Hulu with Live TV vs. PlayStation Vue

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Provider Comparisons (Versus), Streaming Guides

Hulu with Live TV brings the originals, but does it beat out PlayStation Vue’s live channels?

Hulu with Live TV
hulu logo
  • Large local channel selection
  • Excellent original shows and movies
  • Small number of channels
Playstation Vue
playstation vue logo
  • Unlimited DVR
  • Great channel variety
  • Higher price

The Bottom Line

Hulu with Live TV is perfect for viewers that know what they want to watch. The enormous on-demand library and excellent original shows and movies give you plenty of options, but the live channel count is relatively small and the DVR storage is limited. But if local live channels are your jam, Hulu offers more than any other streaming provider.

PlayStation Vue is the polar opposite. This service is great for channel surfers, thanks to its large selection of live channels. Found something that looks interesting? Save it to your unlimited DVR for later, and keep on surfing. It’s hard to beat PlayStation Vue if you’re looking for a streaming substitute for cable—it comes pretty close.

hulu logoplaystation vue logo

Price

$39.99/mo.

Price

$44.99–$79.99/mo.

Live Channel Count

50+

Live Channel Count

113 (including add-ons)

On-Demand Content

Yes

On-Demand Content

Yes

Resolution/Quality

Up to 1080p Full HD

Resolution/Quality

Up to 720p HD

Simultaneous Streaming

Up to 2 devices (unlimited with add-on)

Simultaneous Streaming

Up to 5 devices

DVR Storage

Up to 200 hours

DVR Storage

Unlimited

Start Your Free TrialStart Your Free Trial
hulu logo

Price

$39.99/mo.

playstation vue logo

Price

$44.99–$79.99/mo.

hulu logo

Live Channel Count

50+

playstation vue logo

Live Channel Count

113 (including add-ons)

hulu logo

On-Demand Content

Yes

playstation vue logo

On-Demand Content

Yes

hulu logo

Resolution/Quality

Up to 1080p Full HD

playstation vue logo

Resolution/Quality

Up to 720p HD

hulu logo

Simultaneous Streaming

Up to 2 devices (unlimited with add-on)

playstation vue logo

Simultaneous Streaming

Up to 5 devices

hulu logo

DVR Storage

Up to 200 hours

playstation vue logo

DVR Storage

Unlimited

hulu logoStart Your Free Trial
playstation vue logoStart Your Free Trial
 

Packages & Pricing

Free Trials

If you’re on the fence about livestreaming, both services offer a free trial so you can get a feel for things before deciding which side to jump to.

  • Hulu with Live TV offers a 7-day trial.
  • PlayStation Vue gives you 5 days for most packages.

Now let’s take a look at just how much you’ll be paying after the trial ends and what exactly each package will get you.

Hulu with Live TV Packages

Hulu with Live TVLive TV OnlyNo CommercialsLimited Commercials
Pricing$39.99/mo.$38.99/mo.$11.99/mo.$7.99/mo.
Channels50+50+N/AN/A
Pricing
Hulu with Live TV$39.99/mo.
Live TV Only$38.99/mo.
No Commercials$11.99/mo.
Limited Commercials$7.99/mo.
Channels
Hulu with Live TV50+
Live TV Only50+
No CommercialsN/A
Limited CommercialsN/A

Hulu keeps it simple. Hulu with Live TV is the standard plan—you get all the live channels plus access to Hulu’s regular on-demand library with limited commercials. You can also opt to subscribe to just the live content, but we wouldn’t recommend that to anyone because it doesn’t save you much.

There are also the standard Hulu on-demand plans, with either no commercials or limited commercials (the upgrade to no commercials is totally worth it).

At about $0.80 per channel, Hulu’s live service doesn’t offer the most bang for your buck among livestreaming providers. However, all the on-demand content really sweetens the pot. If you were already paying for “regular” Hulu, you’re looking at only about thirty bucks to add the live channels like ESPN and Fox News. At that price, it starts to look a lot more reasonable, especially if you have no other source of live TV.

