How to watch TV without cable or satellite

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite

The question that gets asked over and over again both online and in various forums. How to watch TV without cable or satellite? In this article we’re going to tell you everything you need to know in order to watch TV without cable or satellite so keep reading!

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – Is It Even Possible?

Unequivocally the answer to this question is a resounding, YES! It absolutely possible to watch TV without cable or satellite. Actually, it’s what we’re all about here at AntennaJunkies.com. We pride ourselves on finding new and innovative ways to watch TV without cable or satellite!

Now there are various ways that we can go about “cutting the cable cord”. And in this article I intend to touch on a large majority of those ways. To be honest, I’ve been cable and satellite free for over 10 years and I haven’t looked back since!

Warning

Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users’ online activities. If found streaming copyright content, you could get into serious legal trouble. Currently, your IP 66.249.87.40 is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend that you get the best VPN for streaming and hide your identity so that your entertainment doesn’t take a turn for the worst.

Here are the reasons why you must use a VPN all the time.

I personally use and recommend you use one of PureVPN, IPVanish or ExpressVPN. They are the fastest and most secure VPNs in the industry.

To look at the various ways we can watch TV without cable or satellite, I’m going to cover 3 broad categories. All of these categories will offer various “sub-categories” that we will go into some detail on to describe the type of service, gear and variety you can expect to gather or purchase.

Nothing in this list will constitute a significant investment on your part. To the contrary, the upfront investment you will need to make would quickly be offset by the money you’re presumably already shelling out for a cable and satellite TV subscription.

So the 3 broad categories that we are going to drill a little deeper into in this article are:

  • Over-The-Air (OTA) HDTV Services
  • Internet Streaming Services
  • IPTV Streaming Services
    (Disclaimer: I or this website and its affiliates in no way endorse the use of illegal IPTV streaming services, however, for completeness we will discuss them here)

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – OTA HDTV Services

There’s a reason this is going to be our first topic of discussion. Heck, the site you’re visiting is called AntennaJunkies.com and that’s for a good reason…we’re all about watching FREE HDTV!

Without question the most cost effective way to “cut the cord” and watch TV without cable or satellite is by purchasing a good HDTV Antenna to start enjoying what millions of us have already been enjoying for years. Crystal clear HDTV Antenna signals that yield a picture like none other that you’ve seen from cable of satellite.

To ensure you have all the “goodies” needed to watch TV without cable or satellite, let’s talk about a few items you’ll seriously want to consider for your shiny new HDTV Antenna setup.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – HDTV ANTENNAS

Luckily this is not as difficult a task as you may think and we’ve written several articles here on AntennaJunkies.com to help you with that. There are a few things you need to research and ask yourself before you venture off to Amazon and purchase an HDTV Antenna.

  1. Where are you located with respect to the broadcast towers in your area?
  2. How far away are those broadcast towers from your location?
  3. Whether you can install an outdoor HDTV antenna (preferred).
  4. Or do you need to go with an indoor HDTV antenna because of some other constraint (i.e., you live in a condominium and it is against your condo rules to balcony mount an antenna).

These are some fundamental questions you’ll need to decide on before purchasing any antenna setup. If you live in the Buffalo-Niagara area I’ve put together an HDTV Channel Map that will help you locate your broadcast towers.

If not, and you live somewhere else, then I recommend you use the tools available on TVFool.com. They have some excellent tools to help you pinpoint the towers in your geographic region.

RECOMMENDED OUTDOOR ANTENNAS

Like I said above, when at all possible, in order to ensure you receive clear, crisp HDTV Antenna signals there is really no substitute to installing an outdoor antenna. Giving your antenna a clear, unobstructed view to the broadcast transmission towers in your area, free of walls, bricks and mortar, will pay huge dividends when it comes to the number of channels, picture quality and reliability you will receive.

1. 8 Element Bowtie Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna – 70 Mile Range

4K OTA Broadcasts - Element Bowtie Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna - 70 Mile RangeThis is quickly being touted as one of the best outdoor HDTV antennas on the market. I have a small cottage that is 80+ miles from the nearest broadcast tower and this guy pulls those HDTV signals with ease and I can be rest assured that this antenna will be ready to receive 4K OTA Broadcasts when they are available.

You read that right I did say 80 miles versus the 70 mile range advertised. I can only surmise that this is likely due to the fact that I’m on a lake (lakes generally are flat!!!) and slightly perched up on a point. In addition, I have it mounted atop a 30′ mast with no viewable obstructions.

