Best Streaming Services

Find the best streaming service for you if you’re planning on cutting the cord
  • Best Value
    Monthly price: $64.99/mo.
    Available channels: 85+
  • Best Service for Families
    Monthly price: $54.99–$60.99/mo.
    Available channels: 65+
  • Best for Original Content
    Monthly price: $8.99–$15.99/mo.
    On-demand service
  • Best for Newer Content
    Monthly price: $5.99–$11.99/mo.
    On-demand service
  • Best Live TV Budget-Pick
    Monthly price: $30–$45/mo.
    Available channels: 30–50+

To find the best streaming service, we had to evaluate price, channels, on-demand content, user interface, and DVR storage . . . and boy, it was tough.

Our five top streaming services are all great options, but one may be better suited for you than the other. And we’re here to help you make that decision.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

How do the best streaming services compare?
Streaming serviceMonthly price*ServiceDetails
YouTube TV$64.99/mo.Live TVView Plans
Hulu + Live TV$54.99–$60.99/mo.Live TVView Plans
Netflix$8.99–$15.99/mo.On-demandView Plans
Hulu$5.99–$11.99/mo.On-demandView Plans
Sling TV$30–$45/mo.Live TVView Plans

*Data effective 9/1/2020.

These are the factors we looked at to determine the best streaming services:

  • Price
  • Channels
  • On-demand content
  • User interface
  • DVR storage
A badge depicting this brand as the Editor's Choice for September 2020

YouTube TV gives you the best value

So far, YouTube TV is the GOAT

How much does YouTube TV cost?
ProviderMonthly priceTV channel countDetails
YouTube TV$64.99/mo.85+View Plans

Data as of 9/1/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What we like

  • All of the major channels
  • Unlimited DVR storage

Channels you’ll love

To put it simply, YouTube TV is our favorite live TV streaming service, and we also named it the best streaming service for sports. So it easily made the No. 1 spot in this top streaming service evaluation.

YouTube TV Live Tab

Check out the channel lineup to see if it has the channels you and your family want. YouTube TV has over 70 channels, including the following:

  • ABC
  • Animal Planet
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • FOX
  • ESPN
  • FS1
  • HGTV
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • SEC Network
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • Tennis Channel
  • TNT

Unlimited DVR storage space

The DVR’s unlimited storage space is a feature that plays into the value of YouTube TV.

No other streaming service gives you an unlimited DVR storage space, and your recordings will save for nine months.

You can record all episodes from The Office and Friends, as well as all the movies your heart desires.

The DVR comes in handy during game season too. You can record a great NFL football game one season, save it, and watch it again during the summer when you’re missing the gridiron action.

What we don’t like

  • No Hallmark or HISTORY channel

Missing a few channels, but it might not be a big deal

Bad news for Hallmark movie junkies and Ancient Aliens fans . . . you can’t get your fix with YouTube TV, unfortunately.

But if you do go the YouTube TV route, we have some solutions:

YouTube TV summary

  • Good: YouTube TV has the best channel lineup and the best DVR storage in the industry.
  • Bad: YouTube TV is missing a couple of channels, but it doesn’t necessarily break the service.
  • Full review: Check out our full review of YouTube TV for more detailed information.
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Hulu + Live TV is best for families

Get more ESPN channels along with your Lifetime and HISTORY channels

How much does Hulu + Live TV cost?
ProviderMonthly priceTV channel countDetails
Hulu + Live TV$54.99–$60.99/mo.65+View Plans

Data as of 9/2/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What we like

  • Live TV channels and on-demand content
  • Easy-to-use user interface

Lots of entertainment

Hulu + Live TV comes in at a close second behind YouTube TV for sports watching and live TV streaming. We have named it best for entertainment and best for binge-watching.

And you’ll see why.

