Cable TV is no longer the only option. For years, cable’s biggest competitor was satellite TV. However, thanks to increased internet speed and home WiFi, streaming cable TV has become a legitimate contender. There are numerous streaming cable TV options to choose from, all of which offer different channel packages at various price points. As a result, it can be hard to determine the best live streaming services. We’ve simplified that process here, reviewing the best and worst of these popular streaming cable TV options. Are you ready to hear about the best live streaming services?
What Is A Live Streaming Cable TV Service?
Before we can begin listing the best live streaming services, we first need to define what they are. A streaming cable TV service is one that allows you watch television shows through another medium, such as an app or a separate device. Two of the most popular streaming cable TV services are Amazon Prime and Netflix. However, neither of these offers live streaming. This is when you watch the shows live, just as you would through a cable or satellite service. The only difference is that you’re using one of these alternative, Internet-based methods to view those shows on your television, computer, or smartphone. Streaming cable TV is often less expensive than traditional cable or satellite, even though they offer the same amount of channels and programming.
We Investigated the Best Live Streaming Services
In order to determine the best live streaming services, we looked at several different factors. These include the number of streaming cable TV channels that they offer, the overall price (which can vary quite a bit), the service’s interface, and the quality of the stream. Here are the results, listed by the quality of these streaming cable TV services. They are listed in order of the best live streaming services to those that are fairly new on the market and have room to improve.
PlayStation Vue Streaming Cable TV
The PlayStation Vue comes very close to providing a cable TV-like service. It’s definitely one of the best live streaming services. The Vue began as a streaming cable TV service run through the PlayStation 4 console. However, it has since expanded and is now offered through computer browsers and other means. Vue is not cheap, but it is less expensive than a standard cable package. It starts at $40 per month for basic streaming cable TV channels, such as ABC and CBS. There’s another, more expensive option, which has premium streaming cable TV channels as well. The PlayStation Vue has a user-friendly interface and a high-quality stream. We ranked it as one of the best live streaming services for all of these reasons.
Streaming Cable TV: Hulu With Live TV
Hulu’s regular service is a great streaming cable TV option. It offers a number of television shows and even has original programming, making it one of the best live streaming services out there in general. When you look at the Hulu With Live TV option, the service gets even better – to the point of being called one of the best live streaming services. This streaming cable TV service is more expensive than standard Hulu, as it starts at $40 per month. For that price, you receive over 50 channels, ranging from basic streaming cable TV fare (NBC and CBS) to premium channels (Disney and CNN.) Hulu With Live TV is a contender for best live streaming services, thanks to its constantly expanding number of channels, different user profiles, and the amazing amount of hardware that it runs on. These include Amazon Fire, Playstation Consoles, and even Apple TV, among others. The versatility of this streaming cable TV option is amazing.
Sling TV – Streaming Cable TV
Sling TV is one of the best-known streaming cable TV services. It’s also one of the original options. Prices for Sling start at $20 per month for a basic streaming cable TV package. There are two basic packages to pick from, called Blue and Orange. Orange is very close to premium streaming cable TV programming, making it an excellent option for streaming cable TV. Also, there are add-ons that range from $5 per month and go up, depending on the number of streaming cable TV channels that you want. With that said, Sling’s interface isn’t as user-friendly as some of the others. It does make up for this with quality programming and options, which is why it’s still one of the best live streaming services.
YouTube TV – Streaming Cable TV
Just about everyone has heard of YouTube, the online video site. However, not many are aware that YouTube offers a streaming cable TV service. This addition makes it one of the best live streaming services. YouTube TV starts at $40 per month and offers a number of both standard and premium streaming cable TV channels. It also has an online DVR, which a great feature for one of the best live streaming services to have. It’s set up so you can record your favorite shows and watch them later. Why is YouTube TV on our list of best live streaming services? Well, it’s extremely diverse and available on a number of platforms for streaming cable TV. Since YouTube is one of the original online video streaming services (if not “the original”), they have a leg up on the competition, having dealt issues like bandwidth. Since YouTube TV is still relatively new, they have a ways to go, but they are currently one of the best live streaming services. If you want your streaming cable TV, then they are a good option. YouTube TV is among the best live streaming services.
DirecTV Now Streaming Cable TV
DirecTV Now is a streaming cable TV service offered by the satellite TV company. It’s a good alternative to both cable and satellite, making it one of the best live streaming services. This service starts at two different price points, depending on how many streaming cable TV channels that you want. This is a good option for the best live streaming service to offer. The first is at $35 per month, which gives you around 60 channels. The other, $50 per month, provides 80 different channels. Unlike other streaming cable TV services, you’re only allowed to watch streaming cable TV on two different devices at the same time. With that said, DirecTV now has a number of good upgrades, including movie channels, and provides access to around 75% of all local news channels in the United States. Its interface is a little clunky, and at times the video quality tends to fizzle out. However, thanks to its local access and a large number of channels, DirecTV Now is one of the best live streaming services.
ESPN+ Streaming Cable TV
If you like sports, then you’ll love ESPN+ streaming cable TV. This is one of the best live streaming services for sports fans. It’s designed to supplement other streaming cable TV options, as all that ESPN+ offers is sports coverage. If you’re a fan of a team, but live outside of that team’s traditional broadcast zone, then you need ESPN+. It’ll be one of the best live streaming services for you. This streaming cable TV option starts at a mere $5 per month, although you can pay for a year upfront for $50. There are also add-ons, including full access to every major league baseball or NHL hockey game for $25 per month through streaming cable TV. ESPN+ is available through an Apple or Android app, on Chromecast, through Apple TV, and online through the ESPN website. Although this isn’t the best live streaming services for everyone, it’s great for true sports lovers.
Philo Streaming Cable TV
Philo is an excellent streaming cable TV option for people who want premium channels. The service starts at $16 per month which includes 37 different streaming cable TV channels. If you want more streaming cable TV channels, then you can upgrade this to one of the best live streaming services. For a mere $4 more per month, you get nine more streaming cable TV channels, all of which are considered to be premium. However, if you like sports, then this isn’t one of the best live streaming services for you. Philo doesn’t offer any sports programming. On a good note, since Philo is owned by A&E, Viacom, and other cable networks, you can rest assured that you’re getting plenty of live programming from them. Philo is still relatively new, but in time, they have the option to become one of the best live streaming services.
When it comes to choosing the best live streaming services for your needs, you should consider a number of different factors. We examined these streaming cable TV options based on price, amount of channels, quality of the interface, and several other things. Are you ready to “cut the cord” and get away from cable and satellite? Hopefully, this list of the best live streaming services helps you with that decision.