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The Best 5 TV Streaming Apps Of 2019

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Stream live television with these great apps and services

When you cut the cord, and free yourself from the limitations of a monthly cable subscription, it’s all too easy to find yourself adrift in an unfamiliar sea of on demand online content. Streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer a ton of great television shows and movies that you can watch at any time, but where do you go to stream live television?

If you find yourself craving the comfortable familiarity of live television, we’ve pulled together a list of the five best TV streaming apps and services.

Each of these TV streaming services allow you to stream live TV right in your internet browser, and many of them also work with phones, video game consoles, and other devices. Some are better if you like sports, some offer a dizzying array of channels, and others offer great options for budget-minded cord cutters.

1 –> YouTube TV

What We Like

–> Unlimited recording and storage on YouTubeTV’s own Cloud DVR.

–> Lots of networks included in the plan.

–> Easy to watch on tablets via a browser or the YouTube TV mobile app. TV requires a streaming device or smart TV.

What We Don’t Like

–> YouTube TV is not available everywhere in the U.S.

–> Some “holes” in programming, no HBO or Discovery Channel.

–> Can’t fast-forward through the commercials on some of the recorded content in the Cloud DVR.

Cost and Channels
About $40/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.

2 –> DirecTV Now

What We Like

–> Easy to sign up.

–> Available with an internet connection and a smart device.

–> No set top box needed.

–> No hidden costs

What We Don’t Like

–> Few local channels.

–> Internet connection must be high-speed for streaming.

–> Not as large a channel selection as with cable or satellite TV.

Cost and Channels
Ranges from about $35/mo for 60+ channels to about $70/mo for 120+ 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.

3 –> PlayStation Vue

What We Like

–> Watch live TV in many regions.

–> Unlimited cloud saves for 28 days.

–> Doesn’t require a PlayStation console.

–> Offers some on-demand and “catch-up” programs.

What We Don’t Like

–> Only viewable in one “home location.”

–> Not helpful in discovering new shows.

–> Live network channels aren’t available in all areas.

Cost and Channels
Ranges from about $40/mo for 40+ channels to about $75/mo for 90+ channels.

Add-ons
Sports package, HBO, Cinemax, Epix, Espanol package, Fox Soccer Plus, Hi-Yah!

How many shows can you watch at once?
Five (limited to one PS4, one PS3, and three mobile streams at a time.)

Where does it work?
PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, iOS, Android, PC (via web browser)

The streaming service that works on PlayStation (but doesn’t require a PlayStation)
Vue is a streaming service operated by Sony, so it should come as no surprise that it’s the best choice for anyone who wants to use its PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 to stream live television.

You don’t need a PlayStation to use Vue, as the service is also compatible with smartphones and television streaming devices, but it is a great option for anyone who already has a Sony console.

4 –> fuboTV

What We Like

–> Generous selection of live sports and on-demand programming.

–> Robust DVR functionality.

–> Covers college, national, and international sports.

What We Don’t Like

–> Doesn’t carry ESPN programming.

–> No original content.

–> Doesn’t work with VPNs.

Cost and Channels
About $45/mo for 65+ 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 Spanish or Portuguese language sports channels. That said, it doesn’t work with VPNs, which might be a knock against it if you we’re hoping to utilize one.

5 –> Sling TV

What We Like

–> Good selection of national networks.

–> Plans are customizable.

–> Low-entry fee.

–> Offers 50-hour Cloud DVR (for extra fee).

What We Don’t Like

–> Little (or no) local programming.

–> Weak search feature.

–> Lacks interactive programming guide.

–> No offline playback.

Cost and Channels
About $20/mo for 30+ channels (Orange plan), about $25/mo for 45+ channels (Blue plan), or about $40/mo for 50+ channels (Orange+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), three (Sling Blue), or four (Sling Orange+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, but the Blue and Orange+Blue plans rival the coverage offered by most of the competition.

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.

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