There are many options these days for TV services that stream over the internet. So what are the best streaming services? We should first point out that internet-based TV services can include live-streaming of networks, on-demand access to movies and shows, and access to purchase premium channels or bundles of channels.
But streaming TV services always include the ability to watch content on multiple devices including TVs, PCs (via web browsers), streaming media players and Blu-ray players, tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles. Although, a given service may not support all devices and platforms.
We should also clarify there are distinctions between streaming video services. For example, Netflix has a huge library of both original and licensed TV shows, series, and movies but does not offer cable networks or live streaming TV. CBS (formerly CBS All Access) offers some live TV but mainly on-demand content from CBS, CBS Originals, and partnering networks (with some new episodes available a day after airing on traditional broadcast TV).
Services such as Hulu+ Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV follow a more of a traditional television service model, albeit delivered via the internet rather than by cable or satellite. These services tend to cost more but provide access to local television stations as well as live cable networks.
Because of those distinctions the lines between types of streaming TV services are slightly blurred. However, the most important difference may be whether or not live streaming is offered. Below we rank the “Best Streaming TV Services” and indicate whether or not the service provides live TV programming.
Best Streaming TV Services
(plans start at $8.99 per mo.)
- Amazon Prime Video
(bundled with Prime Shipping $119 per yr.)
($6.99 per mo. or bundled with ESPN+ & Hulu $12.99 per mo.)
- HBO Max
($14.99 per mo.)
- Hulu+ Live TV LIVE
(plans start at $54.99 per mo.)
- Peacock LIVE
(plans start at $0 per mo.)
- AT&T TV Now LIVE
(plans start at $59.99 per mo.)
- CBS All Access (CBS) LIVE
(plans start $5.99 per mo.)
- YouTube TV LIVE
(plans start at $64.99 per mo.)
- Sling TV LIVE
(basic plan $19.99 per mo.)
- fuboTV LIVE
(starts at $64.99 per mo.)
- Apple TV+
($4.99 per month with access to add-on premium channels)
(plans start at $5.99 per mo.)
- Philo LIVE
($20 per mo. plus optional add-ons)
($10.99 per mo.)
- PlutoTV LIVE
How Do You Stream TV?
In order to stream television and on-demand content from the services listed above you must have a consistent internet connection with enough bandwidth for the video format requested. Most services will auto-adjust video resolution to what is available. For suggested bandwidth requirements, refer to these bandwidth recommendations.
Do we need to update any of the monthly subscription rates listed above? Please let us know in the comments below or via Twitter.