|Choose the Best Streaming Service right for you|
To be clear, what we are seeing here is not regular streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Rather, we are talking about services that allow you to broadcast live television and offer many of the same channels you would get with a cable subscription.
The Best Streaming Service
Actually, there are five main competitors in the Best Streaming Service space:
Hulu with live TV
There are other options, but these have proven to be the best, the most popular and the best for most people. But how do they compare with each other? Which of these is right for you? These are the questions we hope to answer today.
The interesting thing about some streaming options is that some offer a single plan and a single plan: this is the strategy for both Hulu and YouTube TV. Others, such as Vue and DirecTV Now, offer more traditional plan packages. And then there’s Sling, which offers base packages and multiple add-ons so you can gradually split your transmission plan. Everything can be quite overwhelming.
Then, there is also the option of channels: packages and plans do not make any difference if the channels you want are not available. That also gives you a wrench to try to find the best option for your family. While we can not literally list all the channels offered by each service, especially because the channel selection is very objective, we will do our best to reproduce the numbers.
Sling TV: the best bet for a cheap starter package
There’s no real cable subscription to the letter, but Sling is as close as possible, for now, anyway. Sling offers two basic packages: blue and orange, and then allows you to add all kinds of other packages to the agreement. It is worth noting that Cloud DVR costs $ 5 extra per month. Here is a general description of what each one offers, as well as how much they cost:
Sling Orange: more than 30 channels, one stream at a time, $20 per month
Sling Blue: more than 40 channels, multiple transmissions at a time, $25 per month
Sling Orange + Blue: both packages combined in one, $40 per month
The channel packages are very similar to the basic cable, but it is worth noting that some of the complementary packages are different depending on whether you have Sling Orange or Blue as your base package. For example, if you have Blue, you will not have access to the Disney channel, which also means that the Kids Extra package will not have Disney Junior or XD. If you choose Orange + Blue, of course, you will have access to all of them.
These are some of the complementary plans and how much they are. You can further explore the channel options on the Sling website.
DVR in the cloud: $5 per month
Additional sports: $5 / $10 per month (orange / blue)
Additional children: $5 per month
Extra comedy: $5 per month
Extra lifestyle: $5 per month
Hollywood Extra: $5 per month
Extra News: $5 per month
Extra Broadcast: $5 per month
Heartland Extra: $5 per month
International: $5 per month
Spanish: $5per month
HBO / Showtime / Cinemax / Starz: between $10-15 per month
The sling is a great offer if you only watch certain channels; For example, if you only want to see news and some sports, you can get Sling Orange for $20, and maybe the sports supplement for $5, and you have everything you need for $25 per month. However, if you want to have tons of channels, it starts to accumulate quickly and becomes too expensive.
When it comes to using Sling, it’s nice. It has an intuitive and familiar interface. The DVR works as you expect, and in general, it is really reliable. It’s available on virtually any device you can imagine: on the web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku and more. The only thing missing from PlayStation.
YouTube TV: multiple users, transmissions and unlimited storage of DVR
Undoubtedly, YouTube TV had a rather unstable start, but since then it has really intensified and has become one of the best TV broadcast packages you can get. YouTube TV takes an all-or-nothing approach to the plans. There is a plan, and they are $ 40 per month. YouTube TV also offers a feature that none of the others can match: cloud DVR without storage limits. That is the power of Google right there.
If you want premium movie channels, you can also add them: schedules ($11), Fox Soccer Plus ($15), tremor ($5) and Sundance Now ($7). There is a clear lack of two highly desired options: HBO and Cinemax. Google has done a good job of adding new channels to YouTube TV in recent months, so hopefully, you can also add more premium channels. The good news is that you can buy HBO Now as an independent service, so you do not miss an episode of Game of Thrones.
Another benefit of going with YouTube TV is the fact that it offers each member of the family a different login. Up to six users per plan get their own login, which means their own favorites and DVR recordings. How great is that?
YouTube TV offers three simultaneous broadcasts with access to Android TV, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Samsung TVs, LG TVs, Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One.
Hulu with live TV: good if you already use Hulu (and you can watch live TV with a terrible interface)
Hulu keeps things as simple as what they’re going to get in this department: it offers a TV broadcast package, and if a channel you want is not available, well … bad luck.
For $39.99 per month, you have access to 60 channels, a DVR service in the cloud and access to Hulu’s full-order catalog (with “limited” ads). Considering that the limited streaming package costs $7.99, it’s a pretty solid deal, if you can handle the interface absolutely miserable. Alternatively, you can choose to get Live TV without access to the streaming catalog, but that will only save you a dollar. Not worth it. And in case you’re wondering, yes, you can get the ad-free transmission package with your TV package for a few extra dollars per month.
In addition, you can add movie channels, such as HBO ($4.99 for the first 6 months, 14.99 / month after), Cinemax ($9.99 / month) and Showtime ($8.99 / month).
