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Hulu + Live TV vs DIRECTV

Last updated: November 14, 2023

Starts at $69.99/mo
Starts at $69.99/mo

As two of the biggest names in streaming and live TV, Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV via Internet are great options for content-hungry households. Both services offer premium channels, thousands of on-demand titles, and unlimited DVR storage to record live TV, so you’ll never miss your favorite shows or movies ever again. Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV via Internet have a plethora of offerings and benefits, so it’s understandable if you’re struggling to choose between the two. Let’s take a deep dive into each of these services and find the best service for you.

Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV via Internet Side by Side

No need to pull out a pen and a Post-it note – we’ve put all the basic info in a convenient chart for you. Below is an aerial comparison between the Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV via Internet base packages:

Detail Hulu + Live TV DIRECTV via Internet
Base package starting price $69.99 per month $69.99 per month for 24 months
Free trial No 5 days
Number of live TV channels 85+ 150+
Premium channels Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and MGM+
Local channels Yes Yes
On-demand titles 10,000+ 90,000+
Simultaneous device streams 2 or unlimited (add-on) Unlimited (on home network) or 3 (on the go)
User profiles Up to 6 No
Kids profiles Yes No
Cloud DVR storage Unlimited Unlimited

DIRECTV via Internet Offers a Greater Channel Selection

Hulu + Live TV offers over 85 live TV channels, and while that’s more than DIRECTV via Internet’s basic package (a selection of over 75 channels), DIRECTV via Internet offers three other packages with a bigger lineup.

DIRECTV via Internet highlights different channels in its packages. The basic ENTERTAINMENT package features ESPN, AMC, Nickelodeon, and CNN as well as local channels. The CHOICE™ package (over 105 channels) offers everything the ENTERTAINMENT package has, plus MLB Network, NBA TV, college sports networks, and regional sports networks. The Ultimate package (over 140 channels) includes all of the above, plus STARZ Encore, NHL Network, and Discovery Family. And lastly, the PREMIER package (over 150 channels) includes everything DIRECTV via Internet has to offer, plus access to premier channels like Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and Cinemax.

While Hulu + Live TV’s channel selection is smaller, it may be worth considering if you’re on a budget since it offers more channels than DIRECTV via Internet’s basic package. It also bundles Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. This also makes it a convenient and less expensive option for families.

Hulu + Live TV Offers More Bang for Your Buck

If you’re looking for the most affordable skinny bundle option, we recommend going with Hulu + Live TV. While it’s the most expensive Hulu plan, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of Hulu’s on-demand titles, live TV channels, and the newly-added Disney Plus and ESPN Plus services.

DIRECTV via Internet’s basic package offers fewer channels and no premium channels. That being said, it offers more on-demand titles than Hulu + Live TV, but you would be missing out on popular titles from Disney Plus (Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Star Wars, National Geographic), ESPN Plus (exclusive UFC content, ESPN Plus originals, sports talk shows), and Hulu Originals (e.g., “The Kardashians,” “How I Met Your Father,” and “Nine Perfect Strangers”).

Hulu + Live TV Is the More User-Friendly Option

Hulu has been in the streaming game for longer than DIRECTV via Internet, and you can tell by its user-friendly interface. With a few clicks (or taps) of a button, you can search through tons of channels and on-demand titles, and record live TV in a snap. Hulu’s multiple user profiles will keep recordings and favorite shows nice and tidy, and the Kids Profiles feature is great for families. You can also access the Hulu app through most smart TVs and gaming consoles.

Hulu plus live tv and recordings
Live TV channel guide and saved recordings on the Hulu mobile app

DIRECTV via Internet’s interface works well, but it presents some struggles on a few fronts. It’s fairly easy to navigate when it comes to finding channels and recording shows, but it isn’t compatible with all smart TVs and gaming consoles. And while DIRECTV via Internet offers parental controls, it doesn’t allow for different profiles or kids’ profiles.

DIRECTV via Internet's homepage features trending shows, popular genres, and a video player.

For a more in-depth, hands-on look at each service’s user interface, check out our review of Hulu and our DIRECTV via Internet review.

It’s a Photo Finish, but DIRECTV via Internet Comes in First for Sports

This is possibly the most divisive category when deciding between Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV via Internet, and it will ultimately come down to which sports you want to watch and where you’re located regionally.

With Hulu + Live TV, you have access to ESPN, ESPN2, and TNT, so you can enjoy local and nationally broadcast sports events throughout the year. With ESPN Plus, you get exclusive UFC content, sports talk shows on-demand, and original content like the “30 for 30” library. Essentially, Hulu + Live TV is perfect for fans of combat sports, golf, soccer, tennis, and baseball (aside from local-market blackouts).

Football or baseball fans will probably want to consider DIRECTV via Internet, but they may need to add on services. DIRECTV via Internet’s top three tiers include regional sports, which could allow baseball fans to watch their teams’ local games (depending on licensing and network rules). DIRECTV via Internet also offers a special NFL Sunday Ticket package for die-hard fans who don’t want to miss a single NFL moment.

In short, DIRECTV via Internet gets the gold medal in this category for its broad access to different sports channels and add-ons, but it’s certainly a pricey victory.

The Verdict: Hulu + Live TV vs. DIRECTV via Internet

Solely looking at the category winners, we have a tie: Hulu + Live TV is more affordable and offers a more user-friendly experience, and DIRECTV via Internet has a better channel selection and gives you access to more sports. This means you must decide what is most important to you.

If you’re a Star Wars fan who’s on a budget, we recommend Hulu + Live TV. If you’re an all-in NFL fan who loves to channel surf in the off-season, then we recommend DIRECTV via Internet. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll have enough hours of content to keep you and your household continually entertained.

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