How to Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite

High Cable Bills

A growing number of online video streaming services are providing many ways to watch TV, especially if you don’t want cable or satellite.    The only requirement is a high-speed internet connection.

Many of these services produce the cable experience with a lower monthly bill. 

Video On Demand Services
There Are Many Streaming Options

Most of the new services offer a trial period providing a good opportunity to compare pros and cons.  Just remember to note your calendar when your free trial period expires.  They won’t remind you and will charge the monthly fee on your credit card on file. 

The local content you get with these cable-replacement services, can vary by region.  Larger cities will have more options than smaller communities.  We recommend purchasing a good antenna with any of the below services. You can also refer to our blog about the 4 things cable companies don’t want you to know about TV antennas here.

Let’s look at 6 possible options.

AT&T TV NOW (Formerly DirecTV Now)

Monthly bill: $55-$183

What you get: AT&T TV Now is like having DirecTV without the dish.  There are 2 basic packages. 

AT&T TV Now Plus plan has 45+ channels which as of this writing includes HBO for $65/month.  In addition, this package includes FS1, ESPN, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC, Disney and CNN.

AT&T TV Now

The AT&T TV Now Max has 60+ channels with HBO and Cinemax for $80/month.  In addition to the channels received in the Plus plan, it includes ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, FS2, OLYMPIC, GOLF and regional sports channels.  This package is aimed at sports enthusiasts looking for a robust package. 

Available Additional Premium Services.

For the movie lover, you can add Showtime, Starz, Epix and Movies Extra Pack.

Spanish sports, networks, telenovelas and news are available between $5-$15 extra per month.

There is a standalone international package of news, sports and hit shows which can also be stacked with the base packages.

AT&T TV Now Step-Up Plans:

Entertainment $93/month 65+ channels

Choice $85/month 110+ channels

Xtra $124/month 105+ channels

Ultimate $135/month 125+ channels

Premier $183/month 140+ channels

Optimo Mas $86/month 90+ channels

What You Don’t Get:

NFL Network isn’t available with any of the AT&T TV Now packages. 

Cloud DVR storage with 20 hours of free storage is included with every package, so you can record and watch later.  Be sure to watch your recorded shows within the 90-day window.  Two users can stream simultaneously, but you can add a third stream for an additional $5 a month.

Since there are no cable boxes or satellites, you can watch AT&T TV Now anytime or anywhere you have an internet connection.

If you purchase the PLUS, Max or International package, you’ll get 7 free days of streaming.  Remember to note your calendar when your free trial period expires.  They won’t remind you and will charge the monthly fee on your credit card on file. 

FuboTV

What You Get:

FuboTV is the world’s only sports-focused live TV streaming service with 100+ mix of live, on-demand channels, top leagues, teams, plus popular shows, movies and news for the entire household.  There are no hidden fees or contracts and you can cancel at any time. 

Networks include CBS, Fox, and NBC, cable channels (A&E, Bravo, FX, SyFy, USA) and sports networks (BeIn Sports, FS1, Golf Channel, NBA TV).  TNT and TBS from Turner are also available.  There is NBA, NCAA basketball, Major League Baseball, and PGA golf. There is also a selection of regional sports networks.

FuboTV is one of the few services to offer 4K content.  You can watch Thursday Night NFL Football games broadcast on Fox in 4K through the Fox Sports app.

Available Packages:

Family Plan for $64.99/month is considered the best plan for families. This package has 116+ channels. Notable channels include FS1, NBCSNE, beIN SPORTS, FOX News, MSNBC, CBS Sports Network, Golf and FS2.  Fubo inked a deal with Discovery to add Discovery Channel, TLC, and more to its base subscriber package. It has channels from AMC, Cartoon Network, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. Cloud DVR with 250 hours of storage is included and you can stream 3 screens at once.

Elite $79.99/month with 160+ channels.  This plan includes 22 sports channels, 9 Showtime and 38 entertainment channels.  Cloud DVR Plus with 1000 hours of space is included and 5 devices can screen simultaneously. 

Fubo Latino $29.99/month with 33+ channels.  Cloud DVR with 250 hours of space is included and 2 devices can screen simultaneously. 

A free trial is available as of this writing.  FuboTV will remind you the day before your trial expires.  However, be safe and note your calendar.

What You Don’t Get:

As of July 4th, FuboTV dropped CNN, CNN Español, CNN International, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, truTV, HLN and TCM. Negotiations continue as of this writing.

Hulu + Live TV

Monthly Bill: Going up to $64.99/month on December 18th, 2020. 

What You Get:

The Hulu + Live TV service offers 65+ channels, including major networks in some areas and sports channels such as CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports. You can watch on two devices at a time and record 50 hours on a cloud DVR. The service is supported by ads.

