Streaming Live TV Online: 4 Companies Who Are Doing It Right

Updated on May 22, 2018
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Originally, the only options you had when “cutting the cord” and ditching satellite and cable TV were subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and a few other less-known streaming services that only offered video-on-demand streaming. Subscribers couldn’t get channels such as live sports and local channels through these subscriptions. Although VOD services still rule the online entertainment industry, no-contract live TV streaming is gaining in popularity.

The main reasons that live TV is becoming so popular is partially because companies like DISH and DirecTV as well as cable have a pretty hefty monthly price as well as contracts that are ultimately unfair to the viewers. If you want to change providers because you decide you don’t like what your contract has to offer, or you didn’t read the fine lines, you may be facing hundreds of dollars and shipping costs to get these services off your back, not to mention some very annoying phone calls.

Secondly, it is miles cheaper than having to pay satellite or cable bills. At the max baseline cost of the most expensive subscriptions out there is $75 where some people pay two to three times that much when dealing with satellite providers.

Thirdly, let’s not forget about cable and satellite companies and how they try to bundle you as much as possible and then leave you hanging and paying twice as much as you should be for extremely limited selections of channels.


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SlingTV

Only a few years ago, you could do searches on Google that didn’t list any services except Sling. There weren’t many companies that offered live TV streaming, Sling and PlayStation VUE were among the first to offer this service. Sling remains one of the top TV services in the live TV streaming industry.

One of the reasons that Sling is still so popular is the fact that they have one of the largest packages of available TV stations at a relatively reasonable price. There are packages as low as $20 per month, but I know personally, I prefer the Orange + Blue package that is around $40 a month but the variety of channels available with the package are only around 50 channels, give or take. Some of the channels you can get with Sling Orange + Blue ($40 dollars for just the plan with no add-on subscriptions) are:

  • BET

  • National Geographic + Nat Geo Wild

  • A & E

  • Fox

  • FXX

  • SyFy

  • Unimas + Univision

  • AMC

  • ESPN

  • CNN

  • TNT

  • Food Network

  • and more

There are additional channel packages you can add to your subscription such as the Kids Extras package for an extra five dollars a month, which includes:

  • Disney Junior

  • Disney XD

  • Nick Jr.

  • Nicktoons

  • Teen Nick

  • Boomerang

For the sports fanatic, there is also a sports package.

Another wonderful feature of Sling TV is the Cloud DVR feature. With this additional feature, you can record multiple programs at the same time and get over 50 hours of storage of your favorite TV shows for only five dollars extra.

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Hulu LiveTV

I previously covered Hulu LiveTV in my last article, but I figured I’d give you another run-down on the brand new service that is now in Beta. For $39.99 a month, with no additional subscriptions, Hulu offers over 35 channels of great channels. If you have a slow Internet connection, you don’t have to worry about constant buffering like some live TV services.

We saw the buffering problem with TV services such as Sling TV, Fubo, and Dish Network’s Flexpack. I use my phone as a hotspot and unfortunately, streaming services tend to skip and buffer a lot after I run out of my available data each day (thanks Straight Talk). However, last night I left the service going due to the fact that I like noise when I’m trying to sleep. I woke up and it still hadn’t once had to buffer or skip. This absolutely blows me away.

Did I mention that you also get a subscription to the entire Hulu library? Yes, it’s free with the Live TV package. Hulu LiveTV is getting updated constantly as well because it is still in Beta and they are trying out a brand new theme for the website that revolves around the Live TV package and includes the library as well. For $14.99 extra, you can get Cloud DVR as well.


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DirecTV NOW

This service is the holy mecca of all the services out now. They offer multiple packages ranging from $35 a month which gives you approximately 60 channels. All the way up to a package called “Gotta Have It” which includes approximately 120 live channels for $70 a month. The only problem that I had was buffering and load-screen trouble due to my slow connection. However, for your average person with decent DSL or other form of Internet, you probably wouldn’t have too much of a problem with this. My favorite thing about DirecTV NOW is that they have a vast on-demand library of great hit movies that are updated daily plus on-demand TV shows so if you missed your favorite show, more than likely you can find it in the on-demand library

You can now get an amazing discount with the coupon code:YESNOW3

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PlayStation VUE

First offered as the exclusive live TV screening subscription available to Sony fans, VUE is also a giant in the industry of live entertainment. PlayStation VUE caught on immediately after it was released and had huge success with Sony lovers everywhere. A lot of the channels for where I live weren’t originally covered by their packages, however, which has changed as of May 2018.

VUE has improved drastically from when it was first released due to the fact you couldn’t take your TV shows mobile, if you used the wrong postal code it would lock you out and make you call customer service, and it originally was also exclusively on PlayStation. They later released it for Amazon Fire TV and other devices, and is a bit more popular than Sling TV, especially for gamers.. For those who play video games and own a Sony console but don’t have TV, it’s a great idea to check VUE out.

Worth Mentioning

There are a few other services worth mentioning but not talking about as extensively than the other companies that we have talked about, this includes Dish’s Flexpack which is much like DirecTV NOW’s packages. There is also Fubo TV if you are a die-hard sports fan that has features like Cloud DVR and all your favorite sports channel but the channels are limited for now.

Breaking up With Satellite and Cable and the Future in TV Entertainment

I am a firm believer that digital live streaming TV is the future of television as we know it. It has benefits too numerous to list and with no contract and reasonable prices plus all the great channels and featured these companies provide, there is no doubt that there is money to be saved. Really, in the end, it should be your choice whether you want to “cut the cord” or not, but if you do just know that there are a growing source of alternate entertainment subscriptions on the net that will keep you entertained.

Are you a subscriber to any of these services? If so which one?

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© 2018 Leah Tibbets

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