If you’ve been eyeing Hulu’s streaming television service, here’s your chance to test it out firsthand. The service isn’t fully available yet, but Hulu announced this morning that it is in a public beta test. If you want to see what the hype is all about, you can sign up or Hulu’s beta here.
Hulu announced their new live television service earlier this year, joining a crowded streaming market. And since their announcement, things have gotten a little more crowded with DIRECTV NOW starting their new service and YouTube TV announcing one on the way. But what sets Hulu apart from the others in this space is that their live TV service includes access to their library of on demand shows and movies.
We already knew that Hulu’s TV service will cost just under $40 a month, and will include 50+ live channels (if you want more details, read our review here). When you consider that the regular Hulu on demand library costs about $10 a month, ($4 more if you get the ad free version), which means the actual TV price is about $30 a month, right where every similar service is priced.
The basic Hulu live TV plan will allow for two streams at the same time, but customers can get choose the “Unlimited Screens” plan for $15 a month. That plan will allow for unlimited simultaneous screens at home, plus three streams outside. There’s also an “Enhanced Cloud DVR” bundle for $15 a month available that provides 200 hours of DVR recordings. The “Unlimited Screens” and “Enhanced Cloud DVR” add ons are available as a bundle together for $20, a pretty good price considering they’re $30 separately.
The first look at Hulu’s lineup indicated that all the standard networks would be available, like A&E, Travel, ABC, ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox, Fox Sports, TNT, CNN, and more. But absent are Viacom owned networks (including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central), as Viacom currently has a deal in with DIRECTV NOW Their channels are also available on Sling TV, but they’ve generally steered clear of online offerings. It’s not known yet how local channels will be handled.
The beta for Hulu’s live TV service is open to customers with Chromecast, Xbox One, Apple TV, iOS, and Android devices at the moment, with support for Fire TV, Roku, and Samsung smart TVs coming “soon.”