If you’re looking to cut the cable cord with DVR for streaming services, you’re probably wondering how to stay on top of shows, games and more. Well, live TV streaming services all come with DVR capabilities, so you can record hours of TV gold. The best part is you don’t need a set-top box to store episodes and movies. Instead, your titles are housed in an online data center, known as cloud DVR.
With so many services around, it can be tough to find the right one for your streaming needs. To help, here are the best live streaming services with DVRs.
Comparing Popular Streaming Services with DVR
|AT&T TV Now||fuboTV||Hulu + Live TV||Philo||YouTube TV|
|Free trial||7 days (Plus, Max or International subscribers only)||7 days||7 days||7 days||7 days|
|# of channels||45+||85+||65+||59||70+|
|Cloud DVR storage||500 hours||30 hours||50 hours||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Cloud DVR upgrade||None||500 hours; $9.99/mo.||200 hours; $9.99/mo.||None||None|
|Time DVR available||90 days||No time limit||No time limit||30 days||9 months|
|Fast-forward through or skip commercials with cloud DVR||Yes||Yes||Yes with $9.99/mo. DVR upgrade||Yes||Yes|
Best Standard DVR: AT&T TV Now
No matter which AT&T TV Now plan you choose, you’ll be able to take advantage of the service’s True Cloud streaming DVR. It comes standard with an impressive 500 recording hours. You’ll have plenty of time to catch up with recorded content as movies and episodes will stay put in your library for 90 days. An alert will show up before a recording expires.
AT&T TV Now’s DVR also comes with a bunch of handy features. You can record multiple titles simultaneously and can quickly record an entire series by hitting the record button twice. Plus, you don’t need to sit through countless commercials. When watching recorded content, just skip the ad breaks.
Overall User Experience
Pick a plan that suits your TV needs with AT&T TV Now’s range of packages. HBO and Cinemax are both included in the service’s $80/mo. Max plan — a rare sight in the streaming world. For a more budget-friendly choice, opt for the $55/mo. Plus plan. It features more than 45 channels, including Comedy Central, Disney Channel and FOX. AT&T TV Now has four further plans, ranging from the $93/mo. Entertainment package to the $135/mo. Ultimate option, which includes more than 125 channels. Thousands of on-demand titles are also available.
Live TV comes with the same commercials you’d find on regular cable. So does on-demand content. The only time you can skip ads is when watching recordings.
Three users can watch AT&T TV at the same time. There’s no option to upgrade.
AT&T TV Now doesn’t offer offline viewing, meaning you’ll need an internet connection to use it.
Best For Those Who Are Always Late: fuboTV
fuboTV’s cloud DVR is capped at 30 hours, but you can keep your recordings as long as you’d like. Of course, there’s the option to upgrade to Cloud DVR Plus, which gives you 500 recording hours. It costs an additional $9.99/mo.
The best bit about fuboTV’s DVR system is the fact it will record the entirety of a program — even if you only hit record halfway through. And you don’t have to wait until the recording is done to view it. Content is available for playback as soon as the recording begins.
Overall User Experience
You may already know fuboTV as the home of soccer streaming. But now, the service broadcasts over 30,000 live games and events each year. The Standard $54.99/mo. package features championship events from almost every sport on the planet, including basketball, tennis and baseball. There’s entertainment from the likes of AMC and Bravo, too, along with on-demand episodes of Empire, The Walking Dead, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and more.
Ads can be skipped on recorded shows, but you’ll have to sit through them when watching live and some on-demand content.
fuboTV offers two simultaneous streams. But you can upgrade to three for an additional $5.99/mo.
Unfortunately, you can’t download titles to watch when you’re offline.
Best Storage Management: Hulu + Live TV
Hulu Live TV’s DVR offers 50 hours of storage. It may not sound like a lot, but you can easily upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $9.99/mo. The Enhanced DVR add-on also allows you to skip commercials — a feature that comes standard with most other streaming services.