2. Channel Master CM-4228HD High VHF, UHF and HDTV Antenna

Best Outdoor HDTV Antennas - Channel Master CM-4228HD High VHF, UHF and HDTV Antenna

This is a personal favorite of mine, so much so that I own two of them and have them on my house (visit some of my other articles listed at the bottom of the page to see some pics). Its classical design and 8 Bowtie arrangement allows you to receive signals from 70+ miles of range. Targeting main DTV frequencies, this antenna receives free over-the-air digital with ease and will allow you to watch TV without cable or satellite.

3. ClearStream 4 Outdoor HDTV Antenna

4K OTA Broadcasts - ClearSream HDTV AntennaThird on my list is the ClearStream 4 Outdoor HDTV Antenna by Antennas Direct. This is another solid choice if you’re looking for a good longer range antenna with some style. This antenna just looks cool and is a solid performer capable of pulling in high quality HDTV signal from 70 miles out and of course will be ready to receive 4K OTA Broadcasts when they’re available.

RECOMMENDED INDOOR ANTENNAS

1. Mohu Curve 50 TV Antenna Amplified 50-Mile Range MH-110567

4K OTA Broadcasts - Mohu Curved Amplified Indoor HDTV AntennaThe Mohu Curved HDTV Antenna will allow you to access all HDTV channels and will be ready to receive 4K OTA Broadcasts in your area within a 50 mile range without the need for cable or satellite subscription. This list of channels should include local stations plus all the major network channels such as, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and Fox. This antenna is also backed by a 1 year limited warranty, so if there are any issues or you’re not satisfied with the performance, simply return it for a full refund.

2. ClearStream ECLIPSE Amplified TV Antenna

4K OTA Broadcasts - ClearStream ECLIPSE Amplified TV Antenna

The ClearStream Eclipse has one of the best performance ratings in its class and grips to your wall using its Sure Grip technology for easy installation (no screws or fasteners required). It also comes in multiple colors (black or white) so you can color coordinate the room you will be placing it in. The antenna is supplied with a 20dB In-Line Signal Amplifier, 15 ft. Coaxial Cable, 5 ft. USB Cable and USB Power Adapter.

3. Channel Master CM-4001HD FLATenna Ultra-thin Indoor TV Antenna

4K OTA Broadcasts - Channel Master CM-4001HD FLATenna Ultra-thin Indoor TV Antenna As is the case with most Indoor HDTV Antennas, the ChannelMaster Flatenna will receive crystal clear HDTV signals from all directions and its non-intrusive design makes it a nice addition to a living room wall or window, and will be ready to receive 4K OTA Broadcasts at a range of 35 miles.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – TUNER SELECTION

No cord-cutters HDTV antenna setup is complete without having a network tuner to stream your new HDTV Antenna signal to any smart device, TV, laptop or computer in your house. In my opinion, if you’re seriously considering cutting the cable cord then you need one of these!

With a network tuner you can make your coax cable runs shorter, locate it in a concealed location that isn’t obtrusive, and it will allow you to serve up your HDTV antenna signals around your house utilizing your existing home network.

I’ve been a long-time user of SiliconDust HDHomeRun network tuners. Here are there top performers that you’ll definitely want to take a look at:

Not only will these tuners, in various tuner count configurations, stream your HDTV service to all the smart devices in your home. But they also now provide a fee-for-service internet streaming suite that is integrated into the same great HDHomeRun app that will serve up your antenna signals.


The internet streaming service I’m eluding to is known as HDHomeRun Premium TV. I did a complete article on this service and we’ll discuss it more below in the “Internet Streaming Services” section of this article.

To go along with your network tuner you are going to need to have a smart device such as an Android streaming box at every TV location you intend to stream your antenna signals to. Or, if you have a Smart TV that runs the Android TV OS you’ll be all set.

For full “wife approval” regarding android streaming boxes, I don’t recommend you go with the usual “Open Android OS” type streaming boxes. While they are fine for more advanced users, the experience you will get from a certified Android TV OS streaming box will be sure to please.

It is important that you know that THERE IS A DIFFERENCE between these operating systems. Here are the 3 boxes I recommend that all run a certified Android TV OS.

  1. NVIDIA SHIELD TV
  2. MECOOL KM8 2018 New Generation Smart Android 8.0 Box
  3. Xiaomi Mi Box

All these boxes run the latest Android TV OS and like I said, will be sure to get full wife approval!

