Frndly TV is not a total cable TV replacement for most people, but the affordable live TV streaming service is part of the streaming solution for many subscribers.
The service’s channel lineup includes 40+ networks that can be hard to find elsewhere.
Frndly Live TV Streaming Service Review: Is It Worth It?
In fact, some people join Frndly TV to stream family-friendly networks that services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live, Fubo and Sling TV don’t include in their base plans.
I’ve tested Frndly TV several times since it first launched in 2019.
In this article, I’ll help you decide if the service is worth your money in the competitive live TV streaming industry.
Read on for the five things to know before you sign up for Frndly TV!
Table of Contents:
- How Much Does Frndly TV Cost?
- What Channels Does Frndly TV Offer?
- Does Frndly TV Offer Cloud DVR?
- What Equipment Do I Need to Use Frndly TV?
- How Is the Frndly TV User Experience?
1. How Much Does Frndly TV Cost?
Frndly TV’s pricing is much lower than what you may expect from a live TV streaming service.
There are three plans: Basic, Classic and Premium. They cost between $6.99 and $10.99 per month after a November 2021 price increase. I recommend the Classic plan for $8.99 a month.
The channel lineup is the same for all plans, but there are a few main differences to consider:
- Video quality
- Stream limit
- DVR storage/expiration
Frndly TV Plans
|Multiple Screens||1 Stream||2 Streams||4 Streams|
|Cloud DVR Storage||None||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Recordings Expire||N/A||3 Months||9 Months|
In addition to the monthly payment option, Frndly TV offers an annual subscription for its plans that can save you about 15% off.
However, I do not recommend that you sign up for a year right away.
Test out Frndly TV for a month, and make sure that you use it enough to justify the cost of paying for 12 months in advance.
New Frndly TV users can start here and get a 7-day free trial.
2. What Channels Does Frndly TV Offer?
Frndly TV’s three plans give you access to several dozen cable TV networks that primarily focus on family and lifestyle content.
All three of the Hallmark channels are included, plus A&E, History, Lifetime, The Weather Channel, INSP, MeTV and Game Show Network.
Here’s a look at Frndly TV’s channel lineup:
- Hallmark Channel
- The HISTORY Channel
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- Game Show Network
- Lifetime Movie Network
- The Weather Channel
- Hallmark Drama
- Great American Family
- Outdoor Channel
- Dove Channel
- Great American Living
- Military HISTORY
- World Fishing Network
- Sportsman Channel
- VICE TV
- Local Now
- Dove Kids
- Hallmark Movies Now
- Cowboy Way Channel
- Heartland TV
- Heroes & Icons
- Start TV
- Dove Family Movies
- Crime & Investigation
- ION Mystery
For many, Frndly TV is an add-on to another live TV service.
The more expensive cable TV replacement services (YouTube TV, Hulu Live, Fubo and Sling TV) carry the most popular sports, news and entertainment networks.
They have deals with companies like Disney, FOX, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery.
But to keep their prices lower than cable, those services don’t make deals with some of the smaller content providers.
That’s where Frndly TV comes in.
The service isn’t trying to replace your 100+ channel cable or satellite package. Instead, it carved out a niche as a provider of primarily family-friendly content for a low monthly price.
NOTE: Aside from its 40+ channel lineup, Frndly TV offers Hallmark Movies Now for an extra $5.99 per month. This on-demand service features separate programming from the live channels.
3. Does Frndly TV Offer Cloud DVR?
Frndly TV’s Classic and Premium plans include cloud DVR, but this feature is not included with the Basic plan.
For plans with cloud DVR, you will never run out of space. Storage is unlimited.
However, recordings expire after three months with the Classic plan and nine months with the Premium plan.
When you select a program from the live guide, you’ll see the record option. And if that program is part of a series, you can choose to record a single episode or all episodes.
With both plans that include DVR, you have the freedom to fast forward, rewind and pause your recordings.
If you forget to set a recording, you can still watch recent shows or movies with Frndly TV’s 72-hour Look Back feature. However, fast-forwarding is not allowed.
72-hour Look Back content can be found from the Movies and TV sections.
BOTTOM LINE: If you want to make sure that you can skip ads, take advantage of the unlimited DVR storage space (with the Classic and Premium plans) and always set a recording.
4. What Equipment Do I Need to Use Frndly TV?
To get started with Frndly TV, you’ll need two things: a high-speed internet connection and a supported device.
You can watch on your phone, computer or your TV set.
Supported devices for streaming to a TV include Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android/Google TV and Chromecast.
During the sign-up process, I noticed this screen that recommended a Roku or Amazon Fire TV for the “best TV experience.”
That surprised me. Most services aren’t as transparent about the devices to use.
I streamed Frndly TV with a Roku Express 4K+ and had no issues with buffering.
As far as the internet speed requirement, Frndly TV’s recommendations range from 1.5 Mbps to 10 Mbps depending on several factors.
Learn more about my personal internet speed recommendations in this guide.
5. How Is the Frndly TV User Experience?
Frndly TV is a relatively simple live TV service, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The service doesn’t have a home screen with personalized recommendations based on your viewing history. Instead, you’re taken to the live guide at launch.
You can view what’s on now and up to 10 days into the future.
You can also scroll back from the live guide to view content from the past three days.
I like how the guide includes this live marker that indicates where you would join a program in progress. Plus, you can see any programs that are being recorded from the guide.
Frndly TV now lets you sort the live guide in either default order or alphabetical order from A-Z.
To adjust the order, click the settings wheel in the upper right corner of the screen. Then, navigate to Guide Display and select the live guide view that you prefer.
When you select a program from the guide, you’re not taken directly to it. There is a screen with the option to watch or record that shows up first.
Since there is unlimited DVR storage with Frndly TV’s Classic and Premium plans, I got into the habit of saving anything I wanted to watch later on.
That way, the My Stuff section (also called My Recordings) served as my personal watch list.
When you click on My Stuff, you’ll find newest recordings featured at the top. Your DVR is also categorized by TV shows, movies and scheduled recordings.
Select any thumbnail from the DVR to watch or delete your recordings.
The On Demand section has been broken up into two categories: Movies and TV.
Aside from Frndly TV’s recommendations, you’ll find a Continue Watching row from these sections to pick up on content that you haven’t finished.
There are also shortcuts to view on-demand movies and TV shows by specific networks.
If you’re searching for something specific, the search function may be the quickest way to find it. The service has improved its on-screen keyboard.
Access the search bar by clicking the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen.
Frndly TV Pros and Cons Summary
|The most affordable live TV streaming service||May not be a total cable TV replacement|
|Annual plans available||No DVR included with Basic plan|
|Same channel lineup with all 3 plans||Fewer features and options for personalization|
|Simple user interface|
Frndly TV is a live TV streaming service that delivers on its promise of family-friendly content at an affordable price.
For most streamers, I recommend the Classic plan since it includes HD quality video, cloud DVR and two streams at once. The Basic plan is just too basic for many people reading this article.
Depending on your viewing habits, Frndly TV could be a seasonal or year-round subscription.
For example, I hear from a lot of people who like to watch the Hallmark Channel around Christmas. They may subscribe to Frndly TV in November and cancel in January.
Get started with Frndly TV here and let me know in the comments below how you like the service.
64 thoughts on “Frndly TV Review: 5 Things to Know Before You Sign Up in 2023”
Thank you so much for all your informative information. It is wonderful.
Re: Frindly TV
You mentioned they offer ad free viewing. I would like more information on that. How much more is it on Classic plan. I can’t stand not being able to forward past commercials.
So just to be clear — there are commercials with all services that offer live TV.
But with Frndly TV’s Classic plan ($2 more than the Basic plan), you get unlimited DVR storage. So you can add as many shows as you want to the DVR and then skip the commercials manually with your remote when you watch the shows later on.
In addition, the On Demand section has some movies that have no commercials at all. They are labeled so you can easily find them.
Why is the annual plan not an option when trying to add Frndly TV to my Roku?
It’s available directly from Frndly TV’s website and then log in on your Roku. I do not sign up for services through third parties like Roku, so I’m not sure if Roku offers it when you sign up with them.
Chesapeake Shores is not allowing me to close captioning. All the other stations have it. What is going on?
I would contact Frndly TV directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
You keep adding more stations and rearranging the guide sequence. If you are going to keep adding stations then you need to provide the subscribers the ability to choose the sequence of the stations in the guide. I have been a subscriber for a couple years and the guide sequence keeps changing. Many of your recent additions are of no interest to me. I would like to set the guide sequence that meets my interests as I am sure other would also.
Why do the correct GAC Family and GAC Living movies not show on the guide? I would like to record and watch later but I can’t do that if they are not on the guide.
I am enjoying Friendly Tv…If I had a wish list I would love them to put into order by season and episode the on demand list. I am watching Chesapeake Shores and it is truly a pain to find the season and episodes on their list of on demand. The seasons and episodes are all over the place and out of sequence….
I did finally find away to get the show and find the episodes by season and episode…
thanks for the cogent overview. Alas, intensely dislike the apparent fact that we are apparently being deemed dumbed down enough to want to pay for the access and then still have to watch commercials!!!. You apparently deem that as the cost of “live TV.” (live what, btw, these are all recorded programs, no?)
You must be getting a commission for this write up. You put a brave face on it, but if this is another one of these “apps” where we have to endure 20-25 minutes of commercials for every 40 minutes of programs, we won’t be staying on much past the free trial….. enough to see latest season of Heartland (which you curiously don’t mention)…. and a few Halmark holiday whatever.
All live TV services air cable networks, and those networks insert commercials. Sorry if that was not clear. This is not a paid article. My editorial policy is on the right side of every page on my website.
Pay two dollars more and get the free recording then fast forward. You’re paying for live tv access, TV SHOWS that have commercials. I’m so sick of people looking to complain about something. Don’t pay for the service if it’s not for you. Otherwise…move on. It’s not necessary to complain. We love Hallmark and this service is definitely worth every penny for our home. It may not be for you.
Cristin, my complaint is not that they air commercials, but the number that they air. In a 30-minute show, there are probably 10 minutes of ads. The placement is terrible because they cut conversations off mid sentence and spoil the flow of the story. I have to agree in regard to paying a subscription fee and then being forced to view additional advertising, especially considering that many of those TV shows are public domain. The services double dip by charging subscription fees in addition to collecting ad revenue. I really liked the programming on Frndly but couldn’t tolerate the ads and cancelled before the first month was over. For the same price, I can watch all the Hallmark programs on NBC Peacock ad-free. If all you want is to have the TV on for company while you do other things, then Frndly is fine, but that’s about it.
I see Heartland and Hallmark in the channel list.
Hallmark was mentioned a few different times.
No need for snotty remarks for someone who is clearly trying to help people save money, and gives us different options, by his articles.
Thank You Michael for your articles!
Do they have auto play ?
I started with Frndly-TV in November 2021 and they put on an extra $5.99 charge for Hallmark. I tried to remove that adder on their website and it showed it was successfully removed, but still got billed for it on the next billing cycle. Being that they have no Phone Number to contact them I emailed email@example.com several times with no response and yes I checked my spam every day. So to say Hallmark is FREE, isn’t the way Frndly-TV see’s it, and to get the $5.99 removed off your billing for the Hallmark channel has been impossible for me. Customer Support does not exist and be careful on their pricing structure.
Hallmark has 3 live TV channels in the Frndly TV base plan. The $5.99/month extra is for an optional add-on called Hallmark Movies Now.
Gerald, you probably clicked to add on “Hallmark Now” you need to go to your settings and cancel that. It’s all the older movies Hallmark had. There are still 3 other Hallmark channels on Frndly. Hope that helps.
How do I cancel Frndly tv subscription?
Log in from your computer and head to the account settings
I may sound pretty uneducated to ask this question, to which I freely admit, but can you record programs from live local channels, i.e. NBC, CBS, ABS, etc?
