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Hulu Free vs Hulu Live TV, Plus 2019 Cost Review: Better Than Netflix?

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 1/2019

Hulu Plus Cost ReviewHulu was established as a streaming video service in 2008 and by 2010 added its Hulu Plus paid subscription option to the previously free service. With the advent of Hulu Plus, customers got access to current seasons of many TV shows. Also provided, were libraries of these available shows allowing a viewer to watch previous seasons’ broadcasts. Even with the paid subscription, there were still commercial advertisements on a limited basis.

The streaming market was initially the domain of Netflix. Hulu and Amazon followed into the mix, and it seemed Hulu was geared to providing more generalized access to shows from network and basic cable channels.

Table of Contents

Subscription Options

Over the last few years, Hulu has acquired more movie choices and begun producing its own exclusive programming, much of it winning critical acclaim. Now, having dropped “Plus” from its name, Hulu’s monthly subscription price is $7.99 ($11.99 if the absence of any advertisements is desired). The big innovation is the recent appearance of “Hulu with Live TV.” Priced at $39.99 per month, Hulu with Live TV is a service that allows you to stream over 50 live and on-demand channels.

Hulu Plus Cost Review

A welcome competitor and alternative to established cable providers Hulu with Live TV may well be a desirable choice for many viewers. For some this can be a way to supplement their existing cable TV. More exciting, there may be an affordable and more versatile way to view television programming and you may be able to do so untethered.

No premium cable channels are included in the package, but a wide variety of choice viewing is available with the inclusion of all major cable news channels; sports offerings that include three ESPN channels, NBC Sports Network, and Fox’s FS1 and FS2.

For high-quality and classic movies TMC is available and you have access to both TMC East and TMC West, providing viewing options at different times, and sometimes movies exclusive to one or the other channel. HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax are made available as add-ons with monthly subscription costs for each one.

The monthly cost allows for two screens (account users) and comes with a Cloud DVR that stores a total of 50 hours of recording. A very attractive feature of Hulu’s plan is the fact that it can be viewed on so many types of devices.

In addition to your computer, it can be viewed on your iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Roku, FireTV devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, XBox, Samsung TVs, LG TVs, and Nintendo Switch. You can sign up for email alerts for specific programs or for general alerts such as the NFL teams you like to watch.

There are some who don’t find a need for broadcast television and, if this applies to you, then Hulu’s regular subscription, Netflix, Amazon, or any combination of these may provide you with all the movies and exclusively produced series that you could want. The main consideration in choosing whether to choose one type of service over another or one provider over another is most often the cost.

Is it Worth It?

Of course, an even more important concern is probably “value.” You can better weigh the cost of how much you pay to watch TV and movies only when taking in factors of quality, convenience, reliabilty, and the absence of surprise “hidden” costs that you were never expecting to be charged for. The $39.99 monthly rate is not inexpensive, but how does it compare to any provider of cable or other service available to you? Most major providers have tiered pricing and it would probably be best to see what a similar package of available channels would cost.

Many customers have “bundled” products so that it isn’t always so easily discernable how much you’re paying for TV alone. Hulu is very straightforward with its pricing and is probably competitive with almost all of the cable providers.

Some of the options getting Hulu with Live TV offers may seem obvious, some are quite unique. One very different reality is you don’t need to have a physical television set.

For a student, this is often the case. You don’t need to invest in a television when your computer screen can assume that role. You can move easily from watching the live broadcast in real time to either recording it for later viewing, or rewinding and watching as the program continues. If you’re traveling or have break time during work or classes, you’re able to check out something on your smartphone of other portable device.

Advantages of Hulu

Hulu points out several other advantages to subscribing to their service. Besides the already mentioned possibility of not having a TV, a cable provider would still need to hook up the service. This entails the person to come and set up the cable connection, which often may be facilitated by a cable box that results in an additional charge and/or monthly fee.

Hulu works on a subscription basis and you are not tied to a contract. There is no penalty or fee for cancelling your subscription. The comfort of knowing you won’t be hit with any “surprise” charges on your bill is also something to consider.

