20 Best Streaming Services for Channel Surfing

With endless streaming options, gone are the days of mindlessly surfing until you land on a channel you want—or are they? Live TV providers like YouTube TV and Sling have made it so that you don't actually lose the traditional TV experience when you cut the cord. Tangled cables and overlong contracts are gone, of course, but channel surfing? That's thankfully here to stay. That's because many of these providers offer much of the same channels traditional TV offers, albeit at varying degrees. Free live TV services like Freevee, Pluto, and Xumo offer many channels, though some might deem them skippable, while more affordable services like Frndly and Philo will have more recognizable channels like Hallmark and History. Pricier packages like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and DirecTV Stream carry even more channels, both skippable and prestige, while if it's local channels you're after, then you might want to consider getting an OTA antenna (depending on where you live, it can receive up to 100 local channels). Below, we list the most channel-packed streaming services and devices. Happy surfing!
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DirecTV Stream is the level-up Live TV streaming platform designed to substitute traditional cable and satellite services. With $79.99 a month ($69.98 the first 2 months if you add the Sports Pack), you can access live feeds of the most popular channels and with $120 a month, you get a box along with a custom remote for the service. Access at least 65 channels from its robust lineup that allows you to stream up to 20 devices from your home and up to 3 devices when you’re on the go. Plus, you get unlimited cloud DVR so you can watch your favorite shows whenever you want.

Price: $79.99/month

Free Trial: 5 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung TV

Channel lineup: ABC, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, Baby First TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Boomerang, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Cartoon Network, CBS local channels, CMT, CNBC, CNN, CNN en Espanol, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, Disney XD, E! Entertainment, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Food Network, FOX, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, Gem Shopping Network, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Mystery, HGTV, HLN, Home Shopping Network, Investigation Discovery, MotorTrend, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, NBC, NBC local channels, NFL Network, One America News, Ovation, Paramount Network, PBS local channels, Pursuit Channel, QVC, QVC2, REELZ, ReelzChannel, REVOLT, RFD-TV, RSNs, SundanceTV, SYFY, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, Telemundo local channels, TLC, TNT, truTV, TV Land, Univision, Univision East, USA Network, VH1, WE tv

Once called Tivli, Philo is a streaming service that was first started in Harvard University by a Facebook co-founder. In August 2020, they announced that they reached the milestone of 750,000 subscribers.

Price: $28/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Airplay supported, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, iPhone, Roku, Samsung TV

Channel lineup: A&E, AccuWeather Network, AMC, AMC Plus, American Heroes Channel, Animal Planet, aspireTV, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, Catchy Comedy, Cheddar News, Cleo TV, CMT, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Crackle, Crime-Investigation, Deck the Hallmark, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, FETV, Food Network, FYI, Game Show Network, GetTV, Great American Family, Great American Living, Gusto TV, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Family, Hallmark Mystery, Heroes & Icons, HGTV, History, IFC, INSP, Investigation Discovery, KIN, Law&Crime, Lifetime, LMN, Logo, Magnolia Network, MeTV, Motor Trend, MTV, MTV Classic, MTV Live, MTV2, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Oprah Winfrey Network, Paramount Network, PlayersTV, pocket.watch, Pop TV, RetroCrush, REVOLT, Revry, Ryan and Friends, Science Channel, Smithsonian Channel, Start TV, Story Television, Sundance TV, Tastemade, TeenNick, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, TV One, UPtv, Vevo 80s, Vevo 90s, Vevo Country, Vevo Hip-Hop, Vevo Holiday, Vevo Pop, VH1, Vice, WE tv

Sling Orange used to be more expensive than Sling Blue but they now both cost $40 each, or $28 if you get both of them ($55/month if you get Sling Orange+Blue)

Price: $40/month

Device availability: Airplay supported, AirTV, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Cox, iOS, LG TV, Mi Box, Roku, Samsung TV, TiVo, Vizio, Windows 10, Windows 11, Xbox, Xbox One

Channel lineup: A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Cartoon Network, Charge!, CNN, Comedy Central, Comet, Disney Channel, EPIX Drive-In, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Food Network, Freeform, Fuse, HGTV, History, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, MotorTrend, Nick Jr., QVC, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, Vice

At $55 a month, subscribers to Sling TV Orange and Blue treat themselves to the best of both worlds. You can live in the moment with 51 live channels, or tune in whenever you want, choosing from a host of on-demand content. If you’re hesitant to cut the cord completely, this package definitely eases the transition.

