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The Best Live TV Streaming Services for Cord Cutters in 2022

Updated on Jason Gurwin
The Best Live TV Streaming Services for Cord Cutters in 2022

Live TV Streaming Services Comparison

In 2022, you don’t need to have a cable or satellite subscription to watch live TV. You can watch streaming TV on most of your devices — all you need is an internet connection. A live TV streaming service will allow you to watch your favorite channels like major networks, live local channels, and live sports on ESPN and Fox Sports.

Most services offer a Free Trial, so you can test them out to see which you prefer. Another benefit is that a live TV streaming service is paid month-to-month, with no penalty for cancellation. You also don’t need a cable box. Most smart TVs are able to access these services, though some people prefer the interface of a small streaming device like a Roku, Fire Stick, or Apple TV.

These live TV streaming services are very customizable, so you can choose how much you pay. Do you need a lot of channels or just a few? Do you need live sports? What kind of DVR do you need? Those questions will narrow down your decision and help you to save money.

Which is the Best Streaming TV Service to Watch Live TV?

After testing the six live TV streaming services for thousands of hours, we found that each service is great for different reasons.

Most of the streaming TV services interfaces are well designed, they nearly all offer a DVR and shows on demand, and have minimal buffering with a good internet connection.

Depending on if you want locals (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), sports, entertainment, or news — we think there is a great pick for you. If you want to find the best streaming TV service based on the channel lineups you prefer, try our Channel Finder.

Best for RSNs

DIRECTV STREAM
$69.99+/ month

  • Only service w/ Bally Sports RSNs, YES, MASN, & Spectrum SportsNet
  • Most Top Cable Channels
  • Unlimited DVR & At-Home Streams

Best for Sports

fuboTV
$69.99 / month

  • Least expensive for RSNs like MSG, AT&T SportsNet, & Altitude
  • Offers NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, Big 10 Network, Pac-12 Network, & beIn

Best Skinny Bundle

Philo
$25/ month

  • Includes A&E, AMC, BET, HGTV, Hallmark, MTV, Discovery, Comedy Central, & Nick
  • Pairs well with Sling TV

Best for Cord Cutters

Hulu Live TV
$69.99/ month

  • 33 Top Cable Channels
  • Locals in almost every market
  • Channels include ESPN, FS1, USA, Pro & College Sports
  • Includes free Disney+, ESPN+, and Unlimited DVR

Best for Budget

Sling TV
$40+/ month

  • Up to 25 Top Cable Channels
  • Includes ESPN, FS1 y USA Network
  • Limited Locals & RSNs
  • Includes 50 Hour DVR (200 Hour +$5)

Best Interface

YouTube TV
$64.99/ month

  • 32 Top Cable Channels
  • Includes locals in almost every market
  • Great interface
  • Unlimited DVR

Plans & Prices

You can try DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Philo, and YouTube TV each with up to a 7 day free trial depending on the service. Hulu Live TV no longer offers a free trial, but now includes The Disney Bundle as part of your subscription. Sling TV also no longer offers a free trial, but frequently offers a discounted first month.

Pricing for service range from $25-35 for skinny bundles like Sling TV and Philo, to $64.99+ for services like DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV.

Plan Free Trial
DIRECTV STREAM $69.99 “Entertainment” Prueba gratis 5 días
$89.99 “Choice”
$104.99 “Ultimate”
$149.99 “Premier”
fuboTV $69.99 “fubo” Prueba gratis 7 días
Hulu Live TV $69.99 “Hulu Live TV” Inscríbete
Philo $25 “Philo” Prueba gratis 7 días
Sling TV $40 “Sling Orange” Get 50% OFF
$40 “Sling Blue”
$55 “Sling Orange + Blue”
YouTube TV $64.99 “YouTube TV” Inscríbete

Channels

Our Service Matchmaker will make sure you’re getting the right service with all the channels you need.

The Philo ($25) base plan is the cheapest option to get a wide variety of high quality entertainment content. While it doesn’t come with locals or sports channels, you will get access to A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, HGTV y MTV and other channels at a fraction of the cost.

