The Best TV Streaming Services [July 2019]
Video and TV streaming services make the cable look like yesterday’s tech. One of the things that gave rise to the abundance and popularity of online TV streaming services is high-speed internet. According to statistics, 73% of adult Americans had broadband in 2019 at their households.
So why not cut the cord and enjoy all the perks that come with streaming? And if you are to take a look at the prices, some screaming services come at a bargain compared to traditional cable. But how do you choose the service that’s right for you? What are the things to look for?
This write-up aims to answer these questions with a list of top services you can subscribe to today.
TV Streaming Services – Our Top Picks
Initially, FuboTV focused on streaming soccer but the service soon expanded and now offers more than 110 channels. That said, the basic package features 90 channels and you need to upgrade to get all 110. Some of the live-stream channels include CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, and AMC. In 2019, Fubo TV also plans to add Comedy Central, BET, MTV, and more.
At this point, you might wonder what makes this service special aside from an excellent selection of live- TV channels. According to what FuboTV currently offers, the highlight is the user experience. You get a live channel preview in the background as you browse and the service includes the so-called dynamic discovery.
The dynamic discovery feature allows for easier content selection and switching between the channels. In fact, when FuboTV tested this feature the results indicated that customers enjoyed the content for an extra hour.
As an AT&T subsidiary, DirecTV needs little introduction and it provides one of the biggest selections of channels. These include some big names like ESPN, MTV, Nickelodeon, and National Geographic, as well as a selection of market-based local channels.
The service has some welcoming UI features like channel swiping, which is pretty much the same as on the traditional cable. And if you are AT&T wireless user, there are no additional charges when you use DirectTV Now application for streaming. However, this service has its shortcomings, too.
DirectTV’s cloud DVR doesn’t stand up well to the competition and the pause option seems to be in need of a firmware update. Those who like using the Roku app may experience sluggish boot-up and channel hopping. But all in all, DirectTV offers good value for the money, unless you really need cloud DVR.
AT&T Watch TV
Looking for the most affordable TV streaming service? If so, you surely need to check out AT&T Watch TV. In fact, this service comes as a free extra with certain AT&T Wireless packages. In general, it operates and feels much like a lite version of DirectTV, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
There are fewer channels and some key features like cloud DVR are missing. This is not surprising because AT&T Watch TV is primarily designed to be used on mobile devices. However, you can use the service via Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your tablets and smartphones, which makes it far more appealing.
Overall, the content on offer is pretty decent – you get more than 35 live channels and 15K on-demand shows, movies, and series. Plus, there are premium add-ons if you wish to get more from AT&T Watch TV.
Hulu + Live TV
To keep up with the competition, Hulu added live TV to their original streaming service and created one of the most comprehensive offers to date. To be exact, you get 60 + live channels and all the movies and TV shows that come with basic Hulu. Some of the channels include Lifetime, ESPN, CNN, the Disney Channel, Fox, NBC, etc.
This service is supported on a bunch of devices. Aside from iOS and Android, you can use it with Amazon Fire, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, and certain Samsung and LG smart TVs. However, there is one limitation you should know about. The basic cloud DVR package doesn’t give you the option to skip commercials, so you need to pay extra for this feature.
On the other hand, there are 50 hours of DVR cloud storage and your favorite content isn’t replaced and it doesn’t expire after a certain period.
Originally the first service to offer live TV streams, Sling TV is still holding strong. At the time of this writing, it falls somewhere in the middle of the price range. More importantly, the features and channel selection can certainly give the competition a good run for their money.
Similar to other TV streaming services, Sling TV offers live streams and on-demand channels across multiple devices, but there’s a catch. For example, Orange subscribers who use Sling can watch the stream only on one device at a time. You can choose the device to continue the stream, but the first one then gets blocked.
Needless to say, this can be a major deal-breaker for most families. But students, single people, or couples might find this limitation unimportant, especially when you factor in the price and offered channels.
Where’s the Remote?
With this article, we’ve just scratched the surface of the TV streaming industry and briefly covered our top picks. Do you use any of the listed services? And if so, what is your opinion about them?
On the other hand, we’d also like to know if you have any recommendations for a service that hasn’t been included. Either way, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and drop a few lines in the comments section below.