Which Live TV Streaming Service Has the Best Cloud DVR?

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If you’ve decided to cut the cord and move to a livestreaming TV service, you may be wondering about cloud DVR as a key component of your future TV provider.

After all, being able to watch the content you want — when you want — is an important feature in 2022. Most people no longer set their watches to be in front of the television as soon as a new episode of their favorite TV show airs.

Popular streaming services including YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV have heard customers loud and clear on this matter. So you may be pleasantly surprised that your cloud DVR options in 2022 are quite good.

Let’s walk through what you need to know about cloud DVR before making a decision about which streaming service is right for you.


Cloud DVR Comparison: Which Streaming TV Service Is Best?

If we asked this question even last year, the answer would be pretty simple: It’s YouTube TV and then everyone else.

The popular livestreaming TV service from Google was considered the gold standard because it has included unlimited DVR storage with its robust basic package since Day One.

But that’s not your only option for unlimited storage anymore.

Competitors Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV STREAM made the decision to match YouTube TV with unlimited cloud DVR storage for its customers. And discount streaming services Philo and Frndly TV offer unlimited storage with their channel packages as well.

Here’s a breakdown of each service’s cloud DVR storage offering.

Even though Sling TV and Fubo TV do not offer unlimited cloud DVR storage, you can boost your storage on each of those services for an additional monthly fee.

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What Should You Care About Beyond the Number of Storage Hours?

While “How many shows can I keep on my DVR?” is probably the most important question most cord-cutters want answered, there are a few other cloud DVR features worth considering.

The next two questions should probably be:

  • How long will I be able to keep recorded content on my cloud DVR?
  • Will I have to watch commercials during my recorded content?

Let’s look at how each streaming service is handling those in 2022.

Service When Recordings Expire Skip Commercials
YouTube TV

9 months Yes
Hulu + Live TV 9 monthsYes
Sling TV No expiration dateYes
fuboTV No expiration dateYes
Philo 12 monthsYes
Frndly TV Classic: 3 months
Premium: 9 months
Yes

As you can see, all of the services now offer the option to fast-forward through commercials on your cloud DVR recordings. This is, once again, a standard set by YouTube TV that Hulu + Live TV and other competitors are now matching.

You may have noticed that Sling TV and Fubo TV are making up for their limited space offerings by letting you keep recordings stored indefinitely. Of course, you may eventually run into storage issues (particularly with Sling).


Final Thoughts: Which Is Right for You?

Thankfully, the wide availability of cloud DVR in 2022 makes it much less of an issue for streamers than it used to be.

With the majority of the services offering unlimited storage and pairing it with the ability to fast forward through commercials, you should be in pretty good shape with several of the available services.

Team Clark considers YouTube TV one of the top overall live streaming TV experiences based on a combination of channels and features. A strong cloud DVR service is one of those features.

So if you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend giving it a shot.

If $65 is too much for a monthly streaming bill, you may be better served by Philo’s $25 price and generous cloud DVR offering.

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However, what you’re gaining in monetary savings you’ll be giving back in access to popular channels. Philo does not have local channels, nor does it have any of the popular live sports or news networks that you may enjoy.

You can use Team Clark’s streaming channel guide to learn more about what each service offers and also our streaming channel tool to customize which streaming package gives you the most channels you want for the best price.

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