Thanks to the advances in communication technology, live TV streaming services have greatly improved. This is when compared to what we used to have a few years ago. Consumers today have a wide selection of channels and programs to choose from based on their unique needs and preferences.
As television continues to be the central part of every household, live TV streaming services have become a basic need for most people across the world.
In this article, we look at some of the best legal streaming service providers available on the market today.
What Are Live TV Streaming Services?
What are Live TV streaming services and what advantages do they have over the traditional cable TV? Basically, a live TV streaming service allows you to watch TV programs, shows, and channels. This is exactly as they are being broadcasted live at a given time over the Internet.
You may also need to have a digital antenna. This is if the TV streaming service you use doesn’t offer popular over-the-air TV networks such as FOX, ABC, PBS, NBC, and CBS. With the best legal streaming service, you get access to a better entertainment experience. This is when compared to other types of networks.
Popular Types of Live Streaming Devices
The good news is that there are applications that can be used to get the same streaming content free of charge. This often involves jailbreaking your Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick and installing third-party streaming apps. This way you can enjoy movies, sports, TV shows, series, and much more free of charge.
Keep in mind that jailbreaking your Fire TV Stick goes against Amazon’s terms and conditions. It could lead to problems with your account if they find out. The best course of action is to stick to the best legal streaming service practices. This way you will stay on the safe side while you enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 65% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.
Comparing Live TV Streaming Services with Other Live TV Options
So how does a live TV streaming service compare to other live TV options? To get a good idea about the difference between the two let’s look at how broadcast networks work.
As the name suggests, a broadcast network sends content signals from a central location allowing viewers to access the signals and select specific channels that they are interested in.
The signals can be accessed using wired connections. These are the same as the ones used in cable TV, or via wireless connections such as the ones used by satellite TV that works through a cable box or satellite dish.
In terms of price, satellite TV costs less than cable TV and provides seamless service without interruption. Cable TV comes with Internet service which provides viewers with savings on their subscriptions.
Internet-based services also allow you to watch content in real-time through over-the-top (OTP) media that can stream content via open Internet. You can access live streaming content through a subscription service that allows you to watch more programs than the cable TV company provides.
Both live streaming options give you access to a wide range of entertaining content. But keep in mind that you need to have a fast Internet connection to avoid buffering while streaming your favorite shows.
What to Look for in the Best Legal Live TV Streaming Service
There are many live TV streaming services today with different features and pricing plans. The best legal streaming service doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive.
What you need to do when looking for a good live TV streaming service is to consider factors such as affordability, channel options, quality of their programming, support for simultaneous streaming on multiple devices, and other features. These features include parental controls and affordable add-ons.
Top Live Streaming TV Services in 2019
Let’s now look at the best TV streaming service providers available today.
1. YouTube TV
You are probably familiar with the YouTube platform but did you know they also have live TV streaming services? YouTube TV is a great option for those who want a straightforward live TV streaming subscription without hidden fees, complex pricing plans, and equipment rental charges.
It is a straight forward and affordable service that delivers high-quality streaming and recording features and unlimited storage space. Another good thing about YouTube TV is that they give you unlimited storage space. You can use this space for up to nine months while other services only give you 30 days.
YouTube TV is also more affordable. Its subscription plan allows you to share up to six accounts and stream content to three different devices simultaneously. You can also upgrade to YouTube Premium to enjoy ad-free YouTube videos, download videos and watch them offline, access YouTube kids, and listen to both Google Play Music and YouTube music anytime anywhere.
2. Hulu Live TV
Hulu TV is another popular name in the entertainment industry. They also provide live TV on top of their original programming at a monthly charge of just $49.99. Subscribers of Hulu TV can watch their favorite TV series as soon as each episode is aired. Hulu has one of the best and easier to use interface than other services. It is one of the best legal streaming service providers on the market today.
You can also sign up for a free trial of Hulu TV. This includes live and on-demand channels as well as 50 hours of Hulu’s free cloud DVR and a huge list of entertainment content in diverse fields including sports, travel, news, entertainment, lifestyle, family shows, and much more. However, Hulu limits you to just two simultaneous streaming devices in the same account.
You can still purchase additional streaming for an extra $15. For another $10, you also get access to Hulu’s Enhanced Cloud DVR which allows you to fast forward through advertisements when you want to watch on-demand content.
If you are a fan of sports and entertainment, FuboTV provides a perfect combination of both. It is a favorite option for most people. This is because it offers viewers hundreds of entertaining channels in its standard plan and the option to upgrade your subscription for even more channels.
FuboTV is also compatible with most of the commonly used devices including Amazon Fire TV Stick. The only downside is the lack of ESPN, which is a popular choice for most sports fans. However, FuboTV is a great option for all types of sports and entertainment channels.
