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Hulu and DIRECTV NOW are two of the most well-known names in streamable entertainment. While Hulu offers a large variety of syndicated shows from many years past and a wide selection of channels that are currently popular, DIRECTV NOW offers many of the same shows as their cable counterpart. Both offer month-to-month packages that include several features and access to both live programming and syndicated series'. DIRECTV NOW offers more in the line of sports. When it comes to high-end movie channels like HBO, Starz, and Showtime, both companies offer them as add-ons with their packages.

Hulu vs DIRECTV NOW: The Similarities

Hulu and DIRECTV NOW have several similarities. Both companies offer a 7-day free trial and month-to-month payment options. Additional features and channels can be added to any package for a fee. Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, and Starz are offered by both Hulu and DIRECTV NOW for a fee as add-on features to their packages. You can cancel your subscription at any time without incurring a penalty. The prices for each company are comparable to one another when it comes to what you receive with each one. Both also allow for 2 devices to stream programs simultaneously.

DIRECTV NOW vs Hulu: The Differences

The biggest difference between Hulu and DIRECTV NOW is that DIRECTV NOW is owned by AT& T and offers programming that is comparable to its DIRECTV counterpart. While Hulu can be streamed on almost any wireless device or internet-supported computer, DIRECTV NOW requires a Fire TV stick, Roku TV/streamer, Amazon Fire TV or an Apple TV. You can also watch it on both Android and iOS/Apple phones. If a subscriber is an AT&T customer, they can watch DIRECTV NOW on wireless devices without using any of the data on their mobile plan. One thing to remember is that neither AT&T, nor DIRECTV has a positive customer service reputation. This will more than likely also be the case for DIRECTV NOW.

Costs & Monthly Plans

Hulu's packages start at $39.99 per month but offer a variety of additional options you can include in your package. The “no commercials” upgrade costs $4 per month. The Enhanced cloud DVR add-on costs $14.99. Adding unlimited screens is $14.99 per month. By bundling all of the features, you receive a $10 discount which makes your total bill $63.97 per month. Hulu offers a 7-day free trial and no cancellation penalties. Hulu with Live TV and no commercials, the charge is $43.99 per month.

DIRECTV NOW offers four primary packages. The Live a Little package costs $40 per month and includes 60+ channels and 2 simultaneous streams. The Just Right package costs $55 per month and includes 80+ channels and 2 simultaneous streams. The Go Big package includes 100+ channels and 2 simultaneous streams for $65 per month. The Gotta Have It package costs $75 per month and includes 120+ channels and 2 simultaneous streams. Showtime and Starz can be added for $8 per month for each, while Cinemax and HBO cost $5 per month each. There are no cancellation fees and new subscribers get a 7-day free trial.

Original Series

When it comes to Original Series and Movies, Hulu offers Difficult People, The Handmaid's Tale, and Marvel's The Runaways.

DIRECTV NOW doesn't have much at all in the way of original content. Instead, they offer additional sports channels and Spanish-language channels.

New Releases

A few of Hulu's new releases include The Wonder Years series, Killing Eve series, 24 series, Apollo 13, A Fistful of Dollars, Angels and Demons, and The Shawshank Redemption, as well as many others.

DIRECTV NOW allows at least partial access to the DIRECTV library and the new releases in terms of both series and movies. If you're interested in a series, two of the newest are The Little Couple and Parking Wars.

Live TV

Hulu offers several of the most popular live television programs available. The one big drawback is that, for many, only the most recent seasons are available. Their biggest line-up of live television is from the Viacom group that includes channels like Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central.

DIRECTV NOW offers most of the main broadcast channels as well as others sports channels like Fox Sports, MLB Network, and ESPN. Because they are owned by one of the largest cable companies in the industry, many of the more popular cable channels are included with different packages.


Hulu is a good choice if you want an enormous library to choose from, as well as current programming, for an affordable price.

DIRECTV NOW is a better choice if you are looking for a more sports-oriented package with cable channel options. It's also good if you want to have a powerful brand name to back up the deal.