The Best 8 TV Streaming Apps

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​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 Instant Video offer a ton of great television shows and movies that you can watch at any time, but what about streaming live television?

If you find yourself craving the comfortable familiarity of live television, we've pulled together a list of the eight 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 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.

youtube tv streaming
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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 a free YouTube Red subscription to sweeten the deal
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 a free subscription to YouTube Red, which means subscribers are able to watch exclusive original shows in addition to regular YouTube videos without ads. More »

directv now live television streaming
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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 subscribes 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. More »

playstation vue live tv streaming
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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. More »

fuboTV

fubotv live tv streaming with sports
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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.

sling tv live streaming television
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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. More »

hulu with live tv streaming
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Cost and Channels

About $40/mo for 50+ channels.

Add-ons
Enhanced DVR, additional concurrent streams, premium channels (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime.)

How many shows can you watch at once?

Two (additional streams available for a monthly charge.)

Where does it work?
Android, iOS, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Xbox 360, compatible smart TVs, PC (via web browser)

Brings live television streaming to a site you probably already use
Hulu is one of the oldest and most trusted names in the streaming world, but the basic service doesn't include live television. Hulu With Live TV is an additional subscription, above and beyond the regular subscription, that adds access to live television channels.

If you're already a long-time Hulu subscriber, then this is a great way to seamlessly add a live television option to a service you already use regularly. More »

Philo

philo tv live television streaming
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Cost and Channels
About $16/mo for 35+ channels, or about $20/mo for 45+ channels

Add-ons
None

How many shows can you watch at once?
Three

Where does it work?
iOS, Android, Roku, Chrome, PC (via web browser)

Cheapest live television streaming service, but not great for sports
Philo is the most affordable multi-channel streaming service that offers live television, but it also has the fewest options and the sparsest lineup. Neither of its plans include either ESPN or Fox Sports, for instance.

If you're looking for a cheap way to watch live television online, and Philo has the channels you're looking for, then it's a great choice.

cbs all access live television streaming
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Cost and Channels
About $6/mo for two channels.

Add-ons
Commercial free option, Showtime

How many shows can you watch at once?
Two

Where does it work?
Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One, PS4, Windows 10 (app), PC (via web browser)

The best way to watch exclusive CBS shows like Star Trek: Discovery
Unlike the other options for watching live television online, CBS All Access doesn't provide a ton of different channels. When you sign up, you get access to CBS and CBSN.

The main draw for CBS All Access is that, in addition to providing an online stream of your local CBS channel, it also provides access to a number of exclusive, online-only CBS shows.

For instance, the only way to watch Star Trek: Discovery is to sign up for CBS All Access.

If you're a fan of a lot of CBS shows, then the inexpensive price tag makes CBS All Access a great deal. If you don't watch a lot of CBS shows, then it's safe to take a pass. More »