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The Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, has been an American institution for nearly 50 years, as fundamental to our identity as “Baseball” (a documentary by Ken Burns) and apple pie (baked in a crust that Martha Stewart calls “pate brisee”). Where else can you see high class dramas, award-winning children's programs, concerts and other cultural events, in-depth news coverage, and marathon antique appraisals all in the same spot? PBS offers you all this and more; it's also where you'll find locally produced programming that caters specifically to your regional interests. For many, PBS represents the best that television has to offer, and it's just about the only place where you can see reruns of British sitcoms in perpetuity
Given the rich programming that PBS provides, cord cutters are eager to swoon over “Masterpiece” and experience “Nature” without spending money on cable. PBS has always been available for free over the air with a TV antenna, and many people still watch it that way today. For those who prefer to stream, however, it may be as frustrating as waiting for something pleasant to happen to Laura Carmichael's character on “Downton Abbey,” although your patience may pay off in the end, just as Lady Edith's did.
An over-the-air antenna may still be the most reliable way of watching PBS on your TV. Those who remember the frustrations of watching PBS in the old days of analog TV may balk at the idea of fuzzy reception and long stretches of dead air and static. We feel your pain, but don't worry; like a period costume drama, those days belong to the past. Technology has improved greatly since the advent of all-digital television broadcasts, and the iconic rabbit-ear antennas that many remember from childhood are such a relic of the past that they belong on a history program
For those who wish to receive PBS and other broadcast channels over the air, there are many different options available in TV antennas. Some are outdoor antennas meant to mount on the roof, some are indoor antennas, and some may be mounted in either location. Some antennas come with an artsy design so that they appear to be just another aesthetic touch, some are meant to mount behind wall decorations so they won't be seen, and others are paintable or come with special patterns to camouflage with your décor.
Deciding which antenna to buy
depends on a number of different factors:
The greater the distance between your home and the transmitter, and the more obstacles in the way, the more difficult it will be for you to receive the channel and the more powerful an antenna you will need.
Another factor is the broadcast channels you want to receive. Channels in the UHF frequency band number from 14 to 51, while VHF channels number 2 through 13. Not all antennas are equipped to receive all bands, so you'll need to know which frequency range your local PBS station falls into and purchase an antenna to receive that range. PBS channels may be either VHF or UHF.
An outdoor antenna will yield you the best possible reception, but they can be more expensive than indoor antennas and also more of a hassle to install, as they need to mount on your roof for best results. Indoor antennas are usually less expensive and more convenient to install, but you'll sacrifice some reception as a result.
Remember that all over-the-air programming, including PBS, is now broadcast in digital format, meaning that you need a digital tuner to receive it. Newer televisions have the tuner built in, but if you have an older TV, you may need to purchase the digital tuner separately.
Unfortunately, there are very few streaming services that offer any type of PBS programming, with Netflix and Amazon Prime being the exceptions. The problem is that PBS is less of a network and more of a television program distributor that syndicates content to a loose confederation of largely independent public stations.
For example, as you already know if you're a PBS aficionado, many of its most popular programs are actually British exports or programs made in partnership with overseas broadcasters. For this reason, PBS does not currently have the rights to stream most of its programs through third-party companies.
The chief digital officer at PBS recognizes the demand for its programs on streaming platforms and has made obtaining the rights to stream those programs a high priority. He doesn't have an exact timeframe for when PBS programs will be available on streaming services, but the hope is that it will be sooner rather than later.
PBS does have a digital streaming app that provides video on demand on your TV, phone, or tablet. It's called PBS Anywhere, and it's compatible with several different platforms:
There are, however, limitations involved. First of all, it's not very convenient to have to use a separate app just to watch one channel for people who like to access all their streaming content from one digital service. There's also typically a delay, usually less than 24 hours, between the time that the programming is broadcast over the air and the time it is available for viewing online.
Another limitation to using the app to watch PBS streaming programs is that free offerings are typically only available for a limited time after they air, depending on their type. Kids shows and news programming is always available, but documentaries and dramas are only available for two weeks, while other kinds of programming may remain available up to four weeks.
However, there is a way around this limitation. By donating at least $60 a year ($5 a month) to your local PBS station, you gain access to PBS Passport, which allows you nearly unlimited access to content that is locked for viewing by non-contributors. Content available through Passport may expire eventually, but it's usually up for a matter of years rather than weeks, and programs may rotate in and out of availability. If you're still hesitant to make a donation, keep in mind that $5 a month/$60 a year is considerably less than you would pay for cable. Also, contributions to your PBS station are tax deductible, so in a way you actually profit from donating to your PBS station, plus you get the altruistic satisfaction of knowing that the money goes to support future programming. When's the last time you got so much out of a cable subscription?
While PBS isn't yet available through most streaming services, don't lose heart. PBS has heard your pleas and is working to supply the demand. In the meantime, many other channels are available for streaming. If you've decided that leaving cable behind is the right choice for you, we have information on how to get started.
Baseball might be the national pastime, but everyone knows that the National Football League has been America’s passion for a long time. While most of the heart-pounding action takes place on Sundays, two teams get the national television treatment every week by playing a day later. For the first 35 years of this tradition, the weekly marquee matchup aired on broadcast television, but starting in 2006 the show moved to ESPN, much to the chagrin of cord-cutters everywhere. If you’re one of the millions of people who don’t want their entertainment tethered to the wall, here are a few suggestions on how to watch Monday Night Football without cable.
On a basic level, Hulu is a streaming platform that lets people avoid sunlight by binge-watching their favorite shows in an on-demand capacity, but that’s just a small slice of its capability. For $39.99 per month, you get access to Hulu’s complete library of content along with a lineup of more than 60 channels of live television, including ESPN. As an added bonus, you also get a cloud-based DVR service that lets you record up to 50 hours of programming so you can go to bed if the game is running too long and pick right back up in the morning. Read our full review of Hulu here.
has its hands in more pies than Marie Callender, so it’s only natural that the internet giant would roll out its own skinny-bundle service. Through the YouTube TV platform, you can access dozens of channels, and ESPN is included. While this skinny bundle was previously available in select markets, as of January 23, 2019, people can sign up from anywhere in the United States. For $40 per month you get a complete suite of services:
If you would like to learn more about YouTube TV, you can read our full review of the service here.
One of the oldest skinny-bundle products on the market also happens to be the cheapest way to watch Monday Night Football without a cable subscription. With Sling TV, which is a subsidiary of Dish Network, $25 per month will get you a package of 30 channels, including ESPN. It might not be the largest lineup of networks on the market, but you can’t beat that price. Read our full review of Sling TV here.
Dish Network might have been the first satellite provider to get into the skinny-bundle market, but it isn’t the only one. Starting in 2016, AT&T launched its own live-streaming television service known as DirecTV Now. If you’re interested in watching Monday Night Football, you’ll be glad to know ESPN is available at the lowest price tier, which will set you back $40 per month. Read our full review of DirecTV Now here.
After initial success on its namesake video-game platform, Sony expanded its PlayStation Vue system to be compatible with a number of different streaming devices. Unlike Hulu, you have a few different channel packages to choose from, but ESPN is included in the cheapest tier, which will run you $44.99 per month. The service does come with a free trial to let potential customers test the waters, but it only lasts five days, so pay careful attention to the day you enrolled to avoid unwanted charges. And just in case you were wondering, there’s no video game console required, so you don’t have to fight with your kids when you want to watch the game. Read our full review of PlayStation Vue here.
If you’re going to watch a football game, why not go directly to the source by installing the official NFL app on your tablet or smartphone? Not only do you get access to the weekly Monday-night matchup, but you can also stream your local games as well as the Thursday- and Sunday-night broadcasts. The best thing about this option is the price, as this free service lets you save some extra money for beer and nachos. While this method is convenient for mobile devices, you’ll need to try another method if you want to watch games on your television.
Mobile users have another option for streaming Monday Night Football without subscribing to ESPN, as Yahoo Sports has an agreement with the NFL. Simply download the Yahoo app and you’ll get access to the same slate of games that you do on the official league application. The one additional benefit you’ll get over the NFL’s platform is Yahoo’s live scoreboard for every other sport, which means you can easily switch away from the game to curse about your other favorite team. Just like the NFL’s service, this download is free of charge.
We’ve covered the ways you can watch football on your mobile devices, but we didn’t win two world wars for you to have to catch the game on a three-inch screen. The increasing quality in televisions is one of the reasons ticket sales have slumped at the stadiums, and you deserve to get that same level of clarity without signing up for an expensive cable subscription. The alternative to traditional television carriers is an online streaming service known as a skinny bundle.
When you subscribe to a cable or satellite television provider, you agree to pay for a certain slate of channels as part of your package, even though you have no interest in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Skinny bundles allow consumers to buy the networks they desire and stream them without the added costs of unwanted programming driving up the price. As more people cut the cord and sign up for skinny-bundle services, the traditional providers will have to take notice.
