On Wednesday morning, Hulu announced the launch of the public beta version of Hulu with Live TV, which starts at $39.99 and allows users to stream live and on-demand programming from more than 50 TV channels running the gamut of live news, entertainment, and sports. The massive streaming service now offers Live TV streaming and a personalized recommendation engine that filters down the things you like to watch on a per-device basis instead of per-account. Expanding to include sporting events, breaking news, and other content best watched right when it airs will make Hulu seem more like it's competing with traditional TV companies than with Netflix. Channels included in the package are: CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT, other regional sports networks, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC, Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland and more.
For $40/month, Hulu's live TV streaming service includes their existing streaming library, making it a very tempting purchase.
We look forward to getting our hands on Hulu with Live TV to share our insights on where it stands among the competition. If you are a fan of the "commercial-free" option, you can get that for an extra $4 a month, like in the old Hulu plans. Subscribers can set up to six different profiles, and can access up to two simultaneous streams. Cloud DVR service can be upgraded to 200 hours and unlimited simultaneous screens (limited to 3 outside of the home, unlimited in the home) are available for an additional $14.99/month each or $19.99 for both. However, if users want more than two screens, they can upgrade to unlimited for $14.99/month. The Hulu vMVPD service now supports Android (including STBs) and iOS devices, Apple TV, XBOX One, and Chromecast. Hulu said it plans to add support for Roku devices, Samsung products, Amazon Fire, the Hulu website, and desktop computers in the future. It's clear from the service's initial offerings that Hulu tried to fill in the weak spots of its competitors while tempting potential subscribers with an interface that puts all their favorite content, live or on-demand, in one place.
Hulu with Live TV is launching today, but this market is already crowded with similar services. YouTube TV's $35-a-month service has no cloud storage limits either. Recent unconfirmed rumors claim Verizon is also planning to launch an online TV service sometime this summer.
Other Hulu headlines: Buzzy dystopian drama "The Handmaid's Tale" was renewed for a second season and Marvel's teenage superhero tale "Runaways" scored an official series order.
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