Can you watch Hulu live TV through the app when away from home? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is it depends on what device you are accessing Hulu live TV from in the first place.
In addition, Hulu defines ‘away from home’ differently for its standard subscription and its live TV service.
Understanding these points will make sure whether you are and whatever device you are using, you know what to expect with Hulu.
What is Hulu + Live TV?
Hulu + Live TV is a live TV streaming service priced at $44.99 per month. In return, subscribers get access to 69 channels, depending on location.
Compared to other streaming services, Hulu + Live TV comes with one clear advantage and that’s Hulu on-demand. Hulu + Live TV subscribers get a standard Hulu subscription at no additional cost. This represents a $5.99 per month saving compared to the standalone cost of a standard Hulu subscription.
Hulu does not appear to have any issues with subscribers accessing the standard on-demand Hulu subscription away from home, regardless of the device.
Live TV away from home on your phone
The first thing to note is that Hulu defines away from home differently for mobile and other home devices, such as a smart TV.
If you’re accessing Hulu live TV on a mobile device then you can access the service whether you’re at home, on the train, or just about anywhere else.
The main exception to this rule is when you’re outside the U.S. Hulu live TV is only available in the U.S. and therefore users are not able to stream live TV when outside. In fact, this also applies to U.S. territories and U.S. military bases.
A more minor caveat is that Hulu also wants mobile users to access the service while connected to a home network at least once a month. Which brings us to Hulu’s real away from home definition.
The Hulu app defines home as your home network
Hulu actually defines away from home as away from your home network. This is an important distinction as Hulu considers Hulu live TV as a single-household service.
This means Hulu does not permit users to access live TV in other households. While you can from a phone, and as long as your phone checks in with the home network every thirty days, you cannot link a Hulu + Live TV account at another place, at the same time.
This also means no college dorm access, or access at a friend’s or partner’s home via the TV apps. If you attempt to log in to an account somewhere other than the home network, the app will show a warning and prevent the login attempt.
As this is a home network definition (not a home device definition), you can expect the same restriction to be in effect when using a set-top box or a TV dongle. For example, you most likely will not be able to take an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV device to someone else’s home, connect to their network and then access the Hulu app that’s already pre-loaded and signed in.
What happens to the Hulu app when I move home?
If you’re moving home then the inability to access the TV app from somewhere else is going to be a problem. To overcome this, Hulu does technically allow you to change a home network with one button click.
As already mentioned, if you attempt to access the TV app from another location, the app will issue a warning. That warning also comes with the option to “make this location my home.” Clicking this will allow you to access the app, but it will also shut out access from the previous home network.
To ensure users do not use this option as a workaround to using the app at two locations by just continually activating the “make this location my home” feature, Hulu limits the amount of times a user can do this each year.
Hulu + Live TV account holders can only switch home locations four times in a 12-month period.