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Best Live TV Streaming Services for Cable Cutters in 2019

Cable TV may seem like a landline phone today: an unnecessary expense associated with outdated hardware. All Cool Kids and Many Cool Adults Cut The Cable TV Cable .

If you join them and still want to watch live TV, you're in the right place. With live TV streaming services such as YouTube TV and Sling TV you can watch most, if not all, of your favorite TV channels – from ABC to NBC, ESPN to CNN, Nickelodeon to Fox News ̵

1; – Streamed live over the internet. And they probably cost far less than you pay for cable television.

Prices start at $ 15 per month with no additional fees or contracts. Instead of a cable box and the monthly rental fee, you can use an app on your Smart TV, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or a game console. And you can watch TV at home or on the go using a tablet, phone, other mobile devices, or even a PC browser.

Update: AT & T announced it was on 19 November 2019 ] will raise the price of its AT & T TV Now service packages and Hulu with live TV will also rise by $ 10 in December . In addition, Sony has recently announced that it is pulling the plug of its PlayStation Vue streaming service.


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Live TV Streaming Services for Cable Cutter: How To Select …


These services have many advantages – no more cable fees, no contracts, yay! – However, the savings can be offset by other disadvantages such as internet fees, DVR restrictions, buffering and lack of attention, especially through live sports. And just as with cable TV, the cost of these services rises only .

There are now a whole series of hits, including Apple's Apple TV Plus subscription video service, which was launched on November 1, and Disney's Disney Plus streaming Service coming out on November 12th. But both Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus have no live TV and are instead "add-on" services, which means they are not meant to replace your full live streaming service. TV STREAMING SERVICES IN COMPARE

YouTube TV Sling TV Hulu with live television AT & T TV Now
Base Price $ 50 / month for over 70 channels $ 25 / month for over 30 channels $ 45 / month for over 60 channels $ 65 / month for over 40 channels
Free trial Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC channels Yes, in many markets Fox and NBC only in selected cities Yes, in many markets Yes, in many markets
Simultaneous streams per account 3 1 or 3 2 ($ 15 for unlimited use) 2 (5 USD option for 3)
Profiles of family members / users Yes No. Yes No.
cloud DVR Yes (keep for 9 months) Yes ($ 5 per month, Disney or ESPN channels can not be recorded) Yes Yes (20 GB, keep for 30 days)
Advancing or skipping commercials with Cloud DVR Yes Yes Yes No (Yes with 15 USD option)

Read: Best TV Antennas for Cable Cutters starting at just $ 10

And while PlayStation Vue was among our top premium options, Sony unfortunately has its PS Vue -Streaming discontinued service in January 2020. In light of this, here's a guide on how to brave the new world of live TV streaming over the Internet, as well as other cable cutting options, starting with our preferred recommendations for that best TV streaming service.

Sarah Tew / CNET

YouTube TV offers more top channels at a base price than any other competitor, including all four local channels (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC – note that CBS is the parent company of CNET in most of the country's regions, and it also has the best cloud DVR in the series, including unlimited storage and a generous nine months to shoot (most are 30 days) Although somewhat boring, YouTube TV is not nonsense and yet offers most of the features a cable service can offer, and unlike Sling and others, it's quite simple: One package, one price, done.

Mit With its first-class channel selection and Cloud DVR, YouTube TV is our preferred option for cable cutters who appreciate the benefits of cables without the hassle, but like all premium services ($ 50), it is relatively high monthly fee is more difficult to save money than a conventional cable subscription.

Top channels unavailable : A & E, Comedy Central, History, Lifetime, NFL Network, Nickelodeon.

Read the YouTube TV test.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Sling TV costs more than AT & T Watch TV ($ 15) and Philo ($ 20), but has better channels, more Options and a better user interface Therefore, in our opinion, it is worth the extra money. And it's still dirt cheap compared to other services, let alone cables.

Sling is cheaper than premium services like YouTube TV and Hulu with live TV, as there are very few local channels. Confusingly, there are also two channel packages worth $ 25 per month, Sling Orange and Sling Blue. While some channels are available for both Sling Orange and Sling Blue, the two channels are significantly different from the other channel offerings: Orange is basically the ESPN / Disney package, while Blue is the Fox / NBC package. Check it out that, but it offers all the options you need without overloading the screen. The only real disappointment is the Arcane live break and DVR exceptions (you can not record Disney channels such as ABC). There are countless possibilities. Take a look at Sling TV: Everything you need to know for all the details.

