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Best Live TV Streaming Services

Best Live TV Streaming Services

Dwight Pavlovic
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Reading time: 7 minutes
Streaming TV services and live TV streaming platforms are great alternatives to traditional cable packages. They can reduce or even eliminate costs associated with watching your favorite shows and movies, and they typically offer more control for users through on-demand, DVR options, and more.
The services available today range from completely free and focused on local channels, to live sports and cinema hubs. While our list focuses on live TV streaming, many of the platforms offer premium packages with additional features. Many also charge a subscription fee, but you’ll only need a smart TV or computer to start watching – no more boxes or extra cables.

1. YouTube TV

Designed as a complete replacement to cable, YouTube TV is a well-rounded option that offers a bit of everything for everyone. It has a strong focus on sports content and channels you’d expect from a mainstream provider including ABC, CBS, Food Network, AMC, and Comedy Central.
YouTube TV offers a standard 85 channels, but you may have access to more depending on where you live. Curious to try? Enter your zip code to see exactly what’s available with a subscription in your area. It also has a 7-day free trial to see how things work and free cancellation at any time.
More information:
  • Price: $64.99 per month
  • Varied, with lots of sports channels
  • Share subscription with up to 6 accounts
  • Unlimited storage

2. Sling TV

Sling TV may not offer as many channels as some competitors, but it makes up for it with a solid variety of subscription options at intermediate prices. Their Sling Orange and Sling Blue tiers ($35 per month) offer two themes: NBA and family entertainment, or entertainment and news. The tiers provide 32 and 42 channels, respectively, or you can combine them for 50 total.
Sling has targeted bundles, too, including an NBA-only option and a Chromecast/Google TV offer. Whichever subscription level you prefer, you can use the free 3-day trial to test the waters. Overall, it’s a great way to reduce annual costs without sacrificing the content and features you want.
More information:
  • Price: $35 per month for Orange; $35 for Blue; $50 for Orange & Blue
  • Strong focus on sports, news, and general entertainment
  • 50 hours of free DVR, pay for more
  • Up to 3 device streams

3. Philo

Philo
Philo lacks the same sports offerings as our first entries, but it offers a bigger number and range of channels. The base package is simple, with 60+ channels at $25 per month and features unlimited DVR storage (save recordings for up to 12 months). There’s also a 7-day free trial.
Philo subscriptions include a lot of popular user features. You can find a bunch of affordable movie add-ons, starting at as little as $3 per month. Users can also stream simultaneously on up to 3 devices and create 10 profiles per account.
More information:
  • Price: $25 per month
  • Balanced content library with optional add-ons
  • Unlimited DVR storage (auto-deletes after 12 months)
  • 7-day free trial for all services and options

4. Plex TV

Plex TV offers 2 different account types that vary based on their features. Free accounts can stream from Plex’s oversized content library, with a large number of on-demand TV shows and movies in addition to live TV streaming. The service is also designed to help manage your existing media library through an accompanying app.
The upgraded version, Plex Pass, starts at $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or a lifetime subscription for just $119.99 (about the cost of three annual subscriptions). Plex Pass provides advanced management and automation features, plus offline sync so you can watch anything from anywhere.
More information:
  • Price: Free or $4.99 per month for PlexPass; 1 year for $39.99; lifetime for $119.99
  • Manage the rest of your library
  • Live TV streaming and on-demand content
  • Save with annual and lifetime memberships

5. Frndly TV

Frndly TV is one of the more family-centric video streaming services on our list, as you may have guessed from the name. Their offerings focus on the full range of Hallmark programming, a variety of educational content, plus lifestyle, cooking, and entertainment channels.
Compared to other live TV streaming services, Frndly TV is one of the most affordable options. The basic packages cost just $6.99 per month. Spend $8.99 for the Classic tier to get unlimited 3-month DVR storage and an additional device for streaming. The premium package is $10.99 and adds simultaneous streaming for 2 extra devices and 9-month DVR storage.
More information:
  • Price: $6.99 per month for Basic; $8.99 for Classic; $10.99 for Premium
  • Family-friendly content library
  • Unlimited DVR storage (for up to 9 months)
  • Includes access to on-demand content