Looking at this fuller listing of avaiable channels you can see if anything really essential to your viewing is absent from what’s offered:

ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, A&E,BTN, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS Sports Network, cheddar, CNBC, CNN, the CW, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, Food Network, Fox Business, Fox News, FS1, FS2, Freeform, FX, FXM, fyi, Golf, HGTV, History Channel, HLN, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, MSNBC, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, NBCSN, Olumpic CHannel, Oxygen, Pop, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, SyFy, TBS, TCM, Telemundo, TNT, Travel Channel, TruTV, Universal, USA, Viceland, and more.

If there are one or two shows on AMC that you really love, you may find an alternative place to watch it. Whether Hulu will be adding specific channels would probably be best asked of them via their website. It’s pertinent to remember that you have all of Hulu available to you for the Hulu with Live TV price.

Hulu Plus Cost Review

Hulu Originals

Hulu’s own productions are being added more frequently and garnering positive reviews from audiences and critics. Sarah Silverman’s “I Love You America” is a recent addition that is gaining such accolades. Now that it such excellent and award-winning series as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and innovative shows such as “Castle Rock” have riveted viewers to these exclusive Hulu productions, most viewers will want to have the monthly subscription that would cost them at least $7.99. So, the real price of the Hulu with Live TV could be more truly calculated as $32.99 each month.

Hulu even picked up a popular show “The Mindy Project” from network TV after its unwelcomed cancellation. With star and creator, Mindy Kaling, Hulu became home to the show for an additional three seasons to the delight of fans, while giving voice to the audience when traditional networks may not be listening.

If there are any negatives that would sway you from choosing to opt for this over another provider, they would probably be the absence of one or two channels. Other, slightly less expensive streaming services, such as Sling TV don’t offer the library of programs and the diversity of devices available for viewing on.

As with all purchases, finding a product that best meets your needs, desires, and budget doesn’t need to be made hastily. Hulu usually offers a free trial period that is without any obligation.

One additional big positive on the side of Hulu with Live TV is that you don’t have to be concerned with finding a new provider when you move. This can be more costly than expected due to unforeseen charges for ending a contract, confusion about equipment that needs to be returned, and costs for labor if it’s necessary for a technician to disconnect equipment or cables. It also means you can be on vacation or away on business and still be able to view a wide array of channels as long as there’s a wireless signal.

The prices mentioned are current. There are options to expand storage space with the Cloud DVR for an additional cost.

FAQ

When going with a new TV show provider, you’ll have lots of questions regarding what it is, what shows are provided, and how much it costs. In this section, we try to answer as many questions as you may have. Read on to learn more.

General Hulu FAQ

If you’re new to Hulu, this is the section for you. Here, we’ll discuss what Hulu is, how much it costs, and what you can expect with your membership.

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What is Hulu Plus?

Hulu Plus is Hulu’s premium subscription. For a small monthly fee, Hulu gives users access to more episodes for all shows.

What is the difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus?

While you can still watch TV shows on Hulu, they’re limited to the last 5 episodes aired. Hulu Plus, however, gives you the full range of all shows aired in all their seasons.

How much is Hulu Plus a month?

At the time of writing, Hulu Plus is $7.99. You can also view their pricing through their website at Hulu.com.

How does Hulu Plus work?

For a small subscription fee every month, you can enjoy Hulu’s vast library of currently airing TV shows on Hulu Plus. You can also watch older classic movies with your Hulu Plus account.

How to get Hulu Plus?

You can begin your Hulu Plus subscription by going to Hulu.com. Additionally, look for the option to start a free trial at no further cost to you.

Is Hulu Plus worth it?

Hulu Plus is a relatively cheap expense compared to buying satellite or cable TV. Plus, you can watch your favorite shows from their first episode to the very last on demand.

Why does Hulu Plus have ads?

While Hulu Plus is a premium subscription, it still contains (limited) ads. This is so that Hulu can bring you TV shows at a low monthly cost and still compensate their content partners.

How much is a Hulu Plus subscription annually?

While Hulu Plus chooses to price their subscription by months, your subscription will end up costing around $96 per year.

Can I cancel Hulu Plus after free trial?