Price: $60/month

Device availability: Airplay supported, AirTV, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Cox, iOS, iPhone, LG TV, Mi Box, Roku, Samsung TV, TiVo, Vizio, Vizio Smart TV, Windows 10, Windows 11, Xbox, Xbox One

Channel lineup: A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Charge!, CNN, Comedy Central, Comet, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, E!, EPIX Drive-In, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Food Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, Fuse, FX, HGTV, History, HLN, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, MotorTrend, MSNBC, National Geographic, NBC local channels, NFL Network, Nick Jr., QVC, SYFY, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, USA, Vice

Sling Blue used to be cheaper than Sling Orange, but they now cost the same - $40 per month. If you get both of them, they cost $55 for the bundle, so around $27.5 each.

Price: $45/month

Device availability: Airplay supported, AirTV, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, LG TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox 360

Channel lineup: A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Charge!, CNN, Comedy Central, Comet, Discovery Channel, E!, EPIX Drive-In, Food Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Fuse, FX, HGTV, History, HLN, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, MSNBC, National Geographic, NFL Network, Nick Jr., SYFY, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, USA, Vice

Hulu, being owned by The Walt Disney Company, started their Live TV service in May 2016, starting with Disney's other subsidiaries like ESPN. The service was priced at around $40, but after a series of other raises, in December 2022, the cost of the platform was raised to $75.

Price: $75.99/month

Free Trial: 3 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, iPhone, LG TV, Nintendo Switch, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung TV, Vizio Smart TV, Xbox

Channel lineup: A&E, ABC, ABC Localish, ABC News Live, ACC Network, Adult Swim, Animal Planet, BET, Big Ten Network, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CBS local channels, CBS News, CBS Sports Network, Cheddar News, CMT, CNBC, CNN, CNN International, Comedy Central, Comedy TV, Cozi TV, CW, Dabl, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN College Extra, ESPNews, ESPNU, Food Network, FOX, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FS1, FS2, FX, FXM, FXX, FYI, Golf Channel, Hallmark, Hallmark Mystery, HGTV, History, HLN, ID, Justice Central TV, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, Localish, Military History Chanel, Motor Trend, MSNBC, MTV, NASA, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, NBC, NBC local channels, NBC News Now, NBCLX, News Nation, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, OWN, Oxygen, Paramount Network, Pop, QVC, RSNs, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, Start TV, SYFY, TBS, Telemundo, The Grio, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, TVLand, Universal Kids, USA, VH1, Vice, Weather Channel

In response to the growing popularity of free streaming services like Tubi, Xumo, and Pluto, Sling TV has come up with Sling TV Freestream, an ad-supported version of its live TV and on-demand streaming service. Compared to its paid tier, Freestream has fewer channels and premium titles, but with more than 200 live channels and on-demand content to boot, it's certainly worth giving a try—you don't even need to sign up for an account to start watching.

Sling TV has been at the forefront of live TV for years, but it breaks new ground with Freestream, a platform designed to both entertain and entice users to upgrade to their meatier packages. Recently, Freestream also added free DVR.

Price: free for 43 channels available

Device availability: AirTV, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Cox, Google TV, iOS, LG TV, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung Smart TV, Samsung TV, TiVo, Vizio, Website, Xbox, Xfinity Flex

Channel lineup: AajTak International, ABC News Live, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera English, Always funny, Anthony Bourdain A Cook's Tour, Architectural Digest: Open Door, ARY News, Bein Sports XTRA, Buzzr: Family Feud, CBS News, Cheddar News, Defiance, Dilemma, Documentary Plus, Electric Now, ESPN On Demand, ESR, FailArmy, Fear Factor, FilmRise: Hell's Kitchen, Forensic Files, Fox Weather, France24, Fubo Sports, Glewed TV, GoTraveler, Heartland, Life OK, Maverick Black Cinema: Boxed In, Noticias Univision 24/7, Rick Steves Europe, Scripps News, SonyKal, TD Ameritrade Network, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Pet Collective, The Walking Dead Universe, TVP World, USA Today, VH1 I Love Reality, World Poker Tour, Zona TUDN

Frndly TV offers more than 40 live TV channels, including Hallmark, Lifetime, and A&E for a friendly price of only $6.99. If you’re just looking to cut the cord and reduce expenses, Frndly TV is where you get the bang for your buck.

