Cord-cutting has become easier than ever today. In the past, foregoing cable TV meant that you had to give up the many channels you love. Today, you can get the channels, shows and movies you love, breaking free from the often overpriced cable TV and long-term contracts. So what are the 10 ways to watch TV without cable? In this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know to watch TV without cable in explicit detail:
- Over-the-air (OTA) Antennas
- Sling TV
- Fubo TV
- Amazon Prime Video
- YouTube TV
- PlayStation Vue
- Direct TV Now
To give yourself the best cord-cutting experience I recommend you combine one or more of the following options listed. Doing so will give you all the local broadcasting you’ll ever need without sacrificing sports, specialty channels and other premium content.
Option #1: Over-The-Air (OTA) Antennas for Local Broadcasting
If you seek to scale back completely and enjoy free TV, over-the-air (OTA) antennas are the way to go. Thanks to digital TV signals, you can enjoy high quality TV with an OTA antenna. HDTV antennas are very affordable, and depending on your area, you’ll be able to pick up local broadcasting channels including CBS, Fox, ABC, CW, NBC and more for free. Check out our TV Station Locator for Antenna Tool to see channels available in your area!
The benefit of this cord-cutting alternative is that you do not require an internet connection. However, you should always do some research before cutting the cord…reading this article and visiting AntennaJunkies.com is a great start! If you want to get as many channels as possible, go for OTA antennas that offer the best range, measured in miles or kilometers. To save you time, allow me to recommend my top 3 picks for both indoor and outdoor varieties!
Recommended Indoor HDTV Antennas
- Mohu Curve 50 TV Antenna Amplified 50-Mile Range MH-110567
- ClearStream ECLIPSE Amplified TV Antenna
- Channel Master CM-4001HD FLATenna Ultra-thin Indoor TV Antenna
Recommended Outdoor HDTV Antennas
- 8 Element Bowtie HDTV Antenna – 70 Mile Range
- Channel Master CM-4228HD High VHF, UHF and HDTV Antenna
- ClearStream 4 Outdoor HDTV Antenna
Option #2: Sling TV
Sling TV is among the best “over the top” (OTT) services in the market currently. This service targets the hesitant cord cutter and the younger crowd that never had to pay cable TV in the first place. Created by Dish Network (yes, the cable people), Sling TV nnnnnnnn was the first service to live stream major news, sports and other traditionally pay-TV shows without being tethered to a satellite subscription.
This service offers ESPN plus a range of other favorites including AMC, HGTV, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, A&E Food Network, The Disney Channel, Lifetime and NFL Network’s RedZone. Sling TV’s main focus is on live TV, meaning it displays programs as they are broadcast. It offers a very simple method to watch your favorite TV shows, on-demand programming, and movies.
After you sign up, you will only need to download the Sling app to your devices, and you are good to go. Once you start the app, all the channels you can access based on your chosen subscription plan will be displayed. It is worth noting that you require a stable internet connection to watch TV as it does not support offline viewing.
Sling TV is available in two different packages: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. Both of these options cost $25 per month. Sling Blue provides more than 45 channels while Sling Orange offers more than 30 channels. However, not all the channels in the Orange package are included in the Blue package. The combined Sling Blue/Orange package costs $40 and offers more than 50 channels. This allows you to save 20 percent if you were to purchase both.
Sling TV also provides add-on packages. These extra packages range from $5 a month to $15 a month. Some of the add-on packages include Sports Extra (NFL RedZone, NBA TV, beIN Sports, and NHL Network), Kids Extra (Disney Junior, Boomerang, and Disney XD) and News & Info Extra (HLN, Bloomberg TV, and Cooking Channel). In addition, Sling TV provides support and compatibility for Over-The-Air antennae for free TV if you are in a supported location. To check compatibility and get your 7 day free trial click here.
Option #3: Hulu
Hulu is one of the most affordable satellite and cable TV alternatives. It is an entertainment service, which provides over-the-top media content to consumers in the US, its territories and Japan. Hulu is primarily focused on instant television series streaming, carrying past and current episodes from the parent television network and other content partners.
