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Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV

Compare two of the top live TV streaming services.
by Margaret Smith — 
Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV

Thomas Trutschel / Phototheck / via Getty Images

In the battle between streaming services, Hulu + Live TV  vs. YouTube TV are the top two contenders. With so many similarities between the two services, it can be challenging to decide which is the best for you. Plus, both Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV each have about four million subscribers and they are similarly priced and offer a comparable number of channels.

We're giving you the rundown on each service, its pros and cons, and which option is worth adding to your streaming service lineup.

Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV Highlights

If you want the largest on-demand library: Hulu + Live TV If you want the largest cloud DVR storage: YouTube TV
Large number of original, award-winning programs Only streaming service to offer unlimited cloud storage in its base package
Access to Hulu's massive on-demand library More channels offered for a lower monthly price
Includes the Disney Bundle at no extra charge Allows for more simultaneous streams

Compare Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV plans

Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV Comparison


Hulu + Live TVYouTube TV
Monthly price $70$55 for the first three months ($65 afterwards)
Free trial length None14 days
Number of titles/channels 70+85+
Number of simultaneous streams TwoThree
Cloud DVR storage 50 hoursUnlimited
Offline viewing YesYes
Ad-free option (for on-demand content) YesNo

Which streaming service is right for you?

There are pluses and minuses for both services. Hulu + Live TV includes Hulu's massive on-demand library, offers live sports and local channels, and comes with Disney+ and ESPN+ in its bundle offering. YouTube TV offers more channels, can be streamed on more devices, and has an unlimited amount of cloud storage.

User experience 

Hulu + Live TV

When using Hulu + Live TV, you can download your favorite on-demand TV shows and movies for offline viewing. This is a great feature when you don't have access to the internet. Hulu + Live TV is also available on most streaming devices. This includes:

  • Mobile -- iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and tablets, Amazon Fire tablets   

  • TVs -- Apple TV, Android TV/Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TV, LG TV, Vizio TV

  • Streaming devices -- Amazon Fire TV Sticks, Roku, Google Chromecast, Echo Show, Xfinity Flex streaming boxes, and X1 TV boxes

  • Computers -- Mac and PCs

  • Gaming consoles -- Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

YouTube TV

One of the biggest advantages for YouTube TV subscribers is the unlimited cloud storage. You can record as many TV shows and movies as you'd like and keep them in your cloud storage for up to nine months. You can also stream on three screens at the same time, one more than Hulu + Live TV. YouTube TV can also be watched on most streaming devices:

  • Mobile -- iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and tablets

  • TVs -- Apple TV, Android TV/Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Hisense TV, Samsung TV, LG TV, Vizio TV

  • Streaming devices -- Amazon Fire TV Sticks, Roku, Chromecast, TiVo Stream, Xfinity Flex streaming boxes

  • Computers -- Mac and PCs

  • Gaming consoles -- PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

Personalization 

Hulu + Live TV

With the ability to have six user profiles, each family member can personalize their Hulu + Live TV experience. Within each profile, you can identify the categories of the TV shows and movies you like to watch. 

Meanwhile, you can create a personalized hub, which gives you easy access to your favorite shows and movies. You can also mark whether you like or dislike shows. These features help the Hulu algorithm recommend shows based on your previous viewing. Kids can have their own profiles, which gives parents the opportunity to restrict content. Parents can also use security PIN codes to keep their kids from switching to other profiles.

YouTube TV 

Similar to Hulu + Live TV, with YouTube TV, each of the six profiles can be personalized. Based on your previous viewing habits, YouTube TV-recommended shows will be displayed in the Home tab. Your Live viewing guide can be customized to match your viewing preferences. 

You can hide networks you're not interested in and reorder the listing of networks so your favorite ones will show up first. Each profile has its own Library, where you'll be able to find the shows you recorded. In addition, parents can create a YouTube Kids profile, where they can establish viewing preferences for each child. Shows can be filtered by preschool, along with younger and older content settings.

