By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I want to cut the cord but I’m not sure which streamer to get to replace it. Any thoughts? — Ian, New Haven, Connecticut. 

Ian, which TV service should you get? That’s a complicated question, one I’ve been frequently asked over the years in regards to both streaming and traditional cable and satellite. My answer is that you need to do your own research and determine which service best fits your needs.

Are you a sports fan? A movie buff? Reality TV addict? Crazy about 4K? Some TV services have better offerings in certain categories so you want to examine their lineups and choose the one that works best for you.

By example, I recently cancelled Comcast after subscribing to the cable operator’s video plan for the last six years. (Prior to that, I had DIRECTV since its launch in 1994.) I like Comcast but prices have escalated in recent years, so I decided to keep my Xfinity Internet service and dump the TV plan.

In searching for a replacement, I had one top priority: The Washington Nationals. I am a lifelong baseball fanatic and the Nats are my team. Living in the Washington, D.C. area, I needed a streaming service that carries MASN, the regional TV home of the Nationals. (I could have tried a VPN to watch the Nationals on MLB.TV without blackouts but I wanted a TV provider that also carried other channels.)

My final selection was easy: DIRECTV Stream. The service has more regional sports networks (RSNs) than any other streamer and MASN is included in the list. In fact, DIRECTV Stream is the only streaming service that carries MASN, making my choice a slam dunk, to mix metaphors.

If you want to watch your local sports team, and that’s your top priority, DIRECTV Stream should be your clear choice, too.

(By the way, if you’re getting DIRECTV’s streaming plan, here’s why you might want to avoid getting the streamer’s Gemini set-top. Use a Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV instead. That’s what I’m doing.)

But your priority may be different. For instance, if you’re a football fan, YouTube TV has the NFL Sunday Ticket exclusively. For some, that’s a slam dunk.

Sling TV now offers the first month of service for just $15 and that makes Sling an easy choice for cost-conscious consumers. (It’s $40 a month after the first month.)

It all depends on what you want and need.

Ian, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann