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Dangbei · 31 Jul 2020

The 7 Best TV Streaming Apps

If you cut the cord and liberate yourself from the constraints of a daily cable bill, it's all too easy to drift yourself through a sea world of on-demand streaming material. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video deliver a lot of fantastic TV shows and videos you can access at any moment, so where are you going to stream live TV?

If you find yourself craving the comfortable experience of live television, we've pulled together a list of the eight best live TV apps and services.

All of these TV subscription services helps you to download live TV through the internet client, and all of them do function on tablets, video game consoles, and other computers. Some of them are best if you enjoy football, others provide a dizzying variety of outlets, while some provide excellent choices for budget-oriented cord-cutters.

YouTube TV

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Cost and Channels

About $49.99/mo for 40+ channels. 

Add-ons

Showtime, Fox Soccer Plus, Shudder, Sundance Now

How many shows can you watch at once?

Three

Where does it work?

Android, iOS, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, compatible smart TVs, PC (via web browser)

Includes access to YouTube Originals

YouTube TV offers all the major networks and about 35 additional cable channels, so it's pretty much right in the middle of the road in terms of cost and coverage.

One of the big things that YouTube TV has going for it is unlimited digital video recorder (DVR) cloud storage, which means you can record as many shows as you want, and access them from any device, without any extra charges.

YouTube TV also includes access to shows like Kobra Kai that are normally only available to YouTube Premium subscribers.

DirecTV Now

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Cost and Channels

Ranges from about $49.99/mo for 155+ channels to about $74.99/mo for 250+ channels.

Add-ons

HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz

How many shows can you watch at once?

Two

Where does it work?

Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android, iOS, compatible smart TVs, PC (via web browser)

More live streaming television channels than any other service

DirecTV Now is an online television streaming service that's operated by a company that also provides satellite television, so it should come as no surprise that they offer a ton of channels.

If you want a direct replacement for your high-end cable or satellite television subscription, then DirecTV Now is probably the only streaming service that's going to even come close to satisfying you.

DirecTV Now is also a good option for AT&T subscribers. In fact, AT&T subscribers are sometimes eligible for certain bonuses, and the only way to rent movies from DirecTV Now is if you have a combined AT&T and DirecTV bill.

fuboTV 

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Cost and Channels

About $54.99/mo for 100+ channels.

Add-ons

Additional DVR storage, family share plan, Showtime, International sports package, Sports package, Adventure package, Portuguese language package, Spanish language package, Cycling package

How many shows can you watch at once?

Two (additional streams available for an extra charge.)

Where does it work?

Android, iOS, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, PC (via web browser)

Streaming television for sports fans

While fuboTV offers a decent selection of live television channels, the real selling point of the service is sports. Most other services offer some sports channels, but fuboTV has some, like GOL TV, that you'll have trouble finding elsewhere.

If watching live sports on the internet is your primary goal, then fuboTV is probably going to knock it out of the park. It's also a great choice if you want to watch either the Spanish or Portuguese language sports channels. That said, it doesn't work with VPNs, which might be a knock against it if you're hoping to utilize one.

Sling TV 

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Cost and Channels

About $30/mo for 30+ channels (Orange plan) and about $30/mo for 50+ channels (Blue plan).

Add-ons

Cloud DVR, Sports package, Comedy package, Kids package, News package, Lifestyle package, HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime, Epix, packages for Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, French, and many other languages, NBA League Pass, etc

How many shows can you watch at once?

One (Sling Orange) and three (Sling Blue).

Where does it work?

Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, iOS, Android, Xbox One, compatible smart TVs, PC (via web browser)

Best streaming service for a budget, but also has a ton of sports options

Sling TV offers a whole lot of options, so it's a good choice for anyone who is really looking to tailor their experience.

The budget-priced Orange plan is one of the less expensive options out there.

Sling is also a good choice for anyone who wants access to both sports and general entertainment channels. The optional sports package adds NHL Network, NBA TV and ESPNU, and another optional add-on brings NBA League Pass to the table.

Hulu With Live TV

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Cost and Channels

About $54.99/mo for 60+ channels.

Add-ons

Enhanced DVR, additional concurrent streams, premium channels (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime.)

How many shows can you watch at once?

Two (additional streams available for a monthly charge.)

Where does it work?

Android, iOS, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Xbox 360, compatible smart TVs, PC (via web browser)

Brings live television streaming to a site you probably already use

Hulu is one of the oldest and most trusted names in the streaming world, but the basic service doesn't include live television. Hulu With Live TV is an additional subscription, above and beyond the regular subscription, that adds access to live television channels.

If you're already a long-time Hulu subscriber, then this is a great way to seamlessly add a live television option to a service you already use regularly.

Philo

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Cost and Channels

About $20/mo for 58+ channels.

Add-ons

None

How many shows can you watch at once?

Three

Where does it work?

iOS, Android, Roku, Chrome, PC (via web browser)

Cheapest live television streaming service, but not great for sports

Philo is the most affordable multi-channel streaming service that offers live television, but it also has the fewest options and the sparsest lineup. Neither of its plans includes either ESPN or Fox Sports, for instance.

If you're looking for a cheap way to watch live television online, and Philo has the channels you're looking for, then it's a great choice.

CBS All Access

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Cost and Channels

About $6/mo for two channels. 

Add-ons

The commercial-free option, Showtime

How many shows can you watch at once?

Two

Where does it work?

Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One, PS4, Windows 10 (app), PC (via web browser)

The best way to watch exclusive CBS shows like Star Trek: Discovery

Unlike the other options for watching live television online, CBS All Access doesn't provide a ton of different channels. When you sign up, you get access to CBS and CBSN.

The main draw for CBS All Access is that, in addition to providing an online stream of your local CBS channel, it also provides access to a number of exclusive, online-only CBS shows.

For instance, the only way to watch Star Trek: Discovery is to sign up for CBS All Access.

If you're a fan of a lot of CBS shows, then the inexpensive price tag makes CBS All Access a great deal. If you don't watch a lot of CBS shows, then it's safe to take a pass.