The world of cord-cutting — that is, eschewing traditional cable and satellite TV for an all-streaming scheme — moves fast. Really fast. Services add and remove channels all the time, and often without much fanfare. New hardware comes and old hardware goes.
And as consumers, it's pretty simple to switch from one service or piece of hardware to another.
But some things stand out more than others. Some services provide more flexibility and options. Some simply provideo more. Some hardware truly stands out.
This is the best of the best of 2018.
Best Streaming service
The best overall streaming service.
DirecTV Now has the deepest bench when it comes to plans and channels. With four main packages (starting at $40 for more than 60 channels), plus premium add-ons and a dedicated Spanish plan, you'll be hard-pressed to not find one that works for you. And DirecTV Now leverages the full might of its owner, AT&T, offering discounts for AT&T Wireless customers.
- Sling TV
Best streaming box
Apple's 4K-enabled set-top box is powerful and is our top streaming box.
Still our pick for the best streaming box you can buy, even if you're not one of those hard-core Apple fans. It's fast, it's got all the apps you could possibly want, and you know it's going to be supported (and updated) for a long time to come.
- NVIDIA Shield TV
Best over-the-air streaming box
Free over-the-air television as easily as possible.
Plug this into your home network and you can watch free over-the-air TV on up to four devices at the same time, with no monthly fees. It doesn't get much easier than this.
Best Universal Remote
The best universal remote for most people.
This little guy can control pretty much anything you have. And it does so in one of the best designs we've seen. You really don't need to look any further.
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