Who pays for live TV anymore? Better question, who watches live TV anymore? With a ton of streaming services available, there's no room in our lives for things like schedules, commercials, or going weeks between episodes. (What is this, 2010?)
But streaming services think people still want live TV. Especially on the go. Maybe they're right? Hulu is just the latest to test those waters. Their new streaming service launches today and starts at $39.99 a month for 50+ channels.
Hulu with Live TV (catchy, right?) comes with a seven-day free trial, so there isn't any harm in trying it out for yourself unless you forget to unsubscribe in time. The service covers many bases, from staples like CBS, Fox, and NBC, to news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. It includes ESPN and affiliates, National Geographic, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and enough channels to find something for everyone. And, of course, the service is available across a multitude of devices.
Hulu with Live TV comes at a time when many giants of media and streaming want in on the product. Even YouTube, the company started as a way for anyone to make and showcase their own content, has developed and released its own streaming service. YouTube TV includes many of the same channels as Hulu, but gives you unlimited DVR space, whereas Hulu comes with 50 hours for free with options to pay for more space.
While the choices may seem overwhelming, what might be the most enticing feature of this new form of live TV is the ability to watch on your smartphone. How crazy is that? Imagine explaining to someone watching Seinfeld 20 years ago that, one day, they could watch the finale to their favorite show — live — anywhere they wanted. Even Times Square!
Wherever you decide to watch TV, you're going to need a good network connection. On the surface, AT&T would seem to be a great option. They are offering free HBO to those under the Unlimited Plus plan, and recently announced a "5G Evolution" network. 5G and HBO? What could be better?
Probably actual 5G and HBO. AT&T's network isn't really 5G; it uses LTE technologies already in use by companies like T-Mobile, and on top of that, it is only available in a small number of areas, and the expansion list is short.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, announced yesterday they are actively working on building the nation's first true 5G network. While they acknowledge their 5G speeds won't be here for quite some time, when it does arrive, it should be as fast as standards set for 5G expect. When the time comes, streaming live TV on T-Mobile might just feel like the real thing, if not better.
How do you see yourself watching TV with all of these options available? Will you opt for one of the live streaming services, or will you stick to watching on your own time, commercial free? Let us know in the comments below. And of course, for all cord-cutting news and how-to's, keep up to date here on Gadget Hacks.