account and both get Hulu live. She has set me up on her account for my house and I cannot get Hulu live. I have Roku, they both have Amazon Fire Stick. Is this the issue?

  15. Using the Roku Streaming Stick+ how can I efficiently fast-forward or skip through the commercials on recorded programs (I have the extra DVR cloud storage.)
    Which buttons on the Roku will allow skipping in 15- or 30-second increments?
    – Right-scroll button (purple) seems to skip only 10-seconds per press.
    – The ffw button (>>) seems to do 4, 8, 16, or 32 “somethings” (not seconds, apparently) but the thumbnails don’t progress when using the ffw button so it’s of little use to find where program resumes.
    Thanks for any tips.

  16. I was wondering with a Hulu Live TV subscription would I be able to watch the full episodes of WWE content? I know that you get an abbreviated version with a Hulu subscription but would this enable the full episode to be unlocked? Obviously I know that you can watch it when it airs on USA and DVR it, just not sure about the day after.

    Thanks!

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