Our Experts Have Tested 33 Products in the Video Streaming Services Category in the past year Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. ( See how we test. ) Canceling your cable contract does not mean that you can no long watch live television. many video recording streaming services deliver live channels over an internet connection—though not all of them target the like audiences. For example, some live television services are beneficial for cosmopolitan audiences, others offer top sports channels, and a few focus on entertainment and life style channels. All the options in this roundup are available across many platforms, including fluid devices, network browsers, gaming consoles, and media streaming devices. Depending on which ( and how many ) services you subscribe to, you may even end up saving money over your cable television placard. other people may good cherish the freedom to build an à lanthanum menu groove design ( though this flexibility is becoming rare ). Whatever your reason for leaving cable behind, know that the count of streaming options continues to rise.
Network Shows, News, and More
so farseeing as the television streaming avail you choose offers affiliate broadcast channels in your market, you can watch all your favorite network shows from the likes of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Most of the services here, including YouTube television receiver and Hulu + Live television host these networks. YouTube television is the lone services we ‘ve reviewed that include local PBS channels. other television channels are n’t pendent on your geographic localization. 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 besides include on-demand content from those channels that you can watch at your leisure and record to DVR memory. other services combine populate television with more traditional on-demand libraries. A subscription to Hulu + Live television receiver, for case, allows you to watch all the shows and movies from Hulu ‘s on-demand service, including its original shows. Although news channels may not be the basal way people stay informed about the world these days, they are however a effective resource for survive coverage of national and external events. For complete news coverage, make indisputable the service you choose includes both commercial broadcast affiliates ( ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC ) and cable news program channels ( such as BBC America, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC ). Some services besides include news networks not based in the US, such as BBC World News. DirecTV Stream, fuboTV, and Sling television receiver, for exemplify, all offer external channels, though you will need to pay excess for some of them. Some services claim to offer “ alive television, ” but these are truly precisely 24/7 on-line marathons of preprogrammed existing fabric. Every service covered hera is truly survive .
Stream All Your Favorite Sports, Live
To watch all the sports that you previously could with your cable subscription, you should consult our roundup of the best sports streaming services. When picking a serve, verify that it carries all the channels you want to watch in your area, including regional sports networks ( RSNs ) for coverage of local MLB, NBA, and NHL teams. Most services offer the NBC Sports RSNs, but DirecTV Stream is the only one in this list that offers Bally Sports RSNs ( previously FOX Sports networks ) and AT & T-owned SportsNet RSNs, besides. Which RSNs you need depends on your location and which sports you like to watch. not all services include all the major league channels either, such as NFL Network, NBA television receiver, or MLB Network. Ensuring that a service covers all the affiliate broadcast channels in your area from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC is besides authoritative, since many games air on those channels. Know that you are not nontaxable from local market restrictions or coverage blackouts. We assume that you want the best streaming timbre for watching your darling teams no topic what device you use. YouTube television and Hulu + Live television support 1080p/60fps exist streams on choose platforms. FuboTV was the foremost of the live television services to broadcast choose events in 4K, but a newfangled accessory brings that capability to YouTube TV. A few services besides have useful capabilities for sports fans. DirecTV Stream and fuboTV, for case, both include features that respectively let you start over broadcasts from the begin and watch games that have aired in the past few days. Note that these features are only available on choose channels. If you are an NFL fan, check out our roundup of the best NFL streaming services to make sure you can watch all the games on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. If you do n’t want to pay extra fees every month to watch NFL games, there are some free options. For exemplify, the NFL Mobile and Yahoo Sports apps allow you to watch in-market and prime-time games, including Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football. Subscribers to Amazon Prime can besides watch Thursday Night Football games at no extra monetary value, while paid Peacock subscribers can stream Sunday Night Football broadcasts. We besides have roundups of the best NBA pour services, MLB streaming services, and NHL stream services .