PlayStation Vue Packages

AccessCoreEliteUltra
Pricing$44.99/mo.$49.99/mo.$59.99/mo.$79.99/mo.
Channels45+65+85+85+
Pricing
Access$44.99/mo.
Core$49.99/mo.
Elite$59.99/mo.
Ultra$79.99/mo.
Channels
Access45+
Core65+
Elite85+
Ultra85+

PlayStation Vue plans start out even more expensive per channel than Hulu’s. In fact, PS Vue is one of the more expensive livestreaming services out there. Luckily, you do get what you pay for in this case, with smart package selections that build on one another by adding sports and movie channels until you reach Ultra, which gives you the full lineup plus premium channels like HBO and SHOWTIME.

While your streaming provider is important, don’t forget that your experience will only be as good as your internet connection. (No one wants to pay to stare at buffering.) Need to upgrade your connection? Enter your zip code below to get started.

 

TV Shows and Movies

Original Content

We can’t talk about Hulu without mentioning Hulu Originals. The streaming provider has a wide variety of original shows, movies, and documentaries, from sci-fi dramas to kids shows to horror flicks. Some of them have been quite successful, like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Path.

There are rumors that Sony may be working on its own original content for the PlayStation Vue service, but this is a big hole in its offerings as of now. If getting original shows and movies is important to you, look elsewhere.

The Best Hulu Originals

  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Path
  • Difficult People
  • 11.22.63
  • Becoming Bond
  • The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

On-Demand Content

Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue both offer on-demand programs in addition to live TV. Hulu is well-known for its on-demand streaming service, as that’s where the company got its start. You can choose from a huge selection of TV shows and movies—many new episodes appear the day after they air.

The PS Vue library is smaller than Hulu’s, but thanks to the unlimited DVR, you can essentially create your own on-demand library. Hulu also offers a DVR, but there are limits to how much you can record.

Live Channels

When it comes to live channels, PS Vue has the bigger selection. In fact, even the most basic package on PlayStation Vue has almost as many channels as Hulu with Live TV. The takeaway? If variety is important to you, PS Vue is probably the safer pick. But if what you want to watch is on Hulu, the lack of live channels probably won’t matter as much to you.

Now, when it comes to local live TV, the story is a little different. While both services offer local channels, Hulu just has more. Depending on the market, the difference can be dramatic. And if you’re into local channels for things like news broadcasts, this can mean the difference between getting a well-rounded view of an issue and only hearing one side of the story.

Luckily, both providers offer a way to see which local channels are available before committing. For Hulu, go to the channel list and click “View Channels in Your Area.” For PS Vue, just enter your zip code at the top right corner of the screen on the main channel listing.

hulu logo

    • Live Channels Available: 60
    • Premium Channels: HBO, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, STARZ

Start Your Free Trial

playstation vue logo

  • Live Channels Available: 113
  • Premium Channels: HBO, CINEMAX, EPIX, SHOWTIME

Start Your Free Trial

 

Equipment

Compatible Devices

Hulu with Live TVPlaystation Vue
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Chromecast
Roku TV
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Apple TV
iPhone and iPad
Android Mobile
Android TV

When it comes to supported devices, PlayStation Vue has a definite advantage. It’s available on pretty much every popular platform out there, from PlayStation game consoles (of course) to Apple TV and mobile devices.

Hulu with Live TV covers most of the big players, but there are a few notable devices missing: Roku TV and Android TV. If you’re relying on your smart TV’s built-in apps for streaming, you might have to shell out for a separate box to use Hulu with Live TV, which is unfortunate.

Best Streaming Devices

Overall, we think Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV provide the best viewing experience. The user interface on these devices is slick and easy to use, especially with Siri or Alexa there to help. Hulu with Live TV works only on the Apple TV fourth generation or later, so it might be time to upgrade if you have an older Apple TV.

