Hulu has officially launched its new live TV streaming service, offering more than 50 channels plus DVR cloud space at just $40 per month.
The service has been a long time coming, as Hulu made the announcement last year. The company is now finally ready to take on rivals such as AT&T's DirecTV Now, Sony's PlayStation Vue, or Sling TV, competing for cord-cutting customers.
Hulu With Live TV
The new Hulu app is called Hulu with Live TV and it hit app stores in beta, available for download now on both Android and iOS. The $40 bundle includes more than 50 channels and 50 hours of cloud DVR space, combined with the company's existing streaming service.
The service will allow users to enjoy up to six individual profiles and two simultaneous streams, and will include local broadcast channels such as CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC in "many cities."
Customers can watch the few dozen channels either on their smartphones or on connected TV devices such as Apple TV (4th Gen), Chromecast, and Xbox, with more on the way (including Roku). Hulu with Live TV also bundles Hulu's subscription video service, which features Hulu originals and a slew of old TV shows and movies.
Customers can also add extras such as additional cloud DVR or Showtime, but it will increase the price. HBO, however, is off the table even for those willing to pay extra.
It's worthy of note that unlike rivals such as Sling, AT&T DirecTV Now, YouTube and others, Hulu is under the umbrella of TV programmers, which marks the first time that TV programmers are offering a pay TV service directly to consumers. Instead of having TV programmers sell the package to TV viewers, Hulu with Live TV now cuts the middleman and sells the Pay TV service directly to viewers.
What You Won't Get
Aside from HBO, there are other notable absences with Hulu Live beta. Hulu is owned by 21st Century Fox, Disney, Time Warner, and Comcast, and nearly all of their TV channels are included in Hulu's new live TV service. However, this also means that Hulu Live lacks some notable channels, as it doesn't offer anything from programmers such as Discovery, Viacom, or AMC. Sorry, The Walking Dead fans.
Hulu With Live TV App Features
The new Hulu with Live TV app sports a revamped user interface, initially available only for Xbox One, fourth-generation Apple TV, and Android mobile devices. Those who download the new Hulu with Live TV app can ditch the old Hulu app, as the new one will feature all the on-demand programming.
Hulu specifically revamped the UI to combine its existing on-demand library with new live TV content so that users can access all content in one place. The new app also comes with a bunch of personalization tools, various options for sports fans, a kids mode, and more.
Hulu Live TV Service Options: Extra Add-Ons
Customers willing to shell out extra cast can get add-ons to improve their experience. For instance, users can add 200 hours of cloud DVR, or get "unlimited screens" to stream simultaneously on as many devices as they want at home, or on up to three devices somewhere else.
Both of these add-ons cost $15 per month on their own, or $20 if purchased together. Otherwise, the ad-free Hulu library retains its $4 price, Showtime costs $9, and other premium channels will be "coming soon."