Best Streaming TV service?

2010mini

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Original poster
Jun 19, 2013
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for those who subscribe to Streaming TV services, which one is the best? Cost is not a big concern of mine. I rather am more interested in quality. Which has the best and most reliable DVR service?

TIA.
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2014
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You probably should go elsewhere for this, like a rating service where they compare all the options. That said, I'm guessing Directv NOW where you can get a free ATV 4K.
 

rolandhurt31

macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2016
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4
for those who subscribe to Streaming TV services, which one is the best? Cost is not a big concern of mine. I rather am more interested in quality. Which has the best and most reliable DVR service?

TIA.
It would be helpful if you stated what country you're in, as you'll get a better response if people know what country you're wanting a service for. I could suggest one to you but as it's restricted to UK only it might not be available to you.

Roland
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,110
395
Colorado
Ditto what @StarShot suggests. Most will sub to one of the streaming services and be biased towards that one.

The state of things is in flux, what is best today might be mediocre in a month.

DTVNow is working well for me, am testing the upcoming Beta release. DVR is mediocre, kind of limited space, poor control and management of DVR content, but it is there for a few recordings (probably 15-20 shows). The upcoming DTVNow will be a vast improvement over current offering. Bonus, free ATV4K with pre-pay first 3 months.
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 19, 2013
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It would be helpful if you stated what country you're in, as you'll get a better response if people know what country you're wanting a service for. I could suggest one to you but as it's restricted to UK only it might not be available to you.

Roland
Sorry. I’m in the USA
 

DFWHD

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2011
130
20
https://www.cordcuttersnews.com

I'm researching this also and found this site to be very helpful. I'm a little overwhelmed at this point trying to dig through all the options out there.
We recently cut the cord and that site was a huge help in making the decision. To answer your question, which one is best, that's really going to depend on the quality of your internet service and what streaming solution you use. We're on AT&T U-verse 50/10 and here is what we have tried and settled on...

DTVN - We tried it late last year to get the ATV4K, but the service suffered from a lot of buffering issues which continued into January. They limit you to 2 simultaneous streams and there is still no DVR (coming soon though). The late January update to the DTVN app cleared up the buffering issue for us, but 2 streams and no DVR was a deal breaker for the family. Our prepaid subscription will expire soon and we will not be renewing as of now.

PS Vue - We did the free trial in early January with Vue's Core package and that met our channel needs. The DVR is really good, they allow 5 streams and there were no buffering issues, so we subscribed after the trial (yeah, I know we've got two services now, but DTVN was all about the free ATV4K and was unbearable in early January. We've supplemented Vue with a Tivo Roamio OTA unit after cutting the cord and the family is fine with it (life is great). We're using Vue on ATV and Roku Streaming Stick+ and both are solid performers. We did try an Amazon FireTV Stick before the Roku, but PS Vue was really slow on that so we returned it. DTVN seemed to do fine on all platforms after that January update (even on the FireTV while we had it). The one downside is PS Vue is apparently geo-locked, which means we can't use it directly if we take the ATV on vacation (can use the TV anywhere apps). From what I've read, DTVN does not have Geo-locking.

The great thing about streaming services is no contracts, so if you don't like one, ditch it and try another.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,585
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The best streaming TV service is really subjective. My wife and I have only tried DTVNow and PS Vue. For us, PS Vue won hands down. We haven’t tried the other streaming TV services since we are extremely happy with Vue and have no reason to switch.

Like the other forum members mentioned, the cord cutter subreddit has a good wealth of information along with the cord cutter news website.
 

mallbritton

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2006
666
109
As others have already said which live TV streaming service is "The Best" is going to be subjective. You might want to take a look at this site for a pretty good comparison of the existing services: https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/philo-vs-sling-tv-vs-directv-now-vs-playstation-vue-vs-fubo-tv-vs-hulu-vs-youtube-tv-updated-february-2018/.

That said, some questions you might want to ask yourself are do you demand a DVR? What channels do you watch most? Is live TV or VOD more important for you? Is access to your local broadcast affiliates important; do any of these services provide you that access?
 
Generally, PS Vue if you can be happy without DD5.1. However, it's really a matter of identifying the channels you want and then finding the streamer that offers those channels. The services are not really "the same" in terms of channels. If you write down a "must have" channel list, you may find that only a single provider might actually have those channels, and/or NONE of them have them.

You also have to be careful. The marketing may imply channels- such as the locals- that really aren't available as local channels. This may or may not matter to you but the bigger advice is to dig in and verify rather than just look at a list of channels and assume.

I came close to going with PS Vue, but ultimately, I did not want to do without DD5.1 so I went with the Channels App w/DVR + HDHomeRun Boxes including one they have called Prime w/Comcast CableCard. No Comcast lease fees for boxes or DVRs, I do get the Comcast "triple play" pricing (which tends to be cheaper than "double play" or "broadband only" and then piling on some streaming options), etc. Stay on top of Comcast and one can keep re-upping the promotional rates (if there is competition in their area). All local OTA channels integrate into the same on-screen guide via another HDHomeRun box.

