Hulu and HBO Max are undoubtedly two of the best on-demand streaming services out there. Making it hard to choose which one to sign up for. But there’s a great option to get Hulu with HBO Max for free which might be your best choice for 2022. You can sign up for HBO Max for one week free through a Hulu account. We recommend you get a Hulu free trial and add-on HBO Max for one week free to try out both services for no cost.
HBO Max offers great perks with a wide range of content, original shows and movies, as well as an extensive library of extras and in-theater showings on the same day they’re released. Hulu offers an HBO Max add-on which is of equal cost to the standalone service, perfect for those who want all that Hulu has to offer with the option to add HBO Max at a later date.
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|Free Trial||none||30 days|
|# of Live Channels||N/A||75+|
|Local Channels||N/A||Available, varies based on location|
|Add-On Channels||N/A||HBO Max, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more|
Plans and Pricing for Hulu and HBO Max
HBO Max comes in at a steeper price than Hulu, with the base plan costing $9.99/month compared to Hulu’s $5.99/month. HBO Max also maxes out their plan options with the ad-free plan at $14.99/month, while Hulu has an abundance of additional options to tag onto an existing plan.
Any HBO subscribers through Hulu will get HBO Max for free. HBO Max doesn’t offer a DVR option, however it’s possible to download TV shows, movies, and other live showings to watch after they’ve aired with the HBO Max ad-free plan. Hulu is the way to go when looking at Live TV options and add-ons from other services.
HBO Max Plans and Pricing
- HBO Max (with ads): $9.99/month
- HBO Max (ad-free): $14.99/month
HBO Max with Ads has a total of about four minutes of ads per hour of content watched. HBO’s ads are shorter compared to Hulu’s ad-supported tier which often includes ad breaks of up to 90 seconds long. With HBO Max’s base plan, user’s don’t get to enjoy all the big-name movies or download content for offline viewing.
HBO Max (ad-free) is the ad-free option and gains the user access to all content offered on the platform, including the option to download for offline viewing.
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Hulu Plans and Pricing
- Hulu standard: $6.99
- Hulu (No ads): $12.99
- Hulu + Live TV: $69.99
- Hulu (No ads) + Live TV: $74.99
Hulu’s base plan is one of the lowest entry-point costs out of all available streaming services. Hulu standard includes advertisements and costs $6.99 per month or purchased at an annual rate of $69.99. This plan provides access to the entire streaming library, sans the Live TV and add-ons. Hulu (No ads) grants the user access to all the same content, ad-free but at a price of $12.99 per month.
Hulu + Live TV will also come with ads, but it opens up the user to view over 75+ channels that are otherwise found on network and cable TV. For the best of the best subscribers, Hulu (No ads) + Live TV enhances the live TV plan with an ad-free experience.
Top Channels Compared for Hulu with Live TV and HBO Max
|HBO Max||Hulu + Live TV|
|The Weather Channel||No||No|
While HBO Max doesn’t include any of these main channels, it does offer a wide range of TV series between DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. This includes the shows: Friends, South Park, The Big Bang Theory, Wonder Woman, and more.
HBO Max doesn’t support local television, while Hulu with Live TV does support a variety of networks that vary by location. Users can easily search their location on Hulu’s website and find the available networks in their area.
HBO Max doesn’t yet feature sports content, although WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports and MLB have signed a seven-year contract which would make HBO Max a future outlet for game broadcasts. Hulu + Live TV includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPN U, ESPN College Extra, BTN, CBS Sports Network, SEC Network, and NFL Network.
HBO Max can be used to gain access to exclusive content that is HBO original or only offered on their platform. But overwhelmingly, Hulu will be able to support all of your viewing wants and needs.
How the Features Compare for Hulu and HBO Max
HBO Max doesn’t offer any Cloud DVR storage hours, while Hulu offers 50 hours.
Add On Options
Hulu offers Enhanced Cloud DVR, Unlimited Screens, HBO Max, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and an Entertainment, Español, and Sports Add-on. Because Hulu allows for multiple add-ons, it consolidates the number of services the subscriber must manage since they’re all conveniently billed together through Hulu.
HBO Max allows up to five user profiles — a feature not available on the previous HBO Now or HBO Go apps — making it easier to share an account. Many current HBO subscribers will get access to Max for free through Comcast, Charter, or an AT&T package.
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Which service is better overall?
Overall, Hulu offers by far the most comprehensive network for watching the broadest range of content, but HBO Max is a great option for users who already subscribe to a partner network that may offer free access to the network. There are certainly additional and exclusive shows and movies available through HBO Max, though for most users it likely makes the most sense to purchase this service as an add-on through Hulu.