Hulu Live has more than 60 channels, and the channel lineup includes the following:

  • Animal Planet
  • Cartoon Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • CNN
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • FOX News
  • Food Network
  • FS1
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime
  • Olympic Channel
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • TNT
  • USA

In comparison to YouTube TV, with Hulu + Live TV, you’ll get more ESPN channels like ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN College Extra, and ESPN Goal Line, as well as your Lifetime and History channel. But you won’t get AMC, BBC, NBA TV, PBS, Tennis Channel, or Universal Kids.

Not only do you get live channels, but you get all of Hulu’s on-demand content, as well! Hulu has popular originals that we highlight in the Hulu (on-demand service) section below, but enjoy other on-demand content on Hulu Live including the following:

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Outlander
  • Westworld
  • Family Guy
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • The Outsider
  • The Good Doctor
  • The Voice
  • Rick and Morty
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
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Hulu + Live TV vs. Hulu on-demand content
The on-demand content you get with Hulu (on-demand service) is the same content you’ll get with Hulu + Live TV. You just get live TV on top of all the on-demand goodness!

Sleek interface

Hulu wins at the interface game. Hulu has a unique interface that is easy to navigate and quickly helps you find something you want to watch.

Hulu Live guide

It’s also aesthetically pleasing, if we do say so ourselves.

Hulu unique interface screenshot

What we don’t like

  • Pricey enhanced DVR

DVR storage is minimal

Hulu’s included cloud DVR comes with 50 hours. That means you can record 20 episodes of The Kitchen, 20 episodes of Home Town, and 10 Lifetime movies.

It does sound like a lot of storage, but down the road, it will add up. Maybe you’ll want to save some Food Network shows so you can make those meals when the kids visit home, or you’ll want to keep that Lifetime movie in your recordings to watch whenever you’d like.

If you want to keep shows and movies in your recordings, almost as if you own them as a DVD to watch whenever you desire, you’ll want to upgrade to 200 hours.

You’ll just have to pay an extra $10 per month.

Hulu + Live TV summary

  • Good: Hulu + Live TV has channels and on-demand content for the whole family to choose from.
  • Bad: The DVR storage is subpar, and you’ll probably want to upgrade.
  • Full review: Check out our full review of Hulu + Live TV.

Netflix is best for original content

Netflix is the king of original content

How much is Netflix?
ProviderMonthly priceLearn more
Netflix$8.99$15.99*View Plans
Data as of 07/29/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 07/29/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

What we like

  • Lots of original content
  • Traditional interface

Who doesn’t love one-of-a-kind content?

Netflix is No. 1 in original content with famous directors, producers, and actors, as well as comedy specials. Lots of Netflix’s original content has become popular and known.

Obviously, the most popular original series at this time is Tiger King, and it’s talked about and referred to constantly on social media. Other great Netflix originals include:

  • Ozark (with Jason Bateman)
  • Stranger Things
  • Bird Box (with Sandra Bullock)
  • Always Be My Maybe (with Marcus Kim and Keanu Reeves)
  • Orange Is the New Black
  • BoJack Horseman
  • Bright (with Will Smith)

You’ll also see super hilarious one- to two-hour comedy specials performed by comedians Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Joe Rogan, Chris Rock, Bert Kreischer, and Ricky Gervais.

You’ll have hours upon hours of content to watch while you wind down for the day.

The familiar interface

But we have to say we love Netflix’s traditional, easy-to-use interface of Popular, Trending, New Releases, Top 10 in the US Today, and so on. You’re guaranteed to find something.

With Netflix, you can find yourself in bed all day just watching great entertainment. Seriously. It’s not like we experienced it, or anything.

On top of the friendly interface and the fact that we can find ourselves stuck in bed, Netflix’s parental controls are on point. This is why we named it the best streaming service for kids. You can create a kids profile and a PIN so your little ones can’t access mature TV shows and movies.

Netflix summary

  • Good: Netflix’s sleek interface categorizes loads of on-demand content and exclusive originals just for you.
  • Full review: Check out our full review of Netflix.

Hulu is best for newer content

Hulu’s unbeatable timing with new content is partly what makes it so great

How much is Hulu?
Streaming serviceMonthly priceDetails
hulu logoHulu$5.99–$11.99/mo.View Plans

Data effective 9/2/2020.

What we like

  • Newer content
  • Known for original content

We want new content. When do we want it? Now!

You can count on Hulu to deliver the brand new episode of This is Us and A Million Little Things soon after it airs on live television.

For example, when The Bachelor airs on ABC Monday night, it will become available by 9 a.m. (ET) the next morning.

Now that’s great timing. Mostly for us impatient people who don’t want to see any spoilers on Twitter or Instagram.

Other next-day available TV shows include Saturday Night Live, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Schitt’s Creek.

Great original content

Although Netflix won the title for best original content, Hulu comes in at a very close second.

Hulu originals screenshot

You won’t find these shows anywhere else but on this specific streaming service. Hulu includes the following original content:

  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • High Fidelity
  • Hillary
  • Future Man
  • Big Time Adolescence
  • Letterkenny
  • Crawlers
  • Shrill
  • Castle Rock
  • The Act
  • Marvel’s Runaways

Hulu summary

  • Good: Hulu gives you newly-aired episodes straight to your streaming device within 12 hours.
  • Full review: Check out our review of Hulu in our best streaming service for kids article.

Sling TV is the best live TV budget-pick

Sling TV has the lowest prices in the live TV streaming industry

Sling TV details
Streaming serviceMonthly priceChannelsDetails
Sling TV logoSling TV$30–$4532–53View Plans

Data effective 9/2/2020.

What we like

  • Decent pricing for Live TV service

Great for budget-minded people

Sling TV has three inexpensive packages: Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange + Blue.

Sling Orange and Sling Blue are each $30 per month, which is an excellent price. The difference is in the channels.

Sling Orange has about 32 channels, including Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Freeform, and Food Network.

Sling Blue has about 47, including Fox News, MSNBC, Nick Jr., TBS, and, USA. So we encourage you to check out the channel lineups of both to find out which package is the best for you and your family.

But we have to say this about the Blue + Orange package: it’s not worth it. For just $5 more, you can get YouTube TV, which has a DVR with unlimited storage and about 15 more channels than the combined package of Sling Orange + Blue.

What we don’t like

  • DVR space

Worst DVR in the industry

We hate to say it, but Sling TV’s DVR is last place among other live TV streaming services.

It comes with a 10-hour DVR storage. WHAT?

And it’s $5 to get 50 hours of DVR storage space. Remember how we were complaining about Hulu’s included 50-hour DVR storage? We might have to take it back now.

If you choose to keep the 10-hour DVR storage, just remember, your older recordings will automatically delete so the DVR can find new storage space for your newer recordings.

Sling TV summary

  • Good: Sling TV has the best pricing and decent channels for those trying to save money.
  • Bad: You could say Sling TV’s DVR needs some improvement.
  • Full review: Check out our full review of Sling TV.
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Recap: Which is the best streaming service?

We sorted through more than a dozen streaming services to highlight some of the best. We considered pricing, channel, on-demand content, and user interface to determine which streaming service deserves your attention. Overall, we can say this about each:

  • YouTube TV: YouTube TV gives you over 85 great channels, on-demand content, and a solid DVR. This is why it won “best value” of the bunch.
  • Hulu + Live TV: Perfect for families, Hulu Live gives you a variety of channels and on-demand content. Everyone in the family is guaranteed to find something to watch.
  • Netflix: Netflix’s original content is tough to beat. Netflix’s ample funding provides for great productions you’ll only find on this streaming service.
  • Hulu: If you want to watch the latest episode of your favorite show but don’t have cable TV, Hulu is the choice for you.
  • Sling TV: If you want live TV channels but are on a budget, Sling TV is the service you’ll be most happy with.

What do you think?

Which streaming service do you think is the best? Tell us what you think in the comments.