Top Channels Not Available on Sling Blue : ABC, CBS, Animal Planet, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News, Nickelodeon. Fox and NBC only available in selected cities.

Top Channels Not Available on Sling Orange : ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Animal Planet, Bravo, CNBC, Discovery Channel, Bravo, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, FX, MSNBC, USA network

Read the Sling TV test.

Read more: YouTube TV vs. Sling TV: Which live TV streaming service is right for you?

Sarah Tew / CNET

Why is television so cheap? There is a lack of locals, similar to Sling TV, there are no special sports channels and with the exception of CNN missing news channels. And many of the broadcasts on the channels that exist can be viewed on less with a Hulu subscription.

On the other hand, it is solid for the price. The program includes 30 channels, some of which – such as AMC, HGTV and BBC America – are no longer available in the more expensive AT & T TV Now. The interface is fun and easy to navigate. It is available on most other major streaming platforms, with the exception of Roku, and some AT & T customers get it for free.

Top channels unavailable: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Bravo, CNBC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, FX, MLB Network, MSNBC, NFL Network, Travel Channel, USA Network

Read the review by AT & T Watch TV.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Hulus biggest asset is the integration of live TV with its significant catalog of on-content content for a price call. Unfortunately, when you add live TV, the frustrations associated with the default service increase in the UI. Another problem is that you'll need to pay another $ 10 a month to skip ads on Hulu's cloud DVR (the base cloud DVR does not allow skipping ads). However, the number of channels is solid, and with the included Hulu catalog (Handmaid & # 39; s Tale, anyone?) It's a top competitor as it costs at least $ 5 a month less than other premium services.

Top channels unavailable: AMC, BBC America, Comedy Central, MLB Network, MTV, NBA Television, NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, Nickelodeon.

Read the Hulu with live TV report.

Read: 20 tips and tricks from Google Chromecast

Sarah Tew / CNET

Earlier known as DirecTV Now, AT & T TV has now an important extension The other premium services are missing: HBO included in the price. Whether you're not into HBO (or Game of Thrones), it's still not a good deal. Starting in November, this is the most expensive service starting from a base of $ 65. Also, there are more top channels missing than any other competitor (although you can pay extra for most of these channels if you so desire). His DVR is also one step behind those of our top selection. However, the traditional interface is good, including the pinball-friendly ability to swipe left and right to change channels.

Top channels not available in basic package: A & E, AMC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, HGTV, History, Lifetime, MLB Network, NFL Network, Travel Channel

Read the test by AT & T TV Now.

How to Purchase Cable Live TV Services

Each of the above services offers a different mix of channels . Therefore, as a first step, you should choose one that "does not miss" including "cable channels and shows." The main channels include the locals ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, and not every service has it all.

The Services can be divided into two main groups: Budget with prices starting at $ 15, but excluding local channels; and Premium, with prices starting at $ 45, including locals and often other extras like a superior Cloud DVR . Yes, most services (except AT & T Watch TV) allow you to record and play back broadcasts like a traditional cable or satellite DVR, but they are often limited.

Then there is the multi-stream problem If you want to watch more than one show at a time, for example, on your living room TV and a bedroom TV or the main TV and a tablet or other device, you should watch the di Make sure you see enough concurrent streams . Some of the cheapest services allow only one stream at a time, and if you try to see a second one, it will be blocked.

Note that, especially if you are monitoring more than one person at a time on supported devices, make sure that you have a fast, reliable broadband Internet . A 100Mbps download service costs between $ 50 and $ 60 per month. Here, the savings in cable cutting can be nullified.

Here is a shopping list for live TV streams:


Hulu with live TV

Sarah Tew / CNET

What Streaming TV Services Can not Offer You

Streaming TV services are great, but there are some things you can not do compared to a traditional cable box.

First, you should look at the channels that you can not get with any of these services. A great success was PBS, because the transmitter had allegedly not acquired the streaming rights for all broadcasts broadcast. The good news is that YouTube TV "later this year" will include PBS for the first time.

Another big problem is the sport. Sure, most services offer ESPN and local channels for NFL football, but if you follow a professional baseball or basketball team, you probably need a particular channel called the RSN or regional sports network to watch the regular season games. The RSN coverage is very different for each service.

Fans of live sports should be aware that the video streaming of each live TV service is a few seconds to one minute or more behind the "live" stream provided by your local cable or satellite provider. This means you can preview your scores or large pieces of Twitter, phone alerts or phone calls from friends before seeing the action on screen.

