Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM (2023): Which Service is Best?
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There are more entertainment options available than ever before. At one point, if you wanted live TV, you could use an antenna to get limited channels or you could pay for cable. Those options still exist, but now you can also watch live TV through a streaming service. The benefits of a streaming service are that you get just as many channels as cable, but for a lower price that is available without contracts or commitments. If you’re thinking of making the switch, you’ll find a variety of streaming services offer live TV including sports.
This guide will tell you what you need to know about Hulu Live and DIRECTV STREAM. On the surface, these streaming services look a lot alike. They both offer big channel lineups, common streaming features, and a similar price tag. Either one could be the right service for you, but it could be hard to figure out which one because of their similarities. If that’s true for you, keep reading because you’re about to find out who comes out ahead when it’s Hulu Live vs DIRECTV NOW.
What is Hulu Live?
Hulu Live is a live streaming service that offers over 85+ channels at a starting price of $70 per month. Enjoy a mix of live and on-demand content from networks like ABC, Disney, Discovery, ESPN, TNT, USA, and more! Your Hulu Live subscription even comes with ESPN+ and Disney+ subscriptions. That means three services for one price.
Other features include an unlimited cloud-DVR and the popular Hulu on-demand catalog, which includes Hulu Originals! Local channels are included. You can watch Hulu Live on most streaming devices including computers, mobile devices, Apple TV, Roku, and more. You can learn even more about this service by checking out our Hulu with Live TV full review.
Try Hulu Live free for 7-days!
What is DIRECTV STREAM?
DIRECTV STREAM is great for fans of cable that want a similar experience at a cheaper price. You’ll find multiple package options offering both live and on-demand TV. Like with cable, you’ll have a mix of local channels, sports, news, kids programming, and general entertainment. In short, there should be a little something for everyone. If you’re not satisfied with the lineup, you can switch plans, or cancel whenever you wish. Plans offer 65+ channels to start from $70 per month.
With DIRECTV STREAM you’ll have access to an on-demand library, a cloud-based DVR, and access to TV Everywhere apps. Other features are also available. You can simultaneously stream on three devices at once. Speaking of streaming, DIRECTV STREAM is compatible with Apple TV, computers, Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices, Roku, and more. Our DIRECTV STREAM review is a great way to learn more.
Try DIRECTV STREAM free for 5-days!
Pricing Options: Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM
Hulu Live starts every new subscription off with a free weeklong trial. They offer one package that includes 85+ channels for $70/month. If you’re new to Hulu Live, you’ll get your first week free and then be charged for your subscription monthly until you cancel. Other than taxes, your package price will remain the same each month unless you add additional features, like channel or package upgrades. So, for $70 a month you get live and on-demand content plus access to both ESPN+ and Disney+!
DIRECTV STREAM gives you multiple package options. The smallest package offers more than 65 channels for $70/month. You can get up to 135+ channels depending on the package you choose. Add-on channel bundles are also available for each plan. If you’re new to DIRECTV STREAM, your package will start with a free 5-day trial. You can cancel your subscription at any time, even during the trial.
Winner: Hulu Live (While the prices are identical to start, Hulu Live offers you 20+ additional channels for the same amount.)
Channel Selection: Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM
Channel selection is one of the most important aspects of your streaming service. There is no point in replacing cable if you can’t get the channels you want. It’s the first thing I check out about a streaming service! We know that sports are one of your main concerns, so you will find all the details about what sports channels are available in the section below. To make it easier, this section will feature the channel section for the top general entertainment networks that both services have to offer.
Hulu Live and DIRECTV STREAM both offer larger packages, so you’re going to find some channel overlap. It may come down to one service offering a channel you want that the other one doesn’t.
Hulu Live’s lineup includes:
Local channels (in most of the country), A&E, Syfy, BET, Cartoon Network, CW, Discovery, Disney, History, ID, Lifetime, TCM, MTV, TNT, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, Paramount Network, FOX News, MSNBC, TBS, USA, and more!
DIRECTV STREAM offers:
ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC (locals are based on location), A&E, AMC, BBC America, Destination America, Discovery, Disney, Food Network, Hallmark, ID, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, TNT, truTV, USA, and more.
*DIRECTV STREAM’s channel lineup is dependent on the package that you choose. All the channels mentioned are available in one or more available DIRECTV STREAM plans.