Hulu Live TV ($69.99) is the cheapest bundle that includes locals, regional sports, national sports (ESPN, FS1) and top cable channels from A+E, Discovery (Discovery, Food Network, HGTV), Disney (Disney Channel, FX, & Freeform), NBC (Bravo, E!, MSNBC), Warner Media (TNT, TBS, CNN, Adult Swim), and Fox (Fox News). It also includes The Disney Bundle (Disney+ & ESPN+) at no extra charge.

fuboTV ($69.99) has 27 Top Cable Channels. You won’t have access to Turner-owned channels (TNT, TBS, CNN, etc.). They have some hard-to-get Regional Sports Networks like MSG in New York, NESN in Boston, AT&T Sportsnet Southwest in Houston, and ROOT Sports Northwest in Seattle.

Sling TV’s is a great option for budget streamers, as it includes up to 24 top cable channels Top Cable Channels for just ($40+) a month. This is a great option for those who want a good sampling of sports, news, and entertainment content for a low price.

YouTube TV ($64.99) offer 32 Top Cable Channels. At $64.99, it is fairly comprehensive for the price, but they don’t carry A&E, History, Lifetime, or RSNs in most markets.

DIRECTV STREAM is in most cases more expensive than the others ($69.99+), but include 34 of the Top 35 Cable Channels. The biggest reason to subscribe is that they have many hard-to-get Regional Sports Networks (Bally Sports RSNs/Fox Sports RSNs, AT&T SportsNet, Altitude, MASN, ROOT Sports) that aren’t available on other services as part of their Choice Plan ($89.99)

If you want to see if a specific TV Show or movie is available on a streaming service, you can use our TV Show Finder or Movie Finder tools.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
Total Channels 65/90/130/140 90 70 60 30 40 60
Local ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC
ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC
ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC








Fox
NBC
ABC
CBS
Fox
NBC
Top 35 Cable 34–35
of Top 35
27
of Top 35
33
of Top 35
18
of Top 35
16
of Top 35
24
of Top 35
32
of Top 35
National Sports 7–8 6 8 - 4 5 8
College Sports 0–5 4 6 - - - 6
Pro Sports 0–3 1 1 - - 1 3
Regional Sports (RSNs) ≥ $89.99 - - -

Compare Channels Across Live TV Streaming Services

Streaming Experience

All of the services have similar video quality. Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV have the most reliable connections.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $64.99
Video Resolution 720p+
60 fps
720p
60 fps
720p
60 fps
720p
30 fps
720p
30/60 fps
720p+
60 fps
Streaming Reliability Average Below Average Great Average Below Average Great
On Demand Reliability Below Average Average Great Above Average Average Great
Audio Stereo
Some Surround
Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo
Some Surround
Live Delay 20 sec 15 sec 30 sec 25 sec 55 sec 25 sec
Channel Switching 2.5 sec 3.5 sec 3.5 sec 4.5 sec 5.5 sec 1.5 sec

Features

Almost every service lets you stream content to at least 2 devices at the same time. “Sling Orange” is the one exception; it only lets you stream on 1 device.

Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and DIRECTV STREAM are the only services with parental controls.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
Cloud DVR
Cloud DVR Capacity Unlimited
9 months
1000 hours Unlimited
9 months
Unlimited
12 months
50 hours
+ $5
200 hours
50 hours
+ $5
200 hours
Unlimited
9 months
Simultaneous Viewing 20
streams
3
streams
2
streams
3
streams
1
stream
3
streams
3
streams
On Demand
TV Everywhere App Access
Parental Controls - - -

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Cloud DVR

Every service offers a cloud DVR, which lets you record streaming content to watch at a later time. 

Each has slightly different restrictions on what can be recorded and when the recording will start. For instance, some will let you record from the beginning of the episode even when you tune in after it starts. Others will let you watch while the episode is still recording.

With all services, you can fast-forward through shows that you recorded to the DVR (unlike most on-demand content) with some exceptions.

Recording Capacity

DTV STREAM

Unlimited

9 months

fuboTV

1000 hours

Hulu

Unlimited

9 months

Philo

Unlimited

12 months

Sling

50 hours

YouTube

Unlimited

9 months

Most services now include an Unlimited DVR with the service.

DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and Philo each offer an Unlimited DVR. While DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV will keep them for 9 months, Philo extends their recordings for an entire year.

fuboTV includes 1,000 hours of storage as part of their new base plan. Sling TV now includes 50 hours of recording space, but offers a $5/month upgrade to 200 hours of storage.