Yes, you can cancel Hulu Plus after the free trial. The trial is meant to give you a period to decide if this is something you’re willing to pay for. Just make sure to cancel it before Hulu automatically bills you.

Does Hulu Plus cost money?

To get Hulu’s premium plan, Hulu Plus, you’ll have to pay a small subscription fee every month. Currently, it’s $7.99 per month, and you can also start a free trial.

Does Hulu Plus have a limit on devices?

With your Hulu Plus subscription, you are limited to watching Hulu on two devices simultaneously. However, there’s no limit on how many devices you can have Hulu on.

When does Hulu Plus get new episodes?

Usually, Hulu will have new episodes as soon as they air. Sometimes, however, shows can take up to 8 days to appear on Hulu.

How many devices can you use on Hulu Plus?

You can use up to two devices on Hulu Plus at the same time. However, you can separately watch Hulu on unlimited devices.

How soon can you watch shows on Hulu Plus?

You can watch shows as soon as they come out. Most times, Hulu will have your show as soon as it’s aired, but sometimes, it can take up to 8 days to show up on Hulu.

Why am I seeing ads on Hulu Plus?

Although Hulu Plus is a premium plan, you’re still shown ads. This is so that Hulu can gives you a very low subscription fee while providing you with channels that would otherwise cost much more to watch.

What should I watch on Hulu Plus?

There are a wide variety of shows to watch on Hulu Plus, including shows from ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, and The CW. When you log into your Hulu Plus account, Hulu will give you a wide variety of shows it recommends.

Does Hulu Plus have commercials?

Yes, Hulu Plus does come with commercials. You can expect about three commercials every break, and the amount of breaks will depend on how long your episode is.

Can I watch full seasons on Hulu Plus?

While you can’t watch full seasons on the free Hulu plan, you can on Hulu Plus. Enjoy every episode in every season with Hulu Plus.

How soon do new episodes appear on Hulu Plus?

New episodes appear on Hulu Plus as soon as they’re aired. For some episodes, it does take up to 8 days to become available on Hulu Plus.

How many simultaneous users on Hulu Plus?

You can only have two simultaneous users on Hulu Plus. However, you can log into as many different devices as you need.

Does Hulu Plus have new release movies?

Hulu Plus focuses more on TV shows and not on newly-released movies. However, you can find many classic movies on Hulu Plus that were released years before.

What Shows Are on Hulu?

The number one reason you’re considering Hulu is because of the shows it provides. In this section, we’ll go into detail into what shows you can expect from Hulu, and which ones aren’t currently supported.

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Is Halloweentown on Hulu Plus?

Yes, Halloweentown is currently available on Hulu Plus. To view it, enter “Halloweentown” in the search bar on Hulu and Halloweentown will show up, ready to view.

Is Downtown Abbey on Hulu Plus?

Currently, Downton Abbey isn’t available on Hulu Plus. However, you can watch related series such as Harlots, Banished or Coronation Street.

Is the Blacklist on Hulu Plus?

The Blacklist isn’t currently available on Hulu Plus. However, it’s available on Live TV in some areas, and you can try Live TV trial for free.

Is Straight Outta Compton on Hulu Plus?

Yes. When you get your Hulu Plus subscription, you’ll have access to Straight Outta Compton episodes to view on-demand.

Is Shameless on Hulu Plus?

Shameless isn’t currently available on Hulu Plus. However, you can upgrade to Hulu Live TV to watch Shameless and have access to other shows on Showtime, HBO and Cinemax.

Is New Girl on Hulu Plus?

Yes, Hulu Plus does offer New Girl, and with your subscription, you can watch all episodes on New Girl since the first episode.

Can you watch live NFL games on Hulu Plus?

Live NFL games aren’t available on Hulu Plus. However, you can get access to Live NFL games by upgrading to Hulu Live TV.

Is Breaking Bad on Hulu Plus?

While Hulu does have a wide range of shows available to watch on demand, Breaking Bad is currently not one of them.

Is Hocus Pocus on Hulu Plus?

Hulu does offer Hocus Pocus when you subscribe to Hulu Plus. You’ll get access to “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash”.

Is The 100 on Hulu Plus?

