Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Hulu with Live TV
I like college football. When I cut the cord in 2011, I waited until after the college bowl season was done. I had purchased a Roku in 2010, but kept cable until after football season because there was no other way to watch the games from home.
Thankfully, that's no longer the case. For sports, I've tried Sling TV ($25/month for package and add-on with all ESPN channels), DirecTV Now ($50/month for package with all ESPN channels), and PlayStation Vue ($45/month for a package with all the English language ESPN channels). Best price is Sling TV for what I want.
Right now I'm trying a different service: Hulu.
Okay, it's the Hulu with Live TV service. That's Hulu, but with Live TV. Which puts Hulu as another service similar to Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue.
Hulu is normally $8/month. That's been serving as my "cable service" since 2011. Recently, they added a Live TV service. It's $40/month. Not an additional $40/month, but it works out to an additional $32/month.
On the face of it, it still looks like Sling TV is a better deal because Hulu and Sling TV together totals $33/month ($8/month + $25/month) as opposed to $40/month. But things are never that simple.
All of the live TV services has problems. They're buggy. They will buffer a lot. It's nearly impossible to watch a game on any of those services, in my experience. So, I use the service to authenticate against the ESPN app (or the WatchESPN app, depending on the platform). The ESPN app is much more stable for live streaming than those live TV service apps.
As for what channels these services offer, here's a chart provided by Roku. It has a few flaws, such as the same channel listed twice (ESPN2 vs ESPN 2, TCM vs Turner Classic Movies, etc).
So, for now, it's $7/month more for Hulu with Live TV vs Hulu and Sling TV. But, I get two streams with Hulu Live TV vs Sling TV's 1 stream (unless I want their $40 four-stream service). I also get more app authentications.
For your purposes, is Hulu with Live TV a good deal? I don't know. I will say that it offers support for more apps than Sling TV does. The downside is Apple TV-related. Sling TV supports Single Sign On, while none of the other services support it.
I may keep this one. This is the first service to threaten Sling TV's position as my go-to service for accessing sports.