Both Hulu Live and DIRECTV STREAM offer great lineups, but they both have at least one notable network missing. Hulu Live doesn’t have AMC or Hallmark. DIRECTV STREAM offers both of those channels, but the big one they don’t offer is NFL Network.
Winner: Tie (Both services are offering local channels and most of the top networks in entertainment).
Sports Coverage: Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM
When it comes to sports, both Hulu with Live TV and DIRECTV STREAM won’t disappoint. They both include local channels and many of the top networks in sports! The main difference is that Hulu Live offers their lineup in one package, while DIRECTV STREAM offers multiple plans, so it could cost more to get all the channels you want.
Hulu Live offers the following sports lineup: Local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), ACC Network, BTN, CBSSN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra, FS1/FS2, NBC Sports, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, and SEC Network.
You’ll find 20+ sports channels including local channels in the Hulu Live lineup. You can also spend $10 more a month and get NFL RedZone, MAVTV, TVG, TVG2, Outdoor Channel, and Sportsman.
DIRECTV STREAM offers the following sports channels: ABC, ACCN, Big Ten Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, FS1, MLB Network, NBA TV, NBC, NHL Network, Olympic, SECN, Sportsman, Tennis, and more!
DIRECTV STREAM includes 20+ sports channels in the top package. Ultimately, the number of sports channels you get will depend on the package you pick. The only sports add-on that DIRECTV STREAM offers is NBA League Pass, which is available for $40 per month.
Winner: Hulu Live (Both services offer many of the same channels, but Hulu Live offers them in one package and with DIRECTV STREAM you’d have to pay more money to get the same lineup.)
Package Features: Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM
If you still don’t have a decision about Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM, this might be the section that helps you decide. Package features are common among streaming services. This gives you more content beyond the live TV that you signed up for. Depending on the service, you’ll get things like on-demand libraries, cloud-DVRs, and other perks like multiple profiles for your account.
Hulu Live gives you subscriptions to ESPN+ and Disney+ at no additional cost to you. You’ll have an unlimited cloud-based DVR and the complete Hulu on-demand service with Originals. Use of TV Everywhere apps are also included. Other features allow for simultaneous streaming of up to two devices at once and the ability to make multiple profiles.
DIRECTV STREAM also offers a cloud-based DVR with unlimited space. Your account comes with an on-demand library. You can stream simultaneously on three devices. You can use TV Everywhere apps with your account, too.
Winner: Hulu Live (DIRECTV STREAM offers many of the same features that Hulu Live offers, Hulu Live just offers a little bit more.)
Pros & Cons: Hulu Live
Hulu Live is a reliable, easy-to-use, feature packed service. If you’re wondering what’s wrong with it, here are some pros and cons you might want to consider.
- Local channels are included almost nationwide
- 20+ sports channels
- Most of the top networks in entertainment
- Unlimited cloud-DVR
- Free subscriptions to ESPN+ and Disney+
- Hulu Originals and on-demand content included
- Hulu Live includes a free 7-day trial
- AMC is not available
- When it comes to sports MLB Network is missing
- You can only stream on two devices at once without upgrading
Pros & Cons: DIRECTV STREAM
DIRECTV STREAM also has a lot to appreciate, but there have been a few complaints about the service, as well. Here are the basic pros and cons of DIRECTV STREAM.
- Multiple plans with most of the top networks
- Local channels included in most areas
- Several add-on options and upgrades are available
- Package features include an on-demand library and cloud-DVR space
- Stream on three screens at once
- DIRECTV STREAM offers a 5-day trial
- Multiple package options could be confusing
- You might end up having to pay more to get all the channels you want
Winner: Tie (Both services offer more pros than cons. It will likely depend on what you need from a streaming service.)
Conclusion: What’s Better? Hulu Live or DIRECTV STREAM?
The only person that can decide the winner between Hulu Live vs DIRECTV STREAM is you! Both services offer similar channel lineups and package features. They even have plans starting at the same monthly price. You can sample both services, as they both start you off with a free trial. The answer might come down to the ultimate price of the plan you choose or whether you have access to the channels you want. Either way, you can rest easy knowing that you can test out both services and if you decide to cancel one, as long as you do it during the trial, you won’t be charged!