DVR, Simultaneous Streams, and Apps
All of the stream services in this roundup offer some DVR capabilities. If you are the kind of spectator that likes to save and rewatch significant television moments, you should ideally look for a service that lets you record many hours ‘ worth of shows and keep them indefinitely. robust DVR capabilities are useful for sports fans besides ; some games may air at an inconvenient time. Families can benefit from DVR features equally well if, for exercise, unlike members of your family want to watch different things that air at the same time. YouTube television receiver is unique in that one of its available add-ons allows subscribers to download DVR content for offline viewing on mobile devices. The ability to stream on several devices at the lapp clock is besides highly useful for large households. Most of the services allow you to pay more for higher coincident streaming limits. One convenience with television cyclosis services is they work on many different platforms and do n’t require any extra hardware or shape. The best bouncy television pour services support mobile devices, game consoles, web browsers, streaming devices, and fresh TVs. With some services, you besides get greater control over handiness settings and parental controls than with cable. DirecTV Stream and Sling TV let parents restrict what their kids can watch by rate, for exemplar .
Live TV Options That Missed the Cut
We do n’t include mono 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 besides narrow in oscilloscope to be reasonable alternatives to cable television. We besides do n’t include Pluto TV and Xumo in this roundup, since they chiefly offer preprogrammed message, preferably than be television receiver channels. Some people may appreciate their channels of endless capacity streams ( and that they are spare streaming services ), however. Plex besides offers preprogrammed content and can serve as a live television receiver interface if you set up the correct hardware. You could absolutely set up a digital antenna and radio receiver to pull down local channels over the publicize on your own, besides. If an event is popular enough, such as a political debate or the Olympics, the air may be detached to stream on-line from the organizer ‘s web site .
On-Demand Streaming Services
Although you may intend to replicate your cable experience on a 1:1 basis with video stream services, we recommend that you do n’t. Take some time to determine which channels you actually watch on a regular footing. On-demand services open up an wholly new world of subject, with many shows that do n’t ever air on traditional cable television. These on-demand shows besides tend to be the subject of popular culture discussions and critical acclaim. Amazon Prime Video ‘s The Wheel of Time, Paramount+ ‘s Star Trek : discovery, Disney+ ‘s Hawkeye, and Netflix ‘s Stranger Things are barely a few examples. Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max besides feature original content that you ca n’t get anywhere else. Cinephiles should check out our roundup of the best movie pour services, excessively. For even more on cyclosis, check out five reasons to ditch your video recording subscription and keep cable. Learn how to pick streaming services that fit your budget, and enjoy all sorts of reality testify folderol. ultimately, check out our commend streaming video guides if you don ’ thymine know what to watch .
Our 6 Top Picks
1-Month free Trial
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Hulu ‘s live television service features approximately 70 channels of news, sports, and entertainment program. News channels include CNBC, CNN, CNN International, FOX Business, FOX News, and MSNBC. Hulu besides gets you access to local anesthetic ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates. For sports fans, Hulu offers BTN, CBS Sports, ESPN, Golf Channel, and the Olympic Channel. Hulu is adding the NFL Network and NFL RedZone channels before the begin of adjacent NFL temper, besides. Channels from the Discovery Network ( Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, Disney, Food Network, FX, and HGTV ) and ViacomCBS ( Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon ) cover the entertainment music genre. HBO Max and Showtime add-ons are available for $ 14.99 and $ 8.99 per calendar month, respectively. If Hulu ‘s standard DVR allotment of 50 hours is not enough, you can add the Enhanced Cloud DVR option ( increases limit to 200 hours ). By nonpayment, you can stream from up to two devices simultaneously, but the Unlimited Screens software removes those limitations. Either accessory costs $ 9.99 per calendar month, but you can get both for $ 14.98 per month. Hulu supports an impressive range of gadgets and its live television plan is even available for the latest gambling consoles .
at YouTube TV
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YouTube television receiver is a great all-around cable surrogate service with an impressive range of sports, news, and entertainment channels. digression from the typical broadcast networks ( ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC ), the serve includes popular news program channels ( BBC World News CNN, CNBC, FOX News, and MSNBC ) and top sports networks ( ESPN, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA television receiver, NBC Sports Network, and NFL Network ). YouTube television besides features mainstream channels from the Discovery Network and ViacomCBS, plus local anesthetic PBS channels. HBO Max, NBA League Pass, Showtime, and Starz, among other services, are available as subscription add-ons. With YouTube television, you can record an unlimited amount of content to DVR storage and keep recordings for up to nine months. The service besides supports up to three coincident device streams per account. A newly 4K Plus accessory unlocks 4K streaming for alive channels and on-demand content ; support for an inexhaustible issue of coincident streams on your home network ; and the ability to download DVR content for offline viewing on mobile platforms .