While both of these services have storage limits, the DVR content never expires, so you can keep it on the service as long as you have available space.

Oddly, fuboTV and Sling TV are the only services that offer a way to record a single episode. Every other service makes you create a “series” recording, in which every episode of a show will be recorded.

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Simultaneous Viewing

All of the services allow you to have at least 2 simultaneous viewers, with the exception of the Sling TV’s “Orange” $40+ plan (it only allows a single stream).

YouTube TV allows 3 simultaneous streams, with YouTube TV offering “Family Profiles” so up to six users can have a personal account.

Some offer the ability to add an additional viewer to your plan.

Hulu Live TV includes 2 viewers, but offers a $10/month “Unlimited Screens” upgrade, which allows unlimited devices to stream on your home network or 3 devices outside your home.

While subscribers to DIRECTV STREAM includes 3 viewers while traveling (Unlimited on your home network), those on legacy DIRECTV NOW plans can add a third simultaneous for $5/month.

fuboTV includes 3 viewers, but will allow you 10 simultaneous viewers on your home network as part of their base plan.

Both Hulu + Live TV and fuboTV, won’t allow you to stream to multiple TV devices outside your home network at the same time. You can however use a TV device and a mobile device (which can be Cast or AirPlay to the TV).

Concurrent Devices

More is better.

DTV STREAM 20 streams
fuboTV 3 streams
Philo 3 streams
Sling “Blue” 3 streams
YouTube 3 streams
Hulu 2 streams
Sling “Orange” 1 stream

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On Demand

All of the services offer video on demand (VOD), but require you to watch commercials (usually 5 minutes per half hour) during playback.

Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV make it the easiest to search for and watch on demand content. They have great show detail pages, which bundle the live, upcoming, and on demand episodes in one place.

Sling TV has improved their on demand experience, but sometimes their guide data will be inaccurate for on demand content. We have lots of issues playing on demand content from DIRECTV STREAM. Videos will sometimes fail to start or spontaneously freeze during playback.

DIRECTV STREAM and fuboTV also offer a “catch-up” feature, giving access to show episodes that aired within the last 3 days—that may not normally be available on-demand.

infinity icon
TV Everywhere

Similar to traditional cable and satellite subscriptions, these cord cutting services provide “TV Everywhere” logins to certain channels’ apps (e.g.: AMC, CNBC, FX, WatchESPN, etc.).

fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM connect to the most channel apps, with access for up to 51 and 37 channel apps, respectively. Other services offer access to roughly 30 channels.

View All TV Everywhere Apps

TV Everywhere App Access

More is better. App count may vary by plan tier.

fuboTV 51 apps
DTV STREAM 37 apps
YouTube 35 apps
Hulu 33 apps
Philo 33 apps
Sling 19 apps

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Original Content

Some of the services include exclusive content.

For example, Hulu Live TV subscribers get access to The Disney Bundle (Disney+ and ESPN+), as well as the entire Hulu streaming library, including full seasons of many TV shows, movies, and its original shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale”. For an additional $6/month, you can watch their streaming library without commercials.

parent and child icon
Parental Controls

Surprisingly, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM are the only services that offer parental controls.

Hulu Live TV lets you create a “Kids Mode” profile. Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM allow you to restrict content playback based on its rating level.

Media Streaming Devices

The services are available on most smartphones, tablets, TV streaming devices, computers, and video game consoles.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $64.99
Amazon Fire TV





Apple TV





Google Chromecast
Android only
Roku
Android TV


4.4+


5.0+

iPhone/iPad
iOS 12+

iOS 13+

iOS 13+

iOS 13+

iOS 11+

iOS 12+
Android Phone/Tablet
4.4+

5.0+

5.0+

5.0+

5.0+

5.0+
Mac
Windows
PlayStation - - - -
Xbox -

-

Nintendo - - - - -
LG Smart TV
2018+

WebOS 3.5+ (some 3.0)
-
WebOS 3.0+

2016+
Samsung Smart TV
2017+

2016+

2016+
-
2016+

2016+
Sony Smart TV
VIZIO Smart TV
2016+

TV Devices

Most services are available on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV (4th generation and later), Roku, and Chromecast.