I’m going to cut the conservation around additional hardware you will need here short, as I want to get into the other ways you can watch TV without cable or satellite. If you want to take a look at my complete setup, check out my article The Best HDTV Antenna Setup Right Now!

INTERNET STREAMING SERVICES


With a plethora of internet streaming services to choose from, they are the logical first choice for cord-cutters who are looking to watch TV without cable or satellite. Let’s review here the most popular internet streaming services available right now.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – NETFLIX – $12.99/month

How to watch TV without cable or satellite - Netflix

Without question the biggest player in this arena is Netflix. This internet streaming giant has grown into a company worth in excess of $150-billion dollars. It started as a mail-order type video rental company where you could rent movies via postage and then watch and return them after 30 days. A 30-day rental was unheard of back in the days of Blockbuster Video and the like.

However, Netflix had other things cooking and pioneered internet streaming services to follow. Netflix offers a great variety of content and now is producing some high-quality content of their own with Hollywood “big-names” taking lead roles.

Netflix without question is re-landscaping what entertainment is and how we consume it. Therefore, it deserves our #1 spot for all things cord-cutting and it should be a logical first step to learning how to watch TV without cable or satellite.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – HULU – $44.99/month

How to watch TV without cable or satellite - Hulu

Hulu is another great streaming service that should be considered if you’re looking to cut the cable cord and watch TV without cable or satellite. It offers on-demand content of your favorite TV shows in almost real-time. This means that at the conclusion of the broadcast airing on “regular” TV, it will likely be available for you to consume almost immediately.

The other nice thing is that Hulu has now expanded its line-up to include live TV and live sports channels such as ESPN. Live sports is often the bane of cord-cutters, however, this is no longer becoming an issue as internet streaming services are offering more and more live sporting options. The live TV option will cost you more, $44.99/month versus $5.99/month.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – SLING TV – $25/month

Sling TV is different than the previous two mentioned in that it is designed to effectively mimic your cable or satellite subscription. The channel is pretty good and getting better all the time, and the nice thing is it can be A LOT cheaper than what you’re currently paying your cable or satellite provider.

Watch TV without cable or satellite - sling

Starting at $25/month there really isn’t any reason not to give it a try and see if it’s a good fit for you. Couple that with their free one week trial, what do you have to lose? Below you’ll see that they have several packages to choose from with many addons available.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – HDHOMERUN PREMIUM TV – $39.99/month

I mentioned this brand new service earlier and let’s take a closer look now. What separates this premium service from the Sling TV service above is that it integrates beautifully into your existing HDHomeRun antenna channels, guide and DVR. It offers many of the same channels as does Sling TV at a price point currently of $39.99/month.

Here is SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun Premium TV YouTube video that gives a brief overview of what this service is.

As I eluded to at the start of this article, to get this service you are going to need one of the following HDHomeRun network tuners

If you already have one of these tuners you’ll want to make sure that you have a recent firmware update. Visit my.HDHomeRun.com and make sure you see Version 20180817 or more recent.

I encourage you to check out my full article at HDHomeRun Premium TV Available Now.

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – IPTV SERVICES

The brand of IPTV services I am talking about here are the illegitimate types. I’m going to do my full disclosure here again, I nor any of my affiliates neither support or encourage the use of these types of streaming services. If you choose to try one of these services you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I only mention them here in this article for completeness as there are many of them out there with varying levels of reliability.

Typically, what you do to get these IPTV streams setup is to install an STB (Set-Top Box) Emulator such as STBEmulator Pro on the Google Playstore on your Android device such as the Nvidia Shield TV or the Xiaomi Mi Box.

Once installed the IPTV provider will provide a MAC address that will be registered with these, most often, off-shore IPTV streaming servers. Your Android box will then be validated using this MAC address and you’ll be able to receive IPTV streams.

If you are going to tempt fate and try one of these streaming services out, then I highly recommend you use a PurVPN to do so for your own protection. This VPN will encrypt the stream thus keeping your anonymity intact.

I actually did a complete article on this very topic and the use of these IPTV streaming services. You can check it out after this article at Are IPTV Subscriptions Legal?

Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite – Final Words

I hope you’ve found this article useful and I have answered the question, “How to watch TV without cable or satellite”.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some of our other articles today:

And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my Top 10 Antenna Picks for this year and leave me a comment!