Over the Top TV Options

I have someone who wants “cable” TV without the cable. She can’t get it into her warehouse apartment for less than a few $1000 in wiring upgrades plus after the channel re-alignments the signals for most of the locals can’t get through her brick walls.

So she wants an over the top cable type package. At least to get locals. My question is about ease of use. I personally have AT&T Now (which was once DirecTV Now) and the user interface via Apple TV is an abomination. And she would not do well with it.

Are any of these options better?
Hulu with Live TV
Sling TV
YouTube TV
Fubo TV
Roku Channel


I’d try YouTube TV. You will get a 30 day trial to try it out. When I was using it at the summer house last year, the only issue was that the local PBS stations were not included, but I believe that has changed (I’ll find out this summer if I ever get up there.)

I think that the Apple TV interface isn’t bad. There is nothing like channel numbers, so you can’t do something like enter channel number 4 (as you can wit over the air or cable.satellite of course), but you can rearrange the guide to sort your favorite channels toward the top of the guide.

I’ve used Sling TV in the past but I thought that YouTube was better. I haven’t tried any of the others.

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YouTube TV for the moment seems to have the best bang for the buck IMHO. Have been a subscriber since January — my first time ever to be a cord-cutter — and have been very pleased so far. There are cheaper options like Philo if you (a.) don’t need local stations and the broadcast networks, (b.) don’t care about sports, and (c.) don’t need tons of cloud DVR storage. None of those apply to me, so YTTV it is.

Bang for the buck is way down the list. Having locals is the main priority. Ease of use is priority 1.1.

Apple TV remote can infuriate me. AT&T Now on top of it is just plain awful.

This person had so much trouble with the AppleTV remote I had her switch to using her iPhone for control.

As far as local channels, you’ll just have to go to each service’s local channel search and input the Zip code. I’ll say from experience that YouTube TV seems to be the best with locals and has the simplest interface.

Does YouTube TV require a Google account?

Does anything that is in any way tied to Google NOT require a Google account?

Locast works, but it is minimal. You only get your local broadcast channels and there is no DVR-like functionality, so you can only watch live TV. But it’s free (donation-sponsored, and I recommend sending them donations if you will be a regular user) and is compatible with quite a lot of streaming devices and smart TVs

Do any of these options include the possibility of a user recording a program on an already-owned DVR?

Major issue with locast.

If you’re not in one of the areas near their 17 served cities then you they will not allow you to stream.

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