Best Live TV Streaming Services – The 2021 Guide

Written by
Simi

Live TV Streaming

There are so many live TV streaming services out there today, and they’re all so alike. But before you get a subscription, it’s better to look at all the options and choose the one that best fits your needs. We’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best live TV streaming services on the market, ranking them in terms of their price, UI, and features.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is the best overall live TV streaming service on the market now, with great features and a convenient price tag at $65/month. It still may be expensive for many, but the benefits justify the cost. You get

  • Total of 78 channels
  • Unlimited DVR storage that is retained for 9 months
  • Interactive and clean user interface
  • Local and global sports and news channels
  • 3 device simultaneous feature without extra cost
  • On-demand movies and shows

As we mentioned earlier, this is the best overall package out there, as you get everything you need for $65. This is great for families due to its wide variety of channels and unlimited storage. And you can stream on 3 devices at the same time, so the kids can watch what they like while the parents watch to their own liking. Whether you’re interested in lifestyle, sports, news, or cartoons, you’ll find it on YouTube TV. Have a look at their channel list before you decide to get the subscription.

They also include some add-on packages that give you access to a few more channels, including NBA. These aren’t as expensive as Hulu’s add-ons, but if you specifically want to watch only those channels, other alternatives might be cheaper and better for you. If you only want to get a service for sports or entertainment, it’s better to opt for Philo or Sling TV. They’re not as expensive and would serve the purpose. But if you want a rounded package, YouTube TV is the best.

Hulu + TV

Hulu + TV grabs the runner-up spot on this list with its feature-packed live TV streaming service that has over 4 million subscribers now. It functions both as an OTT and VOD together, providing a cordless subscription service along with on-demand movies and shows. It initially started off with a movie and show streaming service with a $6/month fee. In 2020, it introduced its live channels including news and sports, further broadening its service.

Upon getting the Live TV subscription, you get more than 60 channels, along with the video-on-demand service. This includes lesser channels than what you get with YouTube TV and recent changes to the sports section, mostly the removal of many local sports channels. If you’re getting the service just for sports, you might want to check the channel list before you get Hulu + Live TV.

The interface is great to use, both on your TV as well as on your laptop or smartphones. If you’ve already used the Hulu VOD service, you’d equally enjoy their Live TV service. You also get a 14-day TV guide, which isn’t there on YouTube TV. You get to stream 4K HDR but have a 50-hour limited DVR space that you can upgrade to 200-hours with an added $10 charge. This is what makes it worse than YouTube TV.

When it was first launched, Hulu + Live TV came out with some great features at a more reasonable price. But now, they’ve limited a lot of their services with added upgrades. The plan starts at $65, which itself is pricey. Then you have to pay another $10 dollars to get rid of ads and increase your DVR space. Moreover, you can only stream on two devices at once, and another $10 dollar upgrade allows you to stream on an unlimited number of devices.

If you like using DVR, this isn’t the best option for you. As it stands, it’s not the best-priced package, in spite of its awesome features. If you plan on sharing it with someone else, don’t use DVR much and only watch popular sports channels and only then consider going for it.

Sling TV

Sling TV service is the most affordable option on this list, with all packages being under $50. This is the best plan for those who aren’t interested in a fancy-looking UI or a wide variety of channels. If you’re only looking to get a streaming service that includes the select few sports, news, and entertainment channels you usually watch, Sling TV is recommended.

Sling TV provides a 7-day free trial and is compatible with most devices. Once you’ve signed up, you get it for $10 for the first two months, regardless of the plan you choose for. Speaking of plans, Sling TV has three plans – Sling Orange ($35), Sling Blue ($35), and Sling Orange + Blue ($50).

In Sling Orange, you get access to about 30 channels, including ESPN, BBC, CNN, CN, A&E, and Bloomberg. This package is recommended for those who just want sports and family channels.

In Sling Blue, you get more than 40 channels, that include most of those from Orange with the addition of NBC, FOX, and TLC. This package is recommended for those who just want news and entertainment channels.

In Sling Orange + Blue, you get all the channels they provide that include sports, news, and family channels. This is their premium package with over 50 channels included. This is recommended for families with members who are of varying ages and interests.

You can get some add-on channels by paying an additional charge. You’ll find an entire list of channels to choose from on their website.

The only disadvantage of using Sling TV is that it’s not as polished as Hulu + TV and YouTube TV, and it has a limited DVR. You cannot download and store a lot of movies or shows as you’re bounded by a 50-hour limit. With an additional charge, you get 200 hours of space which doesn’t have an extinction period. Overall, Sling TV is a great option for its price and channel options.

Fubo TV

Fubo TV is the most expensive service on this list, along with the biggest channel list. It’s certainly a premium live TV streaming service, with a crisp and interactive UI, a total of 122 channels (plus add-ons), and two different plans.

Fubo TV initially started off as a football live streaming service but has now expanded to hold the widest range of channels on the market. The low-tier plan, ‘FuboTV Family,’ is for $65 and has 122 channels along with 250 hours worth of DVR storage. Plus, it also has some 4K content which isn’t as popular amongst its competitors. Recently their channel list saw the addition of channels like Disney but also saw the removal of turned-owned channels such as CNN and TNT.

It initially had a DVR storage issue, but now it has a huge 250-hour storage space. But if you download a lot, YouTube TV and Philo that offer unlimited storage might be more interesting.

Their second plan is ‘Fubo TV Elite,’ which is for $80 and comes with more added benefits and channels. However, we’d suggest that you get add-ons for your preferred channels as they wouldn’t be as expensive as the Elite pack when combined with the Family pack.

While the service is great, YouTube TV and Philo might seem better in terms of their DVR storage. And if you’re looking for inexpensive options, Sling TV is better than Fubo TV any day. If you watch basketball on TNT, you might want to avoid this service as well.

Philo

The final spot on this list is grabbed by Philo TV, yet another inexpensive live TV streaming service available on the market and even cheaper than Sling TV. However, the reason it’s so cheap is that it hardly includes any local or sports channels you’d want. It provides about 60 channels, most of which comprise entertainment and kids channels.

If you don’t watch a lot of TV and occasionally sit down to watch some cooking shows or want a service available for your children, Philo is the best. Instead of getting a $65 subscription that you hardly use, getting Philo and paying $20 per month for the required channels would make a lot more sense. We’d recommend that you visit their website to have a look at their channel list.

You also get to stream on three different devices at once without any extra cost. They only have a single package for $20 per month that includes 63 channels. There are a few more entertainment channel add-ons that you can purchase for 9/month.

Philo TV is a great cost-saving option if you’re willing to sacrifice on news and sports channels. Otherwise, we’d recommend checking out YouTube TV or Sling TV for better deals.

Conclusion

There you have it – our list of the best live streaming services on the market. You can rely on the information on this list, but it’s recommended that you visit the website of the service you’re interested in before you purchase.

 

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Best Live TV Streaming Services – The 2021 Guide

by Simi time to read: 6 min
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