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Hulu Live: The Early Returns Are In

Hulu Live, the new $39.99-a-month live streaming service, launched yesterday and, thus far, initial subscribers seem to like it, according to user posts at the Apple iTunes store.

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Live streaming services, such as DIRECTV Now, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, have experienced mixed consumer reviews since their debuts largely due to technical inconsistencies and programming gaps.

Hulu Live, which is from Hulu, the subscription Video On Demand service, may soon encounter its own set of difficulties.

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But 60 people who have posted reviews at the iTunes store give it an average rating of 3.8 stars out of a possible five, as of noon ET today.

Of course, it’s possible that people friendly to Hulu the company may have posted a few favorable reviews on iTunes. But the initial rating  looks good considering that DIRECTV Now, Sling and Vue all have ratings under three stars, based on total reviews since their first day in operation.

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“I love this new UI (User Interface);  it has a lot of improvements and definitely is a lot different from all other video apps. No need of cable service, you can have everything in here,” writes ‘Aliminois, who gives Hulu Live five stars.

“Only reason why not a 5th star is there is no “button” for live tv. I have to dig around to find what is live. Besides that the streaming is seamless. Today is the first day of launch so let’s hope it stays this smooth! It’s a beautiful app just needs a LIVE TV BUTTON!!!” says four-star reviewer, “dannahpartyoffive.”


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“I love the new user interface, especially while watching an episode,” says “ShimonNst,” who adds that Hulu Live would be even better if users could tell the length of ads.

Several negative reviews focused on what the users said was inconsistent performance on the iPad Pro, particularly the 12.9-inch edition. Others complained about holes in the programming lineup such as no AMC, Comedy Central or MTV.

Hulu Live, which has roughly 50 channels, includes local network affiliates in select markets as well as such basic cable channels as the Disney Channel, ESPN, the Fox News Channel, CNN, TBS and TNT.

But AMC, HBO, Discovery, Starz or Viacom-owned channels such as MTV and Comedy Central are not available. Fox and NBC regional sports channels are be available, but not in every market.

In addition to the live channels, the $40 a month will give you access to Hulu’s subscription video on demand service, which normally starts at $7.99 a month. 

Showtime is also available for $8.99 a month, but HBO is not available.

The live service is available on the 4th generation Apple TV, the XBox One, Google Chromecast, iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad and Android devices. More devices such as Roku and the Amazon Fire TV suite of products are expected to be added soon.

— Phillip Swann

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About TV Answer Man (496 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

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