How To Watch TV without Cable or Satellite
Let’s face it: both cable TV plans and satellite TV plans are expensive. Consumers are easily shelling out a couple hundred per month for TV, Internet, and sometimes even Phone combination plans. That’s a lot of money to pay out for Internet access, as well as for access to the only couple of channels we watch per month, compared to the hundreds, if not thousands available to us.
That’s why cable cutting has gotten so popular — consumers would rather pay for one or two channels that they watch regularly, than for hundreds of channels that they’ve never even visited. Is it really that easy, though? Yes! If you follow along with us below, we’ll show you how you too can watch TV without cable or satellite subscriptions. Let’s dive right in.
The advent of cable-cutting
Cable-cutting started a few years back, when streaming devices like the Fire TV stick appeared on the market. We started seeing media apps launch on platforms like the Fire TV stick — and Android as a whole — that allowed you to subscribe to them, getting the same content that you would see on TV, but for around $10 per month. These are apps like CBS, Fox, AMC, HBO, and so many more.
Of course, it can still add up quite a bit when you start subscribing to all of your favorite channels. But not anymore: ever since Sling TV originally hit the market, this allowed folks to purchase a TV subscription on the cheap, and with no contracts. Slings and others discovered there was a market for something like this, and as such, we’ve seen all sorts of new TV streaming services launch that don’t require cable or satellite — only an Internet connection.
So, how do you start taking advantage of services like this? You can take advantage of a short trial from almost any of them, and then sign-up and subscribe. All that’s required is a streaming device, such as the Fire TV stick or Apple TV. Or, depending on the service, you may be able to get a streaming device for free, or, you might get the service’s own streaming hardware.
It’s all fairly easy to setup — once you subscribe, just plug the hardware into your TV, make sure the app is downloaded for the service, and then log in with the credentials you set. Alternatively, you can simply download your chosen service’s app onto your phone, and login with your credentials through there.
With all of that said, here are the best cord-cutting services that you can get started with:
Sling TV has been one of the oldest running cord-cutting services, and the most affordable. Sling TV, like the others on our list, allow you to stream live TV, over the Internet — all you need is to get Sling’s hardware in the mail, and then you’re ready to roll.
Sling TV comes with a couple of different offers — you can get Sling Orange for $15 per month, Sling Blue for $15 per month, or Sling Orange and Blue for $25 per month. These don’t come with any long-term contracts or hidden fees — just like Netflix, you can cancel when you want. Each subscription tier comes with 34-ish channels each, with the Sling Blue & Orange combo-package obviously bringing you well over 65 channels.
You can expect to see all of your favorite channels on Sling TV as well — they offer you access to things like ESPN, History, Food Network, AMC, HGTV, and countless other choices.
Sling TV also offers a la carte channels that aren’t included in their subscription tiers. On top of a tier, you can get your favorite top channels like Showtime and STARZ for as little as $3 per month each.
It’s worth keeping an eye out on Sling TV regularly, as they’re always offering new promotions and discounts. They are regularly running a 40% off promotion for your first three months, and even offer ways to get you free streaming devices, like the Roku Express or the AirTV.
You’ve no doubt heard of DirecTV before, but now, AT&T is also offering something called DirecTV Now. It operates similarly to Sling TV, allowing you to pay a small amount per month for access to your favorite TV channels over the Internet. Just like Sling TV, there are no contracts or hidden fees — cancel when you want. There’s no satellite or cable here — this really does all happen over your Internet.
DirecTV is a little pricier than Sling TV, but that’s because they offer even more and better channels, depending on the tier that you go with. DirecTV Now’s Plus subscription gets you almost 50 channels, and some of the most loved channels on the market as well, including HBO, FX, ESPN, SyFy, USA, and so many more.
This service does let you buy big-time channels on their own as well — extremely popular ones like Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz start out at $11 per month for each. DirecTV Now does offer a MAX bundle, which starts at $70 per month, but gives your more channels and tons of sports content.
DirecTV Now doesn’t usually offer discounts on its subscription tiers, but they do regularly run promotions, where if you pre-pay for a few months in advance, they’ll send you a free streaming device, such as the Apple TV 4K.
Even at DirecTV Now’s starting price of $50 per month, you’re still well under the cost of a normal cable subscription.
Unlike popular belief, you actually don’t need a PlayStation 4 or Sony device to use PlayStation Vue. PlayStation Vue is yet another streaming service that allows you to stream your favorite TV channels over the Internet. Again — no contracts, no hidden fees, and you can cancel at anytime.
PlayStation Vue is different from the rest in that they offer all sorts of different subscription tiers and packages — they actually offer four total, starting as low as $44.99 per month to as much as $79.99 per month. Each subscription tier has varying channel in it, so it’s worth heading over to their site to find out which one has the most of your favorite channels inside.
The nice thing about the PlayStation Vue is that they offer a free trial before you start up a subscription. The downside is that, unlike the others, PlayStation Vue never runs any offers to get you a free streaming device. But, PlayStation Vue is available on so many platforms, including over the laptop or computer, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and even most iOS and Android-based mobile phones and tablets.
YouTube TV is up next, acting as another streaming service that brings you all of your favorite channels over an Internet connection. Like the others, there are no commitments — you can cancel anytime you want. YouTube TV gives you access to over sixty live TV channels, though many of them vary based on what region or market you’re in in the United States.
This service gives you a 5-day trial before you start paying for a subscription, working as a try before you buy sort of package. YouTube TV, like the others, have plenty of awesome channels that you can view, though they charge extra for some of the more popular ones.
The nice thing about YouTube TV is that it has Cloud DVR, allowing you to record your favorite shows so you don’t miss them!
You can add a variety of different popular channels to your package for extra per month. That “extra’ varies based on what you’re watching. AMC and Showtime will cost you between $5 to $11 per month, though things like the MLB Sports Pass is $40 per month. Like Sling, this really allows you to customize your package.
YouTube TV doesn’t offer any promotions for free streaming devices, but it is available on a wide variety of platforms, including Apple and Android TV. You can find it on Xbox One, iOS, and Android phones, too.
Hulu with Live TV is up next, and works similar to the rest on our list. We’d say it’s most similar to YouTube TV, offering many of the same channels, but with more sports availability. You can add channel add-ons to your package as well, but for extra per month.
The unique aspect to Hulu with Live TV is that you not only get access to tons of channels with this one, but you also get access to Hulu’s massive VOD library. So you have access to live TV shows, but also the thousands of on-demand TV shows and movies on Hulu’s regular service.
Just like the rest, you can cancel at anytime — no outrageous pricing, and no hidden costs.
And finally, we have fuboTV. fuboTV is actually really unique because, yes, just like the others, you get access to tons of awesome TV channels that you can watch live over the Internet. However, fuboTV’s big focus is on sports channels — so you’ll get access to things like the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and international soccer, whereas many of these channels can’t be found at all on the others above.
And yes, you’ll still get access to your favorites, including live news channels and network television series and movies. fuboTV actually has over 100 different channels that you can stream live. And with Cloud DVR, you’ll never miss a show or sports game again.
FuboTV offers a free week of live TV streaming, but afterwards, charges $44.99 per month for your first month, and then $54.99 thereafter.
As you can see, there are a lot of excellent cord-cutting TV streaming services out there. Most of these are a great replacement for regular TV, though we do have to say that DirecTV Now is our favorite. With pre-pay offers, you can almost always get a free streaming device — like the Apple TV 4K — with your purchase. Most of these are easy to setup as well, with it usually being as simple as downloading the service’s app on your device of choice.
Do you have a favorite TV streaming service? Sound off in the comments section below — we’d love to hear from you!