Frndly TV is not a total cable TV replacement for most people, but the affordable live TV streaming service is part of the solution for many subscribers.
That’s because Frndly TV’s lineup includes 40+ channels 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, fuboTV 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 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
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- Hallmark Drama
- The HISTORY Channel
- Military HISTORY
- Game Show Network
- The Weather Channel
- Crime + Investigation
- GAC Family
- GAC Living
- Curiosity Channel
- Outdoor Channel
- Dove Channel
- Dove Kids
- Dove Family Movies
- World Fishing Network
- Sportsman Channel
- Local Now
- Heartland TV
- Story Television
- Heroes & Icons
- Start TV
For many, Frndly TV is an add-on to another live TV service.
The more expensive services (YouTube TV, Hulu Live, fuboTV and Sling TV) carry the most popular sports, news and entertainment networks.
They have deals with companies like Disney, FOX, NBCUniversal and 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. It’s carved out a niche as a provider of primarily family-friendly content.
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.
The My Recordings section is where you can manage your DVR.
With both plans that include DVR, you have the freedom to fast forward, rewind and pause your recordings.
But for some reason, recordings don’t show up in your DVR until about five minutes after the live airing ends.
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 On Demand section. (Click Movies and TV from the top navigation.)
Although most of the on-demand shows and movies have unskippable ads, Frndly TV also spotlights content that is 100% ad-free if you prefer not to suffer through commercials.
BOTTOM LINE: If you want to make sure that you can skip ads, take advantage of the unlimited DVR storage space 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 bare-bones 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 straight to the last channel you watched at launch.
Frndly TV now lets you sort the live guide in alphabetical order from A-Z.
You can view what’s on now and up to 10 days into the future.
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.
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 Recordings section served as my personal watch list.
The On Demand section has been broken up into two categories: TV and Movies. It includes some commercial-free movies, which is nice. Most on-demand content has ads.
And Frndly TV’s 72-hour Look Back is a great backup if you forget to set a recording.
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.