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Best Live TV Streaming Services For 2023

With exorbitant fees and an often lackluster lineup of channels and content, it's no wonder many cable subscribers are turning to live TV streaming these days. With live TV streaming, users can still enjoy a wide array of channels at a fraction of the cost.

While every live TV streaming platform offers a variety of channels, the good news is there is something for everyone. If you need help choosing the best live TV streaming apps, keep reading as we pit the top live TV streaming services against one another and give you an in-depth comparison.

Our Top Picks For Best Live TV Streaming Services

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Best Live TV Streaming Reviews

Here are our favorite live-streaming services to catch the top shows and movies in 2022.

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Best for Customizable TV Packages: Sling TV

Why we chose it: Sling TV offers several packages and the option to customize your own with a wide variety of extras and premiums.

  • Affordable packages that start at only $40 a month
  • Good variety of sports, news and entertainment networks and various options for international languages
  • 50 hours of DVR recording storage  may not be enough for everyone
  • Lacks some local channels in the US

Sling TV wins our top spot because it offers a variety of package options: Blue, Orange, or Orange & Blue. The Blue and Orange packages cost $40 per month each, while the combined deal (Orange & Blue) costs $55 per month.

Depending on your tastes, you may not even need both. Sling Orange offers over 31 channels, with ESPN and Disney as their two biggest attractions. Sling Blue has over 41 channels but offers Fox and NBC instead. Both channels offer TBS, TNT and a few other shared channels, but you won't find Disney on Sling Blue or Fox on Sling Orange.

You can also expect to pay a premium for packages like Sports Extra (which includes SEC, NBA, NHL and more) and Hollywood Extra (which includes TCM and ReelZ).

Sling TV stream offers more than just English channels. You will find several Asian and European language channels, Arabic channels and Brazilian Portuguese channels too.

You can stream Sling Orange channels on one device at a time, but Sling Blue channels can be streamed on up to three devices at once.

Sling also has a cloud DVR (Digital Video Recording) option with up to 50 hours of storage. For an additional 200 hours, you will need to pay $5 per month. If you plan on deleting content after watching it once, the 50 hours of storage isn't a bad deal, but families or serial recorders may benefit from the bigger storage package.

Set up an AirTV device and OTA antenna to enjoy multiple local channels for free with your Sling subscription including ABC, CBS and FOX.

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Best Channels and Content: Hulu With Live TV

Why we chose it: With 85+ channels, including ESPN+ and Disney Plus packages, Hulu with Live TV offers one of the most competitive lineups for live TV streaming. Coupled with unlimited DVR storage to record your favorite shows, it had to go high on our list.

  • Extensive catalog of on-demand entertainment and lots of live channels
  • Unlimited DVR recording
  • No PBS channels
  • Large number of ads

Did you realize Hulu offers live TV? For an added cost, fans of the streaming platform can enjoy live, local channels along with Hulu's exclusive collection of series, films and on-demand content.

Depending on your package, you can access channels such as the Disney Channel, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Local PBS channels are not available, but it offers a broad selection of basic sports channels through ESPN and Fox Sports, as well as local ABC, CBS, Fox and MSNBC channels.

If you are a fan of Disney and sports (notably ESPN), Hulu with Live TV can be purchased in a bundle package with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus at the $69.99 price point. With this package, you will have access to all Marvel, Disney, Pixar and Stars content as well as NHL, MLS and basketball content through ESPN including playoffs and NBA games.

Hulu with Live TV only allows two simultaneous streams at its base price, but you can have unlimited streams for an additional $10 per month. Unfortunately, you won't be able to stream outside your home through other TVs, but streaming on your smartphone is still possible. So if you want to stream Hulu from your phone to TV, you can use Chromecast or TV Sticks like FireStick, Roku, Spectrum TV or Apple TV.

Hulu with Live TV also offers unlimited cloud DVR storage for free. It is also now free to fast-forward through ads, which used to be a paid feature.

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Best for On the Go: YouTube

Why we chose it: With the option for three simultaneous streams on any device and 100+ channels, YouTube TV is perfect for anyone looking to stay entertained on the go.

