Here are the 7 best live streaming TV services

live streaming tv services samsung

Source: Samsung

In the era of streaming TV, services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus have become popular ways for people to “cut the cord�. However, those services offer movies and TV shows (mostly) on demand. There is still an audience that wants to watch live television, particularly for sports, news, and other major live events. For those users, live streaming TV services are the way to go.

Here are the best live streaming services that are currently available. As you can see, they all have very different lineups of channels, prices and features.

Best live streaming TV services

1. Sling TV

Sling TV Logo

What makes it “the best�

  • Sling TV has two main plans to choose from, and each costs just $30 a month
  • It also offers lots of add-ons for extra channels, along with free cloud DVR

The Sling Blue plan has over 50 cable TV channels for live streaming TV, which includes local Fox and NBC channels in select markets. It costs $20 for the first month, and it goes up to $30 a month afterward. Sling Orange has over 30 different channels, including three ESPN sports cable channels. It also costs $30 a month. If you get both Sling Blue and Sling Orange plans, you pay $45 a month.

There are also extra plans that you can add to Sling Blue and Orange plans.  The Sling Sports Extras plans costs $10 a month, and add a number of sports cable channels to Blue and Orange. There are also Comedy, Kids, News, Lifestyle, and other plans you can add for $5 a month each. In addition, there are tons of other ala cart channels you can add to the plans, including most of the major pay cable movie channels (with the exception of HBO).

Sling TV includes 10 hours of free Cloud DVR storage which can be expanded to 50 hours for an extra $10 a month. There are also tons of free live tv streaming movies and TV shows available on-demand, and even more than you can rent online..

Why you should buy

  • Lots of channels available for Sling Blue
  • Tons of choices for add-on channels
  • Free content on demand

Why you should pass

  • Only 10 hours of Cloud DVR for free
  • No HBO option
  • No local CBS or ABC stations

2. Hulu Plus Live TV

Hulu logo in the shades

What makes it “the best�

  • Hulu has both lots of on-demand current movies and shows with a solid amount of live TV channels and most local stations.
  • Its Cloud DVR features has 50 hours of space at no extra charge

Hulu Plus Live TV one of the best live streaming TV services you can get, either by itself or combined with a Hulu subscription. The basic package, with Hulu, costs $55 a month. It offers access to over 65 channels and live channels from your local ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox stations.  You can also add on major pay cable movie channels like HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Epix for an extra fee.

Hulu Plus Live TV includes 50 hours of cloud DVR service, which can be boosted to 200 hours for an extra $15 a month. You can also get an unlimited amount of screens in your home streaming the service for an extra $15 a month or get both the boosted DVR and unlimited screens features for $20 a month.

Why you should buy

  • Tons of live TV channels
  • Lots of current movies and shows on demand
  • Generous amount of free cloud DVR

Why you should pass

  • It’s on the high side of price ranges

You can also bundle Hulu with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. That means you can get three major streaming services under one bill.

3. YouTube TV

Picture of YouTube TV on a Google Pixel.

What makes it “the best�

  • YouTube TV has over 70 channels for the relatively low price of $50 a month.
  • It also has a 14-day free trial and unlimited DVR storage.

Google’s YouTubeTV costs $49.99 a month. For that fairly low price, this live TV streaming service includes access to over 70 live TV channels. It also includes local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations. You can add additional pay cable channels for additional monthly fees. You can have up to six people access your single YouTube TV account.

This service has unlimited cloud DVR storage, with the only limitation being that your recordings will disappear nine months after their creation. 

Why you should buy

  • Tons of live TV channels for a fairly low price tag
  • Free trial
  • Unlimited DVR storage

Why you should pass

  • No HBO or Cinemax options
  • You can’t keep your DVR recordings forever

4. AT&T TV Now

att tv now

What makes it “the best�

  • AT&T TV Now offers access to HBO and Cinemax in its Max plan along with free access to the HBO Max streaming service.
  • It also has a 7-day free trial and 500 hours of cloud DVR storage.

AT&T TV Now (previously known as DirecTV Now) has two main plans. The Plus plan includes over 45 channels for $55 a month. The Max plan has over 60 channels, plus HBO and Cinemax included, for $80 a month. Plus plan subscribers can also sign up for HBO and Cinemax a la cart for $10 and $11 a month each, respectively, There are also other pay cable channels you can add for extra fees.

Both plans offer up to 500 hours of cloud DVR storage, and access to local channels (although they do vary in some individual markets) AT&T TV Now Max subscribers will also get access to the HBO Max streaming service for free.

Why you should buy

  • HBO and Cinemax access on the Max plan
  • Free HBO Max on the Max plan
  • 500 hours of cloud DVR storage

Why you should pass

  • The Plus plan is pricing for what you are getting.
  • Some local channels in some markets are not included

5. Fubo TV

fubo tv logo

What makes it “the best�

  • Fubo TV is made for the major sports TV fan although it also has lots of other channels to choose from.
  • It also has a 7-day free trial and up to 500 hours of cloud DVR storage.

Fubo TV started out as a live streaming TV sports service only. However, it has since evolved into a more mainstream streaming live TV service. Its basic package costs $55 a month and has over 100 channels, including many local and international sports channels. It also includes 30 hours of cloud DVR storage and support for up to two streams at one time. For $60 a month, you can access up to 500 hours of DVR storage, and three streams at once, with the same channel lineup. If you have the money, the $80 a month Ultra plan includes nearly 180 channels, including more sports channels and Showtime. There are also lots of other channel lineups that you can add for additional fees.

Why you should buy

  • Great service for sports fans
  • Lots of channels for the money
  • 500 hours of cloud DVR storage

Why you should pass

  • Not as many platforms supported compared to others
  • Not all local channels availabe in some markets

6. Philo TV

philo tv

What makes it “the best�

  • Philo TV has 59 channels for the low price of $20 a month
  • It also has a 7-day free trial, unlimited DVR storage and up to 10 profiles per account

Philo TV is the definition of a bare-bones live streaming TV service. For just $20 a month, you get 59 live cable TV channels. That’s it. No add-ons or anything else to worry about. You also get a seven-day free trial, and a whopping 10 profiles per account. You can also stream on up to three devices at once. There’s also unlimited cloud DVR storage, although your recording will disappear after 30 days.

Platforms for the service include Android, iOS, Android TV, Roku sticks, boxes, and TVs, and Amazon Fire TV sticks and TVs. It’s also available for the Apple TV box, Windows and Mac PCs.

Why you should buy

  • Lots of channels for one low price
  • Up to 10 profiles per account
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage

Why you should pass

  • DVR recordings disappear after 30 days
  • No local channels
  • No live sports

7. Frndly TV

frndlytv share
What makes it “the best�
  • Frndly TV is a highly curated live streaming TV service made for family-friendly viewing
  • Plans begin at just $6 a month

This is a very unusual live streaming TV service. Frndly TV is made specifically for family-friendly television watching. It includes channels like the many Hallmark cable TV outlets, along with UpTV and other channels that don’t offer more adult content. The basic plan costs just $5.99 a month for 15 channels, and you can get unlimited DVR storage for $45 days for the $7.99 a month plan. There’s also a $9.99 a month pan that boosts the storage time to 180 days.

Why you should buy

  • Ultra-cheap
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage

Why you should pass

  • Very limited channel selection

Those are the best live streaming TV services. Which one will you choose to sign up for?

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