Not with Frndly TV. You can hook up an antenna and then use a device like a Tablo or another over-the-air DVR!
At 12:00 I can’t get any channels to show. I have tried everything but it is like it has been disconnected. The TV guide doesn’t work during this time also. Please help.
Will there be a time when you have magnolia tv in your programing?
I just subscribed to this service, I agree with your analysis, it’s not a total solution, rather, it’s an add on. I got the annual plan. A year of service is less, yes, less than a month of my current TV service. It not bug free however, the software has crashed a few times at launch, but after a re-launch it works fine. Thank you for a very good review of this service.
This information is very helpful. Thank you
I love the channels available with this stream BUT OMGosh they have got SO MANY commercials!!
Sometimes it is to much. It makes me give this stream a 2 star unless you like commercials and even multiple info-mercials.
In watching a saved movie using the DVR function I have found a cumbersome method of (sort or) skipping commercials using my roku remote. It goes like this:
1. Watch playback until a commercial is recognized
2. Hit either the “PAUSE/PLAY” or “FFWD” button to bring up the playback timeline
3. Press ” FFWD” 1 or more times to forward thru the show
4. When the timeline has move +4 minutes press “PAUSE/PLAY” to see where it is in playback
– rarely is it in the right spot
5. If I’ve gone too far, I will hit “RWD” (rewind) to move back
6. If not far enough I will hit ” FFWD” at least one more movement forward then “PAUSE/PLAY”.
7. After several actions of either step 5 or 6 I will achieve a point acceptable to continue viewing until the next commercial break.
This is a frustrating and not a non-optimal approach but does shave 15 – 20 minutes of commercial viewing in a 2- hour recording.
??? Is there a better method? Is there any way for FRNDLYTV to place a visible marker for commercial identification beginning and end? Some services have a smart commercial skip that allows one press at the beginning of a commercial and automatically FFWD to next program segment. That would be nice……
I agree with Frank – the DVR control is poor. When FFing the recording doesn’t move in real-time nor is there a “frame” to see when the commercials are over. It’s educated guess work to stop when the commercial is over. Furthermore, sometimes the AV gets out of synch.
will frndlytv be adding antenna tv channel to it’s list soon
I really enjoy Friendly TV ! But Way to many commercials!
I’ve noticed more and more of my favorites moving to Hallmarks Now streaming service. Some of them aren’t that old. I’m wondering if this will be happening more and more, forcing my to add that service, which I’d rather not, if I want to watch my favorites.
Any word on why they are moving so many movies over to Now, instead of having them on both platforms?
That’s an interesting observation and something that’s happening with other (non-Hallmark) services too. I’ll look into it and see what I can find.
unbelievably bad user interface. I cannot continue where i left off each time i open the app.
When I went to sign up and entered my information the cost went from $6.99 to $69.99 so I canceled my subscription! False advertisement?….
Did you choose an annual plan? Frndly TV is only $6.99.
Why aren’t all the channels showing up in the guide? I can’t even find GAC which is why I subscribed. If there’s 40+ channels, why are only half of them showing up in the guide? I’m a new subscriber and this is so frustrating. Support has not replied.
I’m curious about the “HD” aspect. I receive stations like MeTV, H&I, getTV, and AntennaTV over the air, but they are on compressed subchannels. Does FrndlyTv really offer these in HD?
I’m a little late to the party here but I just wanted to express my thanks for writing a comprehensive guide with no fluff in between. You got straight to the point and answered my query at the same time. I love the service. Sometimes less is more. Thanks again.
For all you young folks complaining about the commercials, I have to laugh at the situation. We used to watch network television without subscription costs. If you had an antenna, you could watch television. The advertisers made the money for the networks by purchasing commercials.
Then ‘free’ viewing appeared without commercials. As anyone knows, nothing is ever really free. It was a way to get everyone on the internet. Now you not only have to pay to subscribe, but you have to watch the commercials as well.
Commercials always took up 1/3 of the viewing time. We all would sit together and watch the show, then when the commercials came on you knew you had 5 minutes to get up and do things. The nearest person to the TV would shout “IT’S ON!” and we’d all return to sit and watch the rest. No one watched commercials and I don’t watch them now. I couldn’t tell you a single commercial or what they are selling. You just tune them out and do something else.