YouTube TV Review
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Although fuboTV may be associated with sports coverage, its 90-channel lineup besides delivers lots of news and entertainment channels. Dedicated sports channels include beIN net, ESPN, NFL Network, NBA television, and Univision. FuboTV offers all the local circulate networks ( ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC ) besides, but it no longer has Turner channels, including CNN. Channels from ViacomCBS and the Discovery Network are the latest additions to fuboTV ‘s entertainment batting order. aside from the hot program on these channels, fuboTV offers a short ton of on-demand shows and movies besides. You can supplement fuboTV ‘s batting order collection with add-ons, such as the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone ( $ 10.99 per calendar month ) and Adventure Plus ( $ 4.99 per month ) options. Fubo Extra, which offers an extra 35 channels of content, adds $ 4.99 more to your monthly bill. FuboTV offers good DVR capabilities ( the base design includes 250 hours ) and solid streaming performance in our tests. It besides includes useful capabilities such as Lookback, which lets you watch anything you may have missed up to 72 hours after it first aired, and Startover, which enables viewers to watch presently airing events from the beginning no topic when they tune in .
7-Day Trial Live and On-Demand TV
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Philo is an entertainment-focused streaming overhaul and an excellent value. A subscription lets you stream 60 channels, including AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, Cooking Chanel, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, and the Travel Channel. Philo offers few news channels and no sports coverage, so it ‘s best for users who do n’t care about either genre. Philo ‘s DVR capabilities work differently than other services ; it allows users to save the integral available catalog of a show for on-demand ( but not offline ) view, alternatively of precisely a single episode. Philo keeps saved contented for up to a year and does not impose any storage limits. Philo supports up to three coincident streams and performed well across all platforms in testing. The service recently added Starz and Epix channel add-ons .
50 % off Your first calendar month
at Sling TV
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Starts at $ 35 per calendar month Sling television distributes channels across its Orange and Blue plans. You should subscribe to the combine $ 50-per-month Sling Orange & Blue plan for the best choice of channels. That tier supports four coincident streams. Sling Orange and Blue ‘s 50-channel lineup includes AMC, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, FOX News, NFL Network, TNT, Travel Channel, and Syfy. notice, however, that Sling television receiver is not the best option for getting local anesthetic affiliate channels ; if you want to watch ABC, you need to install an antenna. CBS affiliates are not available at all. NBC and FOX local channels are available only in blue-ribbon markets. Sling ‘s channel add-ons start at $ 6 per month. For case, the Kids Extra addition includes Disney XD, Nicktoons, and Boomerang, while the Sports Extra accessory features ESPN U, NBA TV, NHL Network, and PAC 12 Network. Sling television receiver allows you to record up to 50 hours to DVR storage, but you can expand that space to 200 hours with a $ 5-per-month accessory. Sling television receiver is available on mobile phones, streaming devices, the Xbox cabinet ( but not PlayStation ), and via the web .
Sling TV Review
Starting From $ 54.99 per Month
at DIRECTV STREAM
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DirecTV Stream ( previously AT & T television ) offers respective tiers, ranging from the 65-channel Entertainment plan to the $ 139.99-per-month Premier tier. These plans cover a broad collection of sports, news, and entertainment channels, but are broadly more expensive than competitors ‘. You can add premium channels ( such as HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz ) to your design, a well as external packages ( brazilian, Espanol, Deportes, Korean, and Vietnamese ).
DirecTV Stream lets subscribers record up to 20 hours of capacity for up to 90 days, but most other services get subscribers keep more content for longer. The good news is that the service offers an unlimited DVR storehouse plan for an supernumerary $ 10 per month. DirecTV Stream besides supports a category-leading 20 coincident streams per score on your home net. early features include the Lookback and Rewind features, which respectively let you watch previously aired content ( up to 72 hours in the past ) and start over be streams from the beginning of the air. These capabilities are only available for blue-ribbon channels and programs .
DirecTV Stream Review
*Features in spectacles table only available via add-ons. Ben Moore besides contributed to this roundup .