Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Right for You?
A growing number of Americans are saying goodbye to their cable subscriptions and the bills that come with them. Thanks to live TV streaming services, though, they can still watch their favorite channels — often for a much-lower price.
Keep reading to learn about the big-name TV streaming services, and which ones are ideal for families, sports fans, and budget-minded viewers.
Best Live TV Streaming Services for Families
DirecTV Now offers an ideal mix of sports, entertainment, and children's programming that can meet the whole family's needs. You may be able to view regional sports networks and local live channels, too, if they're available in your area.
Plus, DirecTV Now lets you choose from a wide range of channel amounts, with packages that work for a variety of budgets. Here are the different plans:
- Live a Little: $40 a month for over 65 channels
- Todo y Más: $45 a month for over 90 channels (features both Spanish- and English-language channels)
- Just Right: $55 a month for over 85 channels
- Go Big: $65 a month for over 105 channels
- Gotta Have It: $75 a month for over 125 channels
With this service, you'll also be able to record up to 20 hours of programming with the True Cloud DVR BETA.
DirecTV Now offers the following premium channels, as well:
- Cinemax: $5 a month
- HBO: $5 a month
- Showtime: $8 a month
- Starz: $8 a month
If you're not sure whether the service is a good fit for your family, you can test-drive it free of charge for one week. And since there are no annual contracts, you can stop DirecTV Now at any time without incurring a cancellation fee.
Families also can't go wrong with Hulu with Live TV. The monthly fee is $39.99, and you'll have access to over 50 channels. In addition, you'll get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage with your subscription.
SEE ALSO: 10 Ways to Stream TV and Save Money
Sports lovers in your home will be able to stream live games on the top sports networks, such as ESPN, NBCSN, and the CBS Sports Network. And for those who want to stay on top of current events, a plethora of news channels are available. Plus, the little ones can watch channels like Disney Junior and Cartoon Network.
Subscriptions also include top movies, premium Hulu Originals, and series that are exclusive to Hulu. And you can upgrade your subscription to include the following premium networks:
- Cinemax: $9.99 a month
- HBO: $14.99 a month
- Showtime: $8.99 a month
Best Live TV Streaming Services for Sports
If you're a die-hard sports fanatic, YouTube TV may be the perfect fit. It costs $40 a month and grants you access to just about every sports network you can think of, including these ones:
- CBS Sports Network
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPNU
- Fox Sports
- Golf Channel, NBC Sports, and NBCSN
- MLB Network
- NBA TV
- Olympic Channel
- Tennis Channel
As a subscriber, you'll have access to 60-plus networks, so when you want to take a break from sports, you can livestream a variety of entertainment and news channels. The following add-ons are also available:
- AMC Premiere: $5 a month
- CuriosityStream: $3 a month
- Fox Soccer Plus: $15 a month
- Showtime: $11 a month
- Shudder: $5 a month
- Starz: $9 a month
- Sundance Now: $7 a month
Even better, YouTube TV includes a cloud DVR with unlimited storage, along with six accounts per household. That will let you keep your viewing and DVR personalized.
If you have a PlayStation device and love sports, this service may be right for you. (And a PS console isn't even required!) PlayStation Vue offers four service levels:
- Access: Select live channels for $44.99 a month
- Core: Access plan, plus select sports channels for $49.99 a month
- Elite: Access plan, plus movies and sports for $59.99 a month
- Ultra: Access plan, plus select premium channels, movies, and sports for $79.99 a month
The service is ideal for sports fans because you can add the Sports Pack to the Core, Elite, or Ultra package for $10 per month. Networks in this add-on include the following:
- Eleven Sports
- ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, and ESPN Goal Line
- Fox College Sports
- Longhorn Network
- MLB Network Strike Zone
- NBC Sports
- NESN National
- Outside TV
Livestreaming is available on up to five devices at a time, and you can store as many episodes as you'd like from your favorite shows for up to 28 days.
Best Cheap Live TV Streaming Services
For only $15 per month, AT&T WatchTV lets you stream over 30 channels of live TV on a variety of devices. (This service is free if you have an AT&T Unlimited &More wireless plan.) Your monthly subscription also includes access to 15,000 on-demand movies and TV shows.
There's no annual contract, either, so you can cancel at any time. And you can see if WatchTV is a good fit with their 7-day free trial.
Philo is another live TV streaming option that won't place a big dent in your wallet. You can choose from 40 or 49 channels for $16 or $20 per month, respectively. Service is available through your streaming media player, computer, or mobile device, and you can stream on up to three devices at a time. As a subscriber, you'll also enjoy unlimited recording capabilities and can save shows for up to 30 days.
You can try out the service free of charge for seven days. Once the trial period expires, you'll be charged your monthly subscription amount, but you can cancel at any time without incurring additional fees.
If you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, Sling TV offers three plans that give you access to some of the biggest entertainment, sports, news, and children's networks.
Here are the bundles to choose from:
- Sling Orange: $25 a month, and it includes ESPN and Disney Channel
- Sling Blue: $25 a month, and it includes Fox Sports 1, FX, and Bravo
- Sling Orange and Blue: $40 a month
For an additional $5 per month, you can add cloud DVR to your subscription. This service allows you to record 50 hours of programming, which you can view at home or on the go through your mobile device. Extra-channel bundles for news, sports, comedy, premium movies, and children are available, too, and start at $5 per month.
Readers, what's your favorite live TV streaming service? Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments below.