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Hulu Live TV vs. YouTube TV

Hulu Live and YouTube TV are two of the most popular live TV streamers out right now. Read on to learn why.

Lara Vukelich
Fubo TV Review

Getty Images

If you want access to all local networks, original series, and a Disney discount Hulu Live TV If you want unlimited DVR, sports networks, and Nickelodeon YouTube TV
  • The Hulu Live TV, Disney+ and ESPN bundle lets you access even more content for $73 per month
  • More original content than most other streaming services, including award-winning shows and popular documentaries
  • Next-day access to many local network shows, including those on NBC and FOX
  • You don't have to pay extra to have unlimited DVR space on YouTube TV
  • Many sports league networks are included in standard service, including NBA and MLB networks
  • Popular family networks, including Nickelodeon and PBS are included
  • Cutting the cord makes a lot of sense for many TV lovers. There's no more switching services every time you move, contending with outdated cable boxes, or paying for 100 channels you never watch. Hulu + Live TV (sometimes called just Hulu Live) and YouTube TV are two of the top contenders for best streaming service. 

    YouTube TV vs. Hulu Live: which is right for you? That depends on how much you need original content and the number of channels you prefer. Oh, and how likely you are to max out DVR space. Read on to learn more about pricing, content, user experience, and more between the streamers.

    Compare Hulu Live TV vs. YouTube TV plans

    Hulu Live TVYouTube TV
    Monthly price $65$65
    Free trial length 7 days7 days
    Number of titles/channels 65+85+
    Number of simultaneous streams 23
    Cloud DVR storage 50 hoursUnlimited
    Offline viewing YesNo

    Which streaming service is right for you?

    Each streaming service has its strong points and potential disadvantages. When it comes to YouTube TV vs. Hulu Live, the former excels at offering more cable networks while the latter is good at producing original shows and movies. In other words, YouTube TV is better for users who care about having extended cable at a discount while Hulu is ideal for people who want exclusive original content. 

    User experience

    Hulu + Live TV

    Hulu is accessible via many devices, including up-to-date computer browsers. You can also watch on an iPhone, iPad, Fire tablet, Roku, select LG TVs, using Chromecast, or on an Apple TV -- just to name a few. Free mobile apps are available for smartphones using the Apple App Store or Google Play for Android devices. 

    On-demand content is typically grouped by genre, and categories will change over time based on user behavior (in other words, it learns what you like). Users can pause on-demand content and pick it up later on any device as long as they are logged into the same account. The Live Guide shows what is airing on Live TV now, and what is available over the next two weeks. 

    YouTube TV

    YouTube TV is also compatible with a lot of different devices. Subscribers can log in and watch content on Chromecast TVs and via dongles, AirPlay for Apple TV, Vizio Smartcast TVs, Roku, XBox, and more. You may also log in to your YouTube app on a smartphone (including iPhone) and watch live programming. 

    YouTube TV has three main tabs at the top. Your DVR content can be found under "Library," and on-demand shows/movies live on the "Home" screen. The "Live" tab has a channel grid. Home opens on "Top Picks for You" where you'll find recommended programs based on your past viewing habits. 


    Hulu + Live TV

    Hulu not only recommends programming based on what you have watched before, but it allows you to create up to six unique profiles. Within each profile, the watcher can "favorite" shows and movies. This helps Hulu provide more accurate recommendations, and it lets users keep track of the stuff they frequently access. You can also "Like" or "Dislike" an on-demand program on the platform for even greater personalization. If you dislike something, you won't be served similar programs as often.

    YouTube TV

    YouTube TV also lets accounts have up to six separate profiles under what they call a "Family Group." User watch history and DVR library are not shared with other profiles on the account. Like Hulu Live, YouTube TV opens with program recommendations filled with on-demand content. You can also favorite channels so they are easier to find in the future. 


    Hulu + Live TV

    • SHOWTIME on Hulu costs $11 per month and unlocks shows, movies, and championship boxing matches. 

    • Users can add an Unlimited Screens extra for $10 per month. This is good for households where more than two users want to stream content over the same internet network.

    • For $5 per month, users can buy the Español Add-On and access channels including ESPN Deportes and Discovery Familia.

    • 4K streaming available at no extra charge or monthly fee 

    YouTube TV

    • The Entertainment Plus extra costs $30 per month on YouTube TV and includes HBO Max, STARZ, and Showtime. This package is great for movie lovers. 

    • YouTube also has a Sports Plus extra for $11 per month. This add-on for sports fans includes NFL RedZone, FOX College Sports, GOLTV, and more. 

    • For an extra $25 per month, you can also add MLB.tv on YouTube TV to your plan. You will get ad-free programming and can watch all regular season games outside of your local region.

    Hulu is good for content lovers who want foreign-language content, original shows, and the ability to add extra channels for a small fee. YouTube TV might be better for sports lovers. YouTube TV has more sports channels included in standard coverage and gives even more coverage via the sports extra. 


    Hulu + Live TV

    Hulu Live is great for a lot of cable cutters, but it does charge extra for a reasonable amount of DVR space. Without the add-on, users get just 50 hours of recording space. The platform also has fewer channels included in the standard service than many of its competitors, despite having an impressive catalog of original content on demand. Also some of the more impressive bundle options are unavailable with the Hulu Live package. This includes deals like Hulu + Spotify + Showtime, and the Sprint Hulu bundle as well.

    YouTube TV

    YouTube TV also has a lot of advantages along with a few drawbacks. For one, there is no unlimited screens option. This can be limited for large families. Plus, DVR content can only be saved for up to nine months -- you can't save your favorite rom-coms indefinitely. Finally, the platform doesn't offer foreign language channels like most streamers do via add-on.  

    Our final take

    People who like original content and don't need to record all of the things are the best fit for Hulu Live. Sports lovers and people looking for unlimited DVR space may want to choose YouTube TV. Both platforms offer access to local networks, so that factor is a wash. Overall, Hulu + Live TV has more quality content, while YouTube TV has a more robust default live TV package. If you're still undecided be sure to check out our comparisons of Hulu Live to other providers like Sling TV and fuboTV, or our full list of best live tv streaming services.