Since many of these streaming platforms include access to the complete lineup of ESPN channels, you’ll be able to watch Monday Night Football and many of your other favorite sports. You can also use most of these services on a mobile device so you can keep watching television when you’re on the bus, standing in line at the grocery store or trying to remain unnoticed in the corner at a party. The following remaining options are a few of the more popular skinny bundles you can sign up for instead of cable.
With so many different ways to get your Monday Night Football fix without a cable subscription, the only thing left to do is choose the skinny-bundle package that works best for you. While we can’t do anything about the matchups or commentary team, we can help you get out from under the thumb of expensive television providers, and we can help you do the same.
We're big fans of Roku here on Cordcutting.com, but if you click on one of our articles, you might find yourself with more basic questions than which Roku you should get or how the latest one performs. You might instead ask: what is Roku (or “a Roku,” or whatever), anyway? In fact, we know that you're asking this, because a bunch of you are asking us in person, on the internet, or indirectly through web searches. Good news: we're here to answer.
Roku is a brand name, but – somewhat confusingly – it refers to a few different things at once:
That's a little weird, but we're going to break things down for you right here. We'll explain the difference between a streaming platform and a streaming device, and then we'll introduce you to all of the things you need to know about Roku – the platform and the devices, too!
The most important thing to understand about Roku is this: Roku devices exist to run the Roku platform.
So what is the Roku platform? How does Roku work? To explain, it might help to give a little history lesson.
Let's go way, way back in time to the late 2000s – 2007, to be exact. That was when Netflix made the fateful decision to introduce a new feature. Netflix – which was then a website that allowed subscribers to rent DVDs by mail – made some movies available to stream online throught their website. It was the first time any company had done such a thing.
Watching Netflix on a computer was cool, but most people prefer to watch movies on, you know, their TV. So an electronics company called Roku came up with a solution. They built a little box that you could plug into your TV. The box was basically a little computer, and it ran a simple platform – an operating system, basically – that could run applications. Netflix wrote an application for the platform, and voila: Roku made it a whole lot easier to watch Netflix on your TV, instead of just on your computer.
As time went by, both Netflix and Roku met with plenty of new competition. These days, Roku's platform plays host to apps for all sorts of services: Amazon, HBO, Hulu, Crackle, and a whole lot more. And there are other platforms that compete for your streaming dollars, too: you can watch Netflix and the rest on Fire TV devices instead of Roku ones if you want.
An important thing to remember here is that neither the Roku platform nor the Roku device is synonymous with Netflix. Netflix is a service that you can subscribe to; you can watch it on Roku in the same way that you can watch it on your computer or on your iPhone or on any number of other devices. Roku's role here is just to make it easy for you to access Netflix and watch it on your TV.
And Roku makes plenty of different devices, which it updates periodically with beefier hardware and new features (the platform itself gets upgraded from time to time, too). All of Roku's devices run the Roku platform, which looks pretty much the same on each of them. You can run the Roku platform on a tiny Roku Express, or on a Roku Ultra, or on a 55″ TCL Roku TV – it's all the same platform, and you can watch all the same services on the devices. The differences are in things like features and resolution (for instance, you won't get 4K picture quality out of a Roku Express).
If it helps, think of it this way: Roku's devices are like PCs, the Roku platform is like Windows, and the apps (Roku calls them “channels”) are like the individual software programs you can install on Windows. Roku doesn't run Netflix: it just sells devices that run a platform that Netflix (and a whole lot more) can, in turn, run on.
In a moment, we'll talk about what channels you can get on Roku – both in the sense of “apps” and of familiar network TV channels. But, first, let's talk about the other big thing that Roku (the company) uses Roku (the brand) for: hardware!
Read more about Roku devices on our Roku device page, which also has more information about Roku's streaming platform and other offerings!
Roku calls its applications “channels” in a nod to the familiar terminology of cable TV. But Roku Channels are really just apps: they exist to help you access content from individual third-party providers (for the most part, anyway – nitpickers will note that Roku does have a couple of channels of its own that it uses to promote certain types of content it wants you to see).
So what channels does Roku have – what apps work on it? A whole bunch:
Roku's platforms and devices are very, very impressive. There's a reason that Roku's offerings routinely recieve high marks in our reviews, and there are plenty of reasons that we often describe ourselves as big fans of the company. We'll be the first to pounce when Roku makes a misstep, but it's hard not to be impressed with the features you'll find on this platform and these devices. Here are some highlights:
We're on record as saying that the best Roku remote replacement is the Roku app. The mobile app has a built-in remote control and enables some functions – like private listening and voice control – that aren't available on the actual remotes that come with some cheaper Roku models. On top of that, there are content discovery features and other perks built right into the app.
Want to search for something on Roku? Want to launch an app? Use the voice controls built into many Roku models.
By now, we've explained what Roku devices are for and how they work. Since these are streaming devices, you've no doubt inferred that you need an internet connection to use a Roku device. But there are other internet-related questions that are a bit less basic that “do you need internet to use Roku,” so let's take a moment to talk about Roku internet requirements.
In general, you'll have a more pleasant experience with Roku the faster your internet is. You'll also have a more pleasant experience the stronger (and faster) your home network connection is – a lightning-fast internet connection is only good if you can connect to it, so remember to pay attention to Wi-Fi issues, too!
Let's address these issues one at a time. First up: how fast does your internet have to be to stream on Roku?
Generally speaking, the same internet speed standards we talk about for streaming in general also apply to Roku devices in particular.
What does that mean? In a nutshell:
These are just general guidelines, but they give a sense of what kind of internet speeds you'll need with Roku. Remember that faster, of course, is always better. The minimums here are tight fits for the kind of traffic we're talking about.
Don't forget about Wi-Fi, either! If you have a lousy Wi-Fi router, you could be experiencing Roku issues that are unrelated to the speed of the internet service you're getting from your modem. Using a wired connection (possible with the Roku Ultra) or improving your Wi-Fi signal by moving or upgrading your router could give you a better Roku experience. This is something to think about if you're debating Roku Streaming Stick vs. Roku Ultra: while similar in many ways (the Streaming Stick+ even has 4K streaming), one of the key differences between the two is the presence of an Ethernet jack on the Roku Ultra, which allows you to use a wired connection and not worry about any Wi-Fi issues at all.
Using Roku and cutting the cord are not at all synonymous: plenty of happy cable customers (if there is such a thing) are also Roku users, and you can even use Roku to watch live TV through some cable providers' Roku Channels (again, that's Roku's term for apps). But owning a Roku does make cutting the cord a whole lot easier, and we have a few suggestions for replacing cable content on the cheap with Roku.
Longtime readers know that we love free over-the-air TV at least as much as we love Roku. Free OTA TV gives you access to live TV that is broadcast over the air, often including major network feeds from ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. On a Roku TV, you can add OTA to your Roku interface simply by plugging an antenna in. But you can also turn OTA into streaming video in order to view it through an external Roku device. One great way to do so is to use Tablo and the Tablo Roku Channel.
OTA TV will give you free broadcast channels, but the only way to get network TV channels – those are the opposite of broadcast channels, by the way – is to pay. But, fortunately, you don't have to pay cable prices to get these channels. You can instead opt to subscibe to a skinny bundle, which will make your live TV habit a whole lot more affordable.
There are a lot of great free Roku Channels. We don't just mean free to download – most Roku Channels are free that way. We mean free to actually use. Ad-supported video on demand services, Roku's own Roku Channel, and other great free channels are yours to discover, and they'll make parting with cable a whole lot easier.
Cordcutting.com exists to answer questions: how can you watch this without cable? What can watch if you choose that service instead? How can you watch live TV for free? We've answered more than a few of them over the years, but — to judge from the folks I encounter at library talks and in my email inbox — there's one question in particular that we have yet to address directly. What is a Fire Stick? The similar “What is a Fire TV” question gets asked, too, but people love to talk about “Fire Sticks,” and the terminology can be confusing.
Using the term “Fire Stick” can make the question trickier than it seems. The “correct” answer is that a Fire Stick isn't anything – Amazon makes a product called the Fire TV Stick, but it doesn't make one called the Fire Stick. But adding to the complexity here is the fact that some folks have something more specific in mind when they ask what a “Fire Stick” is. Many seem to be thinking specifically of “jailbroken” Fire TV Sticks (perhaps no surprise, then, that Google trends show that searches for jailbreaking tend to use the improper “Fire Stick” term instead of Fire TV Stick). Dropping the “TV” part of the name also makes a Fire Stick sound a little less related to the Fire TV, even though they're very similar devices indeed.
So let's take a step back and really tackle this question. What is a Fire Stick? If you're asking that, there's a few things you might be thinking of. We'll talk about them all below, one by one, and explain how they do (and don't) relate.
The reason that so many folks are walking around saying “Fire Stick” is that some brand experts over at Amazon decided one day to use “Fire” as part of Amazon's device branding. As you probably know, Amazon has its own branded devices: they make tablets, smart speakers, and streaming devices, to name just a few. And some of those bear the “Fire” brand: there's the Fire Tablet, for instance, and – of course – the Fire TV.
