Learning how to stream is vital if you desire to do away with the use of a table TV cord. When you stream live on various TV services like YouTube TV and Sling TV, it allows you to watch most, if not all, your favorite TV channels ranging from ESPN, CNN, Fox News, Nickelodeon, ABC, and so much more. Even more, streaming live costs more than paying for the cable company for TV.
Prices start at $15 a month with no extra charge or contacts, and you’ll use an app on your Amazon Fire TV, smart TV, Apple TV, Roku, or game console in place of a cable box and a monthly fee to rent it. Even more, you can stream at home using a phone, tablet, web browser, and other mobile devices.
These services offer a significant number of benefits ranging from no more contracts, no more cable fees, and so much more. However, there could be some downsides as well. This includes internet fees, DVR restrictions, buffering, and lack of things to watch (including live sports).
And just like cable TV, the price of these services keeps increasing. Hulu with Live TV increased by $10 as of December last year, Sling has raised its price by $5, and AT&T has also raised the cost of its service packages. This means that the landscape is in constant flux, hence causing high competition.
Meanwhile, several other heavy hitters have recently entered the on-demand fray, including both Disney with Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus, which made their debut late in 2019. In 2020, streamers will have more options, including mobile-only upstart Quibi, NBC/Comcast’s Peacock, and AT&T’s HBO Max.
With all these in mind, we have a guide that contains some of the brave-new world of live streaming over the internet. More so, it has other cord-cutting options that are available in the market, starting from our favorite recommendations for the best TV streaming service. Below is our list:
1. YouTube TV (Our Best Overall)
YouTube features more top channels for the base prices when compared to other competitors, including all the four local channels, namely ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Even more, it is the only available in service that comes with local PBS channels.
It has the best cloud DVR of the bunch, including unlimited storage, as well as a free nine months to watch recordings. The interface is a “no-nonsense” as it offers several features that a cable service can provide you with. Also, unlike the Sling and others, it is user-friendly, and it is one package and a one-price service.
YouTube TV will be a favorite option of cord-cutters that desire a cable without any hassles, as it has the best-in-class channel selection and a cloud DVR. However, It has a relatively high monthly fee when compared to a traditional cable subscription. Nonetheless, it guarantees you good quality for your money.
2. Sling TV (Best Budget Service)
Sling TV is relatively expensive when compared to AT&T Watch TV that costs $15 and Philo that costs $20. However, it has more options, better channels, and a better interface hence justifies the money. More so, when compared to other streaming services (both cable and non-cable), it is relatively cheap.
It is relatively cheaper than premium services like YouTube TV and also Hulu with Live TV as it has few local stations. Sling TV is said to be confusing as it had two channel packages (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that charge $30 per month. While some channels are both available on these packages, the two are significantly different from other channels that the offer. Orange has ESPN and Disney packages, while Blue offers FOX and NBC packages.
Sling has a poor interface even though it still offers all the important options you will need without cluttering the screen. Its major downside aside that it lacks locals is its arcane live pause. Nonetheless, it offers myriad options. Below are the top channels that are not available on Sling Blue and Sling Orange:
– Sling Blue: ABC, CBS, Animal Planet, Disney Channel, ESPN, and Nickelodeon. Fox and NBC are said to be available but only at selected major cities.
– Sling Orange: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Animal Planet, Bravo, CNBC, Discovery Channel, Bravo, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, FOX, MSNBC, and USA Network.
3. AT&T Watch TV (Best Ultra Cheap Alternatives)
AT&T Watch TV is said to be relatively cheap as it lacks locals just like the Sling TV, does not have any channel dedicated to sports, and does not have new channels too. Even more, we noticed that most of the shows on the channels it has could also be watched on-demand and can be watched with a Hulu subscription that costs less when compared to it.
Nonetheless, the Watch TV justifies its price as it lines up a total of 30 channels, some of which are no longer available on costlier AT&T TV now. These channels include AMC, BBC America, and HGTV. More so, the interface is entertaining and easy to navigate.
It is also available on most of the major streaming platforms aside from some wireless AT&T plans that customers get for free and Roku. However, this service failed to include some top channels. This includes ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Bravo, CNBC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, and FX. Even more, MLB Network, MSNBC, NFL Network, Travel Channel, and the USA Network.
4. Hulu with Live TV (Best for Hulu Subscribers)
Hulu has the least cable-like interface when compared to other competitors. However, it’s the greatest asset is the integration of Live TV with its extensive catalog of on-demand content all for one price. However, the interface frustrations apparent with the standard service are amplified the moment you add live TV.
Another downside is that you have to add $10 fee a month if you want to skip commercials on Hulu’s cloud DVR. But the service channel is stable, and it has an included catalog that makes it a top competitor even though it’s relatively expensive.
The top channels that are not available on Hulu include AMC, BBC America, Comedy Central, MLB Network, MTV, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, and Nickelodeon.