The selection of live over-the-top TV services is about to get even larger following reports this week that Hulu is planning to launch its long-promised live TV service next month.

The launch timing report first surfaced on TechCrunch, which cited internal company communications and confidential sources. The May launch will be a bit behind schedule after Hulu originally sought to deliver the service sometime during the first quarter of 2017.

If accurate, Hulu’s Live TV service will join a similar YouTube TV service that launched earlier this month, in addition to Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, fuboTV and DirecTV NOW, all offering similar propositions to help viewers “cut the cord” with scaled-down channel packages (and prices) delivered over broadband connections.

In related news, Sling TV said this week that LG TVs with the webOS smart TV operating system will be adding an app enabling LG smart TV owners to receive for the first time its services directly through the TV without the need for an add-on media adapter. More on this below.

Read more on the latest live OTT TV developments after the jump:

In some cases the OTT service also might present an alternative to a local cable channel that isn’t carrying a particle channel due to a carriage impasse or other issue, or a satellite service that can’t be received due to local building or tree cover block line of sight to the satellite.

By going over the top, multichannel TV providers can eliminate expensive hardware and delivery infrastructure, enabling subscribers to pay for services month-to-month without the need for lengthy subscription commitments, credit background checks and installation headaches.

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Subscribers also get a selection of about 30 popular basic cable channels and the ability to cherry pick a handful of premium cable channels for a monthly stipend without the need to commit to months or years of large expensive channel programming tiers as most cable and satellite TV platforms require.

Hulu isn’t formally commenting on the May launch report, but it has offered interested parties the ability to apply for an invitation as a service beta tester and those trials are underway.

According to reports, the Hulu TV service is expected to have a scaled-down channel lineup starting at under $40 per month but exact pricing and options were not available. It is expected to incorporate Hulu’s subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, and will offer a cloud DVR recording option as most live OTT TV services now offer. But the amount of recording time and pricing were not known.

In addition, Hulu is expected to offer some form of multiple or unlimited stream options for multiple viewers in a home.

Meanwhile, Sling TV announced Wednesday that the Sling TV app will be the first live and on-demand OTT service available on LG Smart TVs. Sling TV now supports most 2016 webOS 3.0 Smart TV models, and will be available on LG’s 2017 webOS 3.5 enabled-models in the coming months, the company said.

Including the app directly on the smart TV OS will enable users easily add Sling TV to the TV to begin a watching live and on-demand channels from Sling TV programming partners without the need to add on a separate media box or change source inputs.

The Sling TV app is being carried in the LG launcher bar, where LG smart TV set owners will be able to find it quickly. Alternatively, set users can press “Home” on the remote and select “Go to LG Content Store” and search for “Sling.”

Once the app is installed, new customers can sign up for Sling TV directly through the app.

Sling TV will let viewers customize their service experience with a variety of channel options including the Sling Orange ($20/month) package or Sling Blue ($25/month) package. The services also offers a selection of “Extras” in categories including: kids, sports, news, movies, comedies and others.


By Greg Tarr


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