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Best TV Streaming Apps for Cable Cutters 2022

With so many people fleeing cable for streaming TV services, we wanted to know which of these services had the best apps. We tested 10 streaming services to find our readers the best value.

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Best TV Streaming Apps for Cable Cutters 2022

The success of TikTok shows people love to watch videos on their phones. But the failure of mobile-video service Quibi may suggest we don't want to pay for it. Still, many TV streaming services offer apps for subscribers who want to catch up with content on-the-go, so we tested 10 of these apps in search of the best value. In the end, YouTube TV ($64.99/mo) offered the best app experience for live TV, while Disney+ ($6.99/mo) had the best on-demand service. Here's how we chose:

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Apps We Selected
  2. Our Pick YouTube TV: Live TV & more YouTube TV: Live TV & more Runner Up Disney+ Disney+ Also Groovy Pluto TV - Live TV and Movies Pluto TV - Live TV and Movies Also Groovy SLING: Live TV, Shows & Movies SLING: Live TV, Shows & Movies Also Groovy Amazon Prime Video Amazon Prime Video
  3. 2. Everything We Recommend
  4. 3. The 411 from our Appventurer
  5. 4. Other Apps Considered
Our Pick

Best all-around live TV app

YouTube's cable alternative has tons of channels and features for those who want to ditch cable.

Why we chose YouTube TV:

  • The subscription price of $64.99 per month includes tons of content.
  • Easily navigable, with sections for family, news, sports, movies, various genres
  • Has lots of short-form, on-demand content — it is YouTube, after all. You can watch short videos in spare moments, saving you time.
  • Topical sections like “conversations on racial injustice” help viewers keep track of important issues.
  • Live TV Guide shows you everything that’s on in real-time so you can find what you want to see.
  • Don't have time to watch? Record shows you want to see and save them for later.
  • Simple and intuitive viewing experience -- screen flips to landscape with a tap for easier viewing
Best for: Living the couch potato life even when you're far from the couch. Read YouTube TV's Full Review
Runner Up

Best for kids and kids at heart

The Disney Plus app is a great choice for parents or anyone who loves Disney (Or Marvel. Or Star Wars. Or any of the company's many properties.)

Why we chose Disney+:

  • Great deal for lots of content: $6.99 a month (or $12.99 in a bundle with Hulu and ESPN.)
  • Gorgeous app showcases the extensive content library.
  • Since Disney owns tons of properties, there are lots of options here: New and classic Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, as well as lots of movies and special options like Hamilton and Taylor Swift’s new studio special.
  • While we don’t necessarily recommend watching Avatar on your phone, the video quality is really good.
  • Has good some good shorter programming that is probably more consistent with what you would actually use the app for — watching something in a waiting room or line.
  • Of course, lots of excellent children’s programming. This app could be a life-saver for parents who need to calm a bored or upset child.

Best for: delighting your child (or yourself).
Read Disney+'s Full Review
Also Groovy

Best free live TV

  • Watch Free TV! 100s of channels and 1000s of Movies and TV Shows Free!
    4.6 Ratings 1M+ Reviews 100M+ Downloads
    Free Feature Rich Fresh 1M+ Reviews


Are we cheating by adding a totally free live TV app to this list? Maybe. But we just had to test it after hearing all the hype, which it definitely lived up to. It's a great choice for people who want to watch TV occasionally and don't want to pay for it.

Why we chose Pluto TV:

  • 100% free live TV. While it does have lots of ads, so do the live options that you pay for, so you really can’t beat the price point here.
  • Good video quality, easy to navigate interface.
  • Surprisingly has many popular channels, including news channels, options for kids, local news offerings, classic, home improvement, and comedy.
  • While the library is not as expansive as a service like Netflix or Hulu, Pluto does have a fairly large collection of on-demand movies and shows.
Best for: catching up with news or talk shows any time, any place.  Read Pluto TV - Free Live TV and Movies's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best cable alternative

Sling is a great deal for a cable alternative and comes with extensive DVR storage. 

Why we chose Sling:

  • With subscription prices as low as $30 per month, Sling is a great deal.
  • Lots of live and recordable TV channels, including TBS, AMC, Comedy Central. HGTV, The Food Network, CNN, Disney Channel, and many more.
  • Extensive selection of sports channels included in basic package, with more available as add-ons.
  • On-demand library includes TV shows, movies, and family content.
  • Easy to record programs for later and find them in your library. The service includes 50 hours of DVR cloud storage.
Best for: sneaking a glance at the game wherever you are.  Read SLING's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best content options (to go with your free shipping)

If you already have a subscription to Amazon Prime, you should definitely check out their video library.

