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 $7.99 and $11.99 per month after a September 2023 price increase. I recommend the Classic plan for $9.99 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
|Cloud DVR Storage
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
- Pursuit Channel
- Waypoint TV
- 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
- Court TV
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, Chromecast and select Samsung smart TVs.
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 began rolling out a home screen with recommendations for shows and movies in January 2024. Previously, it took users 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.