Hulu is an over-the-top streaming platform owned by a joint venture of the Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast (via NBCUniversal), and AT&T (via WarnerMedia). It offers two products: a massive library of recorded programs and movies from NBC, Fox, ABC, and other content partners; and live sports, news, and entertainment from more than 50 channels.
Viewing live news, sports, and entertainment without a cable connection and viewing thousands of hit TV series and films from one of the world’s largest content streaming libraries.
- One of the best live TV streaming services on the market
- Massive library of recorded content from some of the world’s most popular entertainment networks
- Live sports channels covering NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, English Premier League, and more
- Some channels are subject to regional restrictions
- Ad-free streaming costs an extra few bucks a month
Hulu’s vast content library includes content from ABC, Fox, NBC, and a variety of other content partners including A&E, Bug Ten Network, E!, Fox Sports, FX, PBS, and the NFL Network.
Its Live TV package has more than 50 channels, including:
- Live entertainment from dozens of channels, including: A&E, Bravo, E!, Food Network, FX, HGTV, History, Lifetime, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, Oxygen, Pop, Smithsonian, TBS, TCM, Telemundo, Travel, TruTV, USA Network, Viceland, and local channels in certain regions.
- Live news from ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, and ESPNews. Includes local news channels in many cities.
- Live sports from national sports networks CBS Sports, ESPN, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, NBCSN, Big Ten Network, TNT, Olympic Channel, and several college sports channels. Also includes local sports channels in many cities.
- Live kids’ channels from national networks Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and Universal Kids. Also include local channels in certain areas.
Hulu offers access to the full box sets of literally hundreds of top TV series from the past and present, some of them produced in-house and some of them from its network of content partners. The best Hulu TV programs include:
- 30 Rock
- Arrested Development
- Battlestar Galactica
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia
- New Girl
- NYPD Blue
- Parks and Recreation
- South Park
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- The X-Files
- Twin Peaks
||Hulu (with limited ads)
||Hulu (with no ads)
||Hulu with live TV
||Unlimited access to Hulu streaming library with limited commercials
||Unlimited access to Hulu streaming library with no commercials
||Unlimited access to Hulu streaming library plus access to live streams of 50+ sports, news, and entertainment channels
||$5.99 / month for first year, then $7.99 / month
||$11.99 / month
||$39.99 / month
The cheapest way to access Hulu’s content library is by signing up for limited ads, which is free for the first 30 days, followed by $5.99 per month for the first year and $7.99 per month for every year thereafter. If you prefer to view without ads, it costs $11.99 per month.
Both the limited-ad package and ad-free package come with optional add-ons at additional cost: HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz. They also come with an optional entertainment add-on consisting of programs from CNBC World, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, and Lifetime Movies for $7.99 / month, and a Spanish add-on consisting of CNN en Español, ESPN Deportes, History Channel en Español, and Universo for $4.99 / month.
The Live TV package includes access to the content library and more than 50 live TV channels showing live entertainment, news, sports, and kids’ programs. The Live TV program is comparable to many cable TV packages, except cheaper.
Hulu doesn’t require any special devices. As long as you have a high-speed internet connection, you can simply connect to any supported device.
- Hulu.com on Mac and PC
- Apple iOS devices on iPhone and iPad
- Android phones and tablets
- Roku select models
- Amazon FireTV (including FireTV and FireTV Stick)
- Apple TV (4th generation)
- Xbox One & Xbox 360
- Samsung (select TV models)
- LG (select TV models)
- Nintendo Switch
Hulu announced in May 2018 that it would launch offline viewing during the “2018-19 upfront season” – bringing it up to par with rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime. As of November 2018, it hadn’t yet launched its offline downloads feature and hadn’t provided an update, so presumably it will be rolled out during the first half of 2019 in accordance with the original announcement. Hulu hasn’t yet provided full details, except to say that customers who subscribe to Hulu with ads will also see ads on downloaded content.
Hulu is available in the United States and its territories, and can only be viewed outside of the U.S. using a VPN. Within the U.S., the live TV service is subject to certain regional restrictions. For example, live sports events are subject to blackouts in certain cities, and Hulu is subject to the same restrictions as any other sports channel in this regard. Subscribers in certain cities can view local news and other channels through Hulu.
Hulu has a toll-free customer service number (877-485-8411) although, as is typical of some of the big tech companies, it’s not big on human customer service. It’s much easier for existing customers to contact Hulu’s customer-service team than for new customers. If you have an account, simply log into your account and use the Help Center or chat to the Hulubot to get an answer to your question.
Hulu is one of the big 3 of content streaming services, alongside Amazon Prime and Netflix. While Hulu is missing certain things, such as offline viewing, it does offer two major advantages over its competitors. Hulu is stronger on popular cable TV shows and films from the 90s, 2000s, and 2010, whereas Netflix and Amazon are stronger on in-house productions. And Hulu is a bridge between recorded content and live TV, offering an impressive live TV package with more than 50 channels.