A video streaming service is a platform that allows you to stream movies and TV shows. There are also streaming services that are competing with cable that offer live TV packages such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and Direct TV now. Here is a list of most well known live TV and regular streaming services and how they compare. Regular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulo with be listed as well as live TV services such as Direct TV now and Sling TV. Amazon Fire Stick, Ruko, and other streaming devices will not be listed since they are devices and not services.
Regular streaming services
Netflix has been around for a long time. It started as a DVD by mail rental service with no late fees. Netflix competed heavily with other rental company’s and eventually turned into a streaming service keeping the DVD rental feature. The price rates are one device in standard definition for $7.99 a month, 2 devices in HD for $10.99 a month, or 4 screen for $13.99 a month with ultra HD which can be utilized using a 4k TV. Netflix is ad free unlike Hulu so no need to worry about ads. Netflix has invested 16 billion into original content making it the superior choice for high quality original content. The only real downside to Netflix is that TV shows are released in complete seasons taking up to a year to be released unlike Hulu where aired shows can be released the next day.
- Amazon video
Amazon video is included with a Amazon prime membership which is $12.99 a month. Without prime it is $8.99 per month. The included library comes with a decent amount of ok movies and shows but doesn’t really seem worth it unless included with prime. Additional movies or TV shows have to be rented or bought.
Hulu is $7.99 per month. It launched in 2008. It is centered more on TV then movies. Hulu shows commercials unless you pay an extra $4 per month which may be a deal breaker for some people. One of Hulus best features is that it airs TV shows in the next day or two from major networks such as ABC, NBC, and FOX. Hulu does an ok job with video quality but unfortunately the quality is not always in HD. Hulu also has a decent selection of anime content.
Crackle is free so you have nothing to loose by checking it out. For a free service they have a decent selection of movies and shows. There’s nothing to get to excited about but for a free service it’s worth checking out. You may find something that peeps your interest.
Streaming services with live TV
- Hulu with live TV
Hulu live TV comes bundled with Hulus existing on demand library along with live TV for $39.99. It uses a cloud based DVR with 50 hours of storage. You can pay an additional $14.99 a month to extend the DVR storage limit to 200 hours if desired. You can also pay an additional $14.99 per month to watch Hulu with live TV on as many devices as you want, or $19.99 for both features. You still have to pay an additional $4 a month to get rid of ads. Hulu with live TV offers around 60 channels. Viacom channels like Comedy Central, MTV, Spike, and others aren’t included.
- Direct TV now
AT&Ts new live TV streaming service. The app is buggy on mobile devices. 100+ channels. Has the best channel selection. Includes Viacom channels like Spike and MTV. Has a good channel guide. Direct TV now does not offer console apps. Plays most content in consistent HD. Rates start at $35 per month which includes 60 channels. The next step up is the just right plan at $50 per month with 80 channels. The go big is $60 per month with over 100 channels. And finally, the gotta have it plan, with over 120 channels adding eight starz channels. Available on Android, iOS, latest Apple TV, Firestick, and Chromecast. Ruko is not compatible yet.
- PlayStation Vue
Good value starting at $30 per month. Has primetime broadcast shows from all major networks. Includes ESPN, regional networks, and news channels. A $10 per month sports package adds multiple sports channels like NFL red zone. PS Vue supports 60 fps on most channels. Includes 28 day DVR with unlimited storage free of charge. The DVR is relatively simple to use and navigate. Has a total of 45+ channels. PS Vue had a great interface on PS4 with a interactive guide that shows you what’s on for the day. Available for Sony smart Tv’s and blu ray players, iOS and Android devices, roku, Chromecast, and Amazon fire TV.
- Sling TV
The least expensive option at $20 a month. Has a lot of add on channels like HBO and starz for $5 per month. Includes a cloud DVR with 50 hours. Available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire Stick, Roku, and Chromecast. Sling TV does not work that well with Xbox one. Sling TV has a partnership with T-Mobile allowing costumers to view content on Sling TV without using their data. Sling TV Offers a lot for such a low price.
- Fubo TV
Fubo TV puts a primary focus on sports channels but still offers other channels. Even though it is aimed towards sports it still doesn’t offer ESPN channels which can be a significant factor for many people. For the first two months Fubo TV costs $19.99. After the first two months the price gets raised to 39.99 a month. Fubo TV is a decent service, especially for sports fans with the exception of not including ESPN.
So for a streaming service Netflix is definitely the best choice. Netflix also has ad free viewing. A big plus for Hulu is that it can have shows the day after they are aired as apposed to Netflix having seasons released at one time taking up to a year. Netflix still wins due to original content and overall selection but the rate of TV show releases can be a factor for a lot of people. Amazon video isn’t really recommended unless you already have Amazon prime.
For live TV because of the price selection and add ons I’d have to go with Sling TV. Direct TV is a close second a long with PlayStation Vue. In the end people’s opinions may differ so feel free to check out multiple services. Some offer free trials such as Netflix.