If you want to record your favorite TV shows, movies and live sporting events, cloud DVR is an important feature to consider when choosing a live TV streaming service.
Team Clark’s top three streaming picks include cloud DVR storage with their base plans, but YouTube TV is the best.
Cloud DVR Comparison: Which Streaming TV Service Is Best?
- YouTube TV places no storage limits on your recordings and saves them for up to nine months. Unlimited DVR is available at no extra charge with the base plan.
- Hulu + Live TV features 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, but you must pay an extra $9.99 per month for 200 hours and to be able to fast forward through commercials in your recordings.
- Sling TV includes only 10 hours of free DVR storage, and the oldest recording is deleted once you hit that limit. For $5 a month, you can protect your recordings and get 50 hours of storage.
When it comes to cloud DVR, three main factors to consider are the storage limit, how long you can keep recordings and the ability to fast forward through commercials.
In the chart below, you can see a side-by-side comparison of how the major services stack up:
Service Starting Monthly Price DVR Storage When Recordings Expire Skip Commercials
$64.99 Unlimited 9 months Yes
Hulu + Live TV $54.99 50 hours
200 hours with paid upgrade
No expiration date Only with paid upgrade
Sling TV $30 10 hours
50 hours with paid upgrade
No expiration date Yes
fuboTV $64.99 250 hours
1,000 hours with paid upgrade
No expiration date Yes
Philo $20 Unlimited 30 days Yes
Frndly TV $5.99 to $9.99 Basic: None
Classic & Premium: Unlimited
Classic: 3 months
Premium: 9 months
TVision by T-Mobile Vibe: $10
($5/month extra with Vibe)
9 months Yes
Tip: Short on DVR Storage Space? Watch the On-Demand Version
If your live TV streaming service doesn’t offer unlimited cloud DVR storage and you don’t want to pay extra for it, you can save DVR space by viewing an on-demand version.
All of the major services have some TV shows and movies available on demand. Hulu + Live TV is my favorite.
With a Hulu Live subscription, you get access to Hulu’s entire on-demand library. That includes full seasons of many current shows including recently aired episodes.
The drawback is that you may not be able to escape commercials when watching the on-demand version.
However, I put up with these ads to free up cloud DVR space for live sports, news broadcasts and other programs that don’t end up in the on-demand library.
If you rely heavily on cloud DVR, start with YouTube TV. With unlimited DVR storage, you’ll never have to spend time deleting recordings because you’re nearing a limit.
But if DVR isn’t that important to you, there are cheaper options than YouTube TV.
For many cord-cutters, the cloud DVR will be a secondary factor. More importantly, make sure that your live TV streaming service has your must-have channels at a price that you can afford.
If you need help choosing a streaming TV service, see Team Clark’s guide to the best plans and deals!