Why we chose Amazon Prime Video:

  • Free with Prime subscription ($199 per year or $12.99 per month), or $8.99 per month on its own.
  • Lots of programming included with Prime — now including some live sports.
  • Access to Amazon original programming, including Transparent, The Man in High Castle, and others.
  • Great content library for kids will help keep them engaged and occupied.
  • In addition to what’s included with Prime, you can find lots of additional programming available to rent or buy that you can watch on the app as well. Find shows and movies that aren't available anywhere else.
  • Many premium cable channels are available as add-ons, so you can find all your favorites in one place.
Best for: getting the most out of your Amazon Prime perks. 
Read Amazon Prime Video's Full Review

Everything We Recommend

  • Our Pick
    • Cable-free live TV. No cable box required.
    • Watch major broadcast and cable networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, ESPN, AMC, Univision, HGTV, TNT and more, including your local news and sports channels.
    • Watch on your smartphone, tablet, computer, smart TV, or game console, and on your big screen via Google Chromecast, Roku player & TV, and Apple TV.
    • Cloud DVR without DVR storage space limits. Each recording will be stored for 9 months.
    • 6 YouTube TV accounts per household. Everyone gets their own login, recommendations and DVR.
    • No commitment, no contracts; cancel anytime.
    • Start your free-trial today.

    Over eighty-five networks are available in YouTube TV:

    ABC, CBS, FOX, NFL Network, NBC, PBS, and more

    CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports RSN (regional), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Galavisión, Golf Channel, MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, SEC Network, Univision, UniMás and more

    AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, Bravo, CMT, Comedy Central, Comet, Cozi TV, Decades, Discovery, E!, Food Network, Freeform, FX, FXM, FXX, Galavisión, IFC, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, MotorTrend, MTV, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, Oxygen, Paramount Network, Pop, Smithsonian Channel, SundanceTV, SyFy, TBS, TCM, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, TruTV, TV Land, Univision, UniMás, USA, VH1, WE tv, YouTube Originals, and more

    BBC World News, Cheddar, CNBC, CNN, Galavisión, HLN, MSNBC, NBCLX, Univision, UniMás, and more

    Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, Universal Kids

    Galavisión, Telemundo, Universo, Univision, UniMás and more

    Sports and premium networks like our Sports Plus add-on now with 15+ channels included, HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more are also available for an additional monthly charge.

    YouTube TV is available nationwide in the United States.

    For more information, please visit our Help Center.

    Terms of service:
    Paid terms of service:
    Privacy policy:

    Enjoy cable-free live tv now!
    In-App Purchases
  • Runner Up
    Disney+ is the streaming home of your favorite stories. With unlimited entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, there's always something to explore. Watch the latest releases, Original series and movies, classic films, and TV shows with new stories added every week.

    When opening Disney+ for the first time on or after March 16, all subscribers in the U.S. will be prompted to update their Parental Controls. This includes the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock profiles. Those that choose to keep their settings the same will continue to enjoy Disney+ as they always have within a TV-14 content rating environment, with the option to make changes at any time under Profile settings.

    Stream and download Originals like Loki, and fan favorites like Frozen and The Simpsons.

    With Disney+, you get:
    • Exclusive new Originals from the creators of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic
    • Access to new releases, timeless classics and past seasons of your favorite TV shows
    • GroupWatch, a way to watch Disney+ together, even when you’re apart
    • Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices
    • Over 100 titles in 4K UHD and HDR
    • The capacity to watch on four screens at once at no extra cost
    • IMAX Enhanced, see the full scale and scope with IMAX's expanded aspect ratio. Available with certain Marvel titles and accessible on all devices where Disney+ is supported.
    • Multiple parental control features including Profile PIN, Kids Profiles, Kid-Proof Exit. Account holders can change an individual profile’s content rating at any time under Profile settings.

    For help with Disney+, please visit:
    For our Subscriber Agreement and other policies please visit:

    Your California Privacy Rights:
    Do Not Sell My Information:

    The content available on Disney+ may vary by region. Some titles shown above may not be available in your country.
    In-App Purchases
    $6.99 - $79.99 per item
    $7.99 - $79.99 per item
  • Also Groovy

    Pluto TV - Live TV and Movies

    4.6 Ratings 1M+ Reviews 100M+ Downloads
    The leading free streaming TV and movie service is available to you! Watch 100s of live TV channels and 1000s of movies and TV shows, all streaming free. Pluto TV also offers over 45 channels in Spanish, including native language and dubbed movies, reality TV, telenovelas, crime, sports and more. Pluto TV is 100% free and legal: no credit cards, contracts, or bills.