  • Up to six profiles and three simultaneous streams makes it easy to share among family and friends
  • Enjoy high-quality 4K live streams
  • Rather costly at $64.99 per month for the basic package
  • Missing many regional sports networks

YouTube has been a favorite site for streamers and viewers alike for years. With the addition of YouTube TV, however, the site draws in more customers than ever. It's not hard to understand why — YouTube TV has many live channels to choose from. You can also watch it almost anywhere, the best streaming device for YouTube TV being a phone, tablet, FireStick or Roku.

One massive advantage of YouTube TV over competitors is that it offers local ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS channels. These channels come at no extra charge, unlike with some other competitors.

YouTube TV is more expensive than many other streaming platforms with the basic package costing $64.99 per month, but you get unlimited cloud DVR storage, a huge variety of live channels, up to three simultaneous streams and the ability to watch recordings for up to nine months. Most other platforms only offer this for 30 days.

A Spanish plan for $34.99 with 28+ Spanish-language channels is also available.

For an additional $20 per month, you can watch 4K live streams, stream from an unlimited number of devices at once, and download DVR recordings offline. You can add the Sports Plus package for $11 per month, which includes NFL RedZone, GoITV, Fox Soccer Plus, and Fox College Sports.

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Best Budget Option: Philo

Why we chose it: This budget-friendly option offers more than 60 channels for a lower price than many competitors, along with unlimited DVR storage. Channels focus on entertainment genres such as reality TV and dramas.

  • Very affordable at only $25 per month
  • Unlimited DVR storage on the cloud with no extra fees
  • Does not feature a lot of sports content
  • Lacks news content

For those on a budget, Philo is the perfect option for those seeking the best streaming services for live TV. It doesn't offer hundreds of channels like some other platforms do, but it has a decent selection with 65 channels and comes at an affordable price of $25 per month.

Philo isn't the platform for sports fans as it doesn't include any sports channels, but it does include popular entertainment and news channels such as BBC World News and Cheddar News. It also offers classic channels like Nickelodeon, AMC, Comedy Central and Magnolia Network.

If certain channels you want aren't included in the $25 plan, Philo has two add-ons that may include what you're looking for. For an extra $6 per month, you can add the Epix channel, and for an extra $9 per month, you can add Starz. This will increase your movie selection, but it makes the price creep closer to Sling TV, which may be a better deal.

The great news with Philo is that you have unlimited DVR storage! All TV shows and movies are available 72 hours after streaming, even if you haven't recorded them. If you are worried about missing the time window, you can record the show without worrying about using too much of your available storage.

Although Philo is cheap, it still allows up to three simultaneous streams. Don't worry about being charged if you go over this number. Philo won't do that. Instead, the oldest stream will stop working to allow the new stream. From there, you'll have to battle it out over who gets to continue viewing.

All things considered, Philo is a great option. It's affordable and has a pretty decent selection. Sports fans will have to look elsewhere, but $25 per month for news, movies and live TV shows is a great deal.

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Best for Sports Fans: FuboTV

Why we chose it: FuboTV is especially great for sports fans. It has basketball, football and baseball channels and offers F1 races, cricket and English Premier League games.

  • Wide range of channels from entertainment to sports to news
  • Easy-to-navigate web interface
  • It does not feature the popular Fox regional sports network or A&E network
  • Most live streams' quality only reaches 720p

FuboTV has a fantastic selection of packages and add-ons. Choose from any of their three package options, then customize it by searching through their 22 add-on options to ensure you can access all the live TV channels you could ever want or use.

The service also provides quite a few European sports channels, though they are missing TNT and TBS as well as regional Fox sports channels. Sports isn't all FuboTV has to offer, though.

The platform has three English plans and one Spanish plan. The first plan is the Pro plan at $69.99 per month. It includes 100+ channels and 1,000 hours of DVR storage. With it, you can stream from 3 devices at no extra charge.

The second plan is the Elite plan at $79.99 per month. For the extra price, you will have access to 194 channels and 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage. You will also have the ability to stream from up to 10 screens at the same time.

