Richard Bucker

YTT or Hulu the breakdown

Posted at — Jun 20, 2019

The quick answer… hulu wins but not because it’s better… just less bad.

The life of a cord cutter….

Last night we experienced an outage at Hulu. It was terribly frustrating because it’s probably been going on, intermittently, for a couple of days only the hulu app and the web app or customer service “don’t know and won’t tell”. So last night I did a deeper dive into YTT (YouTubeTV) and in my case it’s not a good match.

The customer service person I was chatting with at YTT was very helpful. There is so much to know:

- not all LIVE content will be available VOD (video on demand)
- YTT is a proxy or passthru for the live content
- VOD content is uploaded by the networks
- LIVE and VOD as provided cannot skip commercials
- only recorded shows can be skipped
- if you jump into a live show you are supposed to be able to skip back to the start of the show but that did not work for me. But seems counter-intuitive if YTT is merely a proxy
- YTT does not support Amazon Fire so if you have an older TV you are limited in the available appliances and some are better than others.
- people have been reporting that YTT has been substituting VOD for their personal recordings and that means commercials.
- YTT is limited to 3 devices. (needs clarification)

The biggest non-starter is that I have a g-suite or domain account for our family. Unfortunately I cannot do a “family share” meaning that each family member cannot have their own interests and recording catalog.

As for hulu I did not get any confirmation like I did from YTT, however, I imagine it works similarly in terms of the VOD and LIVE streaming… however,

- I can jump into a live show and skip to the beginning
- commercials on recorded shows are automatically skipped if you pay for commercial skip
- hulu has plenty of device support including amazon file and roku.

With hulu, like satellite TV, there are service disruptions.

- the quality of their apps seems limited… when there is a system outage or service degradation they are not transparent. At least when Dish fails you just look for rain.
- there are bugs like profile crossover where my wife’s profile is limited to the kids shows
- I’m constantly being asked to login with a password even though the various devices are registered.
- The user experience is just not thought out or professional.

I think there is room for a new player but the cost for entry will be huge.