This means that not only do you get original content, but also shows from local broadcasting channels and some cable network as soon as they are broadcast.
Hulu has included thousand of exclusive movies and TV episodes over the past year. It has also launched several popular live TV channels including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, The CW and ABC news. In addition, Hulu has upgraded its platforms to offer superior quality and support additional devices.
Hulu has two subscription options. These are Hulu and Hulu plus Live TV. The baseline Hulu service comes at $5.99 per month. With this subscription, you have access to over 85,000 episodes of on-demand TV and thousands of movies.
There is also the option for a No Ad Hulu Subscription. This costs $11.99 per month and offers the same as the baseline subscription. The Hulu Plus Live TV subscription is the perfect combination of live and on-demand TV. It costs $44.99 per month.
It offers more than 60 entertainment, live sports and news channels plus over 85,000 episodes of on-demand TV and thousands of movies without any Ads. As a member, you can easily switch between different plans at any time.
Option #4: Fubo TV
Fubo TV is an over-the-top (OTT) online TV service, which focuses primarily on the channels that broadcast live sports. Some of these channels include NFL, NBA, NLB, and MLS. It also offers international soccer channels, network television series, news channels, and movies. Some of the popular channels it offers include beIN Sports, A&E, AMC, BBC America, Adult Swim, CBSN, CNN, and Fox News.
Fubo TV was co-founded by David Gander (CEO), Sung Ho Choi and Alberto Horihuela (CMO) in January 2015. Fubo TV has four subscription plans at different price points. Below is a break down of the plans:
- Fubo Standard – This is the base package. It offers 83 channels, 30 hours of cloud DVR as well as the ability to watch two screens at the same time. This plan costs $ 54.99 per month.
- Family Plan – The family plan offers the base 83 channels but increases the cloud DVR to 500 hours. It also includes the ability to view on three screens at the same time. This plan costs $59.99 per month.
- Entertainment Plan – The Entertainment Plan offers the 83 base channels, 500 hours of cloud DVR, the ability to view two screens at the same time and adds Showtime for good measure. This plan costs $64.99 per month.
- Ultra Plan – The new Ultra Plan offers the previous “Fubo Extra” listings of all 103 channels. It includes 500 Hours of cloud DVR, the ability to view three screens simultaneously, Showtime and the Sport Plus add-on upgrade. The Ultra Plan costs $74.99 per month.
You can still throw in the add-on packages if they are not covered in your preferred subscription plan. Some of the Fubo TV add-ons include Showtime ($10.99/month), AMC Premiere ($4.99/month), FX + ($5.99), Sports Plus ($8.99/month), Fubo Latino ($7.99/month), Portuguese plus ($14.99)and Adventure Plus ($4.99/month). I actually recently did an in-depth article that pits Sling TV
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Option #5: Philo
Philo is a relative newcomer in the online streaming scene and among the cheapest. This service was first launched in 2009 at Harvard University. Philo provides a single subscription plan that costs $20 per month. Philo does not include any sports channels. It offers plenty of movies, reality TV shows, documentaries, and kid’s programming.
Philo has unlimited DVR and includes popular channels like AMC, A&E, Animal Planet, BBC World News, BBC America, BET, Discovery Channel, History Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC and Lifetime. A Philo subscription allows up to three different streams at the same time and is available o PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Roku.
Option #6: Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is an online video service on-demand that Amazon owns and operates. It was launched back in September 2006 as Amazon Unbox. Amazon Prime Video offers TV shows and films for purchase or rent as well as Prime Video, a collection of the original content and as well as the licensed acquisitions from Amazon Studios.
You can also access Prime video via a video-only membership is you reside in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Sweden. Some of the popular channels offered by Amazon Prime Video include Boomerang, CBS All Access, Cinemax, Starz, Sport Now, Showtime, Horror Tv, HBO, FNL Network and BroadwayHD.
Prime Video supports up to Ultra High Definition as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) streaming, depending on your device. If you have purchased an Amazon Prime Subscription (which costs $12.99 per month or $119/year), you will have instant access to Amazon Prime Video.
