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Best Internet for TV Streaming
Streaming your favorite shows, music and movies requires the best streaming service and the tech to handle it. Depending on where you live, you may have a single DSL or fiber provider, one cable provider and multiple satellite options. If you've used our tool to find your internet providers by ZIP code, you may have seen any of the following types of service:
- Cell service
- Fixed wireless
Some of these providers are good for internet service, some are good for TV, and some are good for both. Fiber is generally your best bet if you can get it, and satellite TV may be beneficial for customers in the long run. Note that the following assumes you can get cable and DSL. If you cannot, read more recommendations below based on the data. (See sources below)
Best Internet TV Streaming Services
Here are some of the best streaming services for TV viewers who want to cut the cord and give up cable (or add to their current subscription). Which streaming service is best for you? That depends on your price range and the type of content you love. Some services allow you to choose which channels you have access to, while the best TV streaming service for many customers includes all standard channels.
|Service||Starting Price||Free Trial||Additional User Profiles?||Cloud DVR?|
|Hulu + Live TV||$54.99/mo.||Y||Y||Y|
|AT&T TV Now||$86.00/mo.||Y||N||Y|
|T-Mobile TVision Now||$90.00/mo.||N||Y||N|
Sling TV comes in three highly customizable month-to-month packages called Sling Orange, Sling Blue and Sling Orange & Blue. Prices start at $30/mo. for 32 channels and go up to $45 for 53 channels. In addition to the standard packages, Sling offers extras like their Cloud DVR, sports channels, premium channels and more depending on your individual or family needs.
Starting at $64.99/mo. for 70 channels, YouTube TV is a great option for people who are willing to spend a bit more per month to have a wide variety of channels. Also, by paying a bit higher price than some of the other streaming service options, YouTube TV customers get all channels for the same cost. No add-on costs for things like sports channels, extra storage, local channels and more.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV subscription packages start at $54.99/mo. for 65 channels, including sports and news channels. Customers can add on things like premium channels, DVR, unlimited screens and more for an additional cost. Many people might already be familiar with Hulu for their Hulu without Live TV plan for $5.99 with ads.
AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now is offered in five packages, starting with the Optimo Mas package at $86 for 90+ channels and going up to the Ultimate package at $135 for 125+ channels. Regardless of which package you choose, you can add on a variety of options like premium channels, international channels, sports channels and more. Their cloud DVR is included in all packages, so customers do not have to worry about storage space.
T-Mobile TVision Home
With T-Mobile TVision Home, customers can enjoy more than 154 channels for $90/mo. This includes one set-up box with the option to add on accessibility for more devices in the home. You can also choose to add on extra channels like premium movie channels, sports channels, local news channels and more. TVision is not yet available nationwide, so it may or may not be an option in your area.
Internet Recommendations for TV Streaming
What is the best streaming service without the internet to handle it? Customers should make sure their internet service can provide ample download and upload speeds to avoid buffering and other errors.
Generally, customers are most satisfied with fiber optic internet service. Speeds are fast and tend to remain fast at peak times. Most fiber-optic internet providers also provide digital TV service, which is similar to the cable service most people are familiar with. Unfortunately, many people in the U.S. cannot get fiber internet service. While Google Fiber is the best-known fiber internet provider, Verizon, Frontier and AT&T are the largest fiber providers in the U.S. See more fiber providers here.
If fiber is not in your area, you'll need to choose between cable and DSL. We generally recommend DSL if price is your primary concern. While speeds are generally lower, they're also more reliable during peak usage. You may have to get TV through a satellite provider. See more DSL providers here.
Cable is generally a better option if internet speed is your main concern or if you want to bundle TV and internet through the same provider. Note that while introductory prices (i.e., for the first 6-12 months) for cable and DSL will often look similar, cable internet and TV prices tend to jump after the introductory period.
Fixed wireless internet
If you can't get fiber, DSL or cable, try to find a fixed wireless internet provider. It's unlikely that you'll find TV service through a fixed wireless provider, but these providers offer internet that is faster and more reliable than satellite internet service. See more providers or read more about fixed wireless Internet here.
If you can't get any of the above service types, your best bet is probably cellular service. Cell providers work through the same technology your phone uses. You can either use your phone as a hotspot (generally only good for temporary use) or purchase a cellular modem or modem/router combo that connects to your providers' 4G/LTE network. The major downsides to cellular internet are data caps, throttling (even on unlimited plans) and potentially spotty coverage. If you get no cell coverage at your home, you'll probably have to use satellite internet instead.
As a last resort, almost everyone can get satellite internet service. Satellite works for browsing and simple web/email usage, but the lag can make it frustrating to use. Online gaming is not suited for satellite internet, and streaming may not work. You may, however, be able to use something like the Netflix download feature to slowly download and then play video. Depending on your specific internet usage needs, satellite internet may be a feasible option for you if other higher speed options are not available.
Best Internet TV Bundles
Xfinity’s internet and TV bundles range from $50 to $90/mo., with 12- to 24-month contracts. The most basic package offers 100 Mbps download speeds and 10+ channels. The top-level package offers 300 Mbps download speeds and 12+ channels. Check if Xfinity is available in your area.
Depending on your location, AT&T may offer both internet and TV bundles. Starting at $39.99/mo. with a 12-month agreement, customers may get up to 18 Mbps download speeds. AT&T also offers four TV packages to choose from in your bundle. Check if AT&T is available in your area.
Offering internet through AT&T, DIRECTV gives customers the option to bundle internet and TV into one package. They offer six different bundle options ranging from $79 to $154/mo. with a 12-month agreement. Within these bundles, you can get anywhere from 155 to 330 channels and an internet download speed of up to 100 Mbps.
Spectrum offers two main internet TV bundle packages. Double Play Select, when bundled with internet, is $98/mo. for 125 channels and 200 Mbps download speeds. Double Play Silver, when bundled with internet, is 175 channels and 200 Mbps download speeds. These prices are based on a 12-month agreement. Check if Spectrum is available in your area.
Although a bit more limited in coverage area, RCN offers 15 package options for internet and TV bundles. Packages range from $39.99 to $119.99/mo. with anywhere from 70 to 295 channels. Download speeds vary greatly by package from 50 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps.