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Home / Tips and Tricks / The 5 Best Streaming Cable Apps for Watching Live TV on Your Phone «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

The 5 Best Streaming Cable Apps for Watching Live TV on Your Phone «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



Nowadays it is easy to cut the string. With a new generation of streaming TV apps, you get the same service that a traditional cable subscription offers at a fraction of the price. After some extensive testing, we believe we've found the absolute best cordless cutting apps.

You can use these apps on your Smart TV, Laptop, Desktop and most set-top boxes, but we focus on the experience offer on mobile. Nonetheless, we evaluated the apps based on a combination of all their features. We are aware that channel design is probably your main concern. For this reason, we have added a clear chart to compare bids. Following the two diagrams below, you can scroll down to read our reviews for each individual service.

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Comparison Chart

Image of Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

Important Comparison Points

Important Channels

One of the key factors in finding the right streaming cable service is the channel setup, so we've created a quick overview of the channels that are important to each service. Yellow highlighted items indicate that you need to pay extra (more than one basic package) to access this channel.

App 1: DirecTV Now: Best Channel Lineup

While DirecTV Now is the newest service on our list, it seems that AT & T T (the new owners of DirecTV) study their competition thoroughly before entering this market. The result is a well-balanced app with 134 channels at the highest level and the second lowest base level.

When it comes to channels, DirecTV Now is your best choice. Not only does the base option offer 72 channels (the highest on our list), 30 of the 32 "important channels" are available, which is the highest among the apps on our list.

DirecTV Now is the only app offering Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio for Apple TV devices. In addition, it also supports a maximum resolution of 1080p at 60 frames per second. Both features require the channels to support the technology, but it's good to know that the app is future-proof. Note that the last feature is only available in beta.

DirecTV's Most Affordable Offer Now is the Mid-Tier Plan, known as Just Right plan. With this plan you get 92 channels at $ 50 per month. No other plan on our list equals this channel-to-dollar ratio (1.84). The closest plan is YouTube TV with 1.75 channels per dollar.

As With All Things DirecTV Now not perfect. It's the only app on our list that limits Chromecast support to Android devices. Only two simultaneous streams are available for free, with the third costing an additional $ 5 per month

There is no Android TV app, which is unfortunate. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you can not fast-forward or rewind live TV on mobile devices. Instead, you can only pause, and pressing "Play" will return to the live feed, skipping anything you missed.

DirecTV Now is an excellent value for cable cutters. It has a wide range of channels, many of which are expected from traditional cable providers. With support for 1080p @ 60 fps and 5.1 surround sound, DirecTV Now is on its own when television is slowly catching up. It is because of this value and feature set that we recommend it as the best choice for those who go away from their expensive cable bill.

App 2: Sling TV: Best for Options

Sling TV is the best choice if the price has the highest priority. While Sling TV is not without mistakes, it offers the lowest prices and the widest range of plans, packages and add-on channels. This makes it easy to pay the lowest price to get exactly the desired channel layout.

Sling TV launches at just $ 20 / month, second to none on any other app on our list (the nearest competitor price starts at $ 35 / Month). There are two basic levels to choose from and the second option only increases by $ 5. In fact, the most expensive plan is the same price as the base plan for other apps on our list. However, things can get pretty complicated quickly.

Sling TV has two basic animal plans: Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Sling Orange is the cheapest floor plan and offers 31 channels. However, Sling Blue ($ 25) has a different channel setup and does not include the channels in Sling Orange. So, if one of your must-have channels is at the orange level and another is at the blue level, you must purchase both base level plans for $ 40 a month. And that's before you start talking add-ons.

The two-plan systems lead to more problems – for example, the number of simultaneous streams. Technically, Sling Orange allows only one stream, while Sling Blue three is allowed. The way to get four streams is to buy the Sling Orange + Blue plan and use the maximum number of streams of both plans. What that means when a person sees a Sling Orange channel (like ESPN), no one else can see that channel at the same time. Instead, they are limited to three streams of Sling Blue channels.

Sling TV is also the only app that charges for accessing the cloud DVR service. You'll need to spend an additional $ 5 in addition to the monthly fees for accessing the DVR, which has a huge limitation – you can not record Disney-owned channels, including ABC, Disney Channel, and ESPN.

However, Sling TV is not all bad. There are a number of advantages over the competition. For example, Sling TV is one of two apps on our list that does not erase recordings stored on the Cloud DVR. Sling TV is also one of only three apps that offers access to all four premium movie channels.

If you want to save the most money on your TV bill, Sling TV is your best bet – as long as the channels you are after "are on the right level." It offers an unrivaled price and few features. Although it makes several compromises, This may be forgiven for its flexibility.

App 3: YouTube TV: Best for Sports

Next up is YouTube TV. The service, created by Google, offers live television at $ 40 a month. There are no multiple offers – just a plan at a price.While YouTube TV is very popular, there is a shortage of channels for channel selection, even though this is offset by the best sports package available on a basic level.

Let's start with the channels: YouTube TV has the second highest number of channels in a base level, but it has the lowest number of channels l important channels. So if you use many channels, you may have difficulty finding something to watch.

