How will Apple's new streaming service stack up?

Comparing, contrasting best options for watching live TV without cable

By Keith Dunlap - Graham Media Group
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Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook speaks during a company product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on March 25, 2019 in Cupertino, California.

Now that Apple has entered the live TV streaming arena, as the company announced Monday, there’s obviously one big question for those who have cut, or are thinking about cutting, the cord: When it comes to signing up for a streaming service, how does Apple compare to other services?

Let's start here: The five biggest live TV streaming services (in alphabetical order) are DirecTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and YouTube TV, according to an article on cnet.com.

Of note, Netflix currently doesn’t provide live streaming of TV channels.


Here’s a breakdown of what each of the top five TV streaming services has to offer. 

DirecTV Now
Cost:
 Starts at $50 a month for live TV options
Number of channels: 40-plus
Overview: The service includes HBO, but is missing channels such as AMC, A&E, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.

Hulu
Cost:
 Starts at $45 a month for live TV options
Number of channels: 60-plus
Overview: Hulu’s package includes access to a large library of on-demand programming, but the standard DVR doesn’t let you skip commercials. Hulu also doesn’t carry Comedy Central, MTV or Nickelodeon. 

PlayStation Vue
Cost: 
Starts at $45 a month for live TV options
Number of channels: 55-plus
Overview: The DVR has unlimited storage, but shows are deleted after 28 days. A&E, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon are the missing channels. 

Sling TV
Cost:
Starts at $25 a month for live TV options
Number of channels: 30-plus
Overview: Other packages are offered with more channels at an extra cost, such as the Sling Orange and Blue packages for $40 a month. ABC, CBS, Fox News and Nickelodeon are the missing channels on all packages. 

YouTube TV
Cost:
Starts $40 a month for live TV options
Number of channels: 60-plus
Overview: This service offers local channels that others don’t provide, but DVR shows are replaced by on-demand versions and its missing channels include A&E, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. 

Below we've made a handy chart for you to continue to compare and contrast.

During the unveiling of its new TV streaming service on Monday, Apple didn't announce a pricing plan. 

Graham Media Group 2019