The Fire TV is brand name for Amazon's streaming platform. The Fire TV operating system appears on a few devices, including one that is (somewhat confusingly) called “Fire TV” as well. All of these devices run the Fire TV operating system, though, which is a streaming platform. That begs the question: what is a streaming platform?
Fire TV is a streaming platform, but what does that mean?
Streaming platforms are essentially just operating systems with a specialized job: they want to make it easier for you to stream content from lots of different services.
That's an increasingly important job in a world full of streaming services. For instance, Hulu and Netflix are both great ways to stream video — but they're also competitors. They're not going to team up and work together to make a nice operating system for you. In fact, they're not even going to do that by themselves: they're services with programs and apps, so they need something to run on.
That something can be your computer, of course. But watching all your movies on a little computer screen is no fun, so you'll probably want to get some kind of streaming device for your TV (or a smart TV, which essentially is just a TV with a streaming device built into it). That streaming device will run — you guessed it — a streaming platform.
The distinction between a streaming platform and a streaming device might seem kind of geeky, but it's helpful to understand. A good way to think about it is to remember that a streaming platform is an operating system. In the same way that there are multiple different types of Apple computers all running the same Mac operating system, there are often different streaming device models running the same streaming platform. For instance, Roku offers a bunch of different devices at different price points. Some are more powerful than others, but they all run the Roku platform.
Fire TV OS is available on a few different devices, too. For more on that, you'll want to check out our Amazon devices page.
The simplest answer to the question in our title – “What is a Fire Stick?” – is that “Fire Stick” is just a slightly garbled term for a Fire TV Stick, or perhaps for the whole line of Fire TV devices. But some people who ask the question are sure they were thinking of something else. Fire TV devices don't provide content themselves (as explained earlier, they're the device and the platform you use to access content from other sources, via apps like Netflix, Hulu, etc.), but you may be sure that you heard a “Fire Stick” could give you free stuff: free movies, free TV shows, free live TV, and so on. And perhaps you heard something about “Kodi,” too.
It's time to talk about “jailbroken Fire Sticks.”
There are a lot of misconceptions about “jailbreaking,” “Fire Sticks,” and Kodi. Rather than address them each individually, let's instead start at the beginning and say what each of these things actually are.
Let's start with Kodi. Kodi is a media center application, which means that it's designed to make it easy for you to organize your movies, TV shows, and even music. It serves a similar purpose to Fire TV OS, actually, though it's a application instead of an operating system. Since its an app, Kodi can run on a bunch of different platforms: you can get it for Android, for instance, or run it on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.
Kodi is free. It's also open-source, which means that anyone can look at the program code. This means that developers can pretty easily make programs of their own that will play nice with Kodi. They've made a lot of them: a big part of Kodi's appeal is its huge library of “add-ons.” Not all of these add-ons are legal, though: some developers made add-ons that will give you (illegal) free TV. Kodi itself is perfectly legal and safe, and you have to go out of your way to get your hands on the illegal add-ons (especially now that Kodi's developers are fighting back). But they can be found and installed if you are so inclined – as some folks, unfortunately, are.
So that's Kodi. What is “jailbreaking?” The term originally appeared in descriptions of a hacking technique for iPhones that gave users new powers to download apps not approved by Apple. Jailbreaking an iPhone is a serious undertaking. When used in reference to a Fire TV Stick, though, jailbreaking isn't quite so wild. Since Fire TV OS is based on the Android operating system, it is possible to add Android apps to a Fire TV device though a relatively simple process called “sideloading.” Sideloading has come to be called “jailbreaking” in some circles, even though it's not nearly as involved or as risky as you might assume something using that term would be.
You won't find Kodi on your Fire TV Stick (or other Fire TV device), but you can add it using sideloading (or jailbreaking). A “jailbroken Fire Stick,” then, is just a Fire TV device that has something – usually Kodi – sideloaded.
Kodi is great, and you can certainly add it to to your Fire TV stick – we'll even show you how.
But adding Kodi to your Fire TV device won't give you free cable TV or anything like that. And if you encounter someone selling a “Jailbroken Fire Stick” that allegedly does just that, you might want to be careful.
To recap, here's what we know now:
But perhaps you're sure that you know someone who bought a “Jailbroken Fire Stick” new. They got free TV and they didn't have to do anything themselves. Is that possible?
It is, but it's not a great idea.
It's easy enough to buy a Fire TV Stick and add Kodi to it. And, unfortunately, it's not too tough to add illegal add-ons and power Kodi up with illegal free streaming abilities. So there are folks out there that do just this on a large scale, and then sell those “Jailbroken Fire Sticks” to well-meaning people who think they're legit.
Given current enforcement techniques, you probably won't be prosecuted for using one of these things. But you technically could, and there are other dangers to consider, too. A Fire TV device sees a lot of your passwords and payment information. Are you sure you want to enter that on a device that's been in the hands of someone shady enough to add illegal apps and re-sell it? Who knows what other sorts of programs are lurking inside the device!
Play it safe: buy Fire TV devices only from authorized retailers. If you do that, you can simply get your apps from the app store and be 100% sure that everything you are using is legal.
So there you have it: “Fire Stick” is a term that is most closely related to the Fire TV Stick, but is also sometimes used reference Fire TV devices in general, or Fire TV devices that have been “jailbroken” to add Kodi.
We've established that you should steer clear of devices that come “pre-jailbroken,” but what about the Fire TV Stick and the rest of the Fire TV devices?
You'll find a Fire TV device useful if you want to watch streaming content on your TV. A Fire TV device will make it easy for you to access Netflix and other apps using a remote control (or, in some cases, voice commands). It makes it easy to rent or buy digital copies of movies and TV show episodes. You can play games on it, listen to music on it, and more. Downloading apps is easy, and free trials and even entirely free apps are available to keep things affordable (remember, you can trust the stuff in the app store, because we're talking about devices from reputable retailers).
So, yes, you should absolutely consider a Fire TV device if you use streaming services and want a convenient way to watch them on your TV! You can also consider one of the device's many competitors, like Roku and Chromecast. For more on streaming devices, check out our coverage right here at Cordcutting.com.
The English Premier League is the world's best club soccer league. From August to May, Premier League matchdays feature the best players in the world battling it out on the pitch, fighting for the title and against relegation on club soccer's biggest stage. The action is aired on television here in the United States, but if you don't have cable or satellite, you might be frustrated by your inability to catch the big games. Never fear: we're here to show you how to watch the Premier League without cable. Below, we'll lay out ways that you can watch Premier League matches free in the United States (and yes, we mean legally), as well as ways to watch the Premier League online, including streaming via Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices, to name just a few.
In the United States, NBC has the English-language rights to the Premier League. Since we plan to find a way to watch the Premier League live, we're looking for ways to watch the channels that NBC airs Premier League games on. Most notably, those include NBC (which is NBC's flagship channel, of course) and NBCSN (which is NBC's sports-specific channel). It's also worth noting that NBC pushes some games to other NBC sister channels from time to time, so you may want to look for MSNBC and CNBC in your Premier League streaming solution as well. We'll be sure to cover all the details in our guide below.
Our goal is to watch the Premier League without cable. To that end, we'll need to find a way to watch NBC and NBCSN without cable (and it wouldn't hurt to grab MSNBC and CNBC, too). So how can we do this?
Longtime readers already know what we'll say next. There are two broad categories of ways to watch TV without cable: free over-the-air TV and live TV streaming services (also called “skinny bundles”).
We'll give free over-the-air TV its own subheading on the list below, but our skinny bundle options are numerous. So, rather than repeat ourselves a bunch of times, let's take a moment here to explain what, exactly, a skinny bundle is and how it works.
A skinny bundle is a live TV streaming service, which is exactly what it sounds like. Live TV streaming services give us access to live TV, and they offer a multichannel format that is just like the one used by cable and satellite services. You'll be able to flip around from channel to channel, and the networks that you'll get will be familar – expect to see channels like AMC, HGTV, TBS, and, yes, NBC and NBCSN (the specific channels will vary by service, of course, which is why we're listing the particular skinny bundles you can use to watch the Premier League without cable right below this section). Skinny bundles are pay TV services, so – as with cable and satellite – you'll have to pony up some dough to get that sweet, sweet live TV. The good news is that skinny bundles are significantly cheaper than their pricey cable counterparts.
Since skinny bundles stream online, they have a lot of competition – there are no regional infrastructure-driven monopolies like there are with cable. That's why skinny bundles innovate and lower prices. It's why skinny bundles will let you get a slimmed-down, just-the-hits channel package (hence the term “skinny bundle”), while cable will try to force you to pay for hundreds of channels you don't use. Cord cutting isn't about avoiding pay TV: it's about improving it, and that's why skinny bundle solutions are so exciting for us.
Below, we'll list the skinny bundles that will help you watch Premier League games online. We'll also go over free over-the-air TV, which is the best way to watch the Premier League free – no cable required.