If by "quality" you want great picture & sound, I think cable/satt still beats any of the streamers. And with that Channels app + HDHomeRun boxes, you can get around the lease box fees while leaning on :apple:TV as THE box.
 
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MistrSynistr

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2014
1,213
1,267
I had SlingTV for about a year..for the first 4-5 months had no issues, was fairly cheap..then suddenly just tons of weird channels not showing, blackouts, main menu not loading for 10 mins... saw the Apple TV 4K deal you get "free" with 3 months DirectTVNow paid upfront...on that now for about a week, works great, NO streaming or menu issues, better channels even on the lowest tier.
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 19, 2013
4,103
3,688
Generally, PS Vue if you can be happy without DD5.1. However, it's really a matter of identifying the channels you want and then finding the streamer that offers those channels. The services are not really "the same" in terms of channels. If you write down a "must have" channel list, you may find that only a single provider might actually have those channels, and/or NONE of them have them.

You also have to be careful. The marketing may imply channels- such as the locals- that really aren't available as local channels. This may or may not matter to you but the bigger advice is to dig in and verify rather than just look at a list of channels and assume.

I came close to going with PS Vue, but ultimately, I did not want to do without DD5.1 so I went with the Channels App w/DVR + HDHomeRun Boxes including one they have called Prime w/Comcast CableCard. No Comcast lease fees for boxes or DVRs, I do get the Comcast "triple play" pricing (which tends to be cheaper than "double play" or "broadband only" and then piling on some streaming options), etc. Stay on top of Comcast and one can keep re-upping the promotional rates (if there is competition in their area).

If by "quality" you want great picture & sound, I think cable/satt still beats any of the streamers. And with that Channels app + HDHomeRun boxes, you can get around the lease box fees while leaning on :apple:TV as THE box.
Wonder how PS Vue compares to YouTube TV?
 

turbineseaplane

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Mar 19, 2008
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Network TV can be a hanging up point on some of them..obviously eliminated if you can use an OTA antenna for that portion of things.
 

Volusia

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2016
358
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Central Florida
As others mentioned, Cordcuttersnews.com is a great source for information on this topic (it is where I went prior to cutting the cord). It really depends on what you want to watch. Currently, we have Hulu commercial free and Amazon plus a free of the free offerings (these don't get used often, but do some interesting shows). We also installed an antenna in our attic that allows us to pick up NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox, plus about 15-20 other channels. Cable bill went from $202 per month to about $88 per month - which really isn't totally accurate because we already had Amazon Prime for the shipping.
 

colodane

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2012
789
254
Colorado
Does anyone here have recent experience with YouTube TV? I'm especially interested in learning about performance of the DVR and fast forwarding through commercials on DVD and on paused live viewing. It seems to have all the channels I wold want at a reasonable price, but the devil is in the details.
 

Frankfurt

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
281
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USA
HD Antenna for the "Big Four" (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX)
Hulu
Netflix
HBO NOW (or any other premium tier if so desired).

Done.
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2002
1,913
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San Diego, CA
Y...That said, I'm guessing Directv NOW where you can get a free ATV 4K.
Oh wow! The user asked about the "Best Streaming TV service" not for some deal on the Apple TV. DirectTV Now is probably the WORST streaming service available. The content on DirectTV is okay and right now they are offering some big discounts, it's just that the DirectTV Now app and its back-end services are absolutely horrible.

So, if you want to actually stream content and particularly if you want on-demand content then DirectTV Now is NOT the correct answer to the OP's request.

Actually, I think it is pretty hard to beat Netflix, but my favorite streaming service is probably PBS and it's one of the cheapest too (free for the current week's content, $60 per year for nearly unlimited access).
 

BeSweeet

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2009
1,566
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San Antonio, TX
The best way to find your answer is to give the free trials a go for each service. You won't be charged anything as long as you cancel before the trial ends. It's best to cancel as soon as you start the free trial as it will continue working until it ends.

Channels you need is usually a big factor..

From a quality and reliability standpoint, I find YouTubeTV to be really hard to beat.

Google is very good at this sort of thing.
I personally found YouTube TV's quality to be the worst of the bunch. IMO, live content is just as poorly-compressed as regular YouTube uploads to where pixelation / compression is easily noticeable.

I'm pretty happy with Vue and DTVN but give the edge to Vue because you can play streams in any media player, like VLC.
 

jeepw5

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2017
3
1
I agree with a previous post. I tried DTV Now and the interface was awful -- a real confusing mess. Got rid of it in a hurry. From what I've seen lately, PS Vue looks like the best choice I've personally test driven.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 601
Mar 19, 2008
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I personally found YouTube TV's quality to be the worst of the bunch
Clearly why asking here is useless for most.
People need to try them all.

YTTV was the hands down winner where I am (so far).
In fact I don't think I saw a pixelly stream w/ them one single time, but it was only for 2 weeks (2 sep trials now)
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 19, 2013
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So for me local channels are a must. And unfortunately where I live, not all are available. But SiliconDust has a solution: they have a skinny bundle like the other companies. But with their hardware, I can fill in the missing locals with an antenna. And biggest bonus: Channels App works seamlessly with it.
 
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