Got a New Streaming Device? This is How to Find a Cable or Satellite Alternative

Lucky you! You unwrapped a Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, or Android TV box yesterday. Little did you know, it was also your first step to being able to replace your cable with a Live TV Streaming Service and saving $500-$1,000 in 2019.

With seven major services, how do you choose which is right for you? We’ve spent the last year at The Streamable, trying to help figure out that very problem. We’ve built a comprehensive guide, as well as our Channel Finder tool to make it simple.

With The Streamable’s Channel Finder, you can enter your favorite channels, shows, and sports teams and we’ll recommend the right service for you.

The tool even knows which local channels and Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are available in every market. If you add your Zip Code, we’ll show you which local affiliates and RSNs you’ll get with each service.

If you want more detail to compare the services on stability, stream quality, DVR capacity, or simultaneous stream, we suggest reading our full guide.

But, before you get started — we suggest you ask yourself five simple questions.

1. What is Budget for TV?

The average cable customer is paying $150 for Cable and Internet. If you get rid of your cable subscription, you can generally expect to pay $50-60 for a standalone Internet plan. If you replace the TV portion with a $40 Live TV Streaming Service — you can expect to save $700-800 next year.

Most Live TV Streaming Services start at $40 a month, but increase as you add more channels. If you don’t need live locals or sports, you can consider a budget option like Philo, which includes 43 channels like AMC, HGTV, and MTV for only $16 a month.

Plan Free Trial Offers
AT&T TV NOW $50 “PLUS” 7-Day Free Trial -
$70 “MAX”
fuboTV $55 “fubo” 7-Day Free Trial -
Hulu Live TV $45 “Hulu Live TV” Sign Up -
Philo $20 “Philo” 7-Day Free Trial -
PlayStation Vue $50 “Access” 5-Day Free Trial -
$55 “Core”
$65 “Elite”
$85 “Ultra”
Sling TV $25 “Sling Orange” Sign Up Take 40% Off Sling TV
Get the Deal
$25 “Sling Blue”
$40 “Sling Orange + Blue”
YouTube TV $50 “YouTube TV” 7-Day Free Trial -

2. What Channels Do You Watch the Most?

One of the easiest ways is to look at your current DVR. Make a list of channels and shows you can’t live without. Then, make a secondary list of channels you’d like, but you’d be willing to give up to save a little money.

Make sure you poll your whole household. You don’t want an upset wife who wants Bravo for Real Housewives, upset husband who wants ESPN for College Football, or child who wants Disney Channel for Andi Mack.

Most services include live locals and major sports networks including Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). However, even if a service offers locals and regional sports, they may not offer them in your market.

Most services like fuboTV and Hulu Live TV include regional sports in their base plan, while others like PlayStation Vue and AT&T TV NOW require you to upgrade to get them.

AT&T NOW fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
Total Channels 40/50 90 55 58 50/60/85/90 30 40 60
Local ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC

CBS
Fox
NBC
ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC



ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC





Fox
NBC
ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC
Top 35 Cable 23–24
of Top 35
31
of Top 35
26
of Top 35
18
of Top 35
25–26
of Top 35
16
of Top 35
24
of Top 35
25
of Top 35
National Sports 6–7 5 7 - 7 4 5 7
College Sports 0–7 3 6 - 0–8 - - 6
Pro Sports - 2 - - 0–4 - 1 2
Regional Sports (RSNs) $70 - ≥ $55 -

3. How Much Do You Expect to Record?

At this point, almost every Live TV Streaming Service includes a DVR and multiple streams. However, they all have slight differences from 20 hours to Unlimited like PlayStation Vue, Philo, YouTube TV.

Sling TV is the only service that charges for a DVR (+$5), but it also one of the most robust. It offers the ability to record all or only new series, as well as individual episodes.

fuboTV (+$10) will allow you upgrade to their Enhanced DVR which includes 500 Hours of storage, while Hulu Live TV (+$15) offers an upgraded 200 Hour DVR.

Recording Capacity

AT&T NOW

20 hours

30 days

fuboTV

30 hours

Hulu

50 hours

Philo

Unlimited

30 days

PS Vue

Unlimited

28 days

^ Sling ($5)

50 hours

YouTube

Unlimited

9 months

4. How Many People Will Watch at the Same Time?

Unlike cable where you pay a fee for every outlet you have service, each of the Live TV Streaming Services comes with multiple streams. While most will allow two or three viewers to watch at the same time, others like PlayStation Vue will allow up to 5 simultaneous streams (depending the device you’re streaming on).

Some services like fuboTV (+$5) and AT&T TV NOW (+$5) will allow you to pay for an extra stream, while Hulu Live TV (+$15) will allow you upgrade to unlimited streams inside the home.

Since it’s simultaneous viewers, you can still watch on as many devices (even while you’re traveling) as watch as long as it’s not at the same time.

Concurrent Devices

More is better.

PS Vue 5 streams
Philo 3 streams
Sling “Blue” 3 streams
YouTube 3 streams
AT&T NOW 2 streams
fuboTV 2 streams
Hulu 2 streams
Sling “Orange” 1 stream

5. What are You Willing to Give Up?

Everyone of these services has some sort of trade off — whether its channels, cost, quality, or feature set. No single service is going to give you everything.

AT&T TV NOW includes the most channels for the lowest price, but has had major stability issues and a lousy DVR. YouTube TV has a great interface and DVR, but offers the fewest top cable channels.

fuboTV has more regional sports than anyone else, but doesn’t include ESPN. Philo has the best overall value and an unlimited DVR, but no locals or sports.

PlayStation Vue has a great interface and stream stability, but is slightly more expensive. Sling TV is the cheapest way to get ESPN, but doesn’t offer many local channels or a free DVR.

Hulu Live TV includes the most locals and Hulu Originals, but requires an expensive upgrade for fast-forwarding on your DVR.

Want to Learn More About Live TV Streaming Services?

  • You can read our full review comparing 7 different cord-cutting services including DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation Vue, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
  • Use our Channel Finder to add your favorite channels, shows, and sports teams and we’ll tell you the best service for you.