    Pluto TV has the best in hit movies, cult classics, and blockbuster films. You’ll find something for everyone on Pluto TV, with hits like “Transformers,” “Mission Impossible,” cult classics like “Footloose.” Looking for a laugh? We’ve got “Zoolander,” “Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns,” and “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Fiending for frights? Horror movies such as “Resident Evil” series and “Child’s Play” are guaranteed to keep you up all night. ¿Le gustan películas? Ve “Saving Private Perez” en español.

    Choose from our library of 1000s of on-demand movies and TV shows or from our 27 exclusive movie channels including:

    The biggest hit movies
    -Full seasons of your favorite shows
    -Chilling true crime and drama series
    -Hilarious comedy shows and stand-up specials
    -Spanish-language movies & shows
    -The wildest reality TV shows
    -The latest breaking news
    -Live sports, classic games, news and analysis

    Your favorite shows are streaming 24/7 on Pluto TV. Catch full seasons of CSI, Star Trek: The Next Generation, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Narcos on their own channels, and watch classics like Survivor, Beavis & Butthead, Unsolved Mysteries and more whenever you want.

    Check back often so you don’t miss the great new movies and shows we’re adding to our on-demand library every day from top content providers like Paramount, CBS, MGM, Sony and Lionsgate! Binge on 1000s of movies and TV shows any time you want!

    Download Pluto TV to start watching free TV today.

    Privacy Policy:
    Cookie Policy:
    Do Not Sell My Personal Information:
    Terms of Use:
    In-App Purchases
    SLING is a streaming service with the best of live TV, both free and paid, streamed to you on any device. And with 200+ channels, SLING has something for everyone. It’s the live TV you love for half the cost of cable. Plus, watch over 85,000 movies & shows on demand.

    Programming Available From SLING TV:

    With free channels like ABC News Live and premium cable networks such as CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, Sling keeps you informed while you stay safe inside. Entertainment networks like, Bravo!, LIfetime and HGTV mean SLING TV has something for everyone.

    NEWS | Stay up-to-date and informed with plenty of news channels like CNN, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC and Bloomberg.

    ENTERTAINMENT | Stay in & SLING in with entertainment for the whole family. Sign up and get Bravo, Freeform, A&E, Investigation Discovery, TBS and TNT.

    LIFESTYLE | With SLING TV, you can get your DIY fix with HGTV and satisfy your cravings for new recipes on Food Network. Plus, we have plenty of other lifestyle channels like Hallmark and Cooking Channel.

    KIDS’ SHOWS | Keep the kids happy and the Saturday morning cartoon tradition rolling with Disney and Cartoon Network.

    SPORTS | Catch the latest news, analysis and feature films of your favorite sports on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and a whole lot more.

    INTERNATIONAL | SLING TV is one of the best international streaming services in the U.S., offering programs in 22 languages including Spanish, Hindi & Arabic.

    So what’s the hold up? Download the app today and start SLINGing.

    Please note: This app features Nielsen’s proprietary measurement software that will allow you to contribute to market research, like Nielsen’s TV Ratings. Please see for more information.
    In-App Purchases
    $1.01 - $74.99 per item
    Watch movies, TV, and sports, as well as recommendations just for you. Prime Video delivers exclusive Amazon Originals like The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, along with International Originals like Last One Laughing and Mirzapur.

    App features:
    • Download videos to watch offline.
    • Follow your favorite actors and directors to get notifications for videos featuring them as they become available on Prime Video (US only).
    • Cast from your phone or tablet to the big screen with Chromecast or Fire TV.
    • Profiles create personalized entertainment experiences.
    • Go behind the scenes of movies and TV shows with exclusive X-Ray access, powered by IMDb (availability varies by market).
    • Create or join a watch party to chat while watching movies and TV with others.
    • Resume watching videos across devices.

    For our Terms of Use and usage rules, see Amazon, the Amazon logo, and Prime Video are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.
    In-App Purchases
    $0.99 - $100.00 per item
    $8.99 per item
Compare All Apps

The 411 from our Appventurer

  • Although they have raised the price a few times since launch, YouTube tv keeps adding more and more channels to their lineup. It’s still a much better alternative to your typical “bloated” cable package like Comcast

Caroline Rothnie
Written by:

Caroline Rothnie

Hard as I try to keep a minimalist phone, I can't stop downloading more apps. In addition to my can't-live-without apps for organization, music and podcasts, fitness, and meditation, I'm constantly trying out new ones. So I love apps, but it's a complicated relationship -- some of my favorites are for keeping me off my phone/internet.

In second grade, I attempted to do a book report on a story I had written myself, so you could say I've always thought of myself as a writer. These days, I write a wide variety of web content with a focus on mental health and productivity. I also write personal essays. I live in Kansas with my husband and two dogs. 

Best TV Streaming Apps for Cable Cutters 2022




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