Vidgo costs nearly as much as the top streaming services we reviewed, but it’s harder to use and missing a lot of top channels. It’s the best way to watch One America News plus original programming from Bill O’Reilly, though, and one of the best ways to catch college sports.
If Vidgo carries your teams and you resonate with its news offerings, it’s a decent alternative to some of the cable and satellite TV services we reviewed. But for most cord cutters, we can’t recommend Vidgo. Choosing a different streaming service would give you most of the right-wing news you crave and more pro sports.
Vidgo offers local FOX and ABC channels in some markets (including their respective news coverage) but doesn’t carry NBC, CBS, or PBS. That means missing out on local news and a lot of primetime goodies. We like that there are at least some local channels (you don’t get any with Philo, for instance), but there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Vidgo is so-so when it comes to professional sports, offering MLB Network and NFL Network, but no NBA TV and none of the local channels that host the biggest national games and matches. There’s also a gap when it comes to regional sports networks for pro teams, and there’s no access to TNT. It offers nearly a dozen channels just for college sports, though, plus the standard ESPN, NHL Network, and Fox Sports 1 and 2. It goes above and beyond with sports in Spanish, offering Telemundo, Estrella, Univision, and UniMas.
Family and education: 2.5/5
Vidgo leaves something to be desired when it comes to family viewing. We like that it offers Science, Discovery, four Nickelodeon channels, and three Disney channels in its Ultimate package, but missing local channels and all their great family content is a bummer. There’s no PBS, either, but you will find the Curiosity channel (without add-on pricing) which is rare among other streaming services, plus BYUtv and Great American Family.
News and politics: 2/5
Vidgo is the only live TV service we tested that still offers OAN (One America News), and it’s the home of two new shows from conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly: Shock and Awe and No Spin News. It also features Fox News, Newsmax, and News Nation channels, and the listener-supported channel Vice, but it’s missing CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and BBC America. Top competitors YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and DIRECTV STREAM offer a wider range of options, so the focus on right-leaning options is what makes Vidgo stand out.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 2.5/5
We like that Vidgo offers both Lifetime and Hallmark channels, but it’s missing a lot of the most popular entertainment channels out there. There’s no Showtime or HBO (and no add-ons), no Ion Mystery, no Reelz, and no Grit. You will find MTV, CMT, and BET, though. If there’s a particular channel you’re interested in, we recommend checking the Vidgo channel guide before making a decision, because there are no free trials.
Vidgo offers four package options, and they’re not cheap. The cheapest English-language package starts at about the same price as the top live TV streaming services we reviewed. Other packages cost even more.
Rather than try to be everything for everyone, it’s pretty clear Vidgo is going for two main audiences: people who love right-wing news and analysis, and people who love college sports. You’ll also find some heart-warming movies, shows for kids, and music videos, but the channel lineup makes it clear producers care more about starting lineups than love notes or bleeding hearts.
It’s worth noting that Vidgo also has a subscription focused on Spanish-language TV, and we like that it costs $20 less than the cheapest English-language subscription.
We wish we had a lot of nice things to say about Vidgo’s features, but we only found one: you can stream on at least four devices at a time with one account, with no restrictions around IP addresses or logged-in devices. Things go downhill from there.
Ability to watch: Bad
We started our testing on an iPhone and found out we couldn’t rewind live TV at all, couldn’t fast forward content of any kind, and couldn’t even load a lot of the on-demand content. The problems persisted when we moved our testing to a Safari browser. Watching on a PC or Chrome browser was easier, and the Android app worked well overall. But we ran into confusing quirks and bugs on every device.
Things got a little easier when we tried Vidgo on streaming devices, but the interface was clunky and boxy. The bare bones functionality of watching TV live is there, but it takes several clicks to watch anything at all, and there are multiple weird pop-up boxes throughout the experience.
We found several college sports channels, but our testers noticed low-quality feeds on some games. The load times for games felt faster than with DIRECTV STREAM, the reigning RSN provider in live TV streaming, but we couldn’t get on-demand movies to load at all on several of the devices we tested.
You can pause live TV, but it’s basically just a mute button because pressing “play” takes you right back to the live version. You can rewind live TV, but only back as far as you’ve been watching live. There’s no way to skip commercials, even if you wait for a lag of several minutes. If you’re using a PC, you can speed up or slow down the show, but the highly unusual feature is glitchy and feels unnecessary.
You can’t fast-forward easily with on-demand shows and movies either, though some devices let you drag a play bar back and forth. It is possible to skip ahead when watching from the on-demand library, but only if you’re using Edge or Chrome browsers or relying on the capabilities of your streaming device (such as an Apple TV).
It doesn’t get much better when it comes to the on-demand library. You can “Favorite” channels and sort by Favorites in the channel guide, but that doesn’t have any impact on your home screen. Instead, you get blasted with content Vidgo considers “Top Shelf,” meaning mostly Fox News.
Watching from the on-demand library was beyond frustrating. We were eventually able to watch on-demand movies on a MacBook, but only with Chrome and Firefox browsers. Other times, we couldn’t get anything to load at all. We understand that not everything is set up to work well with Safari, but Vidgo’s own documentation encourages using the browser. Not a good look.
Ability to record: Bad
Vidgo offers cloud DVR, but it’s terrible. For starters, the maximum possible storage is just 20 hours, which never expire but that you’ll use up in a hurry. Top streaming competitors offer unlimited cloud DVR and include it in the package price, so Vidgo is clearly in the minor leagues here. Maybe even the little leagues.
Using the DVR is a challenge, too. First, it’s hard to get anything to record. You can’t start a recording in the middle of a program, and most of the time the shows we had selected for DVR weren’t actually recorded. Over several days of testing, none of our recordings showed up in the mobile app.
We finally found some (but not all) of our intended recordings using a Chrome browser, but there was no easy way to skip commercials.
From the home screen, you can (allegedly) set recordings by clicking on a show’s image card. You’ll probably have to click several times, though, and it may never work.
Ability to find: Bad
Things get even worse with the channel guide. You first have to click on the bright red “i” button on every channel to get to the description, and then look for the DVR button to the right. That “i” button looks like an exclamation point at first glance, so we thought it was a warning rather than a functional button.
For better or worse, channel surfing is also a no-go. There is a mini player, but if you’re watching on it, there’s no way to get back to the guide. If you pause a show and wait too long to get back on, there’s a good chance you’ll lose your place entirely and be kicked back to the (un-customizable) home screen.
Ability to share: Fine
There are no profiles, no parental controls, no 4K, no surround sound, and no other perks we could find. We were able to get around the three-device limit and watch in multiple locations, though, which earned the provider a little extra credit. Unfortunately, we're pretty sure that's a bug and not a feature.
We were surprised to learn that Vidgo launched in 2018 because it still feels very beta. The interface and website are clunky and the packages and offerings change often. That said, we had to call in to customer service a few times and had relatively positive experiences. They even let us cancel the service without too much hassle, but it was a little strange. Rather than disabling our user profile, they just removed our credit card info.
Vidgo earned some of our lowest star rankings among both traditional TV and streaming providers, but it’s not hopeless! A new executive team was brought on toward the end of 2022, and we look forward to seeing what’s on deck. (1)