The 100 is currently unavailable on Hulu Plus to stream on-demand. On Hulu with Live TV, however, it may be available depending on regional availability. You can try a free trial of Live TV at any time.

Can I watch the Superbowl on Hulu Plus?

While you can’t watch the Super Bowl on Hulu Plus, you can watch it on Hulu Live TV on the NBC Sports channel.

Channels on Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus has shows from a variety of channels, and you can usually view them as soon as they air. In this section, we’ll discuss what shows you can expect from which channels.

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What channels are available on Hulu Plus?

You can watch the top hits no channels like ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, and The CW, and episodes are usually available as soon as they air.

Can you watch Showtime shows on Hulu Plus?

Your Hulu Plus account doesn’t come with access to Showtime. However, when you upgrade to Hulu Live TV, you can watch Showtime and even HBO and Cinemax.

Does Hulu Plus have MTV?

Currently, neither Hulu Plus nor Hulu Live TV offer MTV.  However, you do have access to channels like Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CBS Sports Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network and many more.

Are Bravo shows available on Hulu Plus?

On your Hulu Plus subscription, Bravo shows aren’t currently available. However, you can have access to Bravo shows when you upgrade to Hulu Live TV.

Is ABC on Hulu Plus?

Yes, ABC is on Hulu Plus. When you get a Hulu Plus subscription, you also get access to NBC, Fox, CBS, and The CW.

Is HGTV on Hulu Plus Roku?

On Roku, you can watch everything Hulu offers. Currently, HGTV is one of the many channels Hulu Plus offers, and you can watch it straight from your Roku.

Is Animal Planet on Hulu Plus?

While Animal Planet isn’t on Hulu Plus, you can upgrade to Hulu Live TV and get unlimited access to Animal Planet.

Other FAQ

You may still have many questions regarding which devices you can watch Hulu on, how to cancel Hulu and even if you can watch Hulu overseas. Read on to learn more.

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How to get free Hulu Plus without credit card?

If you’re not ready to start paying for Hulu Plus, you can try out their one-month trial without paying a thing. Unfortunately, you will have to provide your credit card to be charge at the end of the trial.

How to add Hulu Plus to HiSense tv?

You can add Hulu Plus by connecting to the internet and searching for your Hulu application on your TV. If Hulu is installed, you can log into your Hulu Plus account and begin enjoying your subscription.

Did Hulu Plus change?

While Hulu Plus still offers the same product, it’s no longer called “Hulu Plus”. Instead, the paid subscription will only be known as “Hulu”.

How much is Hulu Plus live tv?

Currently, you can get Hulu with Live TV for $39.99. This includes 50 hours of DVR recording, and it does have regular ad breaks (like regular TV does).

Can I use Hulu Plus overseas?

Hulu isn’t currently available overseas. What you can do, however, is use a proxy on your computer to make it seem like you’re in the US, and you’ll be able to stream Hulu.

How to get Hulu Plus free forever?

While you can’t technically get Hulu Plus free, you can search for coupons to get it at a lower cost or get an exclusive offer. Additionally, you can try Hulu’s free trial to watch for free for a limited time.

Can someone give me their Hulu Plus account?

Yes, if you have a friend who doesn’t mind sharing their account, you can both simultaneously watch Hulu. Do keep in mind, however, that two devices are the max that can watch at the same time.

How to cancel Hulu Plus through iTunes?

From your Mac or PC, open iTunes and go to Account > View My Account. Scroll to the Settings section and to the right of Subscriptions, click Manage. From here, you can edit and cancel your Hulu subscription.

Can you watch Hulu Plus on Google tv?

Currently, you can’t watch Hulu on Google TV. To view the full list of supported devices, go to: https://help.hulu.com/en-us/supported-devices.

What is Autoplay on Hulu Plus?

When you have Autoplay enabled, a new show will begin automatically after you finish the one you’re currently watching. You can turn on Autoplay in your Hulu settings.

How to get Hulu Plus on TiVo?

You can get your Hulu Plus account on TiVo by going to Showcases and Apps > Add Apps. You should be able to see Hulu displayed as an available app. Download it and log in to begin using it.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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