6. Pluto TV

Pluto TV is the first option on our list that exists entirely as a free service. Instead of live streaming existing channels, Pluto TV aggregates a wide variety of content into its own channels, with dedicated Star Trek and British Drama channels, among others.
You can create an account to receive updates from the service, but all you need to watch Pluto TV is to visit their website. The on-demand library is easy to navigate, too, thanks to the convenient embedded video player.
More information:
  • Price: Free
  • 200+ curated channels
  • Popular with niche viewers
  • Streaming and on-demand content

7. Hulu + Live TV

Hulu
Another paid offering, Hulu + Live TV is a popular live TV streaming option thanks to its assortment of extra content. You can access Hulu Originals and the standard Hulu offerings, plus shared access to Disney+ and ESPN+.
Basic features provide support for simultaneous viewing on two devices and 50 hours of DVR storage. There are numerous add-ons available to tweak your experience, including access to HBO Max or Showtime, and streaming on unlimited devices. It’s a popular candidate for the best TV streaming service at $69.99 per month.
More information:
  • Price: $69.99 per month
  • Includes access to Hulu’s on-demand offerings
  • Also includes access to Disney+ and ESPN+
  • 2 screens and 50 hours storage to start

8. fuboTV

FuboTV is most popular among sports fans, because it streams events from just about every professional league. From the NFL and NBA to NASCAR and boxing, you’ll find it on fubo. Plus, it hosts niche channels including IFC and BBC America.
Accounts start with 250 hours of DVR storage but you can get up to 1,000 hours with Pro ($69.99 per month) and Elite ($79.99 per month) subscriptions. While the Starter subscription ($64.99 per month) offers streaming on 3 screens, the upgraded tiers include up to 10 screens within your household.
More information:
  • Price: $69.99 per month for Pro; $79.99 for Elite
  • Extremely popular with sports fans
  • 157 channels or more
  • Streaming on 3 to 10 screens

9. DIRECTV Stream

Previously known as AT&T TV, DIRECTV Stream is another leading option that doubles down on variety and features. It also boasts a bigger range of subscription packages compared to most services, with a competitive “essentials” Entertainment tier at $69.99 per month. Compared to others in that price range, it provides a strong balance of sports and entertainment content.
Higher-priced packages add new channels, and each tier includes access to 3 months worth of movie add-ons including EPIX and Showtime. You can also expand your DVR storage for $10 per month.
More information:
  • Price: $69.99 per month for Entertainment; $84.99 for Choice; $94.99 for Ultimate; $139.99 for Premier
  • Balanced content library
  • Live TV streaming and on-demand content
  • Unlimited DVR storage for $10 per month

10. Vidgo

Vidgo is a mid-range option when it comes to price, and it has a strong focus on sports programming and local channels. It also hosts a solid assortment of general entertainment and lifestyle channels. Like a few other options on our list, Vidgo has a 7-day free trial.
Subscriptions are organized into two tiers, with an affordable Spanish option ($30 per month) focused on “Latino Sports, News, and Entertainment.” The English Plus package has 95+ channels, while the Premium package ups the base total to 117+.
More information:
  • Price: $50 per month for EnglishPlus; $79.95 for EnglishPremium ($79.95); $30 for SpanishMas
  • Strong focus on sports and local channels
  • 95+ channels
  • Live TV streaming and on-demand content

Summary

There are clearly a lot of streaming TV services to consider for reducing costs and cutting the cord. Most options offer lower prices, better features and functionality, and a more targeted channel selection than traditional cable packages.
The streaming service you choose really depends on your budget and overall viewing preferences. Pluto TV and Plex are great for free live streaming, but you get premium content with YouTube TV and DIRECTV Stream. And for diehard sports fans, you can’t miss with fuboTV and Sling TV.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.

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