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Hulu + Live TV vs. Hulu On-Demand

Picking between Hulu + Live TV and Hulu is easy once you consider your viewing habits.

Lara Vukelich
Hulu logo on TV

Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

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Hulu is one of the leading streaming providers in the country, offering a huge library of on-demand content. The platform also has a live TV option and allows users to eliminate ads for  a fee. Hulu vs. Hulu + Live TV: Which is right for you? It all depends on how much you want to spend and how much TV you watch.

Either way, Hulu makes an attractive offer. There are no contracts, so you can cancel anytime, unlike with traditional cable providers. You can also choose from a full suite of add-on options to create exactly the right package for you.  

Now it's just a matter of comparing Hulu + Live TV vs. Hulu in order to choose the right viewing package.

Comparing Hulu + Live TV vs. Hulu plans

Hulu + Live TVHulu
Monthly price $70/mo.$7/mo.
Free trial length None30 days
Live streaming YesNo
On-demand library YesYes
Number of titles/channels 85+ live channels; 10,000+ on-demand titles10,000+ titles
Number of simultaneous streams Two; Unlimited Screens Add-on option for $10/mo.Two; Unlimited Screens Add-on option for $10/mo.
Cloud DVR storage 50 hoursNo
Offline viewing YesYes
Ad-free option Yes; $76/mo.Yes; $13/mo.

Which Streaming Service is Right for You?

There are some key differences between the Hulu and Hulu + Live TV plans, the biggest of which being the access to live channels. However, there are some other differences you will see between the two plans.


Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV gives you the best of both worlds, combining on-demand streaming with live TV. There is the option of ads or an ad-free subscription for on-demand streaming. You can receive more than 85 live channels, including staples like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Other channels include A&E, Bravo, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, FX, National Geographic, TBS, and USA. Hulu + Live TV gives you the option to upgrade to premium networks on an a la carte basis, including HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz.  

With Hulu + Live TV, you do not ever have to miss your favorite shows. You can record live TV with unlimited complimentary cloud DVR storage included with your plan (starting on April 13).


Hulu does not offer the live TV channels that you get with the Hulu + Live TV package, but you can still opt between an ad-free subscription or one with ads. Still, there is no shortage of things to watch with Hulu's on-demand library. You can enjoy full seasons of both current and past TV shows, in addition to a collection of full-length hit movies. 

In recent years, Hulu has also made a name for itself with its own original series, movies, and documentaries under the umbrella of Hulu Originals. These are included with your subscription, as well. 


Hulu + Live TV 

Hulu + Live TV costs $70/mo. Alternatively, you can purchase the Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV subscription for $76/mo. Hulu + Live TV also comes with ESPN+ and Disney+. That means you can use your login credentials to sign into two more streaming apps for even more content. ESPN+ and Disney+ do not offer live programming, but you can stream a variety of on-demand shows, movies, and documentaries. ESPN+ and Disney+ apps are free to download to a wide range of devices, including iPhone and iPad, Android tablets, and smart TVs. 


The Hulu plan costs $7/mo. or $70/yr. if you pay upfront. You also have the option to upgrade to a subscription with no ads for $13/mo. There is a 30-day free trial to make sure this is the right plan for you.

The Disney Bundle

The Disney Bundle -- which includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ -- is available for all Hulu + Live TV customers, while you can still take advantage of this bundle with regular Hulu. The cost is $20/mo. and includes Hulu (No-Ads), so you have access to the full Hulu on-demand library without interruptions. If you already have a regular Hulu account, you can add the bundle to your service as long as you are not paying through a third-party like iTunes or Google Play Store.

User Experience

Enjoy wide compatibility, no matter which service you choose, with the ability to stream on the following eligible devices

  • Mac or PC
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android
  • Android TV (Google TV)
  • Apple TV, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
  • LG
  • Nintendo
  • Sony PlayStation
  • Roku
  • Samsung
  • Vizio
  • Xbox

Hulu + Live TV 

With Hulu + Live TV, you get full compatibility so you can still stream, regardless of whether you're using your TV, your phone, or even your Xbox. You can have up to six user profiles and can stream up to two screens simultaneously. Plus, you get access to your own personal Cloud DVR storage that gives you unlimited storage starting on April 13.


Hulu on-demand does not give you the option to use DVR storage, but you can still stream in all of the same places that Hulu + Live TV allows. An added bonus is that Hulu offers the option to download and watch when you upgrade to the ad-free version.  


Hulu makes it easy to add premium channel extras to your plan. You can add individual channels on an a la carte basis:

  • HBO Max: $15/mo.
  • Cinemax: $10/mo.
  • Showtime: $11/mo.
  • Starz: $9/mo.

In addition to premium channels, you can sign up for other add-ons to personalize your Hulu experience. This includes the Entertainment add-on for $8/mo., which features content like Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, and MTV Classic. You can also buy the Sports add-on for $10/mo. or the Español add-on for $5/mo. Meanwhile, for $10/mo., you can enjoy viewing on unlimited screens


Hulu + Live TV

There's a considerable difference in price with Hulu vs. Hulu + Live TV. You'll save more money when you opt for the ad-free option, but there's not a huge difference. Hulu + Live TV also limits the number of downloads you can have at a single time. Finally, watch out for pricey extras, which can add up quickly and end up driving the cost up considerably. 


Hulu may be more affordable, but you are significantly limited when it comes to programming. You have no access to live TV, and new episodes of current shows are not usually available for streaming until the next day. Like Hulu + Live TV, it can also quickly get expensive when you begin adding extras.  

Our Final Take

Hulu vs. Hulu + Live TV? Well, it all depends on the kind of streaming that you want to do. While Hulu is an affordable option for on-demand programming, you will not have access to live TV. That means you will miss access to certain programming, like live sports and event coverage. Hulu + Live TV gives you not only live TV coverage, but also access to a personal unlimited cloud DVR storage starting on April 13. 

When deciding between Hulu + Live TV vs. Hulu, consider first your budget and then what kind of streaming you want to do. Hulu offers plenty of room for customization with ad-supported and ad-free options, plenty of custom extras to help you find exactly the Hulu package you need.