DirecTV Now offers a few different bundles, some of which are a whole lot “skinnier” than others. The smallest bundle — which will soon cost $40 per month — is all you'll need in order to get you hands on NBC and NBCSN and enjoy all of the Premier League action you want. Since NBC's affiliates are owned by all different companies, though, your mileage will vary with that channel: local NBC broadcasts are available in select markets only. Check out DirecTV Now's website for more information, or just sign up for the service's free trial offer to see what you have access to. MSNBC and CNBC are included in all of DirecTV Now's bundles, too.
Try DirecTV NOW for free
fuboTV was built with soccer fans in mind – in fact, before rebooting a couple years ago, fuboTV was designed to include soccer-focused channels exclusively. The selection is a bit more democratic now, but the stuff you'll get from “fubo” ($44.99 per month) and “fubo Extra” ($49.99 per month) still trends soccer-friendly. NBC and NBCSN are both included in both packages (note that live NBC feeds are available in select markets only), as are MSNBC and CNBC, so you can choose whichever one you'd like and watch the Premier League – no cable required. Click the link below and sign up for fuboTV's free trial offer.
Try fuboTV for free
Hulu with Live TV keeps things simple: there's just one bundle to worry about here, and it costs $39.99 per month. That's all very typical, and so is the inclusion of NBC (select markets) and NBCSN (plus MSNBC and CNBC), which makes it a breeze to watch Premier League games online using any of Hulu with Live TV's awesome apps. Hulu with Live TV also includes access to Hulu's robust on-demand library. Check out the service for free by trying it on a trial basis.
Try Hulu with Live TV for free
PlayStation Vue features a few different tiers of service. The cheapest package is the $39.99-per-month “Access,” which includes both NBC (select markets) and NBCSN. As you'd expect, you're free to climb the price ladder — the larger bundles all include NBC and NBCSN, too. MSNBC and CNBC are also both included in all of PlayStation Vue's bundle options. PlayStation Vue has a nice cloud DVR feature and some other perks, not to mention a free trial offer that you can check out risk-free.
Try PlayStation Vue for free
Sling TV is designed to allow you to build your own skinny bundle. After starting with a base package or two, you can tack on “Extras” to build the soccer-specific streaming service of your dreams without having to pay for a bunch of obscure non-sports channels you don't want. You'll find NBC (select markets) and NBCSN in the “Sling Blue” base package, which costs $25 per month. More soccer awaits in “Sling Orange” ($25 per month, or pair it with Sling Blue for a total of $40 per month), Sports Extra ($5 per month), and other bundles. Customize your bundle and try it out for free by clicking the link below and taking advantage of Sling TV's free trial offer.
Try Sling TV for free
YouTube TV is Google's skinny bundle service. It costs $40 per month and features all the channels we're craving for our Premier League coverage: you'll get NBC (select markets), NBCSN, MSNBC, and CNBC. YouTube TV features an unlimited cloud DVR feature and a ton of great content discovery features. To sign up for YouTube TV's free trial offer, click the link below.
Try YouTube TV for free
Free over-the-air TV is a powerful tool for cord cutters. It also happens to be a great way to watch Premier League games free. See, broadcast channels send their content out over the air for free. And since NBC is a broadcast channel, there's a good chance that your local NBC affiliate is pumping out free TV over the air as you read this. Grab an antenna and take advantage! Free over-the-air TV is your ticket for free Premier League games live.
You can even convert OTA TV into streamable content. Just use an OTA DVR like Tablo or the OTA features of a media server app like Plex. With the right setup, you can stream Premier League games free legally.
Keep in mind that free OTA TV is a great way to get every Premier League game that airs on NBC, but that it won't work for games on NBCSN. NBCSN is a network channel, not a broadcast channel, so you'll have to go with a skinny bundle for that. Same goes for MSNBC and CNBC, unfortunately.
Check out free over-the-air TV
If you're a big Premier League fan, then you probably want to watch your games all of the time and on the best screens possible. You want to be able to stream Premier League matches on your big-screen TV using Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and other platforms. You want to be able to watch on the go on your iOS and Android mobile devices. So can you?
Yes, you sure can.
You can watch Premier League games without cable on Roku using the apps for DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
Fire TV has apps for DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV.
Apple TV fans, the whole gang supports you: DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
Chromecast has full support, too – it works with DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV work on Android TV devices.
All of our skinny bundles listed above – DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV – work on iOS and Android mobile devices.
Even Xbox is in on the game, with apps for Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. PlayStation owners can use PlayStation Vue.
Cutting the cord is the easy part. The tough thing about living without cable is figuring out how you're going to watch all of the TV you want without having to go back to the world of legacy pay TV services. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to watch live TV without cable or satellite. Thanks to free over-the-air TV and “skinny bundle” services, it's a breeze to watch live TV on all sorts of devices. Cord cutters can enjoy their favorite shows on everything from their mobile devices to their big-screen TVs. Today, we're to talk specifically about how to watch live TV on a PC.
When we talk about watching TV without cable – and particularly when we talk about streaming live TV – we're almost always dealing with a computer of some sort. After all, streaming boxes are just little computers, and a smart TV is just a TV with a computer built into it. But it's worth remembering that we can also use our “actual” computers to stream this sort of content. Skinny bundles can show us live TV in our web browsers just as easily as they can on our streaming sticks, streaming boxes, and smart TVs. Below, we'll explain how to watch live TV on a PC, and we'll list the specific services and techniques you need to know about in order to do it.
Longtime readers of Cordcutting.com know that most of the services and techniques we recommend for watching live TV without cable fall into one of two categories: skinny bundles and free over-the-air TV. Before we dive down into the specifics of our list below, let's go over what these two major categories mean.
Skinny bundles are some of the biggest threats to cable on the market right now, and it's not hard to see why. They offer the same basic stuff as cable, but do it better – and at a lower price.
Like cable and satellite, a skinny bundle is a pay TV multichannel service: you pay to get it, and you enjoy lots of network TV channels (live and, in many cases, on demand) through the same single service. But there's a crucial difference between a skinny bundle and cable or satellite: skinny bundles stream online.
That means that you can use a skinny bundle to watch live TV on all sorts of different devices – including, of course, your PC. It also means that skinny bundles don't have the big regional monopolies that traditional cable infrastructure creates. That means lots of competition and innovation. One innovation of note is that skinny bundles trim the fat from the big, bulky cable bundles you're used to. They offer just the channels you want – a “skinny bundle,” just like the name suggests.
Then there's free over-the-air TV. With free OTA TV, you can watch lots of great channels – including important ones like NBC and Fox – for free. All you need is an antenna and a TV.
You don't need a PC to watch free over-the-air TV, but you can use certain types of hardware and software to combine your OTA setup with a PC in ways that add new features and functionality to OTA TV.
Our list below will kick off with skinny bundles and then move on to OTA-related techniques and other types of streaming services. Are you ready? Here's how to watch live TV on a PC.
DirecTV Now is AT&T's skinny bundle service. It offers four different base bundle options. The cheapest is $40 per month, which is quite a good price for all of that live TV. The three other options increase in size and price from there. You can also add premium channels to your subscription — those are particularly affordable when you're using DirecTV Now. You can check out this service for free by taking advantage of its free trial offer.
Try DirecTV Now for free
fuboTV has two base bundle options, the cheaper of which is $44.99 per month. From there, you can tack on add-on packages, including mini-bundles and premium channels. fuboTV holds a special appeal for fans of foreign soccer leagues thanks to its wealth of related networks. On top of all of this other good stuff, fuboTV offers a free trial. Snag that free trial offer by clicking on the link below.
Try fuboTV for free
Hulu with Live TV is a skinny bundle that also includes Hulu's popular on-demand service. Though the on-demand arm of Hulu is longer-tenured than this comparatively new live TV service, Hulu with Live TV can hang with the best of the skinny bundle crowd. It costs $39.99 per month (as of this writing, we're a few weeks from that increasing to $44.99 per month in late February, 2019) and offers a bunch of great channels live and on-demand. You can add premium channels on top of that. As many competitors also do, Hulu with Live TV allows you to test things out for free by signing up for a free trial.
Try Hulu with Live TV for free
Philo's goal is to make skinny bundles as affordable as possible. Philo's trick is that it dispenses with local channels and sports channels — two types of channels which disproportionately account for the expense of most pay TV services. If you can live without those (or replace them with free over-the-air TV and league streaming packages), then you'll love Philo TV, which offers its two bundles at the remarkably low rates of $16 and $20 per month, respectively.
Try Philo for free
PlayStation Vue is owned by Sony, which is why you'll find the name of a certain popular gaming system tucked into its brand name. PlayStation Vue works wonderfully on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but you can also use it to watch live TV on a PC – among many other supported platforms. PlayStation Vue offers four bundles of tiered service beginning with the $44.99-per-month “Access” bundle.
