Searching for the best internet TV provider in the US that fits your budget and viewing preferences? With so many options like DIRECTV, AT&T TV, Spectrum, Viasat and HughesNet, it can be challenging to compare plans and features. This guide examines the top internet TV services to consider based on channel availability, price, streaming quality and more.
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Overview of Satellite and Cable Internet TV
Internet-based TV services from providers like DIRECTV and Spectrum offer many benefits over traditional cable:
- No contracts so you can cancel anytime
- Access to hundreds of live and on-demand shows and movies
- DVR storage to record programs
- Streaming capability on mobile devices
- Bundle with internet for savings
When choosing the right provider, factors like available channels, video quality, monthly pricing and contract requirements should be considered. Comparing features and services head-to-head makes it easier to find the best value.
Examining Major Internet TV Providers
Here’s an overview of the top internet TV providers available across most of the US:
- Offers over 155+ channels on multiple streaming apps
- 500 hour HD DVR included with Genie model
- Access to NFL Sunday Ticket with premium packages
- Satellite required for service outside city coverage
- Contracts required for promotional pricing
- Channel packages from over 65+ to 130+ channels
- 500 hour unlimited DVR storage
- Voice remote with Google Assistant built-in
- Restricted regional availability
- Long-term contracts required
- 125+ channel plans plus options like HBO and Showtime
- Cloud DVR storage with Spectrum TV app
- In-home streaming with Spectrum TV app
- Internet bundles available for added savings
- No annual contracts but promotions have fine print
- Three satellite internet packages with TV options
- Plans offer over 100 channels
- 72-hour free cloud DVR
- Large data allowances from 35-150GB/month
- 2-year contract required
- Gen5 satellite internet bundles with over 50 channels
- Record shows with 50 hour DVR
- Video Data Saver option for TV watching
- 10-50GB data plans with overage fees
- 2-year customer agreement
Comparing Top Internet TV Brands
While channel lineups may seem similar across providers, video streaming quality, DVR features, contract requirements and internet bundling options can vary significantly.
For the widest channel selection, DIRECTV or Spectrum offer packages from 125+ to over 155+ channels. Viasat and HughesNet have more limited channel options with their satellite TV bundles.
If DVR capability is important, DIRECTV and AT&T TV offer abundant 500+ hour storage. Others like Spectrum and Viasat have smaller but free cloud DVRs. HughesNet’s is only 50 hours.
Video quality depends on internet speeds. Fiber optics deliver the fastest speeds for uninterrupted 4K streaming with providers like AT&T. Satellite and cable offer high definition for most programming.
No annual contracts give the freedom to switch providers anytime. DIRECTV requires 2-year agreements while Viasat and HughesNet need long-term customer commitments to get advertised bundle pricing.
Bundling TV and internet can provide over 30% in savings. Spectum makes it easy to add both services while Viasat and HughesNet focus on satellite TV paired with satellite internet.
Choosing the Right Provider for You
With the major internet TV providers compared, it’s time to select the right service based on your preferences:
- Make a list of must-have channels like local networks, sports, movie channels and more. Compare lineups to see which matches closest.
- Calculate the hours of DVR storage needed. If you record frequently, choose unlimited DVR plans from AT&T TV or Spectrum.
- Check internet speeds in your area to confirm sufficient bandwidth for uninterrupted streaming, especially for 4K video.
- Compare total costs of packages after promotional pricing ends to get the real long-term value.
- Look for trials to test out services. Many offer free week-long previews.
Finding the best internet TV provider involves comparing available channels, video streaming quality, DVR features, internet bundles, contract terms and costs. Pay attention to the fine print. Focus on your must have channels and features, then compare DIRECTV, AT&T TV, Spectrum, Viasat and HughesNet head-to-head to identify the service that provides the right fit and value for your home.