The 5 best ways you can watch live TV on Roku

You have several options if you want to watch live TV on your Roku device.

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You have several options if you want to watch live TV on your Roku device.
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Amazon

  • You can watch live TV and cable content on Roku without long-term contracts or the need to buy new equipment.
  • Streaming-only packages are available in channel packages similar to cable.
  • It’s possible to watch cable on any screen that can connect to Roku.
  • Cloud DVR lets you record live TV and watch it later without extra equipment. Stored recordings are available wherever you are.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Cord-cutters no longer miss out on live-broadcast content when they subscribe to a service that offers live TV streaming. Watching live TV without a cable subscription is available through multiple services now.

Here’s a look at a few of the best ones available on Roku devices now.


DirecTV Now

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DirecTV Now offers two different plans.
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Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

DirecTV Now is the streaming version of DirecTV. You can stream more than 40 channels starting at $50 per month. HBO is included in the base-package pricing. Additional premium channels such as Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz can be added starting at $11 per month.

Twenty hours of DirecTV’s new Cloud DVR service (in beta) is included with all packages. Select local channels and sports networks are available in some markets. DirecTV Now allows you to stream on two devices at once with all packages. You can watch it on Roku along with a variety of other streaming devices and smart TVs. Android and iOS mobile devices are also supported.


Hulu Plus Live TV

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Live sports are included with Hulu’s Live TV package.
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Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

Hulu Plus Live TV adds live TV to a Hulu Plus subscription. You can stream more than 60 channels in addition to Hulu’s original programming starting at $44.99 per month (with ads). The ad-free package is priced at $50.99 per month. Premium channels such as Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and Starz can be added starting at $8.99 per month.

Fifty hours of cloud DVR storage is included in both available packages. Hulu Plus Live TV limits you, however, by letting you stream to only two devices at the same time. You can watch it on Roku along with a wide variety of streaming devices and smart TVs. Android and iOS mobile devices are also supported.


PlayStation Vue

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PlayStation Vue includes nearly every major channel.
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Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

PlayStation Vue is PlayStation’s streaming service with packages starting at $44.99 per month. A large selection of channels is available to stream on supported PlayStation consoles and multiple streaming devices, including Roku. Premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax can be added either altogether, bumping the plan up to $79.99 a month, or individually for varying prices. Select add-on channels can be added starting at $5.99 per month.

PlayStation Vue allows you to watch on up to five screens at once. When it comes to cloud DVR, Sony doesn’t say how much it holds – only that it has “lots of storage space.”


Sling TV

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Sling TV offers a number of different plans, each with different channels.
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Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

Sling TV was an early streaming-only alternative to cable. Sling TV offers a variety of popular channels starting at $25 per month. You can also pick and choose certain channels to stream à la carte, adding them to your package for about $3 each. Premium channels such as Starz, Epix, and Showtime are available as add-on channels. HBO and Cinemax are not available on Sling TV. A cloud DVR service is available for an extra $5 per month.

Sling TV offers a competitive four concurrent streams, even with the base package. You can watch it on Roku and a variety of other streaming devices, along with iOS and Android mobile devices.


YouTube TV

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YouTube TV offers live TV alongside its own original programming.
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Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

YouTube TV is YouTube’s cable alternative and differs from its other paid video service called YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red). More than 70 networks are available to watch, along with YouTube Originals, starting at $49.99 per month. A small number of additional channels are available as add-ons starting at $3 per month. Showtime is $11 per month, however. HBO and Cinemax are not available.

YouTube offers an unlimited amount of cloud DVR storage, and you can add up to six user accounts for personalized queues (though you’re limited to three concurrent streams). DVR recordings expire nine months after recording instead of the typical 28 to 30 days other providers offer. You can stream YouTube TV on Roku and a variety of other streaming devices, in addition to iOS and Android mobile devices.

YouTube TV also has a unique “hide sports scores” option for sports lovers to enjoy games after they’re over without having the winner spoiled.

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