Are you tired of the endless streaming subscriptions that quickly add up? Yet, cable and satellite aren’t the most inexpensive ways to watch TV either. Luckily, there are several apps that let you watch live TV on Android. You can get a wide variety of channels so that there’s something for everyone.
There’s a mix of free and premium apps. The good thing about the premium apps is that they offer a great combination of on-demand streaming, exclusive content, live TV, and even local channels.
Pluto TV – Top Recommended Free App
Pluto TV tops the list for offering a variety of channels, some on-demand programming, and not requiring signup. The experience works much like standard TV. Flip through the live guide, which boasts over two-hundred-fifty channels. Get access to major news networks, like CNN and NBC News. Watch sports on Fox Sports and 24/7 NFL. You even get MTV and VH1.
Stations are divided into categories for easier channel surfing. Dedicated stations play viewer favorites 24/7, and there are even on-demand movies to check out.
Local TV Apps
Obviously, this one varies based on where you live. However, many TV networks offer live-streaming apps for free. Sometimes you’re able to watch shows 24 hours to a week after they air. However, for local news, you’re usually able to stream it live for free if your station has an app.
XUMO is more like Pluto TV. I would’ve ranked it higher, but the service only has around 160 channels. Get all the major news, sports, and entertainment gossip you could want. You never have to register, which is always a bonus. Check out food, fitness, children, comedy, and other networks. You’ll find major stations and ones you’ve never heard of. You also get access to thousands of on-demand movies.
Airy works a little differently. You won’t necessarily find the TV stations you’re used to, but Airy creates custom networks built around the things people like to watch. Find tons of sports, news, comedy, and cartoons. It’s one of the lesser-known apps to watch live TV on Android.
One downside is there has been trouble with random pop-up ads that can interrupt the viewing experience. On the other hand, you can request custom channels if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Hulu – Top Recommended Premium App
While Hulu is an on-demand streaming service, you can watch live TV on Android with the Hulu app and a Hulu + Live TV subscription. For $54.99 per month, get access to over 60 cable stations along with Hulu’s full on-demand streaming library. The service comes complete with a cloud DVR service, so you don’t have to miss anything. The best part is many areas even have access to their local networks, so you don’t even need a digital antenna. It’s a great combination of the convenience of cable and satellite without all the typical hassle.
You can add on premium movie channels, like HBO and STARZ. There is a limit of only two screens at a time, though a premium upgrade allows you to get around that.
I would’ve ranked YouTube TV as number one, but Hulu also includes its on-demand catalog. However, if you’re interested more in live TV than on-demand, YouTube TV is my number one pick as a premium live TV service and app. Watch over 70 channels, including local networks, for $49.99 per month. Two things really set this service apart from Hulu.
First, you get unlimited cloud DVR recording included versus 50 hours with Hulu. Plus, you can add six users to your account and watch three simultaneous streams. Much like Hulu, you can add premium stations for an additional fee.
As uncomfortable as Sling’s TV ads are, Sling does offer a cheaper way to watch many popular cable channels without a pesky contract. Get access to over 50 cable stations for $30 per month. Watch your favorite shows on USA, AMC, National Geographic, Paramount Network, and more. Add premium stations like STARZ and Showtime and stream on-demand movies.
While you can watch live TV on Android via the app, it does tend to be a bit glitchy at times. Make sure you have a strong signal.
If you’re not using Android or are not keen to install an app, check out this big list of sites to stream TV shows.