4. Sling TV
If you are looking for the best legal streaming service with a cheaper plan, you may need to consider Sling TV. This one comes with two pricing plans that can be purchased either separately or combined. They give you a 7-day trial period and even throw in a 40% discount in your first month’s subscription.
Sling TV also has a limited offer of complementary devices such as AirTV Mini on Roku Express when you pay two months of your bill in advance.
The only downside is the lack of a Cloud DVR inter subscription plan. They also don’t have the ability to record ESPN and Disney channels. Sling TV is affordable but you can only use it on one device if you have the Orange plan.
The plan doesn’t include access to NBC and FOX. The Blue Plan comes with more channels except for Disney and ESPN. However, the plan allows you to stream content on three devices at the same time.
5. PlayStation Vue
According to the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index Survey, PlayStation Vue had the highest scores in customer satisfaction, making it one of the most popular live streaming services.
In contrast to what most people believe, you don’t need a PlayStation console to access PlayStation Vue content. The service works perfectly on just about any device including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku player, and a host of other mobile devices.
PlayStation Vue comes with a multi-view feature that makes it possible to watch three channels on the same screen. For example, you can stream content from an Apple TV device and Fire TV at the same time using the multi-view feature.
The service also allows you to have 10 accounts from the same subscription and live streaming on 5 devices simultaneously. In terms of the number of devices you can use at the same time, PlayStation Vue is the best TV streaming service.
6. Philo TV
Philo is one of the best TV streaming service providers today with affordable plans. It only costs $20 per month and you get high-quality live TV streaming of some of the most popular channels on an easy-to-use interface with simple menus. You’ll also like Philo’s cable-style grid of presenting each channel.
The major downside of Philo is that they only have 58 channels and no sports or local channels such as CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC. Philo comes at an affordable cost but is not for you if you are a fan of FOX or ESPN sports.
7. AT&T TV NOW
AT&T TV is a rebranded version of what was previously called DirecTV. It was rebranded to align with some of its best competitors such as Hulu and YouTube. At present, AT&T provides five Live TV streaming services including AT&T TV NOW and Watch TV. One of their strong selling points is a diverse range of pricing plans and packages.
The cheapest plan is the Plus plan which costs $50 per month for 45 channels. You’ll need to pay more to access premium channels as add-ons. AT&T NOW has a Cloud DVR recording feature but it is limited to just 20 hours, which is quite short compared to other available options.
8. AT&T Watch TV
This is a free service available for subscribers of the AT&T Unlimited & More package. It is the cheapest option available for AT&T subscribers. However, the service doesn’t include DVR which means you cannot record your best shows and save them on the cloud.
To compensate for the lack of DVR, the service provides users with access to over 15,000 titles from their on-demand library. Another flaw with the service is that they don’t allow simultaneous streaming on multiple devices. This is unless you switch to another plan.
Live TV Streaming Services FAQs
• Are free trials available?
Most of the popular live TV streaming services now provide free trial periods to attract more customers. Most have a 7-day free trial period to help you assess the service before you sign up for a paid plan.
• Is there a lock-in period with my subscription?
With the best TV streaming service provider, your subscription doesn’t have a lock-in period. This is because you pay on a monthly basis with the ability to cancel any time you want.
• Is it possible to stream live TV on different devices?
One of the major benefits of live TV streaming is compatibility with multiple devices. If you have a YouTube TV subscription, you can stream live content on up to 3 devices simultaneously from the same account. Some services such as AT&T TV NOW, however, limit you to a single device for each subscription.
• Do live TV channels actually get streamed in real time?
Of course, yes. You can even watch live shows as they happen via other devices on the go just as you would on TV.
• Can I share my account with other users?
Yes, you can. The fact that most services such as PlayStation Vue allow streaming content on multiple devices means that you can share access with other users up to the maximum number of allowed devices.
• Can I watch local channels on live TV?
Some providers have local channels while others don’t. Make sure that the service you choose has local channels if you are a fan of FOX, NBC, CBS, and other local stations that you like watching.
• Which devices allow live TV streaming?
You can stream live TV on a wide range of devices connected to the Internet. This includes your PC, tablet, smartphone, and TV streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Roku, and many more.
Live streaming has revolutionized the way we access news, sports, and entertainment content thanks to advances in technology. However, it is important to ensure that you play it safe when using these services.
Some services also show multiple pop-ups of unnecessary information and ads which can be very annoying. The good news is that with the best legal live TV streaming service, you won’t have to worry about viruses and malware.
Do you know of any other best legal live TV streaming service besides the ones covered above? Let us know in the comments below.