Are you frustrated by the sky-high prices of cable TV? If so, you’re certainly not alone. More and more people are leaving cable providers, and the most common reason is to save money. The good news is that more and more cable alternatives are popping up, providing viable solutions for folks who still want access to live TV. Today, we’ll look at two popular options, in our Hulu Live vs YouTube TV comparison.
Similarities Between Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV
Both of these services share a lot of common ground. Before we get into the differences, let’s go over the basics that both of these services share. Both services are:
- 100% legal, above-board ways to watch LIVE tv without cable
- Generally far more affordable than cable or satellite plans
- Available to you without a contract or commitment
- Able to be used on most devices, from smartphones to streaming players
- Require only an internet connection – no cable/satellite required
- Easy, affordable ways to get 50+ channels to stream live
- Easy ways to watch live sports, news, TV shows and more
- Offer free trials for all new customers – You can try Hulu with Live TV free for 7 days or YouTube TV free for a week
Both of these services are among the best streaming services available today, and both come highly recommended by Streaming Observer and other industry experts. Both serve as viable alternatives to cable TV, and both are definitely worth considering for recent cord-cutters. Keep reading our full Hulu Live vs YouTube TV comparison for details.
Hulu with Live TV vs YouTube TV: At a Glance
If you want a quick preview of what’s to come, here’s how we’d describe the Hulu Live TV vs YouTube TV debate:
Hulu with Live TV offers a great well-rounded selection of channels, including access to a huge number of local networks, as well as a HUGE on-demand library. If you’re looking to have just one streaming service (instead of a combination of several), Hulu with Live TV is our top recommendation. You can try it out for free for 7 days by clicking here.
YouTube TV offers a solid selection of channels (with a few notable exceptions), including plenty of local channels. It offers unlimited DVR storage, but has a smaller selection of on-demand content. If a big DVR is important to you, we recommend YouTube TV. You can try it out for free for 7 days by clicking here.
The full Hulu Live vs YouTube TV review can be found below.
YouTube TV vs Hulu with Live TV Pricing
According to the latest research, the most common reason for cancelling cable TV is the rising cost. If you’re like the millions of other people who have grown frustrated with the rising cost of cable, you’re probably wondering how these two services stack up in terms of price.
Basically, pricing is identical across both services. There’s no clear winner here, so you’ll have to examine the channels and features to decide which is a better value for you.
Both services cost $40 per month, and both only offer a single option for base packages. There are some add-on channels (such as premium channels like HBO), which pricing varies a bit for, but basically pricing is the same for both Hulu and YouTube TV.
Things to keep in mind:
- Both offer DVR recording – YouTube TV has unlimited storage, while Hulu limits you to 50 hours (or you can pay extra to get more storage)
- Hulu with Live TV has way more on-demand content. It includes the original Hulu library free of charge
- YouTube TV is not quite available nationwide yet, while Hulu with Live TV is
Bottom line: There’s no clear winner when it comes to price. When you take into account that Hulu with Live TV includes the original Hulu on-demand library (usually $8/mo extra), the slight edge may go to Hulu – but you’ll have to weigh the other factors.
YouTube TV vs Hulu Live TV Channels
Here’s the rundown:
Hulu with Live TV offers 50+ channels for $40 per month. This covers everything from entertainment networks to news to local sports and beyond. All channels are offered live, while on-demand content from many networks is also available in Hulu’s massive library. Hulu also has excellent coverage of local channels (NBC, FOX, etc.) which are important for streaming sports and local news.
YouTube TV offers 50+ channels for $40 per month. This includes a good mix of networks, including sports, news, entertainment and more. YouTube TV also covers most local networks in most areas. A couple popular networks are missing, including HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, and Comedy Central.
For a full look at YouTube TV vs Hulu Live channels, let’s look at individual categories of channels.
Want to watch sports online without paying for cable TV? Both of these services are great ways to do just that.
Hulu with Live TV offers many valuable channels for sports fans, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN College Extra, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, GOLF channel, FS1, FS2, Big 10 Network, CBS Sports Network, NBCSN, SEC Network, Olympic Channel, and more. Hulu Live is also excellent in terms of local channel coverage. NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC and regional sports networks are included in most areas.
YouTube TV offers live access to ESPN networks, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, MLB Network, BTN, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, Olympic Channel, GOLF Channel, and more. It also has good coverage of local networks and local sports channels.
Bottom line: In terms of sports coverage, both these services are fairly similar. That said, when it comes to local sports teams, Hulu is currently bringing more to the table. Hulu currently carries 600+ local network affiliates, compared to YouTube’s 400+. That means you have a better chance of watching your favorite local teams online with Hulu Live.
