Thinking about cutting the cord? You’re not the only one.
Traditional cable subscriber numbers declined 3.4 percent in 2017. While that might not seem like much, it actually means that cable companies are losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers every year.
With so many live TV streaming sites out there, how do you choose which one to go with? Each option has its positives and negatives. Read on for information about all the live TV streaming options available to you.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is the best of the live TV and on-demand TV worlds. Starting at $40 per month, Hulu offers subscribers access to a wide variety of TV channels. They even offer subscribers access to live local networks like ABC and NBC.
Included in the monthly fee is Hulu’s on-demand library with limited commercials. If you want commercial-free TV or if you want to add premium networks like HBO, there is an additional fee.
Hulu offers most sports channels but lacks MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and NHL Network.
Each subscription comes with Cloud DVR that stores up to 50 hours of television. If you think you’ll need more space, you can upgrade to the Enhanced Cloud DVR which stores up to 200 hours of television for an extra fee.
Additional fees apply for commercial-free on-demand TV and the ability to fast forward through commercials on recorded TV shows.
Hulu with Live TV is compatible with most streaming devices including Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, and Chromecast.
Sling TV offers three different plans to subscribers. Two are base plans that cost $25 a month — Sling Orange and Sling Blue. The third is $40 per month and combines Orange and Blue channels.
The Orange and Blue packages contain a set of channels tailored to subscriber preferences. For example, college football fans may prefer Sling Orange because it contains three ESPN channels. Sling Blue may be preferable to hockey fans because it contains NBC Sports and Fox Sports.
Sling TV doesn’t come with free Cloud DVR, but you can add it for $5 per month. That gets you 50 hours of storage space, the ability to record multiple shows at once, and the ability to fast forward through commercials.
You can watch Sling TV on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Android TV, Windows, macOS, Xbox One, and Google Chrome, among others.
Compared to Hulu, Sling TV offers fewer channels, but even with the added charge for the DVR on the highest cost plan, you’re spending less if you’re keen on skipping commercials.
PlayStation Vue starts at $39.99 per month for the Core plan, which goes up to $49.99 per month after two months. Vue also has plans for $44.99, $55.99, and $79.99 per month.
Vue offers most channels. Vue has plans tailored to those interested popular channels, sports, movies, kids’ TV, and premium channels.
The DVR is one of the highest quality DVRs out there with unlimited storage space and the ability to fast forward through commercials. The only downside to the DVR is that it automatically deletes shows after 28 days.
Like Hulu and Sling, Vue is available on several devices but features multiscreen view if you access it through a PlayStation 4.
This is a great option for anyone who wants the best of Hulu and Sling and doesn’t mind paying a bit more for it.
YouTube TV is a fledgling live TV streaming service that’s currently available in 99 markets. Priced at $40 per month, YouTube TV features all four local channels in each of its 99 markets, and it offers unlimited storage on its DVR.
It features an easy-to-use interface for subscribers who lack tech savvy. Viewers are able to see a channel guide like on cable TV, so you don’t have to look elsewhere to see what’s on later. It also allows you to fast forward through commercials on recorded shows.
The only downside to it, apart from limited availability, is that if you record a show that later appears in the on-demand library, it replaces it with the on-demand version and you lose the ability to fast forward through commercials.
An offshoot of its parent satellite service, DirecTV Now starts at $40 per month and offers three other packages priced at $55, $65, and $75. Due to the connection to its parent service and AT&T, DirecTV Now offers a comprehensive variety of channels with almost all channels represented in the service. You’ll find everything from SciFi to travel networks on DirecTV Now.
The downside is that, while it does have a DVR service, it is in beta and not as useful as competitors’ DVR services. Some apps have a harder time than others with the DVR.
If you’re looking for a wide variety of channels, but aren’t interested in DVR service, this service is right for you.
Fubo TV is the best choice for diehard sports fans. Starting at $45 per month, it offers a large amount of sports channels that you won’t get with any other live streaming service.
It also offers standard channels like Bravo and CNN, and even offers most local networks except for ABC.
One major downside is that it is region locked, so sports fans can’t watch out of market games unless they subscribe to the services offered by the NHL, NFL, NBA, or MLB.
Other Live TV Streaming Sites
AT&T Watch TV
AT&T’s entry in the live TV market features 30 channels including AMC, HGTV, and CNN. While it doesn’t offer access to local television channels like NBC or CBS, it’s a great option for someone who wants cable channels and is a bargain for $15 per month.
If you are an AT&T Wireless subscriber, Watch TV comes with the Unlimited & More Premium plan. It also includes access to one premium channel like HBO or Showtime.
CBS All Access
Starting at $6 per month, CBS All Access is the only standalone service offered by a major network. It offers subscribers live TV as well as on-demand access to shows and exclusive content.
There are several IPTV providers out there. Many offer a wide variety of channels, including local and sports channels at a low monthly cost. These providers work well for people who don’t mind subscribing to services that don’t have a major brand name attached.
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When it comes to cutting the cord, the growing variety of live TV streaming sites is a great thing for consumers. Increased competition between services means lower prices for more content than you receive with traditional cable. There’s a streaming site out there for everyone.
Now that you know everything you need to know about live TV streaming sites, freedom from cable is only a click away!