Cable is more expensive than ever. Recent studies have shown that the cost of a standard cable bill is more than $100 per month. But while canceling cable can save you a ton of money, it may leave you unable to watch some of your favorite live TV shows. This is especially hard to deal with if you love sports, cable news channels, and other cable networks.
That’s where internet TV services like AT&T TV Now and Hulu with Live TV come in. In this article, we’ll look at these two services and discuss their benefits and drawbacks, as well as the facts you need to know about each service.
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An Overview Of Hulu With Live TV & AT&T TV Now
Hulu with Live TV and AT&T TV Now are both what are known as “skinny bundles”. Skinny bundles package together a selected number of cable channels, and these channels are delivered to the customer directly over the internet.
No cable connection, satellite dish, or antenna is required. As long as you have a working internet connection, you can watch internet TV.
Internet TV differs from cable in a few important ways. First, there are no long-term contracts. All major internet TV providers allow you to purchase service month-to-month, without any kind of cancellation fees or other service fees.
Internet TV also has very transparent pricing. You won’t get hit with fees for cable box rental or any other added costs. This also means that these services are quite cheap. AT&T TV Now, for example, starts out at only $35/month, which is much less than cable.
Now that you understand the basics of internet TV, let’s discuss two of the most popular internet TV services: AT&T TV Now and Hulu with Live TV.
AT&T TV Now is AT&T’s attempt to recapture customers fleeing from its subsidiary company, DirecTV Now. While it does offer a lot of good channels and reasonable features, some recent pricing changes have made AT&T TV Now the priciest internet TV service out there.
7-day free trial
2 simultaneous streams
20 hours of DVR space
7-day free trial
2 simultaneous streams
20 hours of DVR space
HBO + Cinemax
There are six primary subscription tiers at AT&T TV Now. The cheapest starts at $65/month, while the most expensive will cost you $135/month.
That’s not exactly a bargain, despite some nice extras like free HBO with all AT&T TV Now packages. Let’s dive into some more details.
If you want a lot of channels and price is no object, AT&T TV Now is definitely a good choice. Its highest-tier plan gives you more than 124 channels, which is more than any other internet TV streaming service on the market.
AT&T TV Now also has support for a lot of “TV Everywhere” logins, which means you can log into apps and websites for channels like CNN and ESPN and watch both live and on-demand TV. Other services support this too, of course, but AT&T TV Now has the most overall support from its carried channels.
AT&T TV Now also has a pretty good DVR, with plenty of storage, and lets you stream on 3 devices at once, which is more than some of the competition.
The biggest downside of AT&T TV Now is its price. You’ll pay a lot for this service, no matter which plan you choose. The cheapest plan is $65/month, which is higher than any other internet TV service’s introductory channel plan.
With its higher-end packages, you may find that you would pay more to get TV through AT&T TV Now than you would with a traditional pay TV provider like Comcast, Spectrum, DirecTV or Dish Network.
If you are looking for a bargain on internet TV, AT&T TV Now isn’t it. It has some other benefits and advantages, but price isn’t one of them. It’s simply the highest-priced product on the market.
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Hulu with Live TV is a relatively new internet TV service, having launched in late 2017. However, it has quickly become quite popular for its reliable service, great apps, and streamlined user interface – as well as its good features.
|Hulu + Live TV|
7-Day Free Trial
2 simultaneous streams
ESPN and Disney
Hulu with Live TV, unlike AT&T TV Now, only comes with one package of cable channels. This package costs $54.99/month, and comes with 65+ channels, depending on your geographic location and partnered local TV networks.
Hulu with Live TV has a good number of solid features that make it a top pick for cord-cutters. First, it has a really good lineup of channels for the price. There are few coverage gaps.
Sports fans can get ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3, as well as Fox Sports 1 and 2, NBC Golf, and local ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC affiliates (depending on the location). News junkies get CNN and MSNBC, as well as Fox News and Fox Business. For entertainment lovers, there is TBS, FX, TNT, FreeForm, Oxygen, Cartoon Network, and more.
You also get a free DVR with Hulu with Live TV, unlike AT&T TV Now, which does not yet offer a DVR. This DVR gives you 50 hours of storage. You can stream on up to 2 devices at once by default, but you can upgrade to unlimited streams for a fee.
The most unique feature of Hulu with Live TV is that your subscription comes with a totally free Hulu on-demand subscription – an $8/month value. You can access all of Hulu’s video content, including original shows, movies, and syndicated programs.
Hulu with Live TV is missing a few channels like AMC and Comedy Central. It also is a bit expensive, especially with optional upgrades like a bigger DVR and more simultaneous streams.
In addition, your options for adding on premium networks are somewhat limited compared to AT&T TV Now, and its DVR and simultaneous streaming policy are not that good without being upgraded with the Enhanced DVR or Unlimited Streams add-ons.
