Best live TV streaming services: Our top picks for cord-cutters

"TheSmartConsumer is an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from links on this page that you click on and make qualifying purchases, thanks for helping support us"

streaming apps

Yes, You can cut the cord and still keep live channels. One way obviously is to use an antenna to pick up your local stations, this option is limited but it is one way to get the free local channels. If you want to keep your cable tv alternatives along with desired networks without the cable your going to have to pick the right live tv streaming service for you.

Services start at 15.00 dollars a month and work up from there depending on what channels you need and what premium add-ons you do. Using a Live TV service in combination with other premium services like Netflix or Hulu is a perfect way to cut the cord and still save a ton of money.

PRO TIP=>use free streaming channels to keep your cord cutting bill down-that is the goal, right?

Saving a ton of money may come with a downside. For one, you have to have a good internet connection to avoid buffering issues. Secondly, channels vary greatly for each service, you really have to decide what you need and what you can live without. Go over the channel guide before sticking with a service. Also keep an eye out for how many devices you want to use at the same time (different rooms, family members). Some services only allow one stream at a time and others up to 5 simultaneously

PRO TIP=>Lastly always do the free trials before deciding on a service, Heck we say do all the free trials and get a few months of free service before deciding.

It’s impossible for us at The Smart Consumer to tell you what the best service is for you. So instead here’s the details, pros and cons. We review, you decide.

YouTube Live Streaming TV Choice


YouTube live TV streaming service is for kids, families, and sports fans who want to save money by cutting the cord without giving up the best channels. Cost: 40.00 a month

Live Stream Youtube service is one of a handful of live tv options, including Sling TVHulu with Live TVDirecTV Now, Philo TV, Playstation VUE, Sling, Fubu and even others not listed. We love that family members can have their own sign in’s like Netflix or Hulu. In addition, there is no DVR limit. If your looking for live sports, news and lots of tv shows you have found a great option. Over 70 channels are included with live TV, movies, and on-demand content.



-6 user names per account

-3 live streams at one time (3 devices at one time)

-unlimited DVR included

-Fast forward through commercials if it’s on DVR 

-Free trial


-some networks not available in all areas

-Can’t fast forward through commercials if it’s on Demand (shows that are on demand do not get DVR so you can’t get around some commercials)

Youtube TV Channels

youtube tv channels

yourube live tv channels

Youtube TV channels list

Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
Big Ten Network
Cartoon Network
CBS Sports
Cheddar Business
Cheddar News
CNBC World
The CW
Discovery Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
Food Network
Fox Business
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports
Golf Channel
Investigation Discovery
Local Now
Los Angeles Football Club
MLB Network
My Network TV
National Geographic
Nat Geo WILD
NBC Sports Network
Olympic Channel
Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
Orlando City SC
Seattle Sounders
Smithsonian Channel
Start TV
Tennis Channel
Travel Channel
Universal Kids
WE tv
YouTube Originals

Charter Spectrum

Charter finally got tired of losing its customers to the online streaming competition. You can now cut the cable cord without cutting the cable company.

Charter Spectrum Choice came out last year and offered a measly 25 music channels, local channels and you get to pick 10 channels for 15.00 dollars a month to start then the price would go up to 25.00

Charter Spectrum Essentials

*This option is only available to charter internet subscriber

More:  The Best Outdoor Projector

The new and improved Spectrum Streaming service has a lot more to offer than the first choice.  Heres why: again the cost is just 15.00 bucks a month and so far we do not see any built-in price increases. The new Charter Essentials will give you over 60 channels including great networks like AMC, Discovery Channels, A&E, HGTV, Nickelodeon channels. The downside is the lack of big-name broadcaster and dedicated sports or major news channels. They are depending heavily on Viacom for content.  No word yet on if multiple streams will be allowed or if there is any DVR included. For Local Spectrum, Deals Click Here



-It definitely cheap and if you can get by without ESPN, FOX NEWS, CNN, and Disney than this may be a good option for you


-limited content

-can’t get it without being their internet customer

Charter Essentials TV Channels

Networks available on Spectrum TV Essentials include: Spectrum News will be a part of the lineup in New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, Charlotte, Orlando and other markets, A&E, AMC, American Heroes Channel, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, BET Jams, BET Soul, Bloomberg, Cheddar, CLEO TV, CMT, CMT Music, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY, Food Network, FYI, Game Show Network, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HDNet Movies, HGTV, HISTORY, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Logo, MotorTrend Network, MTV, MTV2, MTV Classic, MTV Live, MTVU, NewsmaxTV, Newsy, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Nic k Music, Nick Toons, Outdoor Channel, OWN, Paramount Network, Science Channel, Sundance TV, Teen Nick, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, VH1, Vice land, The Weather Channel and WEtv.Have you heard of the illegal free tv streaming service 123 movies-Why we would avoid it

Fubo Tv

This service is able to provide more local coverage than any other streaming service for 44.99. On top of your local favorites, FuboTV offers some of the most comprehensive sports of any streaming service.

You get 80 channels on the basic package, favorites like USA , FX, FOX, Travel, SYFY, A&E, and Food Network. They also have many premium add ons, but the prices can really start adding up too.