If you own an Android TV device like NVIDIA Shield, you will be able to use it with DAZN, DIRECTV STREAM, ESPN+, Frndly TV, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, Spectrum TV Essentials, Vidgo, XFINITY Instant TV y YouTube TV.

Game Consoles

PlayStation
Since the shutdown of PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV are the only service available on either the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, or PlayStation 5.

Xbox
Hulu is the only service that supports Xbox 360. Sling TV supports Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and all Xbox One models.

Nintendo Switch
If you have a Nintendo Switch, you should consider Hulu Live TV because it’s the only service that works on that device.

Smartphones & Tablets

You will be able to live stream from your mobile device on iOS and Android using the streaming service’s app. Generally, you will need at least iOS 9+ or Android 4.4+, but check your specific service.

Web Browsers

You can stream via web using Chrome with every service. Some offer streaming in Safari and Firefox.

Other Live Streaming Services

While there are strictly on-demand services like Netflix and HBO Max, there are other services offering live TV viewing beyond the major providers.

Paramount+

Paramount Plus is a streaming service that offers live NFL games, along with original shows like “Star Trek: Discovery,” “1883,” and “The Good Fight.” The service’s “premium” plan offers live CBS viewing.

Bally Sports+

Bally Sports+ is a sports streaming service that gives in-market access to Bally Sports RSNs. It is a good option for local sports if your team plays on a Bally Sports channel and you don’t get it with your live TV streaming service.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a live sports streaming service that offers thousands of live events from UFC Fight Nights and PPV events, NHL, MLS, FA Cup, MLB, Grand Slam tennis, PGA TOUR LIVE, LaLiga, Top Rank Boxing, and more. Plus, a variety of college sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse, from 20+ conferences.

DAZN

DAZN is a live sports streaming service that offers weekly boxing and MMA content from Matchroom USA, Bellator, Golden Boy Promotions, and more.

NCAA March Madness Live

One of everyone’s favorite college basketball apps for the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament is NCAA March Madness Live. It lets you track your brackets, follow stats, scores, highlights, and stream all 67 March Madness games.

XFINITY Instant TV

XFINITY Instant TV is a live TV streaming service for Xfinity Internet Subscribers. It allows you to add channel packages that can be watched from the Xfinity App, even if you don’t have cable.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is a subscription streaming service that includes high-quality originals shows and movies. While the library is more limited than some competitors, Apple TV+ plans to add additional content every single month. You’ll also see some live MLB games.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription streaming service that gives access to on-demand content from NBC, Bravo, E!, but with additional original shows, movies, and a library of classic shows like “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Law & Order.” Peacock is the exclusive home of English Premier League soccer and many WWE events like WrestleMania.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue was a live TV streaming service that offered local TV, sports, news, and entertainment content. While it was previously our top pick for sports fans, Sony shut down the service in January 2020. You can learn more about PlayStation Vue here.

Free Live TV Streaming Services

In addition to the premium services that include major networks and cable channels, there are many free live TV streaming services. These services are called “FAST” — Free Ad-Supported Television, and they are a nice way to supplement any paid services you may have.

Pluto TV

This service from Paramount Global provides more than 250 channels of live TV and thousands of on demand movies and TV shows. You’ll find channels dedicated to reruns of specific shows, like “Star Trek,” “Survivor,” or “Baywatch,” alongside live CBS News, Bloomberg Television, and Sky News.

Tubi

You’ll find more than 200 live ad-supported channels on Tubi, alongside an impressive 45,000+ movies and television shows available on demand. Tubi’s ad breaks are less frequent and less repetitive than some other FAST services.

Peacock

Although Peacock offers premium paid content, it also offers several free channels, including some local NBC affiliate news, old “Saturday Night Live” clips, “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” and WWE events.

Roku Channel

This popular free streaming service offers 300+ live linear streaming channels and more than 80,000 free movies and TV shows.

Plex

Check out 250+ channels and 50,000 free on-demand titles with Plex. The service also allows you to watch and share media from your computer with friends or family. It also allows you to create a unified watchlist that launches other streaming services as needed.

Freevee

You’ll get 16 live free streaming channels with this service. Its primary use is for the large on-demand library of movies and TV shows.

Video Review of Live TV Streaming Services

Devolución de DIRECTV STREAM

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Devolución de Hulu Live TV

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