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Fact 1: Hulu with Live TV and AT&T TV Now Both Have Lots of VOD (Video-On-Demand) Content
Hulu with Live TV does have more on-demand content than AT&T TV Now. You can get access to more than 3,000 shows and hundreds of top films, across just about every imaginable genre. This includes critically-acclaimed Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale. You get full access to all of this content with your Hulu With Live TV subscription, at no extra charge.
AT&T TV Now also has plenty of on-demand content, but you’re usually limited to select past seasons, some recently-aired shows, and a handful of movies from each network that is carried as part of your subscription. This lineup of content rotates frequently, too, so you may miss out if you don’t watch a particular show or movie right away.
Fact 2: Hulu with Live TV Has Better Family-Friendly Options and Features
If you are planning on sharing your internet TV subscription with your family members or housemates, Hulu with Live TV is probably a better choice for you.
This is because of the extra features and add-ons that Hulu with Live TV offers. Unlike AT&T TV Now, you can upgrade the number of simultaneous streams available to you, for a fee. For $9.99/month, you can get the “Unlimited Screens” package, which lets you stream on 3 devices outside your home network, and on unlimited devices inside your home WiFi network.
You can also boost your DVR storage to 200 hours with a $9.99/month “Enhanced DVR” package. If desired, you can combine both of these packages for a $14.99/month flat fee.
This makes it much easier to share your account, and let everyone watch their favorite shows at once.
Fact 3: … But AT&T TV Now Has Stepped Up Its Game
AT&T TV Now used to have some of the worst features in the world of internet TV. Before late 2019, you only got a DVR with a paltry 20 hours of storage and a 30-day content expiration date. You also could only stream on 2 devices at once, unless you paid a $5/month fee.
Now, though, AT&T TV Now has made some serious upgrades. You can stream all AT&T TV Now packages on up to 3 devices at once for no extra fee, and you get access to a 500 hour DVR with a 90-day content expiration date at no charge. Compared to its past features, these are huge upgrades, and may make AT&T TV Now worth considering if you’re going to share it with your family or household.
Fact 4: AT&T TV Now Comes With HBO, Cinemax For Free
Hulu With Live TV offers plenty of premium channels including Showtime, Cinemax, Starz and HBO, just to name a few. But they’ll all cost you an additional fee.
AT&T TV Now, on the other hand, sweetens the deal for fans of premium TV. The AT&T TV Now “Plus” subscription comes with HBO for free, which is a $14.99/month value. Upgrade to the $80/month “Max” subscription and you’ll get HBO and Cinemax for free. You can also add Showtime, Starz and Epix for additional monthly fees.
Fact 5: AT&T TV Now and Hulu with Live TV Both Let You Log In to Cable Websites
Both AT&T TV Now and Hulu with Live TV let you log into cable websites. For example, you can go to the FX website and watch live TV by entering your AT&T TV Now or Hulu with Live TV login credentials.
Fact 6: AT&T TV Now and Hulu with Live TV Have Excellent Device Support
- Streaming on web browsers
- iOS and Android
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
However, Hulu with Live TV supports a few more additional devices that are not supported by AT&T TV Now, such as the Xbox One and Xbox 360, as well as some select Samsung Smart TVs.
In addition, AT&T TV Now dropped Roku support in early 2020. It remains to be seen if it will come back to this streaming platform, but there has been no news since it was removed from the Roku Channel Store.
Fact 7: You Can Try Both AT&T TV Now and Hulu with Live TV for Free
If you are interested in either of these services, you can get a free trial now. You can click here get a free trial of Hulu with Live TV through their website and see if you like the service. And if you are interested in AT&T TV Now, you can get with a free 7-day trial by clicking here.
You can try both services, and see which one you like more. However, remember that you do need to cancel your subscription manually before the 7-day trial period is up, otherwise you’ll be automatically charged for a full month of service.
AT&T TV Now Vs. Hulu with Live TV: Which Is Better?
The answer to this question depends on the features you need, the channels you want to watch, and a few other factors. It all comes down to your personal preferences. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re not sure which service is right for you:
Do you need a large channel selection?
If you need a really large selection of channels, AT&T TV Now is likely a better choice for you. You can get up to 120 channels with the service, ensuring that you never miss out on your favorite shows. But if you don’t need as many channels, Hulu with Live TV may be better for you. On a per-channel basis, it’s definitely cheaper, and it has pretty much all the essential channels that cord-cutters need.
Do you need a spacious DVR?
If you need a good DVR, AT&T TV Now is a good choice. You will get 500 hours of storage, compared to Hulu With Live TV’s 50 hours of storage. Even with the $9.99/month Enhanced DVR upgrade that gives you 200 hours of DVR storage, the AT&T TV Now DVR is better.
Are you sharing your account with multiple people?
However, if you have a very large household and/or watch a lot of TV, you may want to choose Hulu With Live TV. Its $9.99/month Unlimited Screens add-on lets you watch on unlimited devices on your home WiFi network, so it’s far superior if your family tends to watch TV on a lot of devices at once.