Extras

Each service offers a variety of content and service add-ons.

Hulu + Live TV 

Premium channels:

  • HBO Max -- $15/mo.

  • Cinemax -- $10/mo.

  • Showtime -- $11/mo.

  • Starz -- $9/mo.

Bundled packages:

  • Entertainment -- 16 channels, including American Heroes Channel, Cooking Channel, Crime + Investigation, Destination America, MTV Classic, NickToons, and more -- $8/mo.

  • Sports -- Six channels, including NFL RedZone, Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and more -- $10/mo.

  • Español -- Seven Spanish-language channels, including ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, Universo, and more -- $5/mo.

Service add-ons:

  • 200-hour cloud DVR upgrade, which allows fast forwarding through commercials -- $10/mo.

  • Upgrade to an unlimited number of simultaneous screen viewing at home and three screens when away from home -- $10/mo.

  • Upgraded cloud DVR and simultaneous screen combination -- $15/mo.

YouTube TV

Premium channels: 

  • Entertainment Plus bundle -- includes HBO Max, Starz, and Showtime -- $30/mo.

  • HBO Max -- $15/mo.

  • Showtime -- $11/mo.

  • Cinemax -- $10/mo.

  • Starz -- $9/mo.

  • Epix -- $6/mo.

Additional content add-ons:

  • Sports Plus, 13 channels, including Fox Soccer Plus, NFL RedZone, and more -- $11/mo.

  • MLB.tv -- $25/mo.

  • NBA League Pass -- $40/mo.

  • AMC+ -- $7/mo.

  • Sundance Now -- $7/mo.

  • Acorn TV -- $6/mo.

  • Hallmark Movies Now -- $6/mo.

  • IFC Films Unlimited -- $6/mo.

  • Pantaya -- $6/mo.

  • Shudder -- $6/mo.

  • UP Faith & Family -- $6/mo.

  • WE TV -- $6/mo.

  • ALLBLK -- $5/mo.

  • Comedy Dynamics -- $5/mo.

  • CONtv -- $5/mo.

  • Docurama -- $5/mo.

  • Dove -- $5/mo.

  • Screambox -- $5/mo.

  • Fandor -- $4/mo.

  • CuriosityStream -- $3/mo.

  • Law & Crime -- $2/mo.

Service add-ons:

  • 4K Plus, includes 4K quality video, offline recordings, unlimited streams -- $10/mo.

Both services offer the option to add premium channels. However, while Hulu + Live TV offers additional channels in packages that range from $5/mo.-to-$10/mo., YouTube TV offers individual channels instead of bundles. 

These channels range from $2/mo. to $7/mo. If you want to add multiple channels, it's more expensive to do this with YouTube TV compared to Hulu + Live TV.

Disadvantages

Hulu + Live TV

At $70/mo., Hulu + Live TV is one of the most expensive streaming services. That price does not include unlimited cloud DVR, which is not even an option. To upgrade to a 200-hour cloud DVR, which would let you fast forward through commercials, you'd add an extra $10/mo. to your bill.

YouTube TV

While YouTube TV's monthly price is easily seen on its website, it's difficult to find the prices for its content packages and individual channels. This makes it harder to compare what your total monthly rate would be.

Our final take

When comparing Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV, the main factor to consider is which channels and options are most important. Each service has channels the other doesn't. While YouTube TV has an unlimited DVR, subscribers to Hulu + Live TV have access to Hulu's entire library of movies and TV shows. 

Therefore, the size of the DVR may not be as important. However, Hulu + Live TV subscribers will need to upgrade their DVR if they want to be able to skip commercials. Hulu + Live TV has the Disney Bundle as part of its package offering, while for YouTube TV subscribers, the bundle is an additional $14/mo. 

So, we recommend going with the service that offers your must-have channels in its base package instead of adding it on at an additional cost. But, only YouTube TV lets you try it out for free with a 14-day trial, while Hulu + Live TV doesn't offer a free trial anymore. 

Learn more about each service in our Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV reviews.