If you’re looking for a streaming platform that offers live TV and DVR at an affordable price, and no annual contract, Direct TV Stream, Philo, and Hulu Live are a few of the best. Finding a streaming platform that meets your TV needs typically involves researching everything from pricing and channel lineup to promos that could save you money in the long run. To make things easier, we put together a short roundup of each of the packages from the aforementioned streaming companies, how much they cost, and what they offer. Find our summary below, and to further upgrade your home theater, check out our recommendations for the best streaming devices, best TVs for movie lovers, and best soundbars.
Direct TV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) is one of the better options for live television. The cheapest package is the Entertainment tier for $69.99 a month, which gets you more than 65 channels and 40,000 on-demand shows. The channel lineup includes local channels and cable networks like Bravo, E!, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, WEtv, VH1, Disney Channel, TLC, TNT, ESPN, ESPN2, Comedy Central, FX, Freeform, HGTV, History Channel, Reelz, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and HLN. There’s also an option to add Cinemax and Showtime for $11 a month each, HBO Max for an additional $14.99 a month, and additional add ons that include sports and international channels. Or you can pick the Choice tier, which is $84.99 a month for 90+ channels (including the channels in the lower tier plus ESPNU, Game Show Network, the Cooking Channel, and Comedy TV), 45,000 on-demand shows, and three months of HBO Max.
At $94.99 a month, Direct TV Stream’s Ultimate package is great for movie lovers, and also comes with three months of free HBO Max. The package features over 130 channels including all those in the cheaper packages, plus STARZ and Encore; Spanish-language channels TUDN, and Universo; as well as BBC World News, BET Her, CBS Sports, DIY Network, Discovery Family Channel, Golf Channel, Lifetime Movie Network, FX Movie Channel, Oxygen, MTV Classics, and more. Finally, the Premier tier for $139.99 per month offers a great selection of movies and shows, and includes multiple channels of Cinemax, Showtime, STARZ, and HBO, plus all of the channels in the ultimate package. Additionally, AT&T TV offers up to 20 hours of free DVR recordings, or you can upgrade to unlimited cloud storage for $10 more a month.
Hulu is another great choice that puts everything you want in one place. Hulu + Live TV is currently $54.99 a month for the first three months (after a free seven-day trial), which saves you $10 off the regular price. You’ll get 75+ channels including sports and news, plus unlimited access to the entire Hulu library where you can stream full seasons of exclusive series such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Nine Perfect Strangers,” and “Only Murders in the Building,” along with hit movies and current episodes of fan favorites ranging from “Snowfall” to “The Bachelor.” Furthermore, subscribers get personalized profiles and a custom TV lineup. Plus, you can record live TV with up to 50 hours of DVR storage, and stream from multiple devices. To save even more, get the Hulu + Live TV bundle, which adds Disney+ and ESPN+ for $72.99 a month.
Don’t underestimate Philo. It’s may be one of the lesser-known options for live TV, but it’s also the cheapest on our list. For just $25 a month, you get 63 channels including the usual suspects: AMC, BET, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, MTV, Discovery, Lifetime, and VH1. Philo offers an option to add EPIX for $7 a month, and Starz for $9 a month. You can try Philo for a free seven-day trial, and like the Hulu and Direct TV Stream, you can cancel at anytime. The company also has unlimited DVR that lets you save shows for up to 30 days, and you can stream from up to three devices at once.