The third plan is the Ultimate which costs $100 per month. With this plan, you will get all the perks: 214 channels, including Sports Plus, NFL RedZone, ShowTime and NewsPlus. You will also get access to 1,000 hours of DVR cloud storage and be able to stream from multiple devices all at the same time.

There is only one option for the Spanish-language plan, the Latino Quarterly, but it comes at a pretty good deal. For $32.99 per month, you have access to 43 channels, 250 hours of DVR storage and the ability to stream from three devices simultaneously.  All plans offer ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC and when you record shows, you can fast-forward through commercials or news you don't care for.

FuboTV is fantastic for sports fans as it offers various sporting channels, including European sports. However, as it doesn't carry TNT or TBS, the platform isn't as well-loved as YouTube TV for some sports fans. It is certainly not one you should overlook, though.

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Best for Multiple Simultaneous Streams: DirecTV Streaming

Why we chose it: Stream from 20 devices and choose plans that include 65 to 150+ channels, including PBS channels which many competitors don't offer.

  • Features more than 150 channels with an impressive assortment of genres, and exclusive access to NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Simultaneously use up to a maximum of 20 streams
  • One of the more costly live TV streaming options
  • Slower loading times than some of its competitors

DirecTV has gone through a rough three years with four name changes, but the name DirecTV seems to be around to stay for at least a little while now. The name isn't the only thing that has changed, though, as the price has increased and the channel offerings have varied. These days, a streaming plan starts at $69.99 for 75+ channels and increases from there.

DirecTV has four streaming plan options to choose from, and every plan includes unlimited DVR storage for new users who register online. However, for existing users or those who don't sign up online, you will have only 20 hours of DVR storage. This service features local PBS channels, which many competitors don't offer, giving DirecTV a considerable advantage in this realm.

It does come at a price, though. Streaming plans start with the Entertainment package for $69.99 per month. This includes 75+ channels and over 40,000 on-demand movies and shows. This package does include ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC, but not regional sports channels.

The second streaming plan is the Choice package. This package includes regional sports and ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS channels. The Choice package offers over 105 channels and 45,000 on-demand shows and movies for $89.99 per month.

The third streaming plan, the Ultimate, includes access to over 140 channels and over 55,000 on-demand titles for $104.99 per month. This plan includes all the regional sports channels, including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

The final and most expensive plan is the Premier plan. At $149.99 per month, the Premier plan offers over 150 channels and 65,000 on-demand titles.

With any of the plans, you can stream from up to 20 devices in your home. Outside of your home, you can stream up to three devices at once. DirecTV can be a great choice if you have a large family or live with several friends, as everyone can stream from home simultaneously. However, it is expensive, so smaller households may have better options.

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Best Value: Vidgo

Why we chose it: With a great lineup of channels and content and optimal user experience, it is no wonder that Vidgo is gaining more popularity in the market.

  • Affordable plans that give you access to more than 150 channels
  • Features 24/ 7 TV stream live TV playback
  • Does not feature certain sought-after channels like CBS or NBC
  • Lack of DVR features

With Vidgo, you can happily forgo your hefty cable bill and still enjoy more than 150 channels. Vidgo allows you to watch your local FOX and ABC affiliates, but not CBS or NBC. There are also a variety of regional channels available, depending on your location.

Sports fans can enjoy the MLB Network, NHL Network, NFL Network and ESPN networks to their heart's content. Unfortunately, Vidgo does not provide access to regional sports networks.

You can watch Vidgo on a variety of devices, such as your computer, phone or tablet (both Android and iOS), allowing you to record your shows and watch them anywhere.

Unlike most other apps, Vidgo functions well on all the devices we have tried and allows you to move seamlessly from one to another. Devices that allow you to stream Vidgo content include Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV.

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Best for Families: Frndly TV

Why we chose it: This low-cost service is an easy-to-use and affordable option with 30+ channels perfect for family viewing.

  • One of the more affordable services
  • Comes with unlimited DVR
  • Does not have as many channels as other platforms
  • Using multiple devices can cause buffering problems

Frndly TV features more than 30 live channels at an affordable price point. Some of the more popular channels included are Hallmark Channel, The Weather Channel, Hallmark Drama, A&E, Lifetime Movie Network, History and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

If you are looking for a decent live TV streaming service on a budget, Frndly TV will not disappoint. The basic plan costs only $6.99, while its premium plan costs $10.99 monthly.