Nothing new under the sun.
I’m a new subscriber to Frndly TV. I appreciate the family-oriented offerings. I’m sick to death of zombies, MA-rated movies, and blood/death/gore offerings. Thanks for the article. I wanted to know how to use the record feature. It’s all stored on the cloud to our accounts?
Yes, it’s all in the cloud! No physical DVR.
so I watch more of my programs via the network APP on my apple tv & when you do that you need to subscribe to some cable provider such as hulu, youtube tv, philo, etc. I currently use philo & unfortunately i cannot access TLC or Discovery website to stream & thus have discovery plus. only reason I have kept philo was for access to history channel app. So my question is with frndly tv will I still be able to use history app & not have to watch via live tv or dvr? thank you
Good question — Frndly TV says it’s not compatible with the TV Everywhere apps (which is how you’re able to do those log ins with other channels/services.) Details: https://frndlytv.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/48000601622-what-tv-everywhere-apps-are-available-with-frndly-tv-#:~:text=Frndly%20TV%20is%20not%20compatible,bottom%20right%20of%20the%20page.
With Frndly is the History Channel live????
If you subscribe to just the basic package it says you get only one stream, is that just one device or can you have the service on more than one device in a household but can only access service one device at a time.
One stream at a time!
I have not had cable for about a decade now.
I use an antenna for local channels and every year or so, more and more free channels are added.
Thank You for this article and all your other articles.
I am thinking of trying this for the free week, and see how it goes.
I do have a question, on their site it says it works on google chrome, so I would not have to buy a roku or whatever else people buy to watch what I want to watch, etc?
I already pay for internet, why would I want to buy something else to do the same thing, when you can do it with what you have?
Don’t you have to pay for a Roku or whatever else is out there, and then pay them fees too? Do you pay Roku etc. a monthly fee too?
Just wondering since I have never used any of them before!
Hi! You don’t *need* a Roku! You can view it through the Chrome browser on your computer. I explain more about how I use a Roku (for streaming to a TV set) in my cord-cutting guide: https://michaelsaves.com/streaming/how-to-cut-the-cord/. The Roku device is a one-time cost. There is no monthly fee. You can subscribe to services directly or through Roku.
This channel lineup is almost perfect. Is there or will there be a live news channel option?
They have Weather Channel, but unlikely for cable news because those networks are owned by bigger companies (FOX, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC). So, for example, if Frndly TV added something like CNN it would likely be forced to add all of the Warner Bros. Discovery networks. You may be able to supplement with the free live news services available everywhere — including on Pluto TV. Those do more headlines, not as much opinion.
Can FrndlyTV be shared with another household?
I believe that all live TV services are intended for a single household, including Frndly TV!
Some apps require a “live TV” (such as Hulu) to be installed. Does Frndly TV qualify as a “live TV’ option?
Not sure what you mean. Frndly TV is a live TV service that carries cable networks — the live feeds — plus on-demand content.
Can I use Frndly at home and at my camper down by the lake?
It’s for one household only, but as long as you’re not using it at both homes at once, you should be OK. You can use it while traveling.
I fell asleep in the middle of an hour and a half show that was on demand. I am unable to go back to that show and fast forward, meaning in order for me to see how it ended, I have to watch the entire show again from the beginning?! Is that correct?
On demand shows usually have ads. DVR shows you can skip through the ads.
Any plan for apps to watch Frndly on Samsung Smart TV… Just purchase Samsung TV.
As of right now, Frndly TV isn’t available directly from the Samsung app store. However, you can hook up a number of supported devices. I recommend a Roku. More in my guide here: https://michaelsaves.com/streaming/how-to-cut-the-cord/
Do not try and save money by paying annually. Their cancel anytime does not apply to annually paid account. Signed up in April. Tried to cancel in April. All they did was remove automatic renewal. Was told you can not cancel annually paid subscriptions only month to month. What a rip off.