Local Channels:

Hulu + Live TV gives you the ability to stream your local channels.  You can enter your zip code on the site and it will tell you how many local channels you can stream on the platform.  When I checked the site with my zip-code, it offered me 6 local channels.  However, my installed antenna gives me 68 channels, a huge difference. As with the other streaming services, we recommend separately purchasing your own antenna for the local channels.

Available Add-Ons:

Enhanced cloud DVR $9.99/month (Cloud DVR can be bundled with Unlimited Screens for $14.98/month)

Unlimited Screens $9.99/month

HBO $14.99/month

Cinemax $9.99/month

Showtime $10.99/month

Starz $8.99/month

Entertainment $7.99/month

Espanol $4.99/month

No Commercials Upgrade $6/month

There is a free 7-day trial available.  After signing up, new and eligible returning subscribers can try the Hulu + Live TV service. You’ll get full access to all live and on-demand channels, 50 hours of free Cloud DVR, plus the streaming library with thousands of on-demand shows and movies.  Remember, to note your calendar when your free trial period expires.  They won’t remind you and will charge the monthly fee onto your credit card.

What You Don’t Get:

The network doesn’t include AMC or Viacom (Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon).

Sling TV

Monthly Bill: $30/month and up.

What You Get: 

There are 3 Sling TV packages. 

Sling Orange is $30/month and includes 30+ channels.  It includes CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Disney, Comedy Central and HGTV.  You can watch one stream at a time.

Sling Blue is also $30/month and includes 40+ channels.  It includes FOX News, FS1, MSNBC, NFL Network and NBC Sports.  You can watch up to 3 screens at a time.

Sling Orange Blue is $45/month and is a combined plan of 50+ channels including local broadcasts & regional sports. 

A La Carte channel options are available. Choose from 15+ channels – with single networks available for as little as $3/mo.

Sling Extras:

Sports Extra can be added to the Orange + Blue for $15/month

All the other extras below can be added to Orange or Blue for $5/month.

Comedy Extra

Kids Extra

Lifestyle Extra

News Extra

Heartland Extra

Hollywood Extra

International Extra

Espanol

Standard Cloud DVR is free on plans with up to 10 hours of storage.  You can record multiple shows at once, fast forward commercials and keep your recordings.

Cloud DVR Plus is available for $5/month which can record up to 50 hours of content

EPIX $5/month

Premiums such as Starz and Starz Encore is available for $9/month

Showtime $10/month

Additional Offers:

Sling TV is currently offering different sign up deals for new customers who prepay either two or three months.  The offers change, so check here

As of this writing, Sling is currently running a promotion on all plans. $10 off the monthly price, but only for the first month. 

Sling TV is also offering a Total TV Deal which includes Comedy, Kids, Lifestyle and News Extra for $12/month.  The normal price is $20/month.  Offers change, so check here.

What You Don’t Get:

Sling TV doesn’t offer local NBC, CBS, ABC FOX in all markets. It is wise to check availability of your market directly on Sling TV.  We strongly recommend subscribers separately purchasing an indoor or outdoor antenna with any streaming service.   

T-Mobile TVision

Monthly Bill: $40-60/month

What You Get:

TVision offers live TV and 154+ channels, regional sports, premium channels for an additional monthly fee, over 35,000 On Demand titles, personalized home screens, 400 hours of DVR in HD and voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.  However, TVision Home is not available everywhere.  It is only supported in eight metro areas—Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Longmont, Colo.; Los Angeles; New York City; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and Washington D.C.  4K video is expected to be available soon.

Family members get their own profile and DVR, sharing 1TB of storage.

What You Don’t Get:

TVision Home is $90 a month plus taxes for a promotional period.  After which, the price will be $100/month.  T-Mobile customers will pay slightly less.  There is an extra $10-a-month fee for each additional TV.

YouTube TV

Monthly Bill: YouTube TV costs $64.99/month for 1 membership with up to 6 accounts.

What You Get:

Available nationwide, YouTube TV allows you to stream live & local sports, news, shows from 85+ channels including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, HGTV, TNT, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1. Local and regional programming is also provided. 

Premium add-on networks are also available for an additional monthly charge including STARZ, SHOWTIME, AMC and Curiosity TV. 

You get unlimited cloud DVR storage space, up to 6 individual accounts and up to 3 simultaneous users.  YouTube TV keeps all DVR recordings up till 9 months.  YouTube TV will also allow you to pause your membership for up to six months to take a break without losing saved recordings.

Local Channels:

You can check your local channel availability by submitting your zip-code on the site.  When I tested my area, YouTube TV offered me 12 available local channels.  However, my antenna purchased 5 years ago, provides 67 local channels.  A substantial difference. We recommend separately buying your indoor or outdoor antenna here.

Do you have any of the services listed above? If not, which streaming service are you using? Are you happy with it? Tell us below so readers can make an informed decision.

Additional Resources

Read the 4 Things Cable Companies Don’t Want You To Know About TV Antennas here.

Read the Cheapest Way To Get One America News here.

Do Indoor TV Antennas Really Work here.

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