Are you outside of home and currently missing some hard court action in the NBA? Maybe you’re stuck waiting for someone and you forgot that HBO is showing the latest Game of Thrones episode? Well, we’re here to tell you that those problems will come to pass with these tv streaming apps that you’ll need.
These are apps that will give you access to HD TV streaming on the phone, complete with high-quality shows, freebies and good UI. If you’re a TV fanatic, you should put these in your must-have apps for your phone.
We’ll base each app based on their channel volume, stream quality, UI, and additional features.
If you’re not looking to dish out money for TV streaming services on the large screen or just want to ride solo on TV viewing on the phone, we got you covered with the best apps that we’ve handpicked just for you. Do take note that some of these apps include subscription fees. Also please keep in mind that these are in no particular order. We also won’t be including the likes of Netflix, HBO GO and Amazon Prime since those cater to TV shows only and not live TV.
1. YouTube TV – A well-trusted app that includes tons of good channels from sports to news
So what’s the difference between YouTube TV and YouTube in general? Well, the former requires a subscription fee in order to watch their channels. For a small subscription fee, you get access to tons of top channels including ESPN, NBA TV, MLB Network, Nat Geo, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, Fox News, CNN, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel.
Since it still uses the same tried and tested streaming services on their general website, YouTube TV delivers seamless viewing wherever you go as long as there’s a phone signal. Now you can watch what you want in HD while commuting.
Oh, and it also has a record feature too in case you want to replay certain shows or scenes over and over again. Quite handy for sports shows.
2. HULU – Affordable quality live TV viewing
Hulu has been in TV streaming business for quite a long time now. Ever since the opening of the Hulu app, long-time subscribers felt relieved for making everything more accessible. The app’s UI is as simple as its website counterpart and its number of shows should definitely keep you at bay for a long time.
The best part about Hulu is that they include both live TV such as sports and news as well as old programs such as your favorite sitcoms and cartoons in the 90s. Compared to the likes of Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime, this has less exclusive content; but that’s because it focuses on the general TV viewing more than creating their own original shows and that’s fine.
Quality-wise, it sure features great HD shows. As for the streaming itself, it’s fairly decent. It may not be like YouTube TV but it gets its job done pretty well.
3. DISH Anywhere – The only app you need as a DISH subscriber
When you subscribe to DISH, you automatically have full access to their exclusive DISH Anywhere app. Compared to it’s quality years ago, DISH Network is now a well-received TV service provider that can compete with the likes of SlingTV and DIRECTV NOW.
Subscribing here may not be the cheapest of the bunch but it does contribute a wide array of great channels; 190 channels on the starter plan alone! That’s enough to keep you occupied in couch potato mode. News, entertainment, sports, music, they got it. Also, they have HBO, STARZ, and SHOWTIME for movie fanatics. All the programs are HD-supported and in steady quality. Along with the channels, you also get a free DVR to sweeten the deal.
And for the app, what can we say? It’s much better than DIRECTV’s app to be really honest. It has its share of a few annoyances including really LARGE buttons, the home page being a bit rough around the edges, and the UI taking too much of the screen. But for the overall experience, it’s pretty good. It also has a recording mode too just like YouTube TV.
4. SlingTV – Because customization and affordability are kings
Considering itself as America’s #1 Live TV streaming service, SlingTV is pro-consumer due to its pricing and customization for clients. Unlike others, SlingTV lets you choose the channels you only want for the right amount of money. They may not have lots of monthly plans like Xfinity or DIRECTV but its 3 major plans, all less than $45, should entice you to go for them instead of more expensive ones.
Sure, it may not have lots of giveaways and perks when you purchase any of their plans but they do save you tons of money every month. With its practices that make customers happy, no wonder it calls itself #1 in the country.
Now about the app, SlingTV presents one of the best UIs ever made for TV viewing on the phone. It’s also the most customizable TV app on this list. Simple things such as color theme, text size and playback position make a huge difference. The only drawback here, however, is the buffering. As much as how good the UI is, it still needs work in its overall streaming. It would be pretty bad if you see your favorite basketball player take a 3-pointer in half a second only for the video to stop just to buffer.
Fortunately, this doesn’t happen too often. If you want to prevent this from doing so, you should get a fast internet connection to go along with the app.
5. PlayStation Vue – From Gaming to TV Streaming
This is Sony’s dive into the TV market. PSV used to have a terribly rough start when it launched a few years ago. Now that it has recovered, it’s safe to say that PlayStation Vue is highly accessible for general TV viewing. If you thought this only works on the PS4, you’re wrong – it has a separate app for you to enjoy its splendor.
If you’re familiar with the PlayStation’s luscious UI and menu screen, it does the same for this one. Instead of gaming, you’re watching. Sony carried out the same classy look of the PS’ UI into the Vue app and it works really well.
Live shows are displayed via the app’s schedule and, yes, you can record them as well. We’re happy to know that PlayStation can actually stretch out of its comfort zone from its gaming roots to live TV and on-demand shows.
What app you’ll take depends on what service you’ll subscribe to, of course. From our personal standpoint, we tip our hats off to Hulu for its overall convenience in one app. With a good subscription price, eye-candy UI and live TV accessibility, there’s no reason not to subscribe to Hulu. But hey, that’s just our personal recommendation. What live TV app you want for your phone is completely subjective.
Also Read: 5 Apps that Turn Android Into a Music Eden