If not, you can pay for it separately as a standalone subscription. It costs around $9 per month. As a plus, if you want something that is not on Prime but available through Amazon (including single television episodes), you may be able to rent it. It is worth noting that Amazon Prime Video has a free trial period of 30 days.
Option #7: Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading online entertainment services with more than 150 million subscribers across over 190 countries. This subscription-based OTT streaming service allows you to enjoy television series, documentaries, feature films, and a wide range of genres and languages.
As a member, you can watch as much as you want, anywhere, anytime on any internet-enabled device. For this reason, it is the most accessible online streaming service out there. Netflix has three subscription plans. They are detailed below:
- Basic Netflix Plan – this plan offers you unlimited access to TV shows and movies in SD quality (720p). It costs $8.99 per month.
- Standard Netflix Plan – this plan allows you to stream TV shows and movies in High Definition (HD-1080p). It costs $12.99 per month.
- Premium Netflix Plan – This plan offers you access to original Netflix movies and TV shows in Ultra High Definition (UHD-4K). It also provides the ability to stream on 4 screens at the same time.
Netflix has a free trial period that lasts 30 days. Netflix is among the more affordable cord cutting options and provides approximately 1500 hours of original programming for your money.
Option #8: YouTube TV
YouTube TV is an amalgam of live TV, DVR, and video-on-demand features. It is a TV and movie streaming online service that utilizes YouTube’s straightforward and clean user interface. It is available on Smart TVs, mobile devices, computers, and streaming boxes.
YouTube TV offers local network broadcast channels, original YouTube Red web shows and the basic cable networks. It includes more than 70 channels plus YouTube Original channel content. The popular channels include AMC, FX, Bravo, BBC World News, Fox News, Adult Swim, CNBC, Cartoon Network and MSNBC.
YouTube TV currently costs $50 per month. The subscription was bumped up in April from the previous $40 a month. The price is $55 per month if you subscribe through Apple TV. YouTube TV has a fee 7 day trial period. There are not contracts for the service meaning you may cancel at any time. YouTube TV also has a range of add-on subscriptions. The add-on packages are detailed below:
- Showtime – $7 per month
- Fox Soccer Plus – $15 per month
- AMC – $5 per month
- Shudder – $5 per month
- Sundance Now – $7 per month
- Starz – $9 per month
- NBD League Pass – $40 per month
- Epix – $6 per month
Your YouTube TV subscription covers up to 6 separate user accounts. Each user can create a distinct profile with unique customized suggestions and DVR libraries. You can stream content simultaneously on three accounts.
Option #9: PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue is an over-the-top online television service owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment, a subdivision of Sony Corporation of America. Launched in 2015, PS Vue combines live television, cloud-based DVR and on-demand video to stream TV programs and movies.
The service is supported by multiple platforms including PlayStation consoles, smart TVs, mobile devices and computers. PS Vue targets cord cutters and serves to complement video-on-demand subscription services. The cheapest PlayStation Vue subscription plan, Access, costs $44.99 per month.
As a subscriber, you can access local broadcast channels, and cable favorites including ESPN, Disney Channel, AMC, and HGTV. PlayStation Vue has a free trial period that lasts 5 days.
Option #10: DirectTV Now
DirectTV Now is a subscription-based TV streaming services that is owned by AT&T. This streaming service allows subscribers in the US to stream programming from local and international cable channels without long-term contractual commitments. Direct TV Now was launched back in November 2016 and has more than 1.5 million subscribers.
It offers linear channels from established media conglomerates including A&E, CBS, AMC, Disney, Discovery, Viacom, MLB, Univision, Warner Media, and NBC Universal. As a user, you may also add-on Showtime, HBO, Cinemax and Starz for an extra fee.
Direct TV Now supports Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android, iOS devices, Safari, and Google Chrome. The monthly subscription plan costs $50 per month. You have the ability to view on two screens simultaneously. Direct TV Now has a free trial period that lasts 7 days.
Well there you have it, my top 10 ways to watch TV without cable! If you enjoyed reading this article and want to check out some more great articles right here on AntennaJunkies.com, check out these articles next:
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