It’s a great time to be a TV consumer. We have great choices for pay TV services from companies like AT&T, Spectrum, DirecTV, Dish and a few others. Cord cutters can also have their pick of streaming services, from Sling TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu, YouTube, DirecTV Now and a few others.

There’s plenty of TV-watching gear to shop for this year. Here’s a good mix of items I’ve come across.

— Sling TV

What is it? Sling TV was the first skinny bundle live TV streaming service. You pick a bundle of channels from two lists, then you can choose to add on smaller groups of genre channels (sports, kids, Spanish, news) to round out your package. Pay channels such as HBO and Showtime are also available. Sports fans will find live streams of ESPN and Fox Sports regional channels. Sling TV is also rolling out a cloud DVR service so you can record live streams for later viewing. You watch on your phone, tablet, computer or TV with a streaming box like Apple TV or Roku.

Who is it for? Cord-cutters, especially those who want to watch live sports.

How much does it cost? Bundles start at $20 a month. Add-on packs of genre channels are $5 a month and adding HBO is $15 a month. You can try it free for a week.

Where can I get it?

— Apple TV 4K

What is it? Apple updated its Apple TV box to be able to play back 4K and HDR (high dynamic range) content. The box itself looks exactly like the previous Apple TV. It’s available in 32gb and 64gb versions to store apps and games from the iTunes App store. It can stream from almost every service. Amazon Prime streaming is coming before the end of the year. This is a box that can do it all.

Who is it for? Streamers and cord cutters with a 4K TV.

How much does it cost? $179 for 32gb; $199 for 64gb.

Where can I get it?, Apple stores, Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart.

— Playstation Vue

What is it? Another great streaming service. You pick a bundle and stream the live channels. The Sony service is the only one to offer all four local Dallas channels (Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS). Playstation Vue also has a pretty nice cloud DVR. Besides the bundles, additional channel packs are available, as are movie channels.

Who is it for? Cord cutters who live too far out for reliable over-the-air reception.

What does it cost? Bundles range from $40 a month to $75 a month, plus add-ons.

Where can I get it?

— ClearStream Eclipse Amplified HDTV Antenna

What is it? An indoor antenna to pull in over-the-air broadcast signals. The Eclipse is about the size of a dinner plate and sticks to the wall or in a window. It has a small amplifier that plugs into a USB power supply to pull in signals from up to 50 miles away.

Who it’s for? Cord cutters who want to watch over-the-air channels, even from long distances.

How much does it cost? $59.99.

Where can I get it?, Amazon and Best Buy.

— Tablo Dual

What is it? A streaming DVR to record over-the-air channels. You plug in your over-the-air antenna and put the box on your wired or wireless network, then you stream the content to your phone, tablet, computer or TV through a set-top box. You can add your own hard drive for recording.

Who is it for? Cord cutters who want to record over-the-air shows.

How much does it cost? $219, plus $49 a year for guide data.

Where can I get it?, Best Buy, Amazon and Wal-Mart.

— TiVo Roamio OTA 1TB

What is it? A TiVo DVR for over-the-air channels that also receives streaming content from services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and more. The 1 terabyte hard drive and internal tuners can record four shows at once and store up to 150 hours of content. Lifetime guide data is included.

Who is it for? Cord cutters who want to record over-the-air and stream, all in the same box.

How much is it? $399.99.

Where can I get it?, Amazon, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.



Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at


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