YouTube TV also has the weakest selection of premium movie channels. The only available add-on is Showtime. At shows like Game of Thrones on HBO and Power on STARZ, lack of support is a major drawback. Google is trying to make up for this by including YouTube Red ($ 9.99 / month), but the original content is still growing.

However, where YouTube TV really shines is in its sports content. With the exception of NFL Network, all major sports channels are included in the base price of $ 40 / month. You can even put your favorite teams in the limelight and have all their games recorded automatically.

App 4: PlayStation Vue: Best For Big Families [19659031] PlayStation Vue is an interesting twist on the middle pack. It does a few things surprisingly much better than the competition, including simultaneous streams and TV Everywhere. However, Vue's a few shortcomings that ultimately force his fourth placement.

Let's start with the good. Vue has the second highest number of concurrent streams at five. When you log in, Vue provides three simultaneous streams that can be used both at home and away from home. Once you have set up a home device, you will receive two additional in-house streams.

However, there are some limitations. For mobile users, only three concurrent streams can run concurrently. In addition, NFL games broadcast on channels outside of ABC or ESPN (basically anything but Monday Night Football) are not available on your smartphone.

But Vue makes up for it and offers the largest number of apps supported by TV Everywhere. In other words, you can sign in to more network-specific apps with your Vue account than any other service. Often, these third-party apps contain much more on-demand content, including previous seasons of current programs. This also provides a way to avoid the limitations of concurrent viewing because most TV Everywhere apps do not count against your cap.

PlayStation Vue is the only one App on our list that lets you watch local news and sports broadcasts away from home. Usually, streaming apps show local news and sports based on your location. However, with Vue, while on vacation, you can still watch your local team playing on the same channel as if you were at home.

Vue is one of only two apps with unlimited DVR memory. Unfortunately, the recordings expire after 28 days. Once this happens, Vue will convert your recorded programs into on-demand versions, removing the ability to rewind past commercials.

Vue also supports 60 fps, the ideal frame rate for sports watchers , The resolution is limited to 720p. In addition, unlike any other app, regional sports are not included in the base package, so you'll need to upgrade to the $ 45-month plan. In addition, Vue is the only app that does not have access to Fox Sports Networks and significantly limits access to local sports.

PlayStation Vue earns fourth place. Although there are some advantages, its limitations keep it from obtaining a higher ranking. Its price is competitive, but the total number of channels is not the largest.

However, with its five concurrent streams, high TV Everywhere support and unlimited DVR memory, Vue is definitely an attractive option for larger families. [19659003] App 5: Hulu with Live TV: Best Balance

Similar to YouTube TV, Hulu uses a live TV strategy based on a single plan. Although this strategy has some obvious limitations, it is pushing Hulu at a low price to stay competitive. The result is a service with a competitive price that offers a comparable product to the other app on our list.

One of the strongest features of Hulu is its channel selection. Hulu has the third largest number of important channels. In addition, the total number of channels is the second highest of all base level options, and even higher than Sling TV's most expensive plan.

The baseline includes a DVR with up to 50 hours of storage that never expires. However, you can increase the storage capacity for $ 14.99 to 200 hours. The same add-on, known as the Enhanced Cloud DVR, will also allow for the ability to advance commercials (the standard 50 hours do not allow this).

Hulu with Live TV is the only service offering unlimited simultaneous streams. It requires an add-on of $ 14.99, and the unlimited streams are limited to devices on your home network. However, you also get three additional streams for watching TV outside the home. To save some money, you can add both add-ons for $ 20.

The Most Important Advantage of Hulu with Live TV, however, is the access to Hulus streaming library. As a live TV member you save the price of Hulu with $ 11.99 without advertising. Not only does Hulu have a better catalog than most networks on-demand libraries, it also has several exclusive series that can not be found anywhere else. And if you want to use the video-on-demand service, you also have access to it.

The reason for Hulu's ranking in fifth place is the fact that it is the worst offer when comparing common features. For example, Hulu offers three of the four premium channels, while three other apps offer all four. While upgrading Hulu's live TV streaming to 60 fps, it remains stuck at 720p, while some of its competitors have upgraded to 1080p.

Do not watch Hulu with live TV. Not only is it a great app, but it's probably the best value. With $ 39.99 you get access to Hulus's extensive catalog of videos (including exclusive content) as well as live television. While you'll probably have to spend the extra $ 20 on the two add-ons to get the most value out of the value, this price is still much lower than most wire bills and is contract-free so you can go anytime. [19659003] Conclusion

DirecTV Now is the best live TV app for Android and iOS. No other service offers so many channels for both the cheapest and the most expensive tariff. Most of the channels you see are here, including two of the four regional sports networks. In addition, if cable TV channels improve their operations, you do not have to wait for your app to be updated, as both 1080p at 60 fps and 5.1 surround sound are already supported.

However, if you are looking for the best value, take a look at Sling TV. While not as extensive as others on our list, it does offer a variety of levels and add-ons, which means you can potentially save the most money and still get all the channels that matter to you.

What do you think about our list? Are you ready to cut the cord after reading this article? Let us know in the comment section.

Cover Picture and Screenshots of Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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