Try PlayStation Vue for free
Sling TV is a little different from most of its skinny bundle competition in that it puts much of its focus on add-on bundles. After signing up for one (or both) of Sling TV's base bundles, you're free to add as many “Extras” as you want. The Extras include sets of like-minded channels or individual premium channels. Using this system, you're free to build a customized skinny bundle that makes your content as cost-effective as possible to get. Sling TV's two base bundles cost $25 each, but you can get both base packages together for $40 per month. You can try Sling TV for free for a week by clicking on the link below and signing up for the service's free trial offer.
Try Sling TV for free
YouTube TV is a great way to watch live TV on PC. It has great apps and features on all platforms, and it boasts plenty of top channels in its $40-per-month bundle. You can check it out risk-free by taking advantage of the service's free trial program.
Try YouTube TV for free
You can use an antenna with your TV because your TV has a TV tuner built into it. Your computer does not, but it's easy enough to add one: there are a ton of PC TV tuners available from reliable manufacturers, and they'll allow you to easily turn a USB port into a place to plug in your antenna. At its simplest, a PC TV tuner will allow you to watch live OTA TV on your PC – but there are also more clever things that you can do using software. With third-party software and/or software included with your PC TV tuner, you can record and time-shift OTA TV, and even make it available to stream on other devices.
Check out free over-the-air TV
OTA DVRs exist to make OTA TV into time-shiftable, streamable content. Just plug your antenna into an OTA DVR like Tablo and then use your computer to stream live and recorded TV.
Or, if you're in a DIY sort of mood, you can turn your PC into an OTA DVR yourself! Using a PC TV tuner, your PC, and software like Plex, you can create your own OTA DVR.
Check out OTA DVRs
CBS All Access is a single-channel solution that targets die-hard fans of CBS. For $5.99 per month, CBS super-fans can watch on-demand CBS programming and — in select markets — a live feed of their local CBS network.
Try CBS All Access for free
League streaming services are live TV solutions that focus on specific sports leagues. Generally, they make it possible to watch live out-of-market games (sorry, no local or national broadcasts). MLB.TV is the gold standard for sports league streaming services, and features smooth streaming and superior features.
Check out MLB.TV
NBA League Pass is the NBA's league streaming service, and it works pretty much how you'd assume: any regular-season game that is not being broadcast in your local market is available to stream via the service. You can also invest in a single-team option or even buy a single game.
Check out NBA League Pass
NHL.TV is the NHL's league streaming service. Use it to watch out-of-market regular season games live on all sorts of devices – including, of course, your PC. For hockey fans, this is a great way to watch live TV on PC.
Check out NHL.TV
ESPN+ is ESPN's standalone streaming service. While it doesn't offer a live feed of ESPN, it does offer other live broadcasts produced by the channel. Plus, it includes MLS Live, which is Major League Soccer's version of the live TV streaming service.
Try ESPN+ for free
Here at Cordcutting.com, we don't have anything against TV — it's cable that we don't like! That's why we dedicate so much time to telling you about all of the different ways that you can watch TV without cable. We've covered the best methods for watching TV without cable on mobile devices, streaming platforms, and more. Now we're here to tell you how to watch live TV on a Mac computer.
Computers are the original streaming devices: before Netflix was streaming movies and TV shows, the internet was already streaming viral and user-made videos on sites like Ebaum's World and Facebook. Today, we can stream TV and movies on almost any device, but it still pays to know how to stream the latest and greatest TV and movies on our trusty old laptops and desktops. Below, we'll lay out all of the services and techniques that you need to know about.
If you're a regular reader of Cordcutting.com, you know that we primarily talk about two things when it comes to watching TV without cable: “skinny bundles” and free over-the-air TV.
Skinny bundles get their name from the slimmed-down channel packages that they offer, which are more cost-effective than the competing ones offered by cable and satellite companies. But the most important difference between a skinny bundle and a cable package is that a skinny bundle streams online – kind of like Netflix, only for live TV.
Since skinny bundles live online, they can help you watch live TV without cable on all sorts of devices. That includes, of course, helping you stream live TV on Mac computers. The first handful of services we'll list below will be skinny bundles.
It may be less obvious how free over-the-air TV can help Mac users, but read on and we'll explain. We'll also cover other streaming services that will give you access to certain live TV channels and broadcasts. Here's how to watch live TV on Apple computers.
DirecTV Now is a skinny bundle service that is owned by AT&T. It offers all sorts of great TV channels in its four base packages, which come at various sizes and price points (the cheapest, “Live a Little,” will cost you $40 per month). Once you have a base package in your cart, you can tack on add-ons that include premium channels like HBO and Showtime. DirecTV Now is a particularly affordable way to snag those premium networks. You can test out DirecTV Now for free by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer.
fuboTV offer two base pakages. “fubo” costs $44.99 per month, while the larger “fubo Extra” package costs $49.99 per month. Either one will make a great way to stream live TV on Mac. You can also tack on some add-on bundles and check out fuboTV's Spanish-language bundle. Click the link below to get a free week through fuboTV's free trial program.
Hulu with Live TV is the skinny bundle arm of the popular on-demand streaming service Hulu. Hulu's live offerings are pretty solid, with its basic $39.99-per-month channel bundle (Hulu with Live TV's price will go up to $44.99 per month in late February of 2019) featuring a host of familiar channels like ABC and ESPN. A Hulu with Live TV subscription will also net you access to all of Hulu's on-demand content. You can try out Hulu with Live TV for free by signing up for the free trial via the link below.
If you want to watch live TV on the cheap, Philo is a fantastic option. The service's goal is to make the most affordable skinny bundle possible, and it succeeds admirably. The trick with Philo is that it sheds the local channels and sports-centric networks that tend to drive up the cost of cable bundles. Sports fans and folks who care a lot about local TV will want to look elsewhere, but the rest of us will find Philo's bundles very appealing indeed: the smaller and larger bundles cost just $16 and $20 per month, respectively. You can test out Philo for free by clicking the link below.
PlayStation Vue may be named after a certain video game console, but Sony's skinny bundle isn't limited to the gaming set. PlayStation Vue will run like a dream on other platforms, too, including your Mac OS computer via an in-browser app. PlayStation Vue offers four different based packages arranged in tiers, from the cheapest and smallest (“Access,” $44.99 per month) up to larger and pricier options. You can test PlayStation Vue out for free by clicking on the link below and signing up for the service's free trial offer.
Sling TV is all about the add-ons. After grabbing a base package ($25 per month for either “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue,” or $40 per month for both), build out the skinny bundle of your dreams by adding the “Extras” that you most desire. Want sports? “Sports Extra” ($5 per month) will give you sports, and nothing but sports. There's no need to pay for what you don't want to watch when you opt for Sling TV. You can check out your customized bundle for free by clicking the link below and signing up for Sling TV's free trial offer.
YouTube TV is Google's take on the live TV multichannel service. It streams dozens of channels for just $40 per month, and its in-browser app will work great on your Mac computer. You can check out YouTube TV for free for a week by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer — the link is below!
As you may already know, free over-the-air TV is the free TV that you can pick up with an antenna. Plug an antenna into your TV and presto: you'll have live feeds of local broadcast (over-the-air) stations, which may include ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, and more.
But there's no computer in that equation. So why are we talking about OTA TV here?
Because you can use a computer to bring your OTA TV to the next level. Just as there are PC TV tuners for PCs, there are Mac TV tuners. Buy one to give your Mac the power to interpret your antenna's signals! You can even use your computer as an OTA DVR.
Or, you can use a separate OTA DVR – like a Tablo, for instance – to make your OTA TV into streamable content that you can watch on your Mac.
If you're a huge fan of CBS shows, you'll want to consider CBS All Access. The $5.99-per-month service offers on-demand CBS content and – more importantly, for our purposes here – a way to watch live TV on an Apple computer. Subscribers in select markets will get a live feed of their local CBS station through their CBS All Access subscription. You can test out CBS All Access for free by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer.
It's not a skinny bundle, but MLB.TV is another great way to watch live TV on a Mac. It's the best of the league streaming services, which are run by major sports leagues and allow fans to watch live games as if they had cable. The catch: you'll only get games that are not on cable in your region, and you'll only get regular-seaosn matchups.
The NBA's version of the league streaming service works just as you'd expect. It offers single-team packages, plus a rarer feature: single-game packages, perfect for catching that one out-of-market game that you just don't want to miss.
The NHL's version of the league streaming service is pretty much what you'd expect: you'll get live feeds of out-of-market regular-season games. It's just another great way to watch live TV on a Mac.
The bad news: ESPN+ does not offer a live feed of ESPN or ESPN2. But it does offer live sports, so it's still a way to watch live TV on Mac. And it also has Major League Soccer's league streaming service, MLS Live, rolled right into it. Throw in lots of good on-demand content, and you have a pretty cool service. ESPN+ also offers a free trial.
RFD-TV is where rural viewers turn to get TV that matters to them. But cable doesn't have to be the service that you turn to in order to get RFD-TV! We're here to show you how to watch RFD-TV without cable, so that you can save money while still enjoying your favorite shows.