Given the general lack of sports content on the platform, diehard sports fans should look to other streaming services for their needs. However, Frndly TV offers a substantial range of channels that are more than enough for the average family.

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Other Services We Considered

  • ABC Streaming TV – Great for streaming ABC shows and channels but lacks variety.
  • Amazon Live TV Streaming – As part of Amazon Prime's vast on-demand library of TV shows and movies, you can also watch some live events, but it does not compare to other platforms. Stream through Amazon Fire TV Media Player streaming devices.
  • Antenna TV– Airs classic TV shows and sitcoms, particularly from the 80s and 90s.

Live TV Streaming Guide

Live TV streaming is a great option if you want a cheaper or more personalized alternative to cable. You can access all your favorite shows through streaming TV packages, which you can easily sign up for online in just a few clicks. All you need is a good internet connection.

What Is The Difference Between Live TV And Live TV Streaming?

Generally, live TV and live TV streaming are quite similar. In both cases, you view TV shows in real-time as they air. The difference is that live TV streaming involves using a device connected to the internet to view the content, such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The content is typically accessed through a streaming platform, like a website or an app.

When you watch live TV, you watch directly on your television via cable. Cable is a television service provided to users by a cable operator. Programming is transmitted via satellite, through a coaxial cable or fiber optics, instead of via an internet connection.

What Internet Speed Is Recommended For Live TV Streaming?

For the most part, you should have internet speeds between 5 to 25 Mbps to stream live TV, depending on what quality content you want. For example, streaming HD content is typically possible at internet speeds of 5 Mbps, while 4K Ultra HD works best with 25 Mbps.

Keep in mind, though, that more devices need more bandwidth, so the more devices you have, the more internet speed you might need to be sure you can view your shows. Plans that offer 100 Mbps download speeds should work just fine to give you the speed you need.

Do You Need a Special TV for Live TV Streaming?

To stream live TV through a television set, you must have a TV that can connect to the internet. Most people use a smart TV to connect to their internet wirelessly, but if you don't have a smart TV, don't throw away your old TV set.

With streaming sticks, such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku or Apple TV, you can turn pretty much any modern TV into a smart TV for a fraction of the cost. You can also stream live TV through a whole host of other devices, such as smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles or tablets.

Is Live TV Streaming Worth It?

If you tend to watch only a fraction of the channels on your cable subscription, live streaming can save you a lot of money while providing all the channels you want. Many streaming services will also let you customize your package and add extra channels.

TV streaming services give you significantly more control over your live TV consumption while sometimes also providing an on-demand library to catch up on any old series or shows. Ultimately, live TV streaming is worth it for any television fan.

What Are The Benefits Of Live TV Streaming?

There are multiple benefits to Live Streaming Services over cable or even on-demand services.

  • Stream TV series and movies in real-time
  • Access shows and movies at a cheaper price point to cable TV services
  • Watch live TV on multiple devices and enjoy watching shows from anywhere
  • Avoid viruses and poor quality by live streaming over free streaming sites for TV shows
  • Record, rewind and fast-forward content with Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
  • Escape from commercials when you stream TV live as you can usually fast forward ads and expect fewer ads than the usual cable platforms

All this makes live TV a perfect traveling or party companion since you can watch it anywhere with your phone or with family and friends.

How We Chose The Best Live TV Streaming Services Of 2023

According to Vantage Market Research, the live video streaming market is predicted to reach over four billion dollars by 2028. In a competitive market, we had to compare multiple platforms to find the best TV streaming service for live TV in 2023.

We weighed up their features according to various criteria such as the range of the genres and channels available, the ease of use of the platform and the price of the subscription options. We also considered other features, such as on-demand functions, add-ons, DVR storage and multiple-device streaming capabilities. We also considered customer reviews, independent testers, and our knowledge of the markets to come to our decision.

Summary Of The Best Live TV Streaming Services