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Best live TV streaming for cord-cutters: Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV and more

now is the perfect time to ditch your cable company but keep live news and other channels. here are our favorite options.

As the nation continues to face financial uncertainty as we battle the coronavirus, cutting the cable TV cord is a good way to save money on family entertainment. And thanks to streaming, you can cut cable while still keeping the live TV channels you love. Live news from both national and local TV channels is more important than ever, and live sports including the PGA, MLB and NBA are starting to return. And you can watch them all using an inexpensive streaming device, no cable box or antenna required.

Prices of streaming TV services start at $20 per month with no extra fees or contracts. In place of a cable box and the monthly fee to rent it, you can use streaming apps on your smart TV, RokuApple TVAmazon Fire TV广东棋牌游戏代理加盟 or game console. And you can watch at home or on the go via a tablet, phone, other mobile device or even a web browser.

Read more: Free live TV news to watch now: Stream ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and more

Now playing: Watch this: Live TV streaming services for cord cutters: How to choose...
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You can watch most, if not all, of your favorite TV channels (including ABC, NBC, ESPN, CNN and The Disney Channel) live over the internet thanks to streaming services like Hulu Plus Live TV and Sling TV. In some instances they cost far less than you're shelling out to the cable company for TV, but these services don't require a visit from an installer -- which is an important factor to consider during social distancing.

Read more: Best TVs and streaming devices for Father's Day 2020

The downside? The prices and the services themselves are in a constant flux. Earlier in July, YouTube TV added a handful of channels but increased its price by $15, for example, and in August, FuboTV will put its price up by $5 and change its channel lineup too. Change also means that competition is squeezed out -- our former cheap pick AT&T TV Now has stopped accepting new customers and Sony shuttered its streaming service广东棋牌游戏代理加盟 PlayStation Vue back in January.  

with all of that in mind, here's a guide to the brave , as well as other cord-cutting options available today, starting with our favorite recommendations for the best tv streaming service.  

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟(note that cnet is owned by viacomcbs, which is a compensated programming provider on all cable, satellite and online tv services that offer cbs channels, which include showtime, pop, cbs sports and the cw, among others. cbs also owns and operates its own online service, , which is mentioned below.)

Top live TV streaming services compared


YouTube TV Sling TV Blue Hulu Plus Live TV AT&T TV Now
Base price $65/month for 80-plus channels $30/month for 30-plus channels $55/month for 60-plus channels $55/month for 45-plus channels
Free trial Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels Yes, in many markets Fox and NBC only in select cities Yes, in many markets Yes, in many markets
Simultaneous streams per account 3 1 or 3 2 ($15 option for unlimited) 2 ($5 option for 3)
Family member/user profiles Yes No Yes No
Cloud DVR Yes (keep for 9 months) Yes Yes Yes (50 hours, 200 hours for $10 a month)
Fast-forward through or skip commercials with cloud DVR Yes Yes No (Yes with $10 option) No (Yes with $15 option)
Sarah Tew/CNET

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟when youtube tv bumped its price by $15, hulu plus live tv became our overall favorite. its channel selection is robust for the price and hulu's integration of live tv with its significant catalog of on-demand content, including exclusive titles like the handmaid's tale, give it a content advantage no other service can match. its interface and dvr do lag behind youtube tv --  you'll still have to pay another $10 a month to get the ability to skip commercials on hulu's cloud dvr (the base cloud dvr, which is included, doesn't permit skipping ads) -- but it's now a better value.

Top channels not available: AMC, BBC America, Comedy Central, MLB Network, MTV, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, Nickelodeon. Read our Hulu Plus Live TV review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sling TV costs more than Philo ($20) but has better channels, more options and a comparatively better interface, so it's worth the extra money in our opinion. And it's still dirt-cheap compared to the other streaming services, let alone cable.

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟sling is cheaper than premium services like youtube tv and hulu plus live tv because it has very few local stations. confusingly, it also has two $30-per-month channel packages, sling orange and sling blue. while some channels are available on both sling orange and sling blue, the two differ significantly with other channel offerings: orange is basically the espn/disney package, while blue is the fox/nbc package.

Top channels not available on Sling Blue广东棋牌游戏代理加盟: ABC, CBS, Animal Planet, Disney Channel, ESPN, Nickelodeon. Fox and NBC are .

