How It Felt to Use fuboTV

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hensen5005

Age: 2023
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I've used fubo.tv/connect quite a bit — not just for this review, but for all the other testing periods for all of our past fuboTV reviews. I've watched this service evolve, but I haven't always been impressed with its quality or direction. This time around, though, I really liked what I saw.It took fuboTV a while to figure out what it wanted to do, and it took it a few years after that to actually do it. But as I tested fuboTV for this review, I finally felt like I was using something that was both a streaming service and a live TV service — something that could actually beat cable at its own game.
I tried out fuboTV on my smartphone and in my browser, but it felt best when I was using it on my Roku TV. Some streaming services work hard to get you locked into one show or movie, but fuboTV gave me that lazy, cable-like feeling: I was channel surfing, half-watching, and just “seeing what's on.”
Fubo.tv connect interface did try to get to know me: I could choose favorite channels, which were then added to my home screen. But I added enough favorites that I still felt like I was viewing a nice cable-like selection, and I always had the option to go to the “Guide” tab and view all of the channels I was paying for in a classic TV Guide format.
fuboTV makes it pretty easy to switch between channels. I couldn't simply hit channel up or channel down, but I could press the down button on my Roku remote (or click a button in my browser, or tap the screen on my phone) to bring up a little row of channels at the bottom of the screen. From there, I could hop to the next channel — or to one a dozen channels away. Things worked a little differently on the iOS, Android, and in-browser apps, which I felt made it a little harder to just channel surf.
fuboTV - Roku Channel Change
Changing the channel on fuboTV for Roku
Channels appear in a pretty logical order on fuboTV, but they don't have numbers. I do miss the days of typing in a number to jump to a favorite channel (I still have channel numbers memorized from when I was growing up), but that's not really an option with the ultra-simple streaming remotes that come with devices like the Roku Ultra or the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which don’t have number buttons. Numbers wouldn't really make sense in a web or smartphone interface, either.
The menus that fuboTV used instead weren't quite as fast as tapping in numbers on a remote, but they were pretty quick, and surfing got easier for me as I added more channels to my favorites, put my favorite channels in my preferred order, and started using other helpful options like the channel-return (or “last channel”) button in the fuboTV interface. With a little practice, I think you'll find that fuboTV is as easy to navigate as any cable or satellite service.

I had lots of ways to find something to watch. I could look through channels, check out menus of shows, or just search for what I wanted.

fuboTV is built around live TV, but that doesn't mean that you have to watch everything live. fuboTV let me rewind and replay live TV, and it also made recently aired content available on-demand. I could reach past episodes of shows and recently aired movies by navigating to a favorite channel or by heading to fuboTV's on-demand menus. fuboTV has one tab for movies and another for TV shows in its apps. On these tabs, fuboTV looks a bit more like Netflix than like a live TV service.

Personally, I found that I didn't use these on-demand tabs very often. fuboTV's live TV interested me a lot more — especially since the movies available on-demand were presented the same way that they appeared on TV, complete with commercial breaks and bleeped-out curse words.

One thing I really loved about fuboTV was the way that it organized its sports content. fuboTV had spots in its menus dedicated to live sports, which made it easy for me to find a game to watch. (I had a ton of games to choose from, too, because fuboTV has a lot of sports channels — more on that later on!) If you're a cord-cutting sports fan, I think you'll find that fuboTV really goes above and beyond for you.

If you're not a sports fan, don't sweat it — none of these features are intrusive. The sports-related menus were there for me when I needed them, but they were easy to ignore when I didn't.

fuboTV also offers a cloud DVR service. Just like a regular, old-school DVR, this service let me schedule recordings for shows and movies and then replay my recordings on my own schedule. Unlike old-school DVRs, though, my fuboTV cloud DVR stored my recordings in the “cloud” — storage space on the internet — and let me play back recordings in the fuboTV app on different devices.

I could schedule a recording on my iPhone and then play that recording on my Roku TV, my computer, or any other device I wanted to use (as long as that device could run the fuboTV app, of course). I found the cloud DVR pretty easy to use. If you've gotten the hang of a cable or satellite DVR, then I don't think you'll have any trouble learning to use fuboTV’s version.
When I chose to record reruns and movies, my “recordings” were ready to watch instantly, which I thought was neat. I didn’t actually have to wait for the show or movie to finish airing. This is only true of reruns, of course — you won’t have instant access if the program hasn’t been released yet!

Posted 17 Mar 2023

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