-Fubu TV offers a trial period, which we always recommend to help you decide if the service is right for you.

-Free Cloud DVR

-3 day replays on most shows (most shows will available for 3 days after airing)fubo


 -only stream from two devices at the same time. (this is a  big con) 

-you can add a third device for 5.99 a month


Fubo TV Channels

fubo tv packages

  • A&E
  • Adult Swim
  • AMC
  • BBC America
  • BeIN Sports
  • BeIN Sports 4-8
  • BeIN Sports Español
  • BET
  • Big Ten Network
  • Bravo
  • Cartoon Network
  • Cheddar Business
  • CBS
  • CBS News
  • CBS Sports Network
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Comedy Central
  • Comet
  • E!
  • Eleven Sports
  • Food Network
  • Fox
  • Fox 4K
  • Fox Business
  • Fox Deportes
  • Fox News
  • Fox Soccer Plus
  • FuboTV Network
  • FS1
  • FS1 4K
  • FS2
  • Fuse
  • FX
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • FYI
  • Galavisión
  • Golf Channel
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • HLN
  • History
  • IFC
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • Local Now
  • MTV
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Nickelodeon
  • Nick Jr.
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Oxygen
  • PAC 12 Network
  • Paramount Network
  • Pop
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Sundance TV
  • Syfy
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel
  • Tru TV
  • TV Land
  • Unimás
  • Universal Kids
  • Univision
  • Univision tDN
  • USA
  • VH1
  • Viceland
  • The Weather Channel
  • WE tv

Sling TV

Sling Claims to be the number 1 live TV streaming service. The tout no useless channels (whatever that really means) and not long term contracts (like the others).

We find this to be more limited than FUBu tv but it’s also less expensive. You really have to look at the channels and see what service offers the channels you are looking for in your price range. Just like the others they too have  DVR, but it’s extra. We like that the packages start cheap, but to get some of your favorite channels you have to upgrade to the 40.00 a month package.

More:  The Best Universal Remote


-sometimes they often free streaming devices (like a firestick) for signing up.


-Basic cost is just 25.00 a month

-if you upgrade to the blue package you get three streams at one time.

-kids package add on for 5.00 a month (Disney Junior, Disney XD, and more)

-free trial


-You can add DVR but you have to pay 5 bucks for it.

-The lower price is offset by less channels

-Only one show, one stream at a time with the basic orange package (big con)

Sling TV Packages

Sling Tv offers it orange package or blue package both at the same price starting price. Most people will do a combination of the two, this is slings orange and blue package.

Here is the orange Sling TV Channels 

sling tv package orange

Here is the Blue Sling TV Channels

sling blue package

Hulu with live TV

At 40.00 bucks a month Hulu plus live TV comes with 50 channels of live TV, Hulu’s on demand service and some local stations, maybe. The local channels are limited and only available in some areas. Some channels vary depending on area. It all depends on what you want.


huluHulu’s Streaming Service for TV shows and movies is part of the package (usually 8.00 separately)

– TV from local channels CBS, ABCCBS, NBC, FOX  in select cities plus CNN, ESPN, TNT, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Bravo, Lifetime, Disney Channel and more.

-Cloud DVR included

-7 day free trial


-Local channels may not actually be local

-Cloud DVR is basic, in order to be able to fast forward through commercials you have to pay a 15.00 dollar a month upgrade to the higher service.

-One stream at a time (big con)


Direct TV Now

Starting at 40.00 a month you get 65 channels such as USA, TBS, ESPN, TNT A&E, Bravo, CNN, Disney, Fox News, History, HGTV, MSNBC, Nickelodeon. Direct TV proves they know what they’re doing by providing a great user experience. Options go up to 75.00 bucks a month for 125+ channels.


direct tv now

-DVR storage included but limited 

-Great mix of channels from sports to kids

-Free trial is 7 days


-limited DVR recording time (20 hours)

-2 streams at a time (you can add one more for 5.00 bucks)


Philo TV

Philo online streaming TV wins if your going by price. Philo TV comes in at just 16.00 dollars a month for 44 channels. You can upgrade to 57 channels for 20.00 bucks a month. Philo includes unlimited recording and allows you to save your show for up to 30 days. Philo also offers an easy free 48 hour trial with just a phone number.


-Price is great is you can do without certain channels

-unlimited DVR

-3 streams at once

-free trial


-limited channels (no ESPN, CNN or Disney)


PlayStation Vue

44 channels starting at 44.99 and going all the way up to 79.99 for the ultra-premium package.

PlayStation Vue comes with a great basic access plan that includes ESPN, Fox Sports, HGTV full lineup, Disney, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Food Network, Fox News and more.

You have the option to add on a sports package or other premium channels. Like other plans as you add more channels it starts to become expensive.

playstation vuePros

-5 streams at one time

-Free DVR

-free trial


-limited local channels and broadcasters


The above Premium services can help you cut the cable and keep the channels you need while still saving money.

Pro tip=> Did you know that there are tons of completly free TV streaming services? The best part is you can use one or all of them in combination with your paid services or maybe no paid services at all. By the time your done adding the free channels and premium apps your going to have more options then ever before. Live news, on demand shows, and hundreds of more options then you ever had with cable.