Top channels not available on Sling Orange: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Animal Planet, Bravo, CNBC, Discovery Channel, Bravo, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, FX, MSNBC, USA Network. Read our Sling TV review广东棋牌游戏代理加盟.

Sarah Tew/CNET

With the addition of at the end of June, YouTube TV has more top channels for the base price广东棋牌游戏代理加盟 than any competitor and it's the only one with local PBS stations. YouTube TV has the best cloud DVR of the bunch, including unlimited storage and a generous nine months to watch recordings (most are 30 days). The streaming platform interface is no-nonsense, if a little drab, and yet it offers most of the features a cable service can give you. And unlike Sling and others, it's dead simple: one package, one price, done.

despite its best-in-class channel selection and cloud dvr, with its recent price increase it's now the most expensive live tv streaming service, and if you want to save money over a traditional cable subscription, hulu and sling tv are superior bargains.

Top channels not available: A&E, History, Lifetime, NFL Network. Read our YouTube TV review广东棋牌游戏代理加盟.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟there's a lot to like about fubotv -- it offers a wide selection of channels second only to youtube tv and its sports focus makes it especially attractive to soccer fans in particular. the service added a bunch of channels including espn and disney channels (coming in august), but at the same time it dropped turner networks including cnn, tnt and tbs -- the latter two also carry a lot of sports content. those programming holes, and the $60 price tag, make it less attractive than the others.

Top channels not available in base package: Cartoon Network, CNN, MLB Network, TBS, TNT, TruTV. Read our FuboTV review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

until recently at&t tv now bundled hbo into its base package, but now it's an optional $10 extra. with or without it, the service is still missing more top channels than any premium competitor (although you can pay extra to get most of those channels if you want). its dvr is also a step behind those of our top choices. the traditional-style interface is good, however, as it includes the flipper-friendly ability to swipe left and right to change channels.

Top channels not available in base package: A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, HGTV, History, Lifetime, MLB Network, NFL Network, Travel Channel. Read our AT&T TV Now review广东棋牌游戏代理加盟.

How to shop for cord-cutting live TV services

Each of the services above offers a different mix of channels, so your first step should be choosing one that carries your "can't miss" cable channels and shows. And some of the most important channels are locals, namely ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Not every service offers all of them in every area.

Read more: Top 100 channels compared across Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV, AT&T TV Now and Philo 

The services can be broken down into two main groups: Budget, with prices ranging from $20 to $30 and no local channels, and Premium, with prices from $55 and up and include locals and often other extras like a superior cloud DVR. That's right, all of the services 广东棋牌游戏代理加盟allow you to record and play back shows, just like a traditional cable or satellite DVR, but they often come with restrictions. 

Then there's the multistream issue. If you want to watch more than one program at the same time -- for example, on your living room TV and on a bedroom TV, or the main TV and a tablet or other devices -- you'll want to make sure the service you're watching has enough simultaneous streams广东棋牌游戏代理加盟. Sling Orange only allows one stream at a time, and if you try to watch a second, it's blocked. Other services have higher simultaneous stream limits.

Keep in mind that, especially if you do have more than one person watching at once on supported devices, you need to make sure you have fast, reliable broadband internet. A 100Mbps download service will cost around $50 to $60 a month, and that's where the savings of cutting cable can get swallowed up. 

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟here's a live tv streaming shopping list to consider: 

05-hulu-live-tv

hulu plus live tv

Sarah Tew/CNET

What streaming TV services won't give you

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟streaming tv services are great, but there are some things they can't do compared to a traditional cable box. 

First, it's worth looking at the channels that you can't get with any of these services. For example, only one of the services offers PBS -- YouTube TV -- and this is because the broadcaster reportedly that it airs. 

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟with sports returning from hiatus, fans will want to make sure they can follow their teams. most services carry espn and local channels for nfl football, but if you follow a professional baseball or basketball team, you might need their specific channel -- called an rsn, or regional sports network -- to watch regular season games. rsn coverage varies widely for each service.

Every live TV service's video streaming is a few seconds to a minute or more behind the "live" stream you'll get from your local cable or satellite provider. That means you could get a preview of scores or big plays from Twitter, phone alerts or phone calls from friends slightly before you see the action on screen.

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟if you're used to 5.1-channel surround offered by cable or even ota, then you'll probably be disappointed that all of the services only include stereo sound on live broadcasts. 5.1 audio is available on some on-demand material, though.