Looking for access to stream local channels, including ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS? Both of these services carry these channels in an impressive number of markets. How do Hulu Live TV vs YouTube TV compare, in terms of locals?
No online streaming service yet offers these channels in all areas, but both Hulu and YouTube come close. Currently, Hulu with Live TV carries these local networks in the most areas, with about 50% more coverage than YouTube TV. That said, both are expanding rapidly and adding more channels, so Hulu’s dominance in this regard could certainly change.
Bottom Line: Both services offer impressive coverage of local networks. Currently, Hulu Live TV offers the best coverage of any streaming service.
Looking for general entertainment networks? Both Hulu and YouTube TV offer a ton of options.
Both services offer a similar number of networks. Almost all of the most popular channels are included, with a few exceptions. For instance, YouTube TV is missing HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, Comedy and Comedy Central, while Hulu Live is missing Animal Planet and Comedy Central.
Neither service offers customization options when it comes to channel lineup, so you’re stuck with the channels covered in each service.
However, when it comes to entertainment, Hulu Live has a huge perk: access to the Hulu on-demand library. This massive, Netflix-like library covers thousands of shows and movies, from classics like Seinfeld and South Park to network hits like This is Us to Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.
Bottom Line: Coverage of entertainment networks is pretty similar between Hulu Live vs YouTube TV. However, Hulu’s on-demand library is far more extensive than YouTube TV’s.
Hulu Live vs YouTube TV Devices
These services don’t come with a cable box or any sort of included device, so you’ll need to use one of your own. Fortunately, almost anything will work, as both of these services work on all of the best streaming devices.
BOTH Hulu Live and YouTube TV work on:
- Apple TV
- iOS devices (phones & tablets)
- Android devices (phones & tablets)
- Roku devices
- Xbox One
- Select Samsung smart TVs
In addition to these, Hulu works on Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire Tablets and Amazon Fire TV, while YouTube TV works on Nvidia Shield and select LG smart TVs.
Bottom Line: Hulu Live covers more devices than YouTube TV. Most notably, Hulu is compatible with Amazon Fire devices, which account for roughly 25% of the streaming player market, according to the latest data. By not offering Fire TV support, YouTube TV cuts out a huge number of users from being able to access their service.
Hulu Live TV vs YouTube TV Features
Both of these services are a simple and affordable way to watch live TV. But beyond that basic principle, how do the two compare in terms of features?
Both services offer on-demand streaming, but this is one area where Hulu dominates. While YouTube TV offers limited on-demand coverage (similar to on-demand selections from cable providers), Hulu offers full access to the Hulu on-demand library. This is a HUGE library of thousands of TV shows and movies, and even some award-winning Hulu Originals that aren’t available anywhere else.
Both services offer free DVR recording. YouTube TV offers an impressive unlimited storage, while Hulu limits you to 50 hours of storage for free (or 200 hours for an additional fee). So, this is one area where YouTube TV is clearly ahead – although, with Hulu’s on-demand content library, you may find less need to record shows.
If you live with other people – whether family members, spouses or roommates – chances are you’ll want to watch different things at times. Simultaneous streaming allows you to watch different channels, on different devices, at the same time. Hulu Live TV offers 2 simultaneous streams, while YouTube TV offers 3. With Hulu, you can upgrade to unlimited streams for an extra fee.
Bottom Line: Features on these two services are pretty similar, so it depends what you’re after. YouTube TV holds a slight edge when it comes to DVR storage and simultaneous streams, while Hulu offers far more in terms of on-demand content.
Which Service is Better for Me?
There’s no direct answer, as it really depends on your preferences, and even your location.
Hulu with Live TV is our top recommendation for folks who want a great channel selection, access to local sports, and an impressive on-demand library in addition to the live coverage. Learn more in our Hulu review.
YouTube TV is a great option for people who love to DVR record shows, as it offers unlimited storage. It’s also got solid coverage of local channels, although Hulu has an edge here. Learn more in our YouTube TV review.
It’s also good to keep in mind that both these services are still expanding and getting better by the day. YouTube TV is not yet available nationwide, but it’s in most major markets. Hulu’s live TV service is growing rapidly, recently exceeding 1 million subscribers. We’ll keep this guide updated, but it’s always good to check the latest details before signing up for a service.
There’s a lot to consider when deciding between Hulu Live vs YouTube TV. But here’s something to chew on: BOTH services offer free trials. That means you have a risk-free way to try out both – even at the same time, if you wanted to! And both are non-contract, so even if you do keep one, you’ll never have to commit to more than 1 month at a time.