Below, we'll lay out everything you need to know about how to get an RFD-TV live stream and watch RFD-TV online using your Roku, Fire TV Stick, smart TV, or other streaming device. We'll introduce you to a new type of pay TV service that is making it easier than ever to cut the cord, and we'll list the specific services that you can use to stream RFD-TV – including RFD-TV's own standalone streaming service, RFD-TV Country Club. We'll link you to the free trials you can use to watch RFD-TV online free (for a little while, anyway), and we'll talk about the devices you can use to stream RFD-TV. Sound good? Then read on: this is how to watch RFD-TV without cable.
You can get RFD-TV a few different ways. You already know that you can subscribe to a cable or satellite package, of course – but this article is called “How to Watch RFD-TV Without Cable,” so we're going to ignore those overpriced options.
Our next option is what we call a “skinny bundle.” What is a skinny bundle? In some ways, it's something that feels like cable: a pay TV service that offers you a bunch of live channels in exchange for a monthly fee. But skinny bundles make some major changes to cable's business model, and those changes allow them to be cheaper and better than their old-school competition.
See, skinny bundles stream online – kind of like Netflix, only for live TV. That means you can watch them almost anywhere and on a wide range of devices. Plus, there are no regional monopolies like there are with cable. Competing skinny bundles offer low prices and great features. They also offer slimmer, more cost-effective bundles that don't force you to pay for channels you don't watch (that's where the “skinny bundle” nickname comes from).
There's another way to watch RFD-TV without cable, too: its own subscription service. On the list below, we'll start with skinny bundles and then move on to RFD-TV's own standalone service. After our list, we'll talk about what devices you can use to watch RFD-TV without cable.
DirecTV Now lets its subscribers choose from a few different skinny bundle options. The different bundles are available at a range of different sizes and price points. The more you pay, the more channels you get. And once a channel appears in a bundle, it sticks around as you climb the price ladder – you'll never lose content by upgrading your bundle.
So where is RFD-TV in this mix? Happily, it's available in all of them. You'll spot it in “Live a Little,” which – at $40 per month – is DirecTV Now's cheapest. As we mentioned, that means it is also available in DirecTV Now's three larger bundles. Pick a bundle and try it out for free for a week by clicking on the link below and signing up for DirecTV Now's free trial offer.
Try DirecTV Now for free
In theory, skinny bundles make things cheaper by trimming away unwanted channels. But some services may trim away channels you want – like RFD-TV. And others may relegate lesser-known but beloved channels to higher price tiers with bulky, cable-like bundles.
Sling TV has a solution to this problem: they let you build your own skinny bundle. You start by grabbing a base package: your options are “Sling Orange” ($25 per month), “Sling Blue” ($25 per month), or both base packages together (branded as “Sling Orange + Blue,” this option costs $40 per month). From there, you are free to go in just about any direction that you choose using Sling TV's “Extras.” Extras are small add-on bundles that group similar channels together so that you can grab just the stuff you want – more sports, for instance, without having to add home improvement channels or movie channels to get the sports stuff. You'll find RFD-TV in the “Heartland Extra” bundle. Heartland Extra costs $5 per month and can be added to either of the two base bundles.
No matter what sort of skinny bundle you create, you can check it all out for free for a week by signing up for Sling TV's free trial offer. Click the link below to get your hands on that.
“Country Club” is the name of RFD-TV's direct-to-consumer subscription service. Yep, you can watch RFD-TV online without having to subscribe to a single other channel! RFD-TV maintains its own streaming service that shows nothing but RFD-TV content, and that makes it pretty darn affordable to get an RFD-TV live stream. RFD-TV Country Club costs $10 per month or $90 per year (educators can get a half-price discount on the annual rate).
Platform support is a little limited for RFD-TV Country Club right now (it's only available in your browser, though the in-browser app works on mobile devices, too; we'll talk more about platform support for all of these services in just a bit). But it's a great way to get RFD-TV and nothing but RFD-TV at a very attractive price point. You can check it out by clicking on the link below.
Check out RFD-TV Country Club
RFD-TV belongs on, well, your TV. So while we love watching streaming television without cable on our smartphones and tablets, let start with the good stuff: how to watch RFD-TV without cable on your smart TV or TV streaming device.
Good news! DirecTV Now and Sling TV both offer apps that work on or with Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices. Sling TV also has an app for Android TV, which is the streaming platform used on some Sony smart TVs, among other devices.
RFD-TV Country Club has apps that work with Chromecast devices (more on those apps in a moment).
Want to watch on the go? Good news: DirecTV Now and Sling TV have apps for iOS and Android mobile devices. That means you can watch RFD-TV almost anywhere.
Computers are a great option for streaming RFD-TV online, too. You can use a desktop or laptop computer running a major browser to access the in-browser apps offered by DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and RFD-TV Country Club.
Using RFD-TV Country Club's in-browser app on Chrome on a desktop or laptop computer, you can cast the feed to your Chromecast device and get live RFD-TV content on your television (the skinny bundles can work with Chromecast, too, from both their in-browser apps and their mobile apps).
Even Xbox One users are covered! Sling TV has an app for the popular video game console.
Clearly, there is no shortage of ways to watch RFD-TV without cable. So why not scroll back up and check out some free trials? You can watch RFD-TV online free while you decide whether or not you want to stick with your skinny bundle.
CBS knows sports. The CBS family of channels plays host to everything from March Madness to the Super Bowl, and their broadcast teams, in-game graphics, and camera work rank with the best of them. So it's no surprise that CBS Sports Network — the CBS channel that is dedicated to sports and nothing but sports — is a must-have channel for sports fans. There's just one problem: that pesky bill that comes each month, charging you through the nose for your cable or satellite subscription. You don't want to keep overpaying, but you don't want to lose the crucial sports coverage you get from CBS Sports Network. So what do you do? Simple: you learn how to watch CBS Sports Network without cable.
And that's why we're here. We're going to show you how to get your hands on a CBS Sports Network live stream and watch all of the CBS Sports action you want to, live, from just about anywhere and using just about any device. Let's get started!
As you may already know – especially if you checked out our post on How to Watch CBS Without Cable – CBS is a broadcast network, which means that you can watch it for free using an antenna. That will net you some great CBS Sports action for free, including NFL broadcasts. But CBS Sports Network – the standalone sports channel that CBS owns — is not an over-the-air channel like its big brother is. And that means you need a pay TV service to watch it. Bummer, right?
Well, it's not as bad as it seems. See, there are other pay TV options out there besides the bulky, overpriced cable and satellite packages that you already know about. We're going to talk about some of those options below. But, first, let's take a moment to talk about these sorts of services more generally.
The services that we'll list below all belong to the same general category of pay TV service: “skinny bundles.” So what is a skinny bundle? The short version is that a skinny bundle is a pay TV service that streams online and (usually) offers slimmer and more cost-effective channel bundles than its cable and satellite counterparts. The slightly longer version is that this is awesome for consumers: online deliver eliminates monopolies and gives subscribers the ability to watch live streams (including, as we'll soon see, CBS Sports live streams) on all sorts of devices from all sorts of locations. The slimmed-down bundles, along with the serious online competition, keep costs down for consumers while still delivering the crucial channels that you can't live without.
Sounds good, right? And, happily for us, there are plenty of skinny bundles that make excellent answers to the question of how to watch CBS Sports Network without cable. Let's meet our candidates!
Hulu with Live TV is the skinny bundle arm of Hulu, a service that you may already know for its popular on-demand streaming options. Hulu with Live TV costs $39.99 per month (as of this writing, that price is set to increase to $44.99 per month in late February of 2019) and includes Hulu's on-demand content as well as live streaming television channels. And, as you might have guessed by now, Hulu with Live TV's live channels include CBS Sports Network. Like many of its competitors, Hulu with Live TV offers a great free trial – just click the link below to sign up for that.
fuboTV loves sports – in fact, it used to be a soccer-specific skinny bundle. That's in the past, now, and fuboTV's re-launch as a more general-interest skinny bundle is now ancient history (in tech terms, anyway). But fuboTV still has a soft spot for sports fans, so it's no surprise to see a CBS Sports Network live stream among its offerings. You can watch CBS Sports Network without cable using fuboTV by grabbing “fubo,” its cheapest package, for $44.99 per month. Or you can upgrade to “fubo Extra,” which offers more channels for $49.99 per month – the CBS Sports Network live stream will still be there if you opt for the larger bundle. Either way, you can test-drive things for a whole week without paying. To do that, just click the link below and sign up for fuboTV's free trial offer.
PlayStation Vue, like some other skinny bundles, divides its bundle offerings up into tiers. You can opt for any of four different bundles. The pricier the bundle, the more channels it offers. Larger bundles always include all of the channels that their smaller buddies do. CBS All Access first arrives with the second-smallest bundle. That would be “Core,” which costs $49.99 per month. Of course, you're free to opt for a larger and pricier bundle if you'd like! You can check out your CBS Sports live stream for free by grabbing PlayStation Vue's free trial offer via the link below.