Hulu may not be the cheapest or most expansive option, but it will help you manage your recordings and save precious storage space. Instead of automatically recording a show every time it airs, the platform will ask whether you want to record an entire series, record new episodes only or record new episodes and reruns. If you’re a sports fan, you can also tell Hulu to record every game played by a particular team. The service will free up room by deleting the oldest recordings once you’ve used up all available space.
Overall User Experience
Consider Hulu’s Live TV plan if you want to merge a hefty on-demand catalog with over 65 live TV networks. The likes of CNN and MSNBC will provide your daily news with local channels available in some areas. Sports are broadcast via ESPN, FS1 and more. And must-watch shows for all ages are yours from channels including Cartoon Network and AMC. Hulu originals are worth watching when it comes to on-demand content. Try The Handmaid’s Tale and Normal People to start.
The only way to get rid of commercials is to pay for Hulu’s No Ads extra. It costs $60.99/mo with the live TV package. Note: this will only remove ads from some on-demand content.
Hulu gives you two simultaneous streams, but you can stream to an unlimited number of devices at home for an extra $9.99/mo. For that price, you’ll also get three on-the-go streams.
Only Hulu No Ads users can download titles to watch offline. And there’s a limit: up to 25 episodes or movies at a time. You can store content for up to 30 days. Once you’ve hit play, you’ll have 48 hours to finish watching.
Best For Those On a Budget: Philo
For a budget-friendly service, Philo’s DVR capabilities are pretty impressive. Subscribers get an unlimited amount of storage so they can record to their heart’s content. There is one catch, though. Recordings will be automatically deleted after 30 days (and there’s no way to get them back).
When you save a show via Philo, it automatically records all future airings, including new episodes and reruns. You may not want to watch every airing, but you won’t have to worry about going over the storage limit. When you do come to watch a recording, fast-forward to skip commercial breaks.
Overall User Experience
Whether you’re into major networks like AMC or a fan of more niche names like Cooking Channel or Law & Crime, you’re in luck with Philo. Its single package houses almost 60 channels with plenty of content for kids and adults alike. Sit your little one in front of SpongeBob SquarePants while you catch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. The only thing Philo is missing is sports and local options.
You’ll have to endure ad breaks when watching live TV. You can skip them during recordings.
Three users can watch Philo at the same time. The service doesn’t give you the option to increase this limit.
Philo is yet another streaming service that doesn’t support offline downloading.
Best For Those Who Record a Lot: YouTube TV
If your household records a ton of content, you’ll probably want to consider YouTube TV’s DVR. It comes with unlimited storage and allows recordings to be kept for nine months — giving you almost a year to catch up.The only downside is you can’t record a single episode of a show. Instead, all current and future airings will appear in your library. (Since you don’t have to worry about storage space, this shouldn’t be an issue.) YouTube TV also only records content from the moment you press record. So if you’ve missed the beginning of a program, you’ll have to wait until a rerun airs to catch the full thing.
However, the platform does recognize that certain content can overrun. So it automatically adds 30 minutes onto the end of sports recordings and one minute past regular programs, so you don’t miss a moment.
Overall User Experience
YouTube TV is one of few live TV streaming services to house all four major networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Along with news and sports, you’ll find leading lifestyle channels, including Food Network, Travel Channel and Animal Planet. Other entertainment options include AMC and FX. That means you can watch hit shows like Atlanta and reality series like The Bachelor. Even more channels are on the way — in summer 2020, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and more will reach YouTube TV.
Commercials appear throughout both live and recorded content, but you can skip the ads during recordings.
With three simultaneous streams, you, your partner and the kids can watch shows and games at the same time.
Offline viewing isn’t currently available via YouTube TV, so you’ll need to be connected to the internet.
Which streaming service has the best DVR for 2020?
Thanks to its limitless DVR storage — not to mention its well-rounded channel line-up — YouTube TV has become one of the top streaming services currently available. But it’s not the only viable option. To combine the best of both live and on-demand worlds, why not try out Hulu’s Live TV plan? And if you were hoping not to spend too much, Philo may be the one for you.
All of the above, along with AT&T TV Now and fuboTV, come with a seven-day free trial, so you can get a feel for their features and test out their DVR abilities. So sign up for the services you’re interested in and prepare to get busy with the record button.
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