These days, streaming TV apps are seemingly everywhere. More than your run-of-the-mill Netflix or Hulu, new services from companies such as AT&T, Dish Network and even Google, which launched a service in April, are promising to help you watch live cable shows from any Internet-connected device — without a traditional TV subscription.

But the marketplace for these apps can be confusing; every service seems to support a different set of channels at a dizzying range of price points. So which live TV app might serve you best?

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To help answer that question, we’ve developed a calculator that lets you build your ideal TV package and match it against what’s available, based on an analysis of each service’s channel lineup.

Start by selecting the channels or shows you most want to watch. If for some reason a show doesn’t appear when you search for it, simply add the channel on which it airs. Then, in step two, tack on any standalone on-demand services you can't do without, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. If you haven't already, you can also add premium channels like HBO or Showtime. (Of course, if the only thing you watch are those premium channels, you might consider just getting their separate apps instead, such as HBO Now.)

The results should highlight the most affordable plan or package that still fits your selections — helping you make sense of this topsy-turvy era in TV history.

Methodology

Data is current as of Sept. 14, 2017. Channel listings for each service are provided by Sling TV, DirecTV, YouTube, PlayStation Vue, Hulu and fuboTV. Television show data is provided by the TV Maze. The data only contains televisions shows marked as running or to be determined as of the publish date. Web-only series are not included in the data.

Price estimates for additional services use the cheapest tier available. This tool helps identify an affordable streaming service based on the number of shows and channels selected. The more channels selected, the more informative the results will be. This calculator will help you narrow down your options, but you should check with the companies themselves to confirm which of your channels they support. This tool does not account for any promotions or special offers. It does not collect or store your responses.

Set-top box by Chameleon Design from the Noun Project.

Published April 27, 2017.

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