YouTube TV is Google's skinny bundle offering, and it's a great solution to the problem of how to watch CBS Sports Network without cable. If you're in one of the markets that YouTube TV services, you can grab CBS Sports Network — along with a whole lot of other great channels — for $40 per month. That's after you enjoy your week-long free trial, of course.
DirecTV Now offers subscribers a few different skinny bundle options. The more you're willing to pay, the heftier the bundle that you can take home. Each larger bundle includes all of the channels that its smaller counterparts do, while adding a few new arrivals of its own. Your CBS Sports Network live stream makes its triumphant debut in the second-largest of DirecTV Now's four main bundle options. That would be “Go Big,” a pretty impressive bundle that will cost you $65 per month. Of course, you only have to pay that after your free trial runs out. Grab any of DirecTV Now's bundles for free for a week by clicking the link below. It's risk-free.
Great CBS Sports action belongs on your big screen, so let's talk about how to watch CBS Sports Network without cable on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices – among other streaming platforms.
Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now all have apps for Roku devices.
Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now each work great on Fire TV devices.
Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now have apps for Apple TV devices.
Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now work perfectly with Chromecast devices.
Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV have apps for Android TV devices.
If you want to check out your CBS Sports Network live stream on the go, you can do that using your iOS or Android device. Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now all have apps for both iOS and Android devices, so your smartphone or tablet is probably covered!
Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now also have in-browser apps for major web browsers, so watching on your desktop or laptop computer is always an option, too.
Even video game systems aren't left out. Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV have apps for Xbox One, while PlayStation Vue has an app for – you guessed it – PlayStation video game consoles (specifically, we're talking PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4).
So if you want to watch CBS Sports Network, there's no reason to turn to cable or satellite. Scroll up, grab some free trials, and start to stream CBS Sports Network online today!
Google's Chromecast devices are awesome tools for streaming video on your favorite big-screen TV. We already know that you can watch quite a lot of good stuff without cable on Chromecast, including on-demand content and even live network television. But what about local television? Do you know how to watch local TV on Chromecast?
If not, don't worry – we're here to explain everything in this complete guide. We'll cover the best ways to use Chromecast to access your local news, local sports, and other local broadcasting that you can't live without.
The biggest breakthrough for cord-cutting fans of local TV since free over-the-air TV has been the skinny bundle. Skinny bundles are live TV streaming services that have set out to beat cable at its own game: they offer bundles of live TV channels just like cable and satellite do, but they have some key differences, too.
For one thing, skinny bundles are “skinny” – at least, they are sometimes. The “skinny” bit comes from the fact that skinny bundles tend to offer slimmed channel packages than their cable counterparts, trimming the bulk so that they can also trim the price. It should be noted, though, that some modern skinny bundles offer larger bundles, too.
The real difference between skinny bundles and legacy pay TV services (cable and satellite) is that skinny bundles stream over the internet. That means that skinny bundles can work on a ton of different streaming devices – including your Chromecast, of course!
Skinny bundles have begun to offer local and regional channels, so they make a great solution to the problem of how to watch local channels on Chromecast. In most cases, skinny bundles will offer some or all of the four major networks – ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC – with live local feeds of their affiliates in select markets. That means local news, NFL games, and more.
Below, we'll cover the skinny bundles that will help you watch live local TV on Chromecast. We'll also run through some other options, including some related to free over-the-air TV. Ready? Let's get started.
DirecTV Now offers subscribers a choice between several different bundles, some of which are skinnier than others. The slimmest and cheapest bundle is DirecTV Now's “Live a Little” bundle, which costs $40 per month. You can choose to go bigger and pricier if you want, but you'll only need the smallest bundle to grab the local channels that DirecTV Now offers: you can get live local feeds of the four major networks in select markets through Live a Little. You can test out one of DirecTV Now's bundles by signing up for the service's free trial offer, which will give you free local TV on Chromecast (or on any number of other compatible devices) for a week. Not bad!
Like many of its competitors, fuboTV offers live local feeds of major-network affiliates in select markets. fuboTV offers those channels in its cheapest bundle, the $44.99 per month “fubo” bundle. You can also opt for the larger and pricier “fubo Extra” bundle, which costs $49.99 per month. fuboTV offers a free trial: you can test-drive the service for seven days before you have to pony up and dough. To sign up for that trial, just click the link below this paragraph.
Hulu with Live TV is the skinny bundle service from Hulu, a service which is already, of course, a veteran of the on-demand streaming world. Hulu's live TV bundle offers plenty of great channels, including the four major networks. You'll get live local feeds of those in select markets. Hulu with Live TV can be tested out for free if you click on the link below and sign up for the service's free trial offer, which lasts one week.
PlayStation Vue offers a range of bundles, starting with the $44.99 per month “Access” bundle and scaling up from there. Right from the start, though, you'll see some local channels: PlayStation Vue offers the major networks, including live local feeds in select markets. It also has some regional sports networks. You can check out PlayStation Vue for free by signing up for the service's free trial offer using the link below.
Sling TV is a skinny bundle that is designed to make it easier for you to get only the channels you actually want to pay for. After selecting a base bundle (Sling Orange is $25 per month, Sling Blue is also $25 per month, and the two can be snagged together for $40 per month), subscribers can add any number of “Extras” – small add-on bundles that offer like-minded channels grouped together or premium channels like HBO. Some Extras are even available on their own, with no base bundle required. In the base bundles, though, is our reason for including Sling TV on this list: you'll find major networks, including live local feeds in select markets.
YouTube TV is Google's entry into the skinny bundle melee. It's a worthy contender, too, though it's not yet available to all consumers – as of this writing, YouTube TV is still in the midst of a region-by-region rollout. But YouTube TV is already available in a lot of places, and it boasts plenty of great features: an easy-to-use app, great content discovery, and, of course, access to local channels in select markets. You can check YouTube TV out for free by clicking on the link below and signing up for the service's free trial offer.
CBS All Access is the standalone streaming service offered by CBS. For $5.99 per month, CBS All Access gives its subscribers access to a ton of great on-demand content from CBS. But that's not all, of course, or we wouldn't be talking about CBS All Access here! CBS All Access also offers live streaming TV from local CBS stations in select markets. If you're one of the many markets in which live TV is available, you can subscribe directly to your local CBS station through CBS All Access. The service offers a free trial, which you can sign up for by clicking the link below.
If you're a regular reader of Cordcutting.com, then you know that we're big fans of free over-the-air TV. Thanks to local broadcast networks, you can pick up local stations with an antenna – no cable required. But if you plug an antenna into your TV, you don't need a Chromecast to watch those local TV broadcasts – right?
That's right – but that doesn't mean that a Chromecast can't be involved if you want to get a little more out of your OTA TV experience. You can use Chromecast with Android devices and the Tablo app, for instance, which means that you can watch live and recorded OTA TV through your Tablo DVR (sold separately). Another great OTA DVR solution is Plex, the popular media server application that offers OTA DVR support on some platforms.
Pop's entertainment programming is full of great shows like Schitt's Creek. But is it really worth keeping cable or satellite for? Luckily, we don't have to find out! It's possible to watch Pop without cable or satellite. You can watch Pop online using all sorts of devices, including Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV devices. Sounds good, right? We're here to show you how to watch Pop without cable.
Below, we'll lay out everything you need to know about how to watch Pop without. We'll introduce (or re-introduce) you to a type of service called a “skinny bundle,” and we'll explain which skinny bundles you can use to watch Pop online. We'll also talk specifically about which devices you can use to watch Pop, layout out how to watch Pop on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and other popular streaming platforms and devices. So, without further ado, let's do this: here's how to watch Pop without cable.
Pop is a lot of things, but an over-the-air channel isn't one of them. That's too bad, because longtime readers know that free over-the-air TV is the best way to watch channels without cable on the cheap. But are we out of luck? Actually, no – far from it.
If you've been reading Cordcutting.com at all for the last couple of years – or if you've opened a newspaper or turned on the TV – there's a good chance that you've heard about “skinny bundles.” Skinny bundles are the tools we're going to use to watch Pop without cable. But what is a skinny bundle?
The short version is that a skinny bundle is a pay TV service, kind of like cable or satellite. But, unlike cable and satellite, this particular type of pay TV service streams over the internet – more like Netflix than like cable, really.
Online streaming is a big deal here, because it makes it possible to watch live TV on all sorts of devices and in all sorts of places. It also means there's tons of competition – there are no regional monopolies here like the ones you see with cable.
Put it all together and you have a great way to watch live TV as a cord cutter without paying through the nose. Now, not all skinny bundles have Pop, but some do – and we'll list the ones you need to know about below.