Price: $6.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku

Channel lineup: A&E, AccuWeather, BabyFirst, BYUtv, Circle, Crime-Investigation, Curiosity Channel, DECADES, Dove Channel, Dove Family Movies, Dove Kids, FETV, FMC, FYI, Game Show Netowrk, GetTV, Great American Family, Great American Living, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Family, Hallmark Mystery, Heartland TV, Heroes & Icons, History, INSP, ION Mystery, Justice Central TV, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Local Now, MeTV, Military HISTORY, Outdoor Channel, Pixel, QVC, Recipe.TV, Sportsman Channel, Start TV, Story Television, The History Channel, The Weather Channel, UPtv, Vice, World Fishing Network

Fubo is a live TV and on-demand streaming service. The platform had it beginning as a soccer stream service, but it quickly became popular as a viable alternative to expensive cable subscriptions in the U.S, offering an attractive bundle of more than 100 live channels as well as an endless array of on-demand movies.

Price: $79.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Airplay supported, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku

Channel lineup: A&E, ABC, ABC News Live, ACC Network, AccuWeather, Bein Sports, Bein Sports 4, Bein sports 5, Bein Sports 6, Bein Sports 7, Bein Sports 8, Big Ten Network, Bravo, CBS, CBS local channels, CBS Sports Network, CBSN, Cheddar, CMT, CNBC, Comedy Central, Comet, Cozi TV, CW, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Estrella TV, FOX, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Freeform, fubo Sports Network, FX, FXX, FYI, Galavision, GetTV, Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Family, Hallmark Mystery, History, IFC, ION Mystery, Local Now, MASN, MSNBC, MTV, National Geographic, NBC, NBC local channels, NBCLX, NBCSN, Newsmax, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Olympic Channel, Oxygen, Paramount Network, Pop, RSNs, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, SYFY, Tastemade, Telemundo, Telemundo local channels, The Weather Channel, Travel Channel, TUDN, TUDNxtra1, TUDNxtra10, TUDNxtra11, TUDNxtra2, TUDNxtra3, TUDNxtra4, TUDNxtra5, TUDNxtra6, TUDNxtra7, TUDNxtra8, TUDNxtra9, TV Land, TVG, Unimas, Unimas local channels, Universal Kids, Universo, Univision, Univision local channels, USA, VH1, Vice, WE tv, WGN America, Willow, YES Network

Youtube TV launched in some areas in the U.S.in mid-2017, first with a limited offering but quickly signing deals with providers like Turner Warner, Warnermedia, and Viacom CBS. This allowed it to carry channels as varried as the BBC and HBO.

Price: $72.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Airplay supported, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, LG TV, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung TV, Shareplay supported, Sharp, Vizio, Xbox

Channel lineup: ABC, ABC News, ACCN, Adult Swim, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, Big Ten Network, Bounce, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CBS local channels, CBS Sports Network, Cheddar, Cheddar News, CMT, CNBC, CNBC World, CNN, Comedy Central, Comedy TV, Comet, Court TV, Cozi TV, Dabl, Discovery, Disney, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Docurama, Dove Channel, E!, ESPN, ESPN U, ESPN2, ESPNews, Food Network, FOX, Fox Business, Fox News, FOX SOUL, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Weather, Freeform, FX, FXM, FXX, Galavision, Game Show Network, Get TV, Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Family, Hallmark Mystery, HGTV, HLN, HSN, IFC, Investigation Discovery, ION, Justice Central TV, LAFC Channel, Law & Crime, Live Now, Local Now, Localish, MotorTrend, MSNBC, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Classic, My TV, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, NBA TV, NBC, NBC local channels, NBC News Now, NBC Universo, NBCLX, NBCSN, NECN, News Nation, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Orlando City Channel, OWN, Oxygen, Oxygen True Crime, Paramount, PBS, PBS Kids, PBS local channels, PC Mag, Pop, QVC, Recipe.TV, RSNs, Scripps News, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, SNY, Start TV, Sundance TV, SYFY, Tastemade, TBS, Teen Nick, TeleHit, Telemundo local channels, The CW, The Great Courses, The Weather Channel, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, Tru TV, Turner Classic Movies, TV Land, TYT, Unimas, Unimas local channels, Universal Kids, Univision, Univision local channels, USA, VH1, WE tv

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 14 live TV streaming services that offer a free trial.

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The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.