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Compare the Best TV Streaming Channels

Choose from the best streaming providers for access to your favorite TV shows and movies

Updated: August 2018
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30 Day Free Trial $12.99 /month after trial
Original content: Sneaky Pete, Transparent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Bosch, The Man in the High Castle
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New Series
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7 Day Free Trial $14.99 /month after trial
Original content: Sharp Objects, Succession, Game of Thrones, Wesworld, Big Little Lies, Veep, Silicon Valley
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Trending Now
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7 Day Free Trial $8.99 /month after trial
Original content: The Affair, Homeland, The Chi, Shameless, Billions, I'm Dying Up Here
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7 Day Free Trial $8.99 /month after trial
Original content: Power, Counterpart, Outlander, American Gods
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3 Day Free Trial $9.99 /month after trial
Original content: Criminal Minds, Star Trek: Discovery, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Fight, No Activity
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7 Day Free Trial $5.99 /month after trial
Original content: Victoria, Unforgotten, The Child In Time, Little Women
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7 Day Free Trial $6.99 /month after trial
Original content: Shetland, Bleak House, Poirot
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7 Day Free Trial $9.99 /month after trial
Original content: Neighbours 2, Central Intelligence
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What to Look for in a TV Streaming Service

If you’re the type of person who considers your television a beloved member of the family, you’re in luck. Forget cable, you can now live stream on-demand TV from numerous streaming services. What’s more, you can watch whatever you want, whenever, wherever and on whatever you want including your phone, tablet, laptop, and game console – as long as you can get online. Here, we’ll detail what to look for when considering a TV streaming service – so you’ll be able to gorge on all your favorite shows and movies.

Get the Right Hardware

Streaming TV doesn’t need to be complicated but you will need to consider a streaming media gadget. Unless you already have this capability in your smart TV, there are 2 types of streaming gadgets: set-top boxes and HDMI sticks. HDMI sticks are small USB drives which people often use as external hard drives. These will also plug into your TV – a nice tidy option for your entertainment center. Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire both offer HDMI sticks. Set-top boxes are a little bigger, and include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV etc. Lastly, you’ll need some type of indoor or outdoor antenna to get free over-the-air programming. To access most strong channels within a 35-mile radius you could buy something like the ClearStream Eclipse Indoor Antenna for a reasonable $50 on Amazon. Of course, you don’t have to buy the streaming gadgets. If you don’t have a big flat screen in your living room, you can watch most services via your computer, smartphone and tablet- all you’ll need is an internet connection.

Decide What You Want to Watch

This is the fun bit; choose your poison! Which shows do you love and which ones can you live without? Are you a Game of Thrones fanatic (HBO), or are you hooked to Stranger Things (Netflix)? Naturally you’re going to have different needs if you are a sports fan, or reliant on the news. Remember, not every streaming service will offer every TV show ever aired so make a list of the shows you can’t do without. Some streaming services like Amazon will offer the broadest range of TV shows, including original content from all of its competitors like Netflix (Orange is the New Black) Hulu (The Handmaid’s Tale) and HBO (Game of Thrones). If you still want access to all old your old cable channels, you should consider a web TV based streaming service like DirecTV where you’ll be able to access up to 120 live TV channels, as well as 25,000 on-demand titles. Another option is SlingTV where you’ll have access to 45 or 29 channels, depending on the type of bundle you choose. If you’re a serious movie-buff there are also plenty of services to please you, FilmStruck for instance has an extensive library of classic films and artsy documentaries, Netflix and Hulu are also great choices for a large range of movies.

Internet Speed

Like all good things these days, you can’t get anywhere without internet. Before choosing a streaming service, ensure you install a broadband connection that meets the needs of the service you choose. Many of these streaming services rely heavily on a strong internet connection. Some services recommend internet downstream speeds of 5Mbps, however, if you’re part of a big family with more than one streaming screen, 5Mbps won’t suffice and you might experience buffering delays. To best access streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon you’ll most likely want to have at least 25Mbps.

How Many Screens Do You Need?

When deciding on the right TV streaming service you’ll also need to think about how many different devices you’ll want to use. If you live in a large household, you’ll want to avoid the inevitable arguments over who's watching what and ensure your service can be accessed by more than one device. Netflix for instance can be streamed from your smartphone and tablet in addition to desktop and television. You’ll get access to 6 different accounts where you can stream up to two movies or TV shows at the same time. There is also an option to upgrade to four streams at the same time from your account page. In addition to Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime will also allow you to account-share with family members.

For Sports Fans

Sport-obsessed fans will have different TV needs and not all streaming services will give you access to specific sports channels and games. If you need to get your fill of baseball for instance, the Major League Baseball's watch-all-you-can streaming service is called MLB.TV and costs $49.99/year. Certain cable TV streaming services such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue will give you access to ESPN and the NFL. No matter what service you choose, deciding to cut your cable and go with a streaming service will put you in the driver’s seat. Finally, you can decide what you want to watch and when you want to watch it. So what’s stopping you from starting now?