Best Live TV Streaming Services: Compare Our Top Picks for 2021

By Michael Timmermann | Clark

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f you’re paying more than $100 a month for cable or satellite TV service, you may be able to cut that bill in half by switching to one of several popular live TV streaming plans.

YouTube TVHulu + Live TV and Sling TV are three top picks to cut the cord in 2021.

However, depending on the list of channels and other features, fuboTV, Philo or TVision may be worth considering for your household.

In this article, I’ll lay out all of the best live TV streaming options to help you make the right choice. Let’s get started!

Quick Links: 

Best Streaming TV Services: YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV

Looking for a cable-like experience? YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV are the best bets. For $65 per month or less, they offer skinny bundles with news, sports and entertainment networks — plus local stations in many areas.

If you’re willing to give up popular live news and sports networks, Philo’s entertainment-focused plan is only $20 per month.

Price is only one factor to consider when choosing a live TV streaming service, but it’s an important one. Here’s a look at the cheapest plans available right now:

Live TV Streaming Plans 
Streaming TV ServiceStarting Price 
TVisionVibe: $10/monthLive: $40/month
Philo$20/month
Sling TVBest Budget Live TV Streaming Service$35/month
YouTube TVBest Cable TV Replacement$64.99/month
Hulu + Live TVBest Streaming Alternative to YouTube TV$64.99/month
fuboTV$64.99/month

I’ve tested all of the major live TV streaming services. Some of the key differences are pricechannel lineupDVRsupported devices and the ability to watch multiple streams at once.

The live TV streaming plans I’ve reviewed don’t have hidden fees, equipment rentals or long-term contracts.

When you sign up for any of the services featured in this guide, you can start streaming to your phone, computer or TV right away. There are just a few things you’ll need:

First-time streamer? Start with my step-by-step guide to cutting the cord!

Ready to lower your pay-TV bill once and for all? Let’s review the pros and cons of the major live TV streaming services, beginning with YouTube TV.

YouTube TV 

Best Cable TV Replacement

YouTube TV starts at $65 a month and includes 85+ channels

YouTube TV Review Summary: For $65 a month, YouTube TV has the best overall channel lineup in streaming TV. Its 85+ channels include live sports, cable news and local stations. The channel lineup features sports networks like ESPN, FS1, FS2, BTN, NFL Network and SEC Network. YouTube TV offers unlimited DVR and allows up to three simultaneous streams. (Full review)

  • Price: One single plan for $65 per month
  • Channels: Heavy on sports, plus a well-rounded lineup of news and entertainment channels; ViacomCBS networks added in June 2020 (Full channel lineup)
  • DVR: Record as many programs as you want at the same time and never run out of storage space
  • Supported devices for TV include:  
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Android TV
    • Apple TV
    • Google Chromecast
    • PlayStation 4
    • Roku
    • Xbox One, Xbox One S & Xbox One X
    • Select smart TVs
  • Multiple streams: Up to three separate devices at the same time
  • Internet speed: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 7 Mbps for one HD stream and 13 Mbps for reliable HD streaming with multiple streams
  • More resources: Free trial offer | Cancel your subscription
YouTube TV: Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Great overall channel lineupMonthly price increased from $50 to $65 in June 2020
Lots of sports: ESPN, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV and more
Unlimited DVR

Hulu + Live TV

Best Streaming Alternative to YouTube TV

Hulu Streaming New Price

Hulu + Live TV Review Summary: Hulu with Live TV’s channel lineup offers a mix of sports, news, entertainment and local channels in many cities. The live TV service also provides access to Hulu’s entire on-demand streaming library for a base price of $64.99 per month. Cloud DVR is limited to 50 hours and you can stream two screens at a time, but there are options to upgrade both features. Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast are among Hulu + Live TV’s supported devices. (Full review)

  • Price: $64.99 per month and up
  • Channels: Access Hulu’s entire streaming library, plus get channels like A&E, Bravo, Discovery, Disney, E!, ESPN, FS1, FS2, Food Network, HGTV and History (Full channel lineup)
  • DVR: 50 hours of cloud DVR storage included; additional charge to upgrade to 200 hours
  • Supported devices for TV include:  
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Android TV
    • Apple TV
    • Google Chromecast
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PlayStation 4
    • Roku
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    • Select smart TVs
  • Multiple streams: Watch videos simultaneously on up to two screens; can upgrade to unlimited screens
  • Internet speed: 8 Mbps or higher for a reliable, high-quality viewing experience; multiple concurrent streams may require higher bandwidth
  • More resources: Free trial offer | Cancel your subscription
Hulu + Live TV: Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Good mix of sports, news and entertainment networks, plus local channelsExpensive add-ons
Hulu’s on-demand streaming library includedMust upgrade DVR to fast-forward through commercials
50 hours of cloud DVR storageOnly two screens at once

Sling TV

Best Budget Live TV Streaming Service

Best budget streaming service, Sling TV offers plans starting at $35 per month and 50 hours of free DVR

Sling TV Review Summary: Sling TV has two skinny bundles (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that cost $35 per month each, but you can combine them and pay $50 a month. All subscribers now receive 50 hours of cloud DVR or you can pay $5/month for 200 hours. Sling Orange allows for only one stream at a time, while Sling Blue allows for three. Many streaming devices are supported. Local channels are limited when you sign up for Sling TV’s plans, so it’s best to have an antenna if you choose this service. (Full review

