Live TV Streaming Services: FAQs

Can I get a free trial for a live streaming service?

DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, YouTube TV, all offer 7-day free trials, while PlayStation Vue offers a 5-day free trial.

Provider Free Trial
DIRECTV NOW 7-Day Free Trial
fuboTV 7-Day Free Trial
Hulu Live TV 7-Day Free Trial
Philo 7-Day Free Trial
PlayStation Vue 5-Day Free Trial
Sling TV 7-Day Free Trial
YouTube TV 7-Day Free Trial

Can I get a free device like an Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast for signing up?

Some providers offers new users a free device when you sign-up for a streaming service.

DIRECTV NOW offers a Apple TV 4K ($179) for $0 when you pre-pay for 3 months of service or a Roku Streaming Stick ($50) for $0 when you pre-pay for 1 month.

YouTube TV offers a free Chromecast ($40) after complete your first month of service.

Sling TV offers a free Roku Express ($29) when you pre-pay for 2 months of service.

How much does a live streaming service cost?

Most services start at $40/month, but they each offer a different number of top ranked cable channels.

Provider Top Cable Channels Cost
DIRECTV NOW 34 of Top 35 Starting at $35/mo.
fuboTV 14 of Top 35 Starting at $40/mo.
Hulu Live TV 22 of Top 35 Starting at $40/mo.
Philo 17 of Top 35 Starting at $16/mo.
PlayStation Vue 25 of Top 35 Starting at $40/mo.
Sling TV 14 of Top 35 Starting at $20/mo.
YouTube TV 18 of Top 35 Starting at $40/mo.

What channels are available on each service?

Each service offers a very different set of channels. DIRECTV NOW offers the most channels including locals and 34 of the top 35 cable channels on their basic plan.

We suggest you look at our channel comparison to see which channels each service offers.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$35–$70 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $40–$75 $25 $25 $40
A&E - -
AMC -
Animal Planet - - - - -
BET - - - ^ $5 -
Bravo - -
Cartoon Network - -
CNN - -
Comedy Central - - - -
Discovery - - - - -
Disney Channel - - -
E! - - ^ $5
ESPN - - -
Food Network -
Fox News - - -
Fox Sports 1 - -
Freeform - - -
FX - -
FXX - -
Hallmark - - ≥ $45 ^ $5 ^ $5 -
HGTV -
History - -
Investigation Discovery - - - - -
Lifetime - -
MSNBC - - ^ $5
MTV - - - ^ $5 ^ $5 -
Nickelodeon - - - - - -
OWN ≥ $50 - - - - -
Paramount Network - - - ^ $5 ^ $5 -
Syfy - -
TBS - -
TLC - - - - -
TNT - -
truTV - - ^ $5
USA Network - -
VH1 - - - ^ $5 ^ $5 -

Will I get my local channels?

DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV include CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC in all plans in most major markets.

fuboTV does not offer ABC, but offers CBS, NBC, and FOX in some major markets.

Sling TV include NBC and FOX in their Sling Blue plan in a few markets.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$35–$70 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $40–$75 $25 $25 $40
ABC - - ^ $5 -
CBS - - -
Fox - -
NBC - -
Telemundo - - -
The CW - - - -
Univision - - - ^ $5 -

Local channels are not available in every market. We suggest you look at our local channel comparison to see which local channels each service offers.

Percentage of markets with at least 3 local networks

Provider Top 20 Markets Top 50 Markets
DIRECTV NOW 85% 46%
fuboTV 60% 30%
Hulu Live TV 100% 70%
PlayStation Vue 90% 76%
Sling TV 25% 10%
YouTube TV 85% 60%

Will I get my local regional sports networks (RSNS)?

Every live streaming service offers regional sports networks (RSNs), however not all regional sports networks are available on provider.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$35–$70 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $40–$75 $25 $25 $40
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) ≥ $50 - ≥ $45 -

We suggest you look at our RSN comparison to see which RSN each service offers.

Can I stream local channels while traveling?

Each provider has different restrictions on local channels while traveling.

Provider Restrictions
DIRECTV NOW Only available when in your home market.
fuboTV Locals available outside your home market (except FOX in some cities).
Hulu Live TV When traveling, you will see locals of the market you are currently in.
PlayStation Vue When traveling, you will see locals of the market you are currently in.
Sling TV Only available when in your home market.
YouTube TV When traveling, you will see locals of the market you are currently in.

Can I stream regional sports networks (RSNs) while traveling?

Each provider has different restrictions on RSNs while traveling.

Provider Restrictions
DIRECTV NOW Only available when in your home market.
fuboTV Most RSNs available outside your home market.
Hulu Live TV Most RSNs available outside your home market.
PlayStation Vue Most RSNs available outside your home market.
Sling TV Only available when in your home market.
YouTube TV Most RSNs available outside your home market.

Can I use my phone, tablet, computer, or TV streaming device to stream TV?

Live TV streaming services work with most of your existing devices, like phones, tablets, computers, and TV streaming devices like Roku, FireTV, Chromecast, and Apple TV.

DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV offer apps on all major TV streaming devices. Currently, YouTube TV does not offer native TV apps except for Android TV. However, you can AirPlay or Cast to your TV.

If you don’t already have a device, some providers offer a free device when you sign-up for a new account.

What device do you suggest we use for the service?

We suggest that you spend a little bit more to get a high quality streaming device like a Apple TV, Fire TV, or Roku Premiere+.

While it is $20-30 more than a streaming stick, they will generally provide a more stable streaming experience.

Check out our list of best deals on streaming devices.

Can I use my streaming TV subscription to log in to other TV apps and websites?

Each subscription offers the ability to log in to the different channel TV apps and websites.

Provider App Logins
DIRECTV NOW 45 Apps
fuboTV 26 Apps
Hulu Live TV 14 Apps
PlayStation Vue 67 Apps
Sling TV 18 Apps
YouTube TV 23 Apps

How many people can watch my Live TV subscription at the same time?

Most services offer the ability to stream to 2-3 devices at the same time.

Provider Simultaneous Viewing
DIRECTV NOW 2 Streams
fuboTV 2 Streams
Hulu Live TV 2 Streams
Philo 3 Streams
PlayStation Vue Up to 5 Streams
Sling TV Up to 3 Streams
YouTube TV 3 Streams

Do the Live TV Streaming Services offer a DVR?

Most services include a cloud DVR, which lets you record streaming content to watch at a later time. Although Sling TV has an excellent DVR, it charges $5/month for it.

Provider DVR
DIRECTV NOW 20 hrs
fuboTV 30 hrs
Hulu Live TV 50 hrs
Philo Unlimited (30 days)
PlayStation Vue Unlimited (28 days)
Sling TV 50 hours ($5/mo.)
YouTube TV Unlimited (8 mo.)

Do the Live TV Streaming Services stream in HD or 4K?

All the services stream in at least 720p which is HD quality. DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, and PlayStation Vue stream at 60 fps (frames per second) which will make sports look smoother.

How fast does my Internet need to be stream a Live TV Streaming Service?

While most of the services suggest 5-10 Mbps, we suggest 20-25 Mbps if you want to minimize buffering.

Will I be locked in a contract?

No. Live TV streaming services are month-to-month with no commitment. You can cancel at any time without penalty.

Do I need a cable box?

One of the great benefits of a live TV streaming service is that you can use as streaming device instead of an expensive cable box.

Live TV Streaming Pages