Recently Hulu raised their prices on their Hulu+ Live TV package by $10, bringing it in line with competitor’s prices, and in the process, taking away one of its alluring attributes. With the price change (and a Tweet from a friend) I decided to look into things, do a little research, and made the decision to move from Hulu+ Live TV to YouTube TV for my live TV streaming.
I’ve actually been a Hulu+ Live TV subscriber for a few years now after I cut ties from any and all cable and satellite providers. I’ve had zero complaints with it. Suggested it to others in the past. For what I needed and for what services it was offering, I was satisfied. That is until I received the email in November, letting me know that they’d be raising the monthly subscription fee.
What started the wheels rolling towards my inevitable switch to YouTube TV happened on a whim. I had shared the link to my article regarding the Hulu+ Live TV price hike on Twitter. Later on that day, my friend responded questioning my subscription choices. I’ve learned over the years that if Wes says it, that it’s not just an empty remark, and that it’s worth looking into. So I started doing some research, comparing Hulu+ Live TV with YouTube TV and by the end of it, my choice was pretty clear.
For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone looking for live tv isn’t on YouTube TV. 6 family accounts, 3 simultaneous streams, unlimited DVR, and for sure the best interface…especially with the new $50 Chromecast that they dropped.
— Wes Brown (@wbphoto) December 18, 2020
Hulu+ Live TV vs YouTube TV
When comparing the two services, I looked at a few different components.
The price comparison between the two is a little different than what it once was. A few months ago, this wasn’t a competition as Hulu+ Live TV had YouTube TV beat on price after YouTube TV’s base monthly plan increased $15 to $64.99. However, with Hulu’s recent price increase in December, both services are now coming in at the $64.99 monthly fee mark for their base plans.
YouTube TV wins this battle as it offers around 20 more channels than Hulu+ Live TV does, 85 to Hulu’s 65, including the local PBS station, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.
[learn_more caption=”Channel Listings”]
|YouTube TV||Hulu+ Live TV|
|ABC News Live||X||X|
|ACC Network (ACCN)||X||X|
|BBC World News||X|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)||X||X|
|CBS Sports Network||X||X|
|ESPN College Extra||X|
|Fox Business Network||X||X|
|Fox News Channel||X||X|
|Fox Sports 1 (FS1)||X||X|
|Fox Sports 2 (FS2)||X||X|
|Investigation Discovery (ID)||X||X|
|Nat Geo Wild||X||X|
|NBC News Now||X|
|TCM (Turner Classic Movies)||X||X|
Both services offer add-ons to their base packages.
YouTube TV – Some of the add-ons include AMC Premiere ($5/mo.), CuriosityStream ($3/mo.), and Sundance Now ($7/mo.). It also offers HBO Max ($14.99/mo.) Showtime ($11/mo.) and Starz ($9/mo.) and more. Sports fans can add a Sports Plus premium add-on ($10.99/mo) that gives you NFL RedZone, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox College Sports, and more.
Hulu + Live TV – Some of the add-ons include Showtime ($10.99/mo), HBO Max ($14.99/mo), Cinemax ($9.99/mo), Starz ($8.99/mo), and an Entertainment Add-on, which provides extra news and lifestyle content such as CNBC World, Cooking Chanel, and Lifetime Movies for $7.99/mo.
So Cloud DVR isn’t something I always think about, but funny enough I’ve started using it more since the switch to YouTube. That might be due to their interface, or simply due to the fact that I remembered it was there, after doing my research. Either way, when it comes to DVR, YouTube wins again, and it’s not really a competition. Offering no storage limits while Hulu + Live TV only offers you 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, with an upgrade option of $9.99/mo for 200 hours, that alone makes the winner clear, without even breaking down the services even more. (like they are below, so you can see it all for yourself)
Accounts and Streams
Both services offer up to 6 profiles which allow for personalized show recommendations and a customizable live guide and more. YouTube TV allows up to 3 simultaneous streams while Hulu+ Live TV allows 2 simultaneous streams, with an option to upgrade to unlimited devices and 3 mobile simultaneous streams for $9.99/month.
I’ll openly admit that I wouldn’t have considered this a big deal, but after trying YouTube TV out for 5 minutes, and seeing their interface, I had zero questions in my mind on which service I wanted to go with.
Most people are familiar with the typical guide and layout you get with Cable and satellite TV. Your channel guide is pretty straightforward; listing your channels and showing the current and upcoming shows airing on those channels. It’s a pretty solid equation, and after seeing it in action, leaves little doubt as to why YouTube chose to have their interface work in a similar fashion.
Hulu+ Live TV is just too busy in comparison. The font is smaller, with less information compared to YouTube TV’s larger font and program listing. Also, as you can see below, YouTube TV gives you a live preview of what’s airing on a particular channel as you’re scrolling. When getting to where I want to go for a particular show or channel, it just feels like it can take a few extra clicks to get where you want to go in Hulu+ Live TV compared to YouTube TV. On top of it all, YouTube’s search function is one of my favorite things ever!
|YouTube TV||Hulu+ Live TV|
|Number of popular channels (out of 100)||85+||70+|
|Local ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC channels||Yes||Yes|
|Local PBS channels||Yes||No|
|Simultaneous streams per account||3||2 ($10 option for unlimited)|
|Family member/user profiles||Yes||Yes|
|No. of Accounts per household||6||6|
|Fast-forward through or skip commercials with cloud DVR||Yes||No (Yes with $10 option)|
The debate between Hulu+ Live TV vs YouTube TV is a real one, that has only increased with both now offering the same starting price for their base packages. I’ve now been a customer of both services, and after having Hulu+ Live TV and moving to YouTube TV, I see no reason to look back on my decision. I broke down both services as I did in this post when I was making my decision, and I admit, I was hesitant, and I signed up for the YouTube TV trail while still maintaining my Hulu+ Live TV Account. After looking at the two side-by-side, it’s not really comparable. (and honestly, I swear the YouTube TV streams look better than anything I was getting on Hulu.)
As my friend said: I can’t understand why anyone looking for live TV isn’t on YouTube TV.