What’s the Best Live TV Streaming Service?
Whether you love binging the latest hit shows on the weekend or prefer catching your favorite movies throughout the week, having a stellar live TV streaming service ensures you can enjoy TV time interruption-free. In the past few years, several live TV streaming services have sprouted up and now serve millions of users all over the US.
There are several top-rated live TV streaming service providers, such as YouTube TV, Hulu, fuboTV, and Sling TV. Each of them provide a wide range of channels to follow, including action, sports, pay-per-view, and more. But how do you decide which one is the best for you? We’ve compiled unique considerations, answers to frequently asked questions, feedback from reviewers, and details about what each service has to offer to help you make the best decision.
The big players
YouTube TV has taken the world by storm since its launch, and it is known to have more premium and top-rated channels than any other service out there. It has also added some highly popular channels and networks, including the Hallmark Channel and NBC channels. YouTube TV also provides users with one of the best cloud DVR options including unlimited storage and nine-month storage time to watch your recorded shows.
YouTube TV charges $65/month for its basic services. For an additional $20/month, you can enjoy access to 4K live streaming and on-demand content. Although it’s a bit costly compared to other services, people who are looking to cut the cord may not mind paying this much for a premium service.
Hulu, known for its blend of live TV channels and on-demand content, has quickly become a household name across the US. Hulu also provides access to some premium channels, including Disney+ and ESPN+. Although its channel count is lower than YouTube TV, it is still higher than most of the other live TV streaming providers out there.
Hulu + Live TV lets you try out their services for one week before you subscribe. Its basic plan costs $64.99/month, and you can opt for the ad-free option by paying $70.99/month. You can also pay an extra $14.99/month to add HBO Max to the service.
When it comes to premium quality sports streaming with the best coverage, fuboTV is what most people opt for. It features more than 100 channels, including ESPN, the NFL Network, and other professional and college sports channels. Plus, fuboTV offers up to 250 hours of DVR space, which is more than enough for you to catch up on any missed games.
fuboTV offers its services for $64.99/month to start. For an additional $33/month, you can also subscribe to Latino Quarterly, which features a variety of programs and channels in Spanish. For $79.99/month, you can get fubo Extra, which comes with 1,000 hours of DVR storage.
Sling TV is also a popular live TV streaming service in the US, known for its affordable plans and packages. It gives you the freedom to customize your plan based on your needs. This streaming service comes with fewer channels than YouTube TV and Hulu, but it has major channels like the NFL Network, CNN, ESPN, AMC, and CNN.
Sling TV offers a one week free trial you can use to try out their services. Then, choose between their Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans, which differ in their channel lineup, but cost the same – $35/month. You also have the option to bundle these two plans by paying $50/month.
When you are exploring live TV streaming services, choosing the best option can be quite challenging. Here are some key considerations that can help you make the most informed decision.
The live TV streaming service you choose should have the channels that you frequently watch. For instance, if you follow world news or college sports, you need to have those channels in the service you choose. Similarly, there may be certain channels you’re used to watching on cable TV, such as CNN, BBC, ABC, CBS, or Fox News, that you’ll want to look for. Although the channel list keeps changing for live TV streaming services, you should ensure any service you choose provides access to your favorite channels.
Consider your budget before you make a decision. In the past few years, nearly all of the live TV streaming providers have increased their prices. Now, you can get basic live TV services for between $25 and $35, with a few channels and low DVR space. Moreover, you can expect to pay $60 or more if you want premium channels, on-demand content, and ad-free services.
If you are a Netflix or Amazon Prime Video user, you may be familiar with the concept of multistreaming. Essentially, multistreaming gives you the flexibility to watch different programs on different devices from the same account, a desirable option for households with three or more people. Some of the premium live TV service providers allow you to stream content on three or more devices, while the lower-budget services allow for only one screen at a time. Make sure to check for this feature before you make a decision.
What others are saying
Customers have varied reviews about the best live TV streaming services, but YouTube TV, Hulu, fuboTV, and Sling TV are consistently highly rated among industry reviewers.
“YouTube TV is a great all-around cable replacement service with an impressive range of sports, news, and entertainment channels.” – PCMag
According to CNET, Hulu Plus Live TV is ranked second-best among the best live TV streaming services for cord-cutters.
“FuboTV may be a great fit for cord-cutters who enjoy sports-oriented content. It ties for third place in our ratings of the Best Live TV Streaming Services and the Best Sports Streaming of 2022.” – U.S. News
“Sling TV has an ala carte approach to channels that separates it from its competitors. While the others tend to offer only one or two packages, Sling TV offers two basic packages, Blue and Orange, and a wide variety of packages bundling up to dozen-related channels.” – ZDNet
Live TV streaming FAQs
Do you need fast internet for live TV streaming?
When it comes to live TV streaming, you would need a stable internet connection with a speed of at least 5-6Mbps. Ideally, you should have a tethered Ethernet connection and more speed wouldn’t hurt if you have a large household with many screens.
How many people can use the live TV streaming service at the same time?
Most live TV streaming services offer multistreaming capabilities to users, where they can watch different channels on two or more devices at the same time.
Do live TV streaming services come in HD or 4K?
Most live TV streaming providers offer streaming in HD, while a few of them also provide 4K streaming for additional charges.
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