Hulu’s live and on-demand TV service, called Hulu with Live TV, has been available in beta form on Android and iOS devices, plus Amazon Fire TV/Stick, Apple TV, and Chromecast. But now you can stream the service to your PC or Mac via the web too.
“As we built the new Hulu experience, we wanted to make sure you could watch when you want and where you want, on the platforms that matter to you,” Hulu’s Ben Smith explains. “Many of you have asked to access our service on your laptops and computers as well. So rather than wait until we’ve finalized our new Web experience, we’re opening up a basic version to Hulu’s live TV plan to subscribers so they can stream live TV via their browsers. That means you can catch the big game, this morning’s news or the premiere of ‘This Is Us’ wherever you are.”
Hulu with Live TV works like other similar “cord-cutting” services—like YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue, both of which I’m currently evaluating—in providing access to live TV channels as well as on-demand content, DVR-like recording capabilities, and multi-screen support. The services costs $39.99 per month, a bit more than YouTube TV, but you can add extras like enhanced cloud DVR, support for unlimited screens, and premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime for additional monthly costs.
It’s not clear if Hulu will ever support this service on the PC (or Mac) with a native app: The site for Hulu with Live TV lists the coming support for these devices to occur via “Hulu.com,” suggesting that the website will be it. That makes a lot of sense, beyond the lack of offline access to recorded content. But then Hulu with Live TV’s “Cloud DVR” feature does require an Internet connection.
In any event, the web experience is what Hulu calls “a very early version.” It will “evolve significantly over the next few months” but will remain unique from the mobile and living room versions. Today, the web experience offers access to live TV, on-demand content (including the normal Hulu library), and the premium add-ons and channels. Hulu says it will keep adding features.
In the future, Hulu will also bring this service to Roku devices and various Samsung devices, including its Smart TVs. The lack of Roku support is a weird miss, given that this device family is the most popular living room streaming device by far.