There are plenty of ways to watch and enjoy TV content today. However, not many services provide live TV and other offerings that you can only watch through a cable connection. But thankfully, things have changed today, and there are apps out there that help you watch a wide range of TV shows and live content directly from your smartphone or tablet. Needless to say, these require a subscription, as live programming is sometimes seasonal (sports for example), but considering the subscription tiers the companies offer, it makes sense to get it only when you need it.
We’re going to talk about five of the best TV streaming services that are available out there. You might have heard or come across some of these offerings before, but the reason they’re here is because these are some of the best offerings across the Google Play Store today.
So let’s have a look.
5 Best TV Streaming Services To Cut Cable and Save Money
This is a separate DirecTV subscription for those willing to watch movies, TV shows and live content on the go. It comes in multiple tiers, with prices ranging from $35 to $70 a month for up to 120 channels. You can also add HBO, Showtime or Cinemax for $5 per month on top of the standard subscription rates. This makes sense if you’re looking for a wider gamut of content from some of the top production houses in the world. Although previously lacking, DirecTV Now has gained support for online cloud DVR storage, allowing you to save your favorite TV shows on the cloud as they are aired.
It is compatible with a wide range of devices, and can also be streamed onto your television using a Google Chromecast with your compatible smartphone. The app is a free download on the Google Play Store but comes with ads on board. The app allows multiple devices to be streaming at the same time which is convenient for a variety of reasons. DirecTV Now only works with devices running Android 5.0 and above.
This is a slightly more laid out offering giving you enough room to customize your channels and packages as you like. The base pack, known as Sling Orange, comes with 30 channels, and is priced at $20. Sling Blue, the slightly upmarket offering comes with 45 channels and a price tag of $25 per month. Additionally, you can choose to include channels like HBO for $15 per month, which is 3x pricier than DirecTV’s HBO add-on package. There are several “packages” targeting a specific set of customers costing $5 per month (ex: kids, sports, news etc).
Sling TV’s cloud based DVR feature is quite limited in that it only allows recording on certain devices. It is also not available all over the U.S., so you might want to check feasibility before getting a subscription your phone. Despite its issues, there’s no doubt that Sling TV is the more economical option as it lets you cut your cable costs significantly. The app is free to download on the Play Store and there are no ads or in-app purchases. The app works with devices running Android 4.4 and above.
This service shouldn’t be confused with HBO Go, which is accessible only through a HBO subscription, which in turn requires you to have a cable subscription. Keeping this in mind, HBO Now is a viable option as it allows mobile users to simply stream HBO content on the go without requiring a pricey cable subscription. HBO Now comes with all the content that you can find on HBO and most shows are aired almost simultaneously as the original broadcast, which gives you more reason to cut the cord and jump to a mobile only subscription such as this one.
HBO Now will set you back by $14.99 per month, which is pretty reasonable given the kind of shows you have access to here. It’s a great service, and often underrated given the presence of rivals like Netflix and Prime Video, but there’s no doubt that HBO still produces some of the best original content in the world, tied with Netflix perhaps. HBO Now is a free download on the Play Store and new customers can also use the service on a free trial. The app has no ads or in-app purchases.
YouTube might be an unexpected name on this list, but the Google owned company has been running a live TV subscription service for about a year now. This offering includes a bunch of channels, including sports and standard television programming. But support for live TV is what makes YouTube TV really stand out. It also comes with unlimited DVR storage (up to 9 months at a time), letting you store hours and hours of content on the cloud without paying an extra fee.
At $40 per month, YouTube TV is definitely not the cheapest offering out there. Its single plan gives you access to a large bulk of the channels, while you will have to get an additional package for channels like Showtime. Users can create up to six accounts per subscription, with support for simultaneous streaming on up to 3 devices. Features like this are pretty hard to beat, making YouTube TV a strong contended in the cable-free live TV streaming space. The app is free to download on the Play Store.
Much like YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue is also an expensive offering, but is making tremendous inroads in the market. It comes in four tiers, priced at $39.99, $44.99, $54.99, and $74.99, with the most expensive plan including networks like Showtime and HBO bringing the total tally of networks to 90. Up to five devices can stream from Vue at the same time, so this is the ideal app to get live streaming support for the entire family. While cloud DVR support is available, the app will automatically delete all recordings after 28 days, so be sure to watch it all before time runs out. The app is free to download on the Play Store.