Other live TV options

Philo

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟price: starts at $20 a month

a cheap service with no sports or local channels, philo offers bread-and-butter cable channels like amc, comedy channel, nickelodeon and bbc america. it also includes a cloud dvr. we think most people are better off paying another $10 for sling tv's superior channel selection, but if philo has every channel you want, it's a great deal.

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟price: starts at $5.99 a month

CBS All Access stands offers live TV (in some cities) from just one channel: CBS. In addition to a healthy selection of video-on-demand, it also offers exclusive originals such as Star Trek: Discovery广东棋牌游戏代理加盟. You can get an ad-free option for $10 a month.

Don't care about live TV? More cord-cutter staples

babyyoda2

nicknamed baby yoda -- this might be the cutest star wars character from the mandalorian on disney plus. 

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Plenty of heavy hitters have entered the on-demand fray recently, including Apple with Apple TV Plus and Disney with Disney Plus, both of which debuted in late 2019. In 2020 streamers have even more choices including NBC/Comcast's Peacock, AT&T's HBO Max and mobile-centric upstart Quibi. All of these services lack traditional live channels -- focusing instead on back catalogs and new original programming -- but they can still eat into your entertainment budget.  

Netflix:广东棋牌游戏代理加盟 One of the first streaming TV services and it's so popular that it's become a catch-all term in the same way as "Magic Marker" or "Coke" in the South. And then, of course, there's the ever-popular "Netflix and chill." High-definition plans start at $12.99 a month, and the service covers thousands of TV shows and movies, including original TV series like Daredevil and Orange Is the New Black.

Amazon Prime Video: The "other" major streaming service, which is included as part of a $99 annual Prime Membership or $8.99 a month. The interface isn't as user-friendly as Netflix, but the service also offers shows not on its rival, including original content like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amazon Prime also has (HBO and Showtime and more), making it a potential one-stop shop.

Disney Plus: One of the biggest streaming services to launch in some time, Disney has gathered a mix of movies, TV shows and exclusive content, including the Star Wars show The Mandalorian, for $6.99 a month. Read our Disney Plus review here.

Vudu/Movies Anywhere: A digital library (or locker) that incorporates legacy UltraViolet content and streaming movies and TV that are only available for purchase, like new releases.

Peacock: 广东棋牌游戏代理加盟Coming July 15 nationwide, Peacock is NBC's answer to CBS All Access. Its main claim to fame is that its basic tier, with 7,500 hours of content, is free. 

It's also worth investigating free, ad-supported services such as Roku Channel, IMDB Freedive, TuBi TV, Pluto and Sony Crackle, which offer a wealth of content. Read CNET's roundup of free TV services here.

Now playing: Watch this: How to cut the cord for $10: installing an indoor antenna
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Is an indoor or outdoor antenna a viable option?

If you have a TV in your house -- that is, a screen that incorporates a tuner -- you're part-way to cutting the cord already. An affordable indoor antenna hooked up to your TV will let you watch free TV over the air from any channel you receive in your local broadcast area. Antennas cost as little as $10. See our comparison of indoor antennas here.

You can also add a DVR such as the Amazon Fire TV Recast or TiVo Bolt OTA if you want. Then you can record those live TV antenna channels, play them back and skip commercials, just like on a standard cable TV DVR. Here's CNET's roundup of the best OTA DVRs for cord-cutters.

A solid, lower-cost alternative to live TV streaming services is the combination of an antenna for live local channels and an on-demand service such as Netflix or Hulu (which is now only $5.99 a month). That way you'll still be able to watch live programming and also have a choice of on-demand content.   

08-amazon-fire-tv-recast

广东棋牌游戏代理加盟amazon's fire tv recast dvr is a cord-cutting antenna user's friend.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion: Try it yourself

streaming live tv services are still in flux. since launch, every service has increased its prices by at least $5 a month, channel selections and cities with local channel access are changing all the time, and reports persist about some services losing money, or even closing in the case of playstation vue. while streaming is undoubtedly the future, it will be some time before both prices and the services offered settle in.

that said, if you want a cable-like experience both at home and for on-the-go devices, without the dead weight that a cable subscription brings, then a streaming service is worth a look. there's no contract to sign, and if you don't like the service you're on, you can easily switch. so whether you're looking for a basic package such as sling tv or want to pay more for a deluxe experience from the likes of youtube tv, there should be a streaming tv service to suit you.

More streaming advice

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