Live TV Streaming Services Compared: DIRECTV STREAM vs. fuboTV vs. Hulu + Live vs. Sling vs. YouTube TV

Whether you’re new to the world of cord cutting or shopping around for a new live TV streaming service, you may be wondering what each service has to offer, what sets them apart, and which is the right choice for you. In this guide, we’re comparing the top live TV streaming services – DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV, to help you make your decision.

Pricing

When we survey Cord Cutters News readers, cost is the top factor when making the switch to cord cutting and choosing a streaming service. Here’s how the monthly subscription costs for the top live TV streaming services compare.

DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
Starting Monthly Price$69.99$69.99$69.99$35$64.99

Device Compatibility

Let’s look at which services work with the devices you own.

DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
Roku
Fire TV
Apple TV
Android TV
Chromecast
iOS
Android
Xbox
Playstation

Streaming Local Channels

Most live TV streaming services are a good option for watching your local channels. Sling TV only offers a limited number of locals in select markets and suggesst that subscribers use an antenna to access their locals. In fact, Sling TV will give you a free HD antenna, if you prepay for two months of service.

DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
ABC
CBS
FOX✓*
NBC✓*
PBS
CW
*in select areas – enter your zip code on the service’s website for a full list of channels in your area

Streaming Top Cable Channels

When choosing a live TV streaming service, it’s important to make sure you’ll have access to your favorite channels. Below, we’re looking at the 35 most-viewed cable channels. To see the full list of channels you’ll get with each streaming service, go to the service’s homepage and enter your zip code to see everything available in your area.

DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
A&E
AMC
BET✓*
Bravo
Cartoon Network
CNN
Comedy Central
Discovery
Disney✓*
E!
ESPN
DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
Food Network
Fox News
Freeform
FX
FXX✓*
Hallmark✓*
HGTV
History
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime
DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
MSNBC
MTV✓*
Nickelodeon
Paramount✓*
SyFy
TBS
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel✓*
Tru TV
USA
VH1✓*
WE tv✓*
*requires a plan upgrade or add-on

Streaming Sports

Streaming subscribers can watch many nationally televised games with a live TV streaming service. Because of carriage disputes, most streaming services do not carry regional sports networks (RSNs). You can find Bally Sports Networks (formerly Fox Sports Networks) on DIRECTV STREAM, while Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and fuboTV all carry NBC Sports Networks. Again, we recommend entering your zip code on the homepage of each service to see exactly which channels you’ll get in your area.

DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
ESPN
ESPN2
FS1
FS2✓*✓*
TBS
TNT
USA
*requires a plan upgrade or add-on

Number of Simultaneous Streams

  • Hulu + Live TV allows you to watch on up to 2 screens at a time. If you want to watch simultaneously on more than 2 devices, you can add the Unlimited Screens option for $9.99/mo.
  • YouTube TV allows for 3 streams at once both inside and outside of your home.
  • DIRECTV STREAM allows you to watch on up to 20 screens at once, if connected to your home network, and 3 screens at once outside of the home.
  • Sling TV will allow you to stream on 1 device at a time for Sling Orange, 3 devices at once for Sling Blue, or 4 devices at once with a Sling Orange + Sling Blue subscription.
  • fuboTV allows 3 streams at once out-of-the-box, while you can also get up to 10 streams inside of your home and 2 streams outside (12 in total) with the Unlimited Screens Add-On for $9.99/mo.

DVR

  • Hulu + Live TV will offer unlimited DVR to all subscribers beginning April 13, 2022.
  • YouTube TV has unlimited DVR storage and will keep shows for nine months.
  • DIRECTV STREAM comes with 20 hours of DVR storage. You can upgrade to unlimited storage for $10/mo.
  • Sling TV offers 50 hours of DVR storage for all subscribers. You can upgrade to DVR Plus to get 200 hours of storage for $5/mo.
  • fuboTV accounts come with 250 hours of Cloud DVR space at no extra charge.

Which Streaming Service Should You Choose?

Hopefully, looking at the channels and features for each live TV streaming service can help you make your decision. Before subscribing, be sure to take advantage of free trials to see how you like the interface of each; how it looks on your TV, computer, and mobile devices; and which offers the user experience that works best for you.