Hulu Live, the new live streaming offering from the Video on Demand service, appears to be losing favor with some of its subscribers.
The live stream, which includes roughly 50 basic cable channels for $40 a month, debuted the first week of May to strong reviews from users, according to Apple’s iTunes store.
Within the first 24 hours of service, 60 people who posted reviews of Hulu Live at the iTunes store give it an average rating of 3.8 stars out of a possible five. That was a significantly higher rating than received by streaming rivals such as Sling TV and DIRECTV Now, which have had difficulty getting overall ratings higher than 2.5 stars.
“I love this new (Hulu Live) 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,” wrote ‘Aliminois, who gave Hulu Live five stars on May 4.
However, the iTunes ratings for Hulu Live have declined ever since and now stand at just 2.5 stars, basically the same for Sling TV and DIRECTV Now. (245 subscribers have now posted ratings/reviews of Hulu Live at the iTunes store.)
Most reviewers express unhappiness with Hulu Live’s interface which can be difficult to navigate and locate specific shows.
“As many others have commented, the new UI is awful to work with compared to the older version. Illogical order, hard to find things and it is just painful to navigate. No easy way to find what is live or not, really poorly thought out,” writes ‘cwhk88.’ who gives Hulu Live two stars.
Other reviewers say Hulu Live’s picture frequently buffers or freezes, making it difficult to watch a show from beginning to end without interruption. This is a common lament with live streaming services.
“The navigation is a little confusing. It’s not terrible, but it does need some work. The live tv streams buffer a lot. When I’ve used other streaming TV services I haven’t had this issue. I live alone, so I know bandwidth isn’t the problem. Overall I like where this service is going and I am hopefully that it improves overtime,” adds “Glos 31,’ who also gives Hulu Live two stars.
“I love the idea,” says “juleskat111,” who gives Hulu Live two stars. “I want to keep this service, but I may have to cancel until it gets better. Right now, when we play videos, they freeze often or restart themselves in weird places. Or they won’t even load…I don’t want to pay a premium price for videos when they only work 45 percent of the time.”
Hulu Live recently sent a software upgrade designed to improve performance, but the new software has only received a two-star rating since its installment.
— Phillip Swann