Hulu’s live TV service and redesigned app come to the Amazon Fire TV

The Hulu app for the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions has just been updated with an all new interface. More importantly, Hulu’s live TV service is now available on all Fire TV devices. The TV service is similar to other online cable services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue. For $39.99 per month, you get access to over 50 live channels and Hulu’s streaming library. Channels vary by city, but it does include local channels in most major metropolitan areas. The service allows for 2 simultaneous streams and a 50 hour cloud DVR.

  1. Richard says:

    I was using the Hulu live service on my apple tv; and my feeling is that the interface is basically a disaster. I think they have so much traditional focus on show-specific searching that you’re hard pressed to figure out where live content is on the new service.

    There’s no grid, at all. You have to figure out where a network is, by grinding down into several categories, and recording shows is not at all intuitive (pro-tip; select the show’s tile, and then make sure to click it as a favorite and THAT will cause it to record).

    And it’s weird too there’s no real place to simply see what shows you have on your DVR, except on a “manage DVR” section, which seems to be more about deleted unwanted shows. But when you watch a show from the DVR, after it’s over, it seems to me it would make sense to simply start playing the next show on the DVR. But it Hulu it starts playing some random show from their on-demand library. So some weird larry king show, or a week old CNN show will start playing. Weird.

    Perhaps the most challenging thing at all about Hulu is that it didn’t have AMC… which is a challenge if you like watching Better Call Saul, Preacher, and Walking Dead.

    At least they generally have their technical stuff dialed in; unlike DirecTV Now, which STILL doesn’t have their 72 hour rewind working, and their on-demand system is also still a disaster.

    I ended up trying Sling TV this week, and so far so great. Their interface is as close to a traditional Cable TV interface as there is, and therefore it’s VERY easy to figure out and use. Their DVR works great, and the image quality is always 1080P; while DirectvNow’s often scales back to almost SD, and Hulu’s seems to vary.

    I’m sure in the coming weeks I’ll find something to hate about it; but for now I love it.

    DTVnow had a great channel selection; a semi-ok interface that was still problematic, and it hasn’t fixed things like 72 hour rewind and their iffy on-demand service at all. And there’s no DVR yet, but they kept sending me surveys asking how much I’d be willing to pay for the service… so it’s coming at a price.

    Hulu has a great channel selection, with the HUGE caveat that it’s missing AMC, and it also has shows from the Broadcast networks that are only partially on DTVN and Sling. But dang their interface is just a mess.

    Sling has a less robust channel selection, but you can flesh it out with packages (I pay five extra bucks for their news package), and you have to pay five bucks for DVR. But it totally works and the 35 dollar final cost is the equivalent of DTVNow, which doesn’t have a DVR, and cheaper than hulu, which does.

  2. JayWeston says:

    There is no NBA TV, no NFL Network, no NFL redzone. Maybe these will come next seasons. Also, no AMC. Plus the add one prices to be able to forward thru dvr. Right now it’s actually much cheaper to have PS Vue Core and Hulu ad free. PS Vue is a great service with 5 streams

  3. James says:

    I haven’t tried Hulu live yet (I was waiting for the FireTv app). But I have tried each of the others and I second PlayStation Vue it was pretty superior to the rest in reliability and quality in my opinion. I recently re-tried sling with DVR after a long layoff and it’s come a loooong way since the beginning. The interface is much improved and the dvr works great (but not on every channel, no recording ESPN for instance).

    If price is a factor I think sling is the best bargain. If price isn’t a factor I think PlayStation Vue is the best service (but 2x the price).

    The real benefit of these services is the month to month aspect of it. I dropped them this month because I found there’s nothing new on TV right now that I’m watching. I found myself watching a bunch of reruns, so I just canceled it and I’ll re subscribe in the fall when my shows come back with a new season.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The month-to-month aspect of all of the streaming services really is the key to saving the most money, if that’s the most important thing for someone.

      So often I see people complain that a-la-carte services or slim bundles with add-ons are pointless because added up they equal the same as a cable package. Sure that might be the case if you subscribe to several and keep them all year round, but if you binge watch one service’s top content for a month, then cancel and use a different service the next month, and then keep cycling through different services month-by-month, you get to watch everything on the cheap.

      Obviously, there are drawbacks, like not being “in” on the latest trending show while everyone else is talking about each new episode, but it’s the way to go if spending as little as possible for as much as possible is the ultimate goal.

