Livestreaming TV, which is live TV programming delivered over the internet instead of cable lines or satellite signals, is generally cheaper and easier to set up than traditional TV (two fewer things to worry about during a moving frenzy).
Of the handful of livestreaming TV providers currently operating, we like YouTube TV for its wide range of channels, ease of navigation, and unlimited DVR storage—that’s right, unlimited.
YouTube TV carries a healthy lineup of live entertainment, sports, and local channels, and features a killer search function courtesy of Google (YouTube’s owner, of course).
You’ll need a solid, speedy internet connection to use YouTube TV—or any livestreaming TV service—as well as a streaming device like Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV.
YouTube TV’s biggest perk: unlike cable or satellite, you’re not locked into an annual contract; YouTube TV is billed month-to-month.
There’s only one YouTube TV plan, and it comes with over 85 channels—including most local broadcasters. Plus, it carries PBS and PBS Kids, which no other livestreaming TV service has. On the entertainment side, there’s AMC, Comedy Central, TNT, TBS, Syfy, HGTV, ID, Food Network, and many more. For sports, there’s ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, NBA TV, and NBC Sports Network, among others.
Missing from YouTube TV are only A&E, Hallmark, Lifetime, VICE, and a smattering of others. If you absolutely have to have those channels, you could get a secondary subscription to Philo, a $20-a-month skinny streamer and still be paying less overall than a cable or satellite bill.
YouTube TV’s cloud DVR doesn’t give you unlimited storage space forever—after nine months, shows and movies are deleted. Still, that’s a generous amount of space and time for even the most hardcore TV consumer.
Another advantage of YouTube’s cloud DVR over the physical hard-drive DVRs used by cable and satellite: there are no recording conflicts with multiple shows. You can record as many channels simultaneously as you want, whereas cable and satellite DVRs limit you to as few as five. No wonder YouTube TV gives you nine months to catch up on your DVRed shows.