DirecTV Now is AT&T's skinny bundle service, and it's a good one. Subscribers can choose between a few different bundle options: there are four English-language options, with each successively larger bundle including all of the channels from its smaller counterparts (so you'll never lose a channel by upgrading – but you may have to climb the price ladder to get certain channels). So where is Pop? You'll find it in “Just Right,” DirecTV Now's second-cheapest package, and in the two bundles larger than that. You can test out DirecTV Now for free by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer.
fuboTV offers two bundles: there's the $44.99-per-month “fubo” and the larger, pricier “fubo Extra,” which goes for $49.99 per month. Either bundle will work as a way to watch Pop without cable. You can take fuboTV for a test drive by signing up for its free trial offer, which will give you free live TV for a week while you make up your mind about the service. It's risk-free, and you can sign up for it below.
Hulu with Live TV is the skinny bundle arm of Hulu, the popular streaming service that has long been known for its great on-demand content. Hulu with Live TV keeps things relatively simple: there's just one bundle here, and it costs $39.99 per month (Hulu with Live TV will be $44.99 per month beginning in late February of 2019). Among the channels offered in this default bundle is Pop, of course, which is why we're talking about Hulu with Live TV here. You can sign up for Hulu with Live TV's free trial offer by clicking on the link below.
PlayStation Vue is a skinny bundle option that comes to us from Sony – that's why it shares a name with Sony's popular video game platform, even though you can watch PlayStation Vue on many other platforms (including Roku, Fire TV, and more – see the last section of this article for more on platform support). PlayStation Vue offers four bundles, organized in tiers from the cheapest and slimmest to pricier channel-packed options. Pop is available in the second-cheapest bundle (the 49.99-per-month “Core” bundle) and up. You can try out PlayStation Vue for free for five days by clicking the link below and signing up for the service's free trial offer.
YouTube TV is an option for most – but not all – cord cutters. Google's skinny bundle service (which is separate from the premium options Google offers in relation to its on-demand, user-dominated YouTube service) is in the midst of a region-by-region rollout that has brough the service to many (but, again, not all) markets. If YouTube TV is available to you, it's great option: its lone bundle, which costs $40 per month, includes Pop.
So now we know how to watch Pop without cable – but there's still something that we haven't really addressed. We haven't talked in detail about what we'd actually be watching Pop without cable on.
One nice thing about skinny bundles is that they are available for a bunch of different platforms. Skinny bundles let you watch live TV online on different devices, including some of the popular picks for streaming on televisions.
Let's start with those TV streaming platforms – the ones in streaming boxes, streaming sticks, and smart TVs. You'll find that DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV all work wonderfully with Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices. Fire TV owners can use DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, or PlayStation Vue. Android TV users (including those of you who use Nvidia Shield devices and some Sony Smart TVs) can use fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, or YouTube TV.
Mobile apps are an option, too: you can download apps for DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, or YouTube TV on iOS and Android devices, including smartphones and tablets.
DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV also have in-browser apps that work on major web browsers and operating system, making it easy to watch Pop without cable on your computer.
Even video game systems are an option! Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV work on modern Xbox video game consoles, while PlayStation Vue works on – you guessed it – PlayStations.
Enough options for you? We thought so! So why not grab a few free trials and start exploring your options for watching Pop without cable right now?
Sundance TV offers some of the best movie content on cable – but you don't actually need cable to watch it. Thanks to a relatively new type of streaming service, it's easy to learn how to watch Sundance TV without cable! We'll lay out everything that you need to know below. We'll explain what this new type of streaming service is and why it's better than cable. We'll talk about which specific streaming services can connect you with a Sundance TV live stream. And we'll tell you how to watch Sundance TV online on whatever devices you choose — not just your desktop of laptop computer, but your TV and your smartphone, too! So read on: here's how to watch Sundance TV without cable.
There's nothing wrong with pay TV. It's cable and satellite that we have a beef with: they're overpriced, bloated, and just plain bad. So while it's sad to part with great pay TV content, we at Cordcutting.com just can't stomach the idea of paying for cable.
Thankfully, it's easier than ever to cut the cord — and we have pay TV to thank!
See, cable and satellite aren't the only pay TV services you can sign up for. These days, there's a new type of pay TV service around: the skinny bundle.
What's a skinny bundle? We've answered that question in depth before, but let's recap.
A skinny bundle is a live TV streaming service. It puts live network television channels online, just like Netflix does with movies and TV shows. You can watch skinny bundles on a ton of different devices, and you'll find that they offer great features at low prices. Part of the reason for those prices is the skinny bundle market's tendency to slim down those bloated cable bundles and create great no-filler live TV bundles that you can get for less. That's where the “skinny bundle” name comes from!
Some bundles are too skinny to help us solve the problem of how to watch Sundance TV without cable. But others have kept Sundance TV in their slimmed-down lineups, which means that we can watch Sundance TV online! Here are the services that you can use to watch Sundance TV online without cable.
Philo is designed with affordability in mind. This unique skinny bundle, which is still relatively new on the mainstream, deliberately skips out on skinny bundle staples like live sports and local television. That's because those types of content drive up skinny bundle prices. Philo exists to serve the people who don't need those types of content and who would prefer not to pay for them. If you want movies, reality shows, and other non-sports content, you'll be very happy to see how affordable they are with Philo. The service's two bundles cost just $16 and $20, respectively, and either of them will do a great job of solving the problem of how to watch Sundance TV without cable. Try either bundle out and enjoy a Sundance TV live stream for free during the free trial period, which you can access by clicking on the link below.
Skinny bundles are a great way to get popular channels on the cheap. But what if your favorite channel isn't a monster network like ESPN? As you may have noticed, this could mean that your channel is relegated to the higher tiers of some skinny bundle pricing systems, forcing you to pay for channels you don't want in order to get the channels that you do. That's not ideal – in fact, it's almost cable-like!
Sling TV is designed to fix that problem. After you grab an affordable base bundle (Sling Orange is $25 per month, Sling Blue is $25 per month, and both together will cost you $40 per month), you'll be able to customize your skinny bundle by adding small samplings of channels in the form of “Extras.” Just grab “Hollywood Extra” ($5 per month), adding it to either base package (or to both base packages), in order to watch Sundance TV online using Sling TV.
fuboTV offers two base bundles and a wealth of add-on bundles. You'll find Sundance TV in either of those two base bundles, so you can choose between “fubo,” which costs $44.99 per month, and “fubo Extra,” which includes additional channels and costs $49.99 per month. The two bundles are both available at discounts for your first month of subscription, and fuboTV also offers a great free trial period that will let you watch Sundance TV online (along with a whole bunch of other good stuff) for free for a week before you decide if it's something you want to pay for. You can sign up for fuboTV's free trial offer by clicking on the link below.
PlayStation Vue is Sony's skinny bundle option. It gives subscribers a choice of several different channel bundles at a range of different size and price points. Larger bundles are, of course, pricier, and each larger bundle includes all of the channels that its smaller counterparts have (and then some). Sundance TV is available in the Core package ($49.99 per month) and up. You can test out PlayStation Vue by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer, which you can sign up for using the link below.
YouTube TV is an excellent answer to the question of how to watch Sundance TV without cable. YouTube TV costs $40 per month for a nice selection of channels. We praised this service in our YouTube TV review, and it's well work looking at for people who want to know how to watch Sundance TV without cable. You can check the service out for free by taking advantage of its free trial offer (just click the link below to sign up for that).
DirecTV Now is a skinny bundle that is owned by AT&T (AT&T also owns DirecTV, which is where DirecTV Now's brand identity comes from). DirecTV Now offers a few different bundle options, some of which are decidedly more skinny than others. Service is available in tiers, witch each pricier bundle containing all of the channels that its smaller counterparts do, plus some new arrivals. You'll see Sundance TV for the first time in DirecTV Now's “Just Right” bundle, which, at $55 per month, is its second-cheapest. We gave this skinny bundle high marks in our DirecTV Now review, and you can see how you like it for yourself by signing up for the service's free trial offer. To snag that free trial, just click on the link below.
Now we know how to watch Sundance TV without cable – but do we know how to watch Sundance TV without cable on our big-screen TVs?
We do! The services above may be designed to help you watch Sundance TV online, but that doesn't mean that you need a desktop or laptop computer to get your independent film fix. These services work well on many other devices besides computers, including some that will help you put your Sundance TV live stream up on your favorite TV screen.
Philo, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now have apps for Roku devices.
Philo, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now have apps for Fire TV devices.
Philo, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now work great on Apple TV.
Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now play nice with Chromecast devices.
Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV are good choices for Android TV users.
Mobile devices are covered, too. Philo, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now have apps for iOS devices. Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now have apps for Android devices, too. (You can watch Philo on Android by using the in-browser app on Chrome's Android app).
Of course, you can use a computer if you want to: Philo, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now each have in-browser apps (Sling TV also has a desktop app for Windows).
Sling TV and YouTube TV even work on Xbox One, while PlayStation Vue works on modern PlayStation consoles.
In other words, these services can help you watch Sundance TV without cable on almost any streaming device you can think of. So why not grab a few free trials and start watching Sundance TV online?