      • Mark says:

        Your method is waaay too much work to just watch TV…

        • Dave says:

          Agreed. Watching TV is supposed to be the most relaxing part of my day. For me, it is worth paying a little more money in order to have a stress-free experience.

  4. Gerard Pinzone says:

    Does the PlayStation Vue app work on rooted FireTVs? Last I tried, it doesn’t.

  5. James "Tekno4Ever" says:

    The new version / revamp wont play any Hulu content. I’ve cleared cache and data 3 times which also forced me to re-login to Hulu every time. I’ve also uninstalled the app, rebooted and then reinstalled and then signed in again and it still wont work. Gives all types of error codes that starts off with cdn-3-various#’s mean that after attempting to play any video the “various#’s” always change. Called Hulu Support and they said they are aware of the issue as “numerous” users are having this issue.

  6. Mark says:

    If you’re paying $40+/mo…might as well just keep cable or satellite…There are no savings when you are paying $80/mo for PS Vue or $40/mo for any other service. Just keep cable. Hell, Spectrum here has 200+ channels for 39.95/mo…Helluvalot better than streaming offerings. No, the only ones paying to stream are those with more dollars than sense.

  7. Dan says:

    Also getting the cdn-3 errors. Interestingly the app works fine on my fire TV 1, but not on both of my fire TV 2’s. Don’t know if it’s related but both fire TV 2’s are rooted, tried hidemyroot, no changes.

    • James "Tekno4ever" says:

      Its still not working this morning and I have the same exact setup (Fire TV 2’s) on Rbox’s

      I just plugged in the Fire Stick 2nd gen which has stock firmware and is NOT rooted and Hulu is working just fine. Houston… we have a problem.

  8. Tony Ramirez says:

    The new update Hulu starts right in HD and it is finally in 1080p on the FTV stick but it stutters jitters a lot during padding. Very distracting. This is on the 2nd gen FTV box and stick.

  9. Robert Simandl says:

    So wouldn’t you know the app’s updated on the bedroom FTV and the basement FTV Stick, but still not on the Family Room FTV (the one I actually use several times a day every day).

  10. John C. says:

    Hulu said all along that they weren’t going to package their live TV streaming service in the traditional mode of channels guides and linear programming. And true to their word, they didn’t.

    Having said that, I find their new interface on the Fire TV to be nice to look at, but awkward and complicated to navigate thru. And it seems to rely too much on trying to predict and suggest shows that IT thinks I want to watch, instead of letting me easily pick and get to the shows I want to watch. And despite their view, my view is I want a channel guide.

    Thus far, of all the major streaming services I’ve tried, I like the user interface of Google TV the best. Nice to look at, show titles that expand to show detail with just a mouse-over (not having to click to an entirely different screen, a coming couple hours channel guide view, etc etc. Unfortunately, a limited channel selection compared to DirecTV’s $35 promo, no device apps and limited geographic availability.

    Because of AT&T’s $35 promo offer re 100+ channels, I keep holding onto that and hoping they’ll fix the problems with their 72 hour rewind (it hasn’t worked at all for days at a time–what they call a “known issue”) and on demand programming that plays for a couple minutes to start and then crashes. And the DVR supposedly is coming. But my patience with their technical problems will have its limits.

    It pretty much comes down to the fact that each of the major streaming platforms right now has their own individual failings:
    –with DirecTV Now it’s their technical failings re 72-hour rewind and on-demand,
    — with Hulu Live TV for me it’s their current/new interface and paucity of sports content,
    — with Google TV it’s their lack of platform apps and geographic coverage,
    –with PS View for me it’s their restrictive policies relating to away from home use, and
    –with Sling TV for me it’s really they’re behind in getting comprehensive local channel coverage (no CBS and Fox-NBC in one package and ABC in another), which is something I need from streaming.

    None of them are close to perfect right now, but at least, it’s nice to have choices. Things are still evolving, and I’m paying close attention to how each of them changes as time goes along. AT&T is really the only one I’d have any issue with dropping or restarting, just out of not wanting to lose the $35 promo. Without that, they’re simply not competitive right now.

  11. Ciar0725 says:

    Can I rollback to an older version? My Mom is a creature of habit and hates it. On top of that it’s asking to change her home location but we share a hulu sub. Looks like they’re trying to end password sharing…

  12. Tony Ramirez says:

    I hate the new app. I love Hulu but I might cancel because of the bad UI but the worst is the stutter. It is really bad. I had to use my Roku yesterday which has the old UI for now but you know they will update that too.

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