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4 (And a Half) Reasons to Avoid Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV is not the best service for everyone. Here are four (and a half) reasons why you might want to pass on this subscription.

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While it is a great service, there are reasons to avoid Hulu Live TV. Although the same could be said for most of the other live TV streaming services as well, Hulu’s solution comes with its own unique caveats and restrictions that might greatly affect the experience overall.

When it comes to Hulu Live TV, there are many reasons why you should choose it as your live TV streaming service, and especially for those that are new to streaming. However, here we will focus on some of the more important reasons to avoid Hulu Live TV, and in more detail so you can be better informed and prepared before committing to a subscription.

A point to note is that some of these reasons can be overcome through additional purchases or by combining services together. Therefore, these reasons to avoid Hulu are discussed in terms of the standard basic live TV subscription, considering that’s likely to be what most choose when first signing up.

Read more: Hulu Live TV full review

If you don’t want to read through the explanations of each reason but do want to know what you should be aware of then here’s a summary of what’s covered in this guide.

Reasons to avoid Hulu Live TV:

  • Limited simultaneous streams
  • Home network restriction
  • Viacom channels
  • Cheaper options available
  • Half-reason: PlayStation support

Reason 1: Simultaneous streams

The first reason why you might want to reconsider going with Hulu Live TV is the simultaneous streams. In other words, how many devices you can use to access live TV at the same time.

Hulu device support
Hulu limits the number of devices you can stream on at the same time

Hulu currently only allows subscribers access to 2 same-time streams. While that might be enough for some people, busy households where multiple people are likely to watch live TV at the same time on different devices will find this restriction limiting. Those users are better off opting for a service like Philo or YouTube TV – both of which allow subscribers to stream on up to 3 devices at the same time.

Read more: Simultaneous streaming comparison

To be clear, Hulu does offer an “Unlimited Screens Add-on” which lets subscribers increase the number of screens the service can be accessed on at the same time.

However, the add-on costs an additional $9.99 per month and that’s a fairly big increase in the monthly price just for extra streams. Especially when you can get at least one more stream from other services without paying any more. There are also additional caveats with the add-on, such as a limitation on how many devices can access the service outside the home network.

Reason 2: Home network restrictions

One of the major restrictions with Hulu Live TV is its home network policy. Essentially, live TV subscribers have to classify a network as the home network within the first 30 days of starting a subscription. Once a network is designated the home network, it will lock subscribers out of accessing the service on “living room” devices connecting through a different network.

HUlu live TV away from home
Can’t access away from home on living room devices

While living room devices does include TV sets, it is not limited to televisions. Other devices such as a Roku player or Android TV set-top box will also fall under the same home network restriction.

Read more: Using Hulu live away from home

To put this restriction into perspective, consumers who own two homes and want to access live TV in both properties, will likely need two different live TV subscriptions at the same time. This restriction doesn’t only affect homeowners either, as the same restriction will affect anyone who routinely spends time at two different locations. For example, students who spend some of the year away studying.

Reason 3: Hulu Live is not for Viacom fans

Generally speaking, Hulu Live TV provides access to a good and well-balanced selection of channels. However, Viacom channels are not part of that balance.

Hulu TV networks on Android TV
Good channel selection, but not for Viacom channels

For example, if you want to watch BET, CMT, MTV, VH1, or many other Viacom-owned channels then Hulu Live TV is unlikely to be the best option for you. That is unless you plan to combine Hulu with another live TV subscription service.

The one exception to this rule is CBS channels. Viacom and CBS merged in 2019 and created the new ViacomCBS entity. CBS channels have always been readily available through Hulu Live TV and still are.

Reason 4: There are cheaper services

In truth, Hulu Live TV is a service that’s priced fair for what’s on offer. However, if you don’t need all of what Hulu forces on you then this is not going to be the right service.

For example, if you are not interested in Hulu’s on-demand subscription then Hulu Live TV becomes a more expensive service, compared to others. Right now, a subscription costs $54.99 per month and that price makes it more expensive than Sling TV, Philo, and YouTube TV.

Hulu TV pricing
Hulu pricing is fair, but only if you want the extra Hulu features

It is also worth taking into consideration the likelihood of price increases in the future. During the early days, Hulu live was competitively priced. However, in 2019 the service encountered not one, but two separate price increases resulting in the base package increases by $15 per month. The sum of the two separate increases made Hulu Live TV one of the services that saw the biggest price change in 2019.

Read more: Live TV price increase tracker

Reason 4 (and a half): Not for all PlayStation streamers

This article was originally titled “5 reasons to avoid Hulu live” and PlayStation support was previously listed as one of the reasons. However, things have changed.

With the removal of PlayStation Vue from the market, Sony has been slowly making third-party live TV services services available. Originally, this started with YouTube TV which appeared to have some sort of exclusivity on PlayStation support at the time.

Sony PS4 Pro
PlayStation 4 consoles are now supported.

In march Hulu announced Hulu Live TV Sony PlayStation support. However, the support has so far only been extended to the newer games console, with the PlayStation 3 still prohibited from accessing a live TV streaming experience with Hulu.

PlayStation 3 users can actually download the latest version of the Hulu app so there’s no issues with accessing Hulu in general, it is just the live TV feature is not available through the app. With the PS3 still used by a lot of people, this is a half-reason to avoid Hulu Live TV.

The bottom line

Hulu Originals Android TV home screen
Good for most people, but not everyone

Hulu is a great live TV streaming service overall and does offer enough features at a decent price to suit most people. However, for any consumer who find themselves in any of the categories mentioned above, then it is likely they will be better off opting for a different service altogether.

While going with a different service will also mean different limitations and restrictions, they might be less important compared to these ones.

If none of these points are going to be a problem for you then Hulu Live TV is probably a service you should check out.

John Finn

By John Finn

John is the founder of Streaming Clarity and has been writing about smartphones and TV-related services and devices since 2014. John streams everything and genuinely believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between streaming services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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