Hulu vs. YouTube TV: Which streaming service is right for you?

Hulu Vs. Youtube Tv
Hulu Vs. Youtube Tv (Image credit: Keegan Prosser / Android Central)


Hulu App Icon

The Hulu + Live TV plan provides access to more than 65 live channels. In addition to the four major local networks, Hulu's live programming includes networks like The CW, Bravo, Disney Channel, and CNN. The service also offers premium channel add-ons.


On-demand and live

More kid-friendly content
Variety in subscriptions
High-quality streaming
Limited cloud DVR storage
Add-ons add up
Restrictions on simultaneous streaming

YouTube TV

Youtube Tv Logo

YouTube TV operates as a premium cable replacement, offering live TV, on-demand video, and cloud-based DVR. The service provides 85 television networks, including the Big Four broadcast networks, and the option to add premium channels.

YouTube TV

The cable alternative

Great overall channel lineup
Unlimited cloud DVR
Best in live sports coverage
No offline viewing
No HD playback
Restrictions on select sports content

While Hulu's cheaper plans don't include live channels, both Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV offer an impressive lineup of live channels spanning news, sports, and entertainment. Hulu + Live TV offers less channels than YouTube TV, but it's more customizable and offers more variety in channel bundles and add-ons. So which service is the best for you?

Hulu vs. YouTube TV: Prices and features

If you're comparing Hulu and YouTube TV based solely on price, Hulu offers a pair of plans that are exponentially cheaper than YouTube TV. The ad-supported Hulu plan starts at $6.99, and the ad-free plan costs $12.99 per month. While both plans provide access to Hulu's extensive on-demand media library, you won't have access to live programming.

In fact, the only Hulu plan that's truly comparable to YouTube TV is Hulu + Live TV. Hulu + Live TV starts at $64.99 per month and includes Hulu's full ad-supported media library as well as 65-plus live channels. Subscribers can also choose to upgrade to the ad-free Hulu + Live TV plan for $72.99 per month.

Viewers who subscribe to either of the Hulu + Live TV plans also have the option to expand their plan with eight different Hulu + Live TV add-ons, which vary in price. This includes premium channel add-ons like HBO Max and STARZ, as well as a selection of channel bundles like the Entertainment Add-on and the Español Add-on. Hulu + Live TV also allows up to 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as part of its plans. If you need more space, you can upgrade to Hulu's Enhanced Cloud DVR for $10.99, which increases your storage space to 200 hours.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Hulu (Ads)Hulu (No Ads)Hulu (Ads) + Live TVHulu (No Ads) + Live TVYouTube TV
HD streaming (select content)✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
4K streaming✔️✔️✔️✔️
Concurrent streams22223
Profile limit per account66666

While YouTube TV offers just one plan for $64.99 per month, the basic plan includes 85 broadcast and cable networks and unlimited Cloud DVR storage. YouTube TV also offers a variety of premium channel add-ons, which can be added to your monthly subscription for an extra fee. Among the premium channels offered are EPIX for $6/month, AMC+ for $7/month, and HBO Max for $15/month.

Sports fans who choose to subscribe to YouTube TV may also want to consider the Sports Plus premium add-on, which costs an additional $10.99 per month. Meanwhile, YouTube TV's Entertainment Plus bundle costs $29.99 a month and includes HBO Max, Showtime, and STARZ. That bundle saves you about $5 when compared to adding each channel separately.

Regarding streaming quality, Hulu promises that both its on-demand library and live TV programming are available to stream in 720p, 1080p, 4K Ultra HD, and 60fps high definition (HD). The quality will automatically adjust based on your streaming device and available bandwidth to ensure the best picture quality possible.

While YouTube TV offers some titles in high definition (HD) or 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) that can be viewed on devices with HD or 4K capabilities, HD playback is currently unavailable for YouTube TV streaming on a web browser except for Safari.

Hulu vs. YouTube TV: Profiles and parental controls

It's worth pointing out that both Hulu and YouTube TV allow up to six accounts per household. But where Hulu only allows users to stream on two devices simultaneously across profiles, YouTube TV allows three simultaneous streams on different devices. That being said, Hulu + Live TV subscribers can add an Unlimited Screens feature for an extra $9.99 per month, which enables you to stream on an unlimited number of supported devices connected to your Home Network at the same time.

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PlatformHuluYouTube TV
AirTV Players✔️
Android phones/tablets✔️✔️
Android TV✔️✔️
Google Nest✔️✔️
Apple TV✔️✔️
Fire tablets✔️✔️
FireTV devices✔️✔️
Xbox One✔️✔️
PlayStation 4✔️✔️
Nintendo Switch✔️✔️
Oculus Go✔️
TiVo Stream 4K✔️
Echo Show✔️
Smart TVsSamsung Smart TVsLG TVPortal TVVizio SmartCast TVsRoku TVsSamsung (select models)LG TVHiSense TVs

Both Hulu and YouTube TV also offer the option to add parental controls, which will block certain content from younger viewers on the account. Once the parental controls have been set up, viewers will be asked to enter a passcode to select more mature content. Hulu subscribers also have the option to set up separate "Kid" profiles, which limit access to only kid-friendly content.

Hulu vs. YouTube TV: Channels and content

Among the channels included as part of the Hulu + Live TV plans are FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NCAA, NBA, NHL, NFL, the English Premier League, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Cartoon Network. As mentioned previously, you can also add a selection of channel bundles or the following premium channels: HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and STARZ.

YouTube TV offers a bit more variety with roughly 85 channels, but the channels are comparable to those offered by Hulu, and include ESPN, HGTV, and TNT. Where YouTube TV stands out is live sports coverage and its 17 premium channel add-ons, ensuring you don't miss the latest from networks like HBO, STARZ, Showtime, Sundance Now, and We tv+.

YouTube TV also offers MLB.TV as an add-on for $25 per month or a one-time fee of $130 for the entire season. Other sports networks available as part of YouTube TV's standard channel package are The Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, The Tennis Channel, the SEC Network, NESN, and the Olympic channel.

Hulu vs. YouTube TV: Which service should you pick?

When it comes to which service is the better cable replacement, there's a lot to consider. While the starting price for both Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV is the same, Youtube TV offers more channels and more live sports at the jump, meaning you might not need to spend as much money on add-ons. That, plus the fact that YouTube TV offers unlimited DVR space at no extra cost, may give it the edge over Hulu + Live TV and any other streaming platform offering live programming right now.

On the flip side, Hulu + Live TV has a more varied mix of content and includes Hulu's entire on-demand streaming library. Hulu subscribers also have the ability to download on-demand content to watch offline. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to recordings from its live TV service. While YouTube TV doesn't allow offline viewing at this time, the service announced in February 2021 it will "introduce a new add-on package with 4K streaming, offline viewing, and unlimited concurrent streams at home" soon.

If you don't want to wait for this upgrade, or you're still not sure which service to try, both Hulu and YouTube TV offer a 7-day free trial period. So sign up now and see which service fits your needs best.

Keegan Prosser

Keegan Prosser is a freelance contributor based in the PNW. When she's not writing about her favorite streaming apps and devices for Android Central, she's listening to a true-crime podcast, creating the perfect playlist for her next road trip, and trying to figure out which fitness tracker she should try next. You can follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.