Do all these allow archiving programs and viewing them at a later time?
(My inlaws set up one of their computers as a server to archive programs from some TV service, but they're too far away to lean on for help.)
Do all these allow skipping ads?
Do all these offer the weather channel for various cities around the US?
MSNBC? Which other news/opinion programs
I think the answer is yes on most of these. The new streaming "Internet TV" services like SlingTV, YouTubeTV, Vue, HuluTV etc all provide a DVR feature, pause/fast-forward/rewind capabilities, and a variety of channels.
There are sometimes limitations on the commercial skipping in some shows, and I don't know about the specifics of The Weather Channel. Channels like CNN, MSNBC etc are all commonly included. You can check out the websites of each of the services to see comparative channel line-ups for the various tiers of service.
I'm currently using the SlingTV service, and I've opted for Sling Blue for $25/mo, plus the $5/mo DVR option. I don't watch ESPN, so the Blue product was a good fit. It does have NBC Sports Bay Area, Fox Sports 1/2, NBC Sports, etc.
But if you're a sports fan who wants ESPN, you'll want Orange+Blue, which is $40/mo.
And if you're an even bigger sports viewer, you can add the Sports Extra ala carte option for $5/mo, which adds NBA TV, SEC Network, SEC Network+, Pac-12, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, beIN SPORTS, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, Stadium, Outside Television, and Motorsport TV.
Sounds a little complicated, but really it's ala carte TV - in so many ways. Because SlingTV and all of the other options are delivered over the internet to an app on your laptop, tablet or TV, you can switch between them at any time, adding and removing the options you find most compelling over time.
And added to Amazon Prime Video (included with Prime, their free shipping subscription), and Netflix, I've found this combination to be a great fit.
I should also add that there is a lot of great free content too. Services like Tubi, PlutoTV and Crackle. And with a library card in most locations, Kanopy is also available. For a guide to free streaming content, see: https://www.reviewgeek.com/5568/the-bes ... -services/
I'll concede that the video entertainment space is a bit confusing right now. The decision will vary: some households may prefer signing up for a two year contract for a traditional service, and Sonic is happy give you info on DISH service, as well as a bundle discount for it if you sign up via our team. But for other consumers, the streaming TV ecosystem is the right fit, and it's certainly where the most change is going on right now.