Read more: NFL Streaming: Best Ways to Watch Football Live Without Cable

While AT & T TV Now is offering HBO as part of its basic subscription, it will Sold by most other services either as an add-on or you have to sign up for HBO Now . In addition, NFL Red Zone and NHL Network are either not available or only as part of a package.

If you're used to the 5.1 surround systems offered by Kabel or even OTA, you'll probably be disappointed that all services in live broadcasts contain only stereo sound. However, AT & T TV Now includes 5.1 audio for some on-demand content.

(Note that CNET is owned by CBS, a provider of compensation programs for all cable, satellite and online TV services that offer CBS channels, including Showtime, Pop, CBS Sports and The CW. CBS also owns and operates its own CBS All Access online service (see below).

Further Options


Price: from 20 USD per month [19659003] Another cheap service without sports or local channels. Philo offers bread and butter cable channels such as AMC, Comedy Channel, Nickelodeon and BBC America. Unlike Watch AT & T, it includes a cloud DVR, but it lacks a well-known 24-hour news channel like CNN.

Read More : This is the Best Cheap Live TV Streaming Service for Cable Cutters

CBS All Access

Price: From 6 USD per month

CBS All Access sets itself apart from all other services by offering live services (in some cities) and one-channel on-demand services. In addition to video-on-demand broadcasts, exclusive online content such as Star Trek: Discovery is offered. The on-demand material includes ads, but you can receive an ad-free option for $ 10 per month.


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To cut the cable for $ 10: Install an indoor antenna


Fubo TV

Price: Starting at 55 USD per month

Fubo TV is a sports-centered service that also offers a range of other channels, including local OTA channels (except ABC). and more RSNs (regional sports networks) than any other service. Especially for fans of professional baseball, basketball and hockey teams, FuboTV offers the opportunity to watch regular season games without cables. However, there is no ESPN and a confused user interface and a high price mean that it is not the first service we would choose.

Are you not interested in live TV? More Cable Cutter Staples

Netflix: One of the first streaming TV services to be so popular that it becomes a collective term just like "Magic Marker" or "Coke" in the South. Plans start at $ 13 a month and cover thousands of TV shows and films, including original content such as Daredevil and Orange Is the New Black.

Amazon Prime Video : The "other" major streaming service included as part of an annual Prime membership worth $ 99 or $ 9 per month. The interface is not as user-friendly as Netflix's, but the service also offers unparalleled shows, including original content such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel . Amazon Prime also offers the ability to add premium channels (HBO and Showtime and more), making it a potential one-stop shop.

Vudu / Movies Everywhere : A digital library (or locker) that contains both UltraViolet content and streaming movies and TV sets that are only available for purchase like new releases.

It is also worth investigating free, ad-supported services such as Roku Channel IMDB Freedive TuBi TV, Pluto, and Sony Crackle, which offer a wealth of content. Antenna-09.jpg ” height=”0″ width=”1092″ data-original=”https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/iQQEmRGYU2qtkuxUk1HVJ_8v64A=/1092×0/2019/03/13/dbc1c507-80ac-4ae4-a123-185101702e15/07-tv-antenna-2019.jpg”/>

Sarah Tew / CNET

Is an indoor or outdoor antenna a viable option?

If you have a TV in your house – that is, a screen with a tuner – you can already cut the cable off. With a low cost indoor antenna connected to your set-top box, you can watch free TV from any channel you receive in your local area. Antennas cost only $ 10. See our comparison of indoor antennas .

You can also add a DVR like Amazon Fire TV Recast or TiVo Bolt OTA if you want. Then you can record these live TV antenna channels, play them and skip commercials, just like a standard DVR with cable TV. Here CNET's Summary of Best OTA DVRs for Cable Cutters .

A solid and cost-effective alternative to live TV streaming services is the combination of an antenna for local live channels and an on-demand service such as Netflix or Hulu (the now only $ 5.99 per month is .). This will allow you to continue watching live TV and have a selection of on-demand content.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Conclusion: Give it a try

Streaming live TV services are still in their infancy and the industry is still changing. Since the launch, each service has increased prices by at least $ 5 per month, channel selection and cities with local channel access are constantly changing, and some services continue to report losing money. While streaming is undoubtedly the future, it will take some time for both prices and services to settle down.

That is, if you want a cable-like experience at home as well as for mobile devices without the dead weight that comes with a cable subscription, then a streaming service is worth a look. There is no contract to sign, and if you do not like the service you are using, you can switch easily. Whether you're looking for a basic package like Sling TV or wanting to pay more for a deluxe AT & T TV experience, now there should be a streaming TV service that suits you.

Originally published earlier.

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