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YouTube TV is cable reimagined. We are a subscription streaming service that lets you watch live and on-demand TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, AMC, HGTV, TNT, and more.
Live TV | wTVPC
We aim to provide an experience that is both intuitive and hassle-free for our members. We recommend an internet connection of at least 3 Mbps. With just a tap or a word, you can customize your live guide, record all episodes of your favorite show, and search for your favorite sports team.
Stream select live and on-demand content in 4K with the 4K Plus add-on, available at an extra monthly charge. This special features bundle also unlocks offline recordings for available content and unlimited streams at home.
Canceling your cable contract doesn't mean that you can no longer watch live TV. Many video streaming services deliver live channels via an internet connection, though they cater to different viewers. For example, some live TV services are good for general audiences, others offer top sports channels, and a few focus on entertainment and lifestyle content.
Our tested options are available across many platforms, including mobile devices, web browsers, gaming consoles, and media streaming devices. Although these services are on the pricier end of the streaming video spectrum, you may still spend less money per month than you did while subscribing to cable. Besides the potential financial savings, these live TV services sometimes offer à la carte channel plans (though this flexibility is becoming rare). Whatever your reason for leaving cable behind, know that the number of live TV streaming options continues to rise. These are our top picks.
Hulu is one of the best all-in-one services for cord cutters, given its diverse set of streaming options. In addition to a strong library of classic shows and a good selection of movies, Hulu has a robust live TV option (more than 70 channels of news, sports, and entertainment programming). After adding 14 Viacom channels to its lineup, including BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Hulu recently picked up NFL Network and NFL RedZone.
Anyone seeking streaming convenience without abandoning traditional, live TV. Hulu's basic on-demand streaming plan currently costs $7.99 per month, while the ad-free version is $14.99 per month. College students can get Hulu's ad-supported version for $1.99 per month. The Hulu + Live TV plan costs $69.99 per month, and combines Hulu's live TV service with the ad-supported streaming plan. All subscribers now enjoy Enhanced Cloud DVR that increases the available DVR storage from 50 hours to 200 hours. You can also add the Unlimited Screens package (it allows an unlimited number of concurrent device streams in your home, and up to three outside of it) to your plan for $9.99 per month.
YouTube TV offers an excellent selection of live sports and news channels, as well as many popular entertainment options. A few of the top networks available include ABC, AMC, CBS, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, Fox, FX, NBC, and PBS. Of course, this channel variety doesn't come cheap; YouTube TV's latest price hike raised the monthly subscription cost to $72.99 per month.
Fubo is a great option for any cord-cutting sports fans. Its base subscription plan, called fubo Starter, costs $74.99 per month and grants you access to about 120 channels, with the exact number depending on your location. For the national sports events, there's CBS, FOX, NBA TV, NBC, and NFL Network. For international sports, you get channels from the beIN network and Univision. If you're ever not in the mood for sports, fubo offers a wide variety of entertainment channels, such as AMC, The Food Network, FX, National Geographic, SYFY, and USA. You not only get to watch live events and programs from the included channels, but there are also a ton of on-demand shows and movies.
Most live TV subscriptions cost much more than the typical streaming video service, but at $25 per month, Philo is a far more appealing investment. Even with the cheaper price tag, Philo manages to deliver an impressive channel lineup with reliable streaming performance and intuitive DVR functionality.
Sling TV has multiple, flexible plans that let you create the live streaming plan that works best for you. You can even watch some on-demand content for free. Its highest tiers have increased in price over time, topping out at $60 per month for the combined plan. Still, we appreciate any service with robust viewing options.
Formerly known as AT&T TV, DirecTV Stream is a premium live streaming service with the features to match. It supports 20 simultaneous streams, parental control options, and improved DVR functionality with unlimited storage and the ability to save up to 30 episodes for up to nine months. Just be prepared to spend at least $75 per month (and potentially more than twice that, depending on your plan).
Other television channels aren't dependent on your geographic location. Philo is an excellent option for watching such entertainment networks, including AMC, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, and Travel Channel. Many video streaming services with entertainment channels also include on-demand content from those channels that you can watch at your leisure and record to DVR storage. Other services combine live TV with more traditional on-demand libraries. A subscription to Hulu + Live TV, for instance, lets you watch all the shows and movies from Hulu's on-demand service, including its original shows.
Although news channels may not be the primary way people stay informed about the world these days, they are still a good resource for live coverage of national and international events. For complete news coverage, make sure the service you choose includes both commercial broadcast affiliates (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) and cable news channels (such as BBC America, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC). Some services also include news networks not based in the US, such as BBC World News. DirecTV Stream, fuboTV, and Sling TV, for instance, all offer international channels, though you will need to pay extra for some of them.
We assume that you want the best streaming quality for watching your favorite teams no matter what device you use. YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV support 1080p/60fps live streams on select platforms. FuboTV was the first of the live TV services to broadcast select events in 4K, but an add-on brings that capability to YouTube TV. A few services also have useful capabilities for sports fans. DirecTV Stream and fuboTV, for instance, include DVR features that respectively let you start broadcasts from the beginning should you jump into them mid-game, and watch matches that have aired in the past few days. Note that these features are only available on select channels.
The best live TV streaming services support mobile devices, game consoles, web browsers, streaming devices, and smart TVs. With some services, you also get greater control over accessibility settings and parental controls than with cable. DirecTV Stream and Sling TV let parents restrict what their kids can watch by rating, for example.
We don't include single-channel options, such as Paramount+, or those services that only stream live sports, such as Amazon Prime Video, Dazn, ESPN+, and Peacock. Those services are all too narrow in scope to be reasonable alternatives to cable.
We also don't include Pluto TV and Xumo in this roundup, since they primarily offer preprogrammed content, rather than live TV channels. However, some people may appreciate channels of endless content streams (and that they are free streaming services). Plex also offers preprogrammed content and can serve as a live TV interface if you set up the correct hardware.
Plenty of live TV streaming choices are available to anyone who wants to cut the cable cord. Sling TV's basic packages are $40 in most cities. DirecTV Stream expanded its PBS channel availability, and YouTube TV and Hulu added the Hallmark network. But costs have increased everywhere. YouTube TV is now $73 per month. Hulu Plus Live TV offers two price plans for service: $70 per month with ads and $83 without ads. FuboTV upped the price of its base bundle to $75, and DirecTV Stream increased its plan subscriptions as well. Those changes are reflected in the chart below where applicable.
With an excellent channel selection, easy-to-use interface and best-in-class cloud DVR, the $73 per month YouTube TV is one of the best cable TV replacements. It offers a $20 4K upgrade, but the downside is there isn't much to watch at present unless you watch select channels. If you don't mind paying a bit more than the Sling TVs of the world, or want to watch live NBA games, YouTube TV offers the highest standard of live TV streaming. Read our YouTube TV review.
DirecTV Stream is tied for the most expensive at $75, beating Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV. The service does have its pluses, though -- for example, it includes the flipper-friendly ability to swipe left and right to change channels. Additionally, it includes some channels the other services can't, including nearly 250 PBS stations nationwide. The $75 Entertainment package may suit your needs with its 75-plus channels. But for cord-cutters who want to follow their local NBA or MLB team, DirecTV Stream's $100 Choice package is our live TV streaming pick because it has access to more regional sports networks than the competition. Nonetheless, you'll want to make sure your channel is included here, and not available on one of our preferred picks, before you pony up. Read our DirecTV Stream review. 041b061a72