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We recently made the decision to get rid of our DirecTV subscription and try saving some money with an online streaming service. I did a lot of searching online but wasn’t able to find a good head to head comparison of the different services available. We didn’t try every single service out there, but we tried enough to get a good comparison.
The first service we tried was DirecTV Now, which seemed like a natural choice since we were coming off of DirecTV. This service has 4 basic channel packages that run from $40-75, and you can add on extras like HBO or international channels. You get the first week free, so we tried the most expensive package with all the ad ons. If we had paid for a month of these services it would have been over $100, which is significantly more than what we were paying for our regular DirecTV subscription.
Pros: The selection of channels is great with DirecTV Now, and the DVR is one of the easiest to set up and use. It included most of our local channels.
Cons: The guide is clunky and hard to navigate. On Demand content was hard to find and limited.
We tried Sling a few years ago when it first came out. It was terribly glitchy and frustrating. I assumed the service had improved over the years, but when we tried a free week of this service I found out I was sadly mistaken. Sling offers plans from $25-40, so the price is amazing. Unfortunately it was so glitchy (wouldn’t play, buffered, etc) that we didn’t even last the entire free week before cancelling.
Pros: Great price. Customizable add ons are only $5.
I was excited to try YouTube TV, but it’s not available in my area so we couldn’t give it a shot.
Hulu Live TV
My favorite of the services we tried was Hulu Live TV. It had basically all of the channels we were interested in, and the interface was a lot easier to use. I love that there are past seasons of shows as well as live TV.
Pros: Good channel selection, ease of use.
Cons: On the higher priced end of streaming services.
One service we briefly tried is Philo. This is by far the cheapest service, and the interface is clunky and not my favorite. But, you can’t beat the price! I liked that they only required a phone number for a free trial, and not a card number.
Cons: Limited channels, hard to use
Which One Did We Choose?
Which service did we choose? None of them! Initially we paid for a month of Hulu Live, but in the end we decided to forgo live TV for now and stick with Netflix and regular Hulu.
Ultimately I would encourage you to sign up for the free trials each service offers and see which one is a good fit for you!