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How to Choose a Live TV Streaming Service After Price/Feature Changes and New Bundle Offerings

Ben Bowman

The live TV streaming landscape has shifted dramatically in the past few months. You’re looking at $70/month for most of the players in the market, but the benefits associated with that price tag vary dramatically. To help you decide which service gives you the best bang for your buck, we’ll look at some important factors and point out the main differences.

Major Streaming Service Changes

The biggest developments involve pricing and features. Hulu Live TV has undergone the biggest transformation, adding an unlimited DVR and the bundle that includes Disney+ and ESPN+. That’s a great value for a small price hike.

Another big shift is fuboTV dropping its least expensive plan and shoving everyone over to the plan with a 1,000-hour DVR.

DIRECTV STREAM recently upgraded to an unlimited DVR and are testing nine-month hold on recordings.

YouTube TV and Sling TV have remained largely static in recent months.

The Oversimplified Choice

If you just want a quick recommendation, here’s how we’d break down each service’s highlights.

Hulu Live TV: Possibly the best value available. You get most major channels, an unlimited DVR as of April 13, great live sports with ESPN+, and the amazing on-demand catalogs of Disney+ and Hulu.

YouTube TV: You’ll get nearly every channel you might want at a slight discount to most of its competitors.

DIRECTV STREAM: The best option if you want the most possible channels. No service offers better regional sports options, but the price can get steep.

fuboTV: You’ll get 4K streaming on select events and the opportunity to load up on sports channels that will appeal to some fans.

Sling TV: The most flexible option that offers “skinny” bundles of fewer channels at a lower price. Scale up or down as needed.

Philo: If you want to save money, Philo is a great option. You won’t find many sports channels, but you’ll get access to Paramount Network to watch “Yellowstone.”

Comparing Live Streaming Features

Service Price Top Cable Channels Total Possible Channels DVR 4K Notes
fuboTV US$69.99 27 109 1,000 hrs Included Picture-in-Picture, predictive games
DIRECTV STREAM US$69.99 35 214 Unlimited No Only option for Bally Sports Networks
Hulu Live TV US$69.99 32 99 Unlimited (starting April 13) No Includes free Disney+ and ESPN+
Sling TV US$35 27 51 50 hrs (upgradable) No 3 different base subscriptions
YouTube TV US$64.99 32 110 Unlimited +$19.99/month Includes ad-supported free library
Philo US$25 18 69 Unlimited No No local channels

Channel Comparison

If you want to be sure you will get your favorite channels on a specific service, be sure to cross-reference your channel preferences with The Streamable's Service Matchmaker. Here’s an overview of the most popular cable channels and their availability.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial 50% OFF Sign Up
US$69.99 US$69.99 US$69.99 US$25 US$35 US$35 US$64.99
A&E - -
ABC - - -
AMC -
BET ^ US$6
Bravo - -
Cartoon Network - -
CBS - - -
CNN - -
Comedy Central
Discovery -
Disney Channel - -
Disney Junior - ^ US$6 -
E! - -
ESPN - -
Food Network
Fox - -
Fox News - -
Freeform - -
FX - -
FXX - - ^ US$6
Hallmark Channel - ^ US$6 ^ US$6
HGTV
History - -
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime - -
MSNBC - -
MTV ^ US$6 ^ US$6
NBC - -
Nickelodeon - -
Paramount Network ^ US$6 ^ US$6
Syfy - -
TBS - -
Telemundo - - -
The CW - - -
TLC -
TNT - -
Travel Channel ≥ US$89.99
truTV - - ^ US$6
Univision - - - -
USA Network - -
VH1 ^ US$6 ^ US$6
WE tv - ^ US$6 ^ US$6

Final Notes

Since most services offer a free trial, it’s worth sampling several to see which one works best for you. Sports fans will have very specific needs. Families will likely get the most bang for their buck with the Hulu bundle. If you’d like to save money, Sling TV and Philo are great options. With no contract, it’s also easy to switch from month to month to find the right service for you.

Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll email you whenever a service has a special offer.