DVR and Cloud Storage

A DVR is a must-have feature in our book, so it’s a good thing both Hulu and PlayStation Vue include DVR storage in their pricing.

Hulu with Live TV comes with 50 hours of storage at no extra charge, which is a decent amount. You can upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $14.99 per month, or you can add both the storage upgrade and simultaneous streaming to unlimited devices (also $14.99 on its own) for $20 per month. We’d probably go for the $20 bundle to get the most out of the experience.

Paying $20 per month for 200 hours seems like a good deal—until you see that PlayStation Vue gives you unlimited cloud DVR storage on all plans at no additional charge. A mere 200 hours isn’t so exciting now, is it? Don’t get us wrong, that’s still a lot of storage. It’s more than many traditional DVRs. But unlimited just sounds so much better.

 

Video Quality

Resolution
Hulu with Live TV1080p Full HD
PlayStation Vue720p HD

Hulu with Live TV is available to stream at a higher resolution than PlayStation Vue. If you’re watching on a small screen, like an iPad or PC, you might not notice much of a difference. But on a big-screen TV, the difference becomes pretty obvious. Provided your internet can keep up, that is.

Recommended Internet Speed

Streaming services are usually smart enough to take into account how much bandwidth they have and adjust picture quality accordingly. That’s good. But if your internet is too slow, this can result in a pixelated and borderline unwatchable picture. Fast internet is vital to a good experience, especially if you’re cutting the cord and replacing cable TV with streaming.

hulu logo

    • Hulu recommends 8 Mbps minimum for Hulu with Live TV.

playstation vue logo

  • Sony recommends 10 Mbps for a single user and another 5 Mbps for each additional user.

Not sure how much speed you need? Our handy internet speed calculator will help.

 

Multiple Streams

Streaming services are often shared among family and friends, and providers know this. That’s why most offer simultaneous streaming, so your roommate can watch the big game while you catch up on your backlog of House Hunters in the other room. Here’s how Hulu and PS Vue stack up with sharing streams:

hulu logo

    • Hulu with Live TV lets you stream on only 2 devices.
    • You can upgrade to unlimited devices at home and up to 3 on to go for $14.99 per month.

playstation vue logo

  • PlayStation Vue works on up to 5 devices at once, no add-ons required.
 

Advantages and Disadvantages

hulu logo

Advantages

  • Large local channel selection
  • Excellent original programs
  • Simple package choice
  • Great on-demand library

Disadvantages

  • Small number of channels
  • Limited DVR storage
playstation vue logo

Advantages

  • Unlimited DVR
  • Great channel variety
  • Lots of simultaneous streams
  • Long list of supported devices

Disadvantages

  • Higher price
  • Weak ABC and FOX local channel lineup

It’s good to have options.

While streaming live TV isn’t exactly like cable, the services out there are getting really good. Whether you’re into the Hulu Originals with Live TV or prefer the unlimited DVR and variety of PlayStation Vue, you’ve got some great choices. And with free trials available from both providers, it’s easy to see if you like streaming before you ditch cable.

Ready to give it a shot? Hit those free trial buttons, give the services a spin, and let us know what you think in the comments.

 

FAQ about Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue

What sports channels are available on Hulu?

Hulu offers a great selection for sports fans:

  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNEWS
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • CBS Sports Network
  • TNT
  • NBC Sports Network

Can you get local channels on Hulu?

Yes! In fact, Hulu with Live TV offers more local channels than any other streaming provider. Enter your zip code on the channel list to see everything available in your area.

What channels do you get on PlayStation Vue?

PlayStation Vue offers a wide variety of channels, so you’re covered whether you’re a sports fan, a cartoon aficionado, or just want to catch the local news. Here are some of the more popular options you’ll get:

  • Disney
  • Bravo
  • CNN
  • HGTV
  • National Geographic
  • HBO
  • SHOWTIME

Check out the full list of PlayStation Vue channels.

About the Author

Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).

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