Consumer Reports: Choosing a streaming TV service

Tired of paying a lot for TV but not ready to cut the cord entirely? Some cable companies now offer skinny TV packages, but another option is an Internet streaming service. Consumer Reports says some of the newest players offer lots of channels for less money.

Soon, YouTube TV will launch in major cities, offering 40 streaming cable channels, including Disney, ESPN, FOX News, even some regional sports networks, for 35-dollars per month, but remember there are channel tradeoffs with these slimmer streaming services. So if you can’t live without a certain channel, make sure it’s offered before you sign up. For example, right now YouTube TV doesn’t offer Comedy Central, CNN, HBO, HGTV and a few other channels, though you can pay extra to get Showtime.

Sling TV starts at $20/month, but its 40-dollar “All Channels” package includes 50 channels, add-ons for local broadcast, sports, movies and premium channels range from five to 15-dollars a month.

Direct TV Now has a promotional price of 35-dollars a month for sixty channels, or 60-dollars a month for over a hundred channels. Hulu is also expected to launch a streaming TV service called Hulu Live.

One thing to remember: All these streaming services require a smart TV or streaming media player, and a decent broadband connection. If your Internet service isn’t fast enough, they might not be the best choice. And if you have a lot of TVs, you might have to limit how many people are watching at the same time since each service limits the number of simultaneous streams.