2017 is already a good year for cord-cutters, and things are getting a little better starting today. Hulu just announced a “public beta” of its new live streaming TV service, which should be a good alternative to a standard cable package.
For $40 per month, you get access to 50 cable channels, including content from major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. You also get access to the regular Hulu on-demand library, six individual user profiles, permission for two simultaneous streams, and 50 hours of cloud DVR storage.
The big thing missing here is content from a couple of cable-only providers, like Viacom and AMC. That means no Walking Dead, for now at least. Even worse is that Hulu hasn’t worked out deals with all the regional broadcast affiliates quite yet, which could make watching sportsball in the fall difficult. Hulu has a few months to work that out — which it’s promised to do — but access to local sports games could be a deal-breaker.
There are also some upgrade options available. You still get ads when watching on-demand content on the $40-per-month tier, but you can pay $4 more a month to avoid that. For $20 more a month, you can also get enhanced DVR and unlimited simultaneous screens, at least within the house. The enhanced DVR bumps you up to 200 hours of recording storage, and the unlimited screens option gets you unlimited viewing “within the house” (I assume this means the billing address registered on the account), and three more screens outside of the house.
All in all, it looks like a competitive package for cord-cutters who aren’t big into cable TV dramas, and don’t need excessive DVR recording. For folks who keep cable around for watching sports, and already have a Hulu subscription, it’s pretty much a no-brainer.