  • Price: $35 per month for Sling Orange, $35 for Sling Blue, $50 for Sling Orange + Blue
  • Channels: Sling Orange offers 30+ channels including ESPN, Disney, AMC, CNN and HGTV; Sling Blue offers 50+ channels like Discovery, TLC, Fox News, MSNBC and FX (Full channel lineup)
  • DVR: 50 hours at no additional charge; 200 hours for $5/month
  • Supported devices for TV include:  
    • AirTV Player
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Android TV
    • Apple TV
    • Google Chromecast
    • Roku
    • Xbox One
    • Select smart TVs
  • Multiple streams: One stream at a time with Sling Orange, three streams at a time with Sling Blue, four streams at once with Sling Orange + Blue
  • Internet speed: 5 Mbps for a single stream of video content on a TV, PC or Mac; 25 Mbps for households that maintain internet use on multiple devices
  • More resources: Free trial offer | Cancel your subscription
Sling TV: Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Packages start at $35 per monthLimited local channels
Lots of compatible devicesOnly 50 hours of cloud DVR included
Affordable add-on channel optionsOnly one stream with Sling Orange

fuboTV

fuboTV streaming plans

fuboTV Review Summary: fuboTV is a live TV streaming service with lots of sports channels for soccer fans, plus a good mix of live news and entertainment programming. Its $64.99/month Family plan includes 100+ channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR and the ability to watch on three screens at the same time. Some events are available for viewing in 4K. Disney-owned networks like ABC and ESPN were added in August 2020. (Full review)Advertisement

  • Price: $64.99 per month and up
  • Channels: Lots of sports networks: beIN SPORTS, TUDN, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, BTN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel and more; ESPN, Disney and ABC added in August 2020 (Full channel lineup
  • DVR: 250 hours with Family plan and option to upgrade
  • Supported devices for TV include:  
  • Multiple streams: Three streams at the same time; add more for an additional charge
  • Internet speed: Between 3 Mbps and 25 Mbps depending on the resolution
  • More resources: Free trial offer | Cancel your subscription
fuboTV: Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Lots and lots of sports channels; ESPN finally added in August 2020Turner networks (CNN, TBS, TNT, etc.) removed in July 2020
Good mix of live news and entertainment networksExpensive add-ons for cloud DVR and additional streams
Up to 6 profiles per subscription

Philo

Philo Fast Facts

Philo Review Summary: If you don’t care about the major national sports networks, Philo has lots of entertainment for a very low price. There are 60+ channels in its $20/month plan: A&E, BET, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and more. Unlimited DVR and three simultaneous streams are included. Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV devices are supported, plus Google Chromecast as of July 2020. (Full review

  • Price: $20 per month
  • Channels: AMC, Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, Investigation Discovery, OWN, Nickelodeon and more; no sports or local stations (Full channel lineup)
  • DVR: Unlimited DVR to save any shows you want for up to 30 days
  • Supported devices for TV include: 
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Android TV
    • Apple TV
    • Google Chromecast
    • Roku
  • Multiple streams: Three different streams can be played at the same time
  • Internet speed: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 7 Mbps for one HD stream and 13 Mbps for reliable HD streaming with multiple streams
  • More resources: Free trial offer | Cancel your subscription
Philo: Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Lots of entertainment networks for a very low priceNo local or sports channels
Unlimited DVR included
Three streams at a time allowed

TVision

T-Mobile TVision Best Live TV Streaming Plans

TVision Review Summary: T-Mobile has launched three TVision Live streaming plans that focus on sports, cable news and local channels in many cities. Separately, it offers a Vibe plan for $10/month that has only entertainment networks. With the Live plans, 100 hours of cloud DVR is included and three streams are allowed. Roku devices are not supported. At launch, TVision is available to T-Mobile wireless customers. It will be open to everyone sometime in 2021. (Full review)

  • Price: $10 for Vibe and $40 to $60 for Live bundles
  • Channels: Live TV plan includes channels from ESPN, ABC, NBC, FOX, Turner and Disney; Live TV+ and Live Zone plans add more sports. Vibe plan includes AMC, BET, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark, TLC and more. (Full channel lineup)
  • DVR: 100 hours of cloud DVR storage with Live, Live+ and Live Zone plans; $5/month extra with Vibe plan
  • Supported devices for TV include:
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Android TV
    • Apple TV
    • Google TV
    • TVision HUB
  • Multiple streams: Maximum of three different streams can be played at the same time with Live plans and two streams with the Vibe plan
  • Internet speed: 3 Mbps for SD quality, 7 Mbps for one HD stream and 21 Mbps for three HD streams
TVision: Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Affordable plans from $10 to $60 per monthNo CBS offered
100 hours of cloud DVR with TVision Live plansRoku not supported
Simple navigationEligibility requirement

Final Thought

Still not sure which live TV streaming service to try? Call a family meeting and have everyone write down the channels that are most important to them, then decide together which service is the best fit by using our channel comparison chart.

Most of these streaming services offer free trials to allow you to test them out before breaking up with your existing provider.

And if you’re happy with your current cable or satellite service but not your monthly bill, it doesn’t hurt to give customer service a call and see if they’d be willing to work with you on the price.

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