DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live: How Do They Compare?

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DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live
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It comes as no surprise that 33 million Americans (and growing) have joined the cord-cutting movement.

Streaming TV services are affordable, convenient, and offer your favorite shows and movies just like the best cable TV providers.

You know streaming is a great entertainment option, but which service should you choose?

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In this comparison of DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live TV you'll find out how these two measure up against each other as far as channel selection, price, and features. Stay tuned!

DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live TV: Key Considerations

  1. Price: Cost is likely a major factor in your decision-making process, especially if you're going to have multiple subscriptions. Prices vary widely among streaming TV services, especially if you opt for add-ons like HBO.
  2. Channel selection: Some streaming providers, like DIRECTV Now, offer an experience closer to cable. Others - like Philo - are niche providers that offer limited channels in one genre. Make sure you're getting the channels you really want.
  3. Extras: Extra options range from just premium movie channels to an extensive collection international packages (like Sling offers). Pay particular attention, especially if you're looking for a specific sports plan.
  4. Compatible devices: You'd think all streaming apps would work on all devices, right? Unfortunately that's not the case. Most apps run on devices like Roku, but compatibility varies on other platforms (like gaming consoles).

DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live Channel Packages

These two streaming TV providers differ quite a bit in terms of their plans.

  • DIRECTV Now has five plans - four English, one combo Spanish/English, with channel counts ranging from 60+ to 120+.
  • The Hulu TV plan offers 50+ channels, with or without regular Hulu VOD (video on demand), and with or without commercials in the on-demand content.

Local Channels

  • DIRECTV Now local stations numbered over 400 at last count.
  • Hulu Live TV boasts about 600 local affiliates.

These numbers change at a rapid pace so be sure to check whether your local channels are included before subscribing.

Entertainment Essentials

  • DIRECTV Now offers a robust selection in its lowest tier, including favorites like A&E, Animal Planet, Comedy Central, Food Network, FX and FXX, HGTV and much more.
  • Oddly, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is only included in DIRECTV Now's smallest plan.
  • Hulu Live TV gives you most of the same channels minus Viacom channels (Animal Planet, Comedy Central, MTV, etc.).


  • Hulu offers kids entertainment options like Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, and Universal Kids.
  • DIRECTV Now gives you all of the above plus Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.

Of course this is far from an exhaustive list for either service. Check out the full DIRECTV Now channel lineup and the Hulu TV channel lineup.

DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live Prices

The smallest of the DIRECTV Now plans runs the same price as Hulu TV.

Once you start moving up in packages or adding premium channels your cost will go up pretty quickly with DIRECTV Now. Of course, you'll also get a selection that's closer to cable, which is great for channel surfers.

DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live TV Premium Channels & Extras

When it comes to extra content DIRECTV Now and Hulu with Live TV are about even. Each one offers an array of premium channels along with a couple of extra options.

DIRECTV Now Extras

  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Showtime
  • Starz
  • Brazilian, Español, Korean, and Vietnamese packs
  • FOX Deportes

Hulu Live TV Extras

  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Showtime
  • Starz
  • Entertainment pack (extra lifestyle channels like Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, DIY, and Lifetime Movies)
  • Español


  • DIRECTV now - 20 hours free (in beta at the time of this writing), 30 days of storage time
  • Hulu Live TV includes 50 hours of cloud DVR, upgradable to 200 hours for an additional fee

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DIRECTV Now vs Hulu Live Sports

If you're a sports fan, this could be the deal breaker or maker for your final decision.

DIRECTV Now Sports

  • Bottom tier comes with ESPN, ESPN2, and Fox Sports 1
  • More sports channels are added with each plan until you get to the top which includes NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network along with a few more.
  • You can add NFL Sunday Ticket starting at the second tier plan.

Hulu Live TV Sports

  • Includes many of the main sports networks - ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, and the Big Ten Network plus several more.
  • No add-ons like NHL Network, NFL RedZone, etc.

Because both streaming services have a wide range of local channels you'll get plenty of regional sports. DIRECTV Now is probably the better choice for hardcore fans since Hulu TV sports coverage is pretty basic.

DIRECTV vs Hulu Live TV User Experience

You'll want a good experience to enjoy all those television channels. DIRECTV Now has an edge in terms of user friendliness.

User Interface

  • DIRECTV Now is easy to use and allows you to keep a show playing while you search, although the pop-up pause in the middle of the screen when the cursor moves can be annoying.
  • Hulu doesn't exactly get a lot of love for its interface in general and Hulu with Live TV doesn't improve much upon the problem. It's awkward and at times frustrating since you have to click so many times to get to your next unwatched episode.

Compatible Devices

This is where Hulu Live TV has the advantage.

  • Both services work on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire products, Android and Apple devices, Chromecast, web browsers, and certain smart TVs.
  • Hulu also works on Xbox One and Xbox 360 as well as Nintendo Switch, Wii, and Wii U

Number of Streams

DIRECTV Now gives you two streams with the option to add a third for an added fee.

Hulu with Live TV provides you with two streams, with the option to upgrade to unlimited streams.


It's tough to compete with DIRECTV Now for channel selection and sports coverage.

On the other hand, Hulu with Live TV lets you have six account profiles and works on more devices than DIRECTV Now. And it's less expensive than most of the DIRECTV Now packages.

It may help to read DIRECTV Now customer reviews as well as Hulu Live TV customer reviews.

Not sure about joining the cord cutters? Check out the best TV service options to find out what's available. You can also search for local TV service quickly and easily - find TV providers in your area.

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