While Hulu is available on almost all platforms under the sun, its live TV service is not as accessible. He is currently absent from Android TV, and his availability of Roku is limited to “selected devices”. You will have to search the complete list of Hulu devices to verify.
The only way we think Hulu with Live TV is something that you should even consider is if you are already a Hulu subscriber and just want to use a service. Otherwise, stay away from this, at least until you do something to update the almost unusable disaster of an interface.
DirecTV Now: traditional cable-style channel package
DirecTV has been in the television business for a long, long time. As a result, it would not be surprising if the company’s entry into the streaming market feels like an outdated and outdated approach to remain competitive … which could not be further from the truth. DirecTV Now is an excellent option if you want to start broadcasting your TV and want to continue with a familiar interface.
However, the company adopts a more traditional, packet-based approach to its transmission plans, so finding one that’s right for you might seem like a traditional cable purchase. Still, that does not make it a bad thing. Here is a quick overview of what it has to offer:
Live a little: more than 60 channels, $35 per month
Just to the right: more than 80 channels, $50 per month
Go Big: more than 100 channels, $60 per month
I have to have it: more than 120 channels, $70 per month
All these packages offer access to local channels as well, although the inclusion is regional: their premises may or may not be available. You can also add movie channels at really reasonable prices: HBO ($5 per month), Cinemax ($5 per month), Showtime ($8 per month) and Starz ($8 per month). It seems that DirecTV may have used some of that big guy muscle to negotiate better deals on the bonuses than the other guys; For less than you can get only HBO from others, you can get HBO and Cinemax with DirecTV Now. That is solid.
Note: At the time of writing these lines, you can register for three months in the DirecTV Now service for only $10 per month. Visit DirecTV Now for more information.
Although DirecTV Now was late to the DVR game – the lack of this feature was the biggest disadvantage when the service was launched – it recently added a free plan that allows users to record up to 20 hours of video. You can also add up to 100 hours of recorded television for an additional $10 per month if 20 hours is not enough for you. It is a good offer in any way.
When it comes to device support, you’ll find DirecTV Now on many platforms, including Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS, Apple TV and Android. Currently, it is not available on smart TVs Samsung Tizen, Xbox (or other game consoles) or Android TV.
PlayStation Vue: good prices and available in much more than just PlayStation
“Sony” and “PlayStation” may not be the first names that come to mind when you think about TV broadcasting, but it does not rule out Vue as a service: it’s solid as a rock and is available for most platforms.
Like DirecTV Now, Vue takes a packet-based approach. Here is a quick overview:
Access: more than 45 channels, $39.99 per month
Core: more than 60 channels, $44.99 per month
Elite: more than 90 channels, $54.99 per month
Ultra: all channels, plus HBO and Showtime, $74.99 per month.
There are a couple of additional packages that you can add to your base plan if you wish: Sports Pack ($10), Epix ($3.99, included in Ultra) and Espanol ($4.99). In addition, you can add premium movie services: HBO ($15), Showtime ($10.99), Cinemax ($15), HBO / Cinemax ($21.99), Epix / Showtime ($13.99) and Fox Soccer Plus ($14.99). .
Current PlayStation Plus subscribers can also take advantage of some discounts on these add-ons. For example, Showtime is reduced to $8.99 per month and the HBO / Cinemax package costs $19.99. There are some other discounts scattered everywhere, a good benefit if you’re already paying Sony for other PlayStation stuff.
Actually, when it comes to getting a lot of money, PlayStation Vue offers a lot of value. It has access to almost any channel you want, includes DVR and video on demand, and offers extremely reasonable prices.
However, there is a warning: Sony recently lost access to all local channels owned by Sinclair, so if you are in a Sinclair network coverage area, you will not get local stations. If you are not, however, you should not be affected by this.
When it comes to device support, Sony has done an excellent job; You will find Vue basically on any platform that is available. This includes Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, iOS, Android, Fire Tablets, Chromecast, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The only option missing here is Xbox, but something says it should not be a surprise.
Finding a good transmission platform to replace your existing cable subscription can be a challenge, and involves a lot of research. Hopefully, this piece can help you reduce it a bit (or even make a firm choice about which one is best for you).
For us, it somehow shakes itself in this way. If all you want are the standard channels that you would get with cable (and maybe some extras), Sling is probably your best option for an economical and reliable service. DirectTV is a good option if you want more channels, and especially if you want several premium channels (they are cheaper on DirecTV than in the others). YouTube TV is excellent if you have several family members, as it offers six separate logins, each with its own favorites and DVR storage. YouTubeTV also offers unlimited cloud DVR storage, which is ideal if you record many shows.
But any of these packages may be right for you, depending on your situation. For what it’s worth, this writer has been using PlayStation Vue for several months and could not be happier with the service.