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HBO is a major player in the cord cutting revolution, but it's one with a very complicated role. It wasn't so long ago that HBO was part of the case to keep cable: the premium channel was available only to legacy pay TV subscribers. But as a premium channel, HBO never had quite the same kind of relationship with the cable and satellite giants as, say, ESPN did – and that made it well-positioned to pioneer new ways of bringing its content to viewers. It wasn't just viewers who wanted to know how to watch HBO without cable: HBO itself was interested in meeting its fans in a more direct way. These days, HBO has its own streaming service, HBO Now.

Here is our favorite way to stream HBO:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

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But while HBO Now is one great answer to the question of how to watch HBO without cable, it's not the only one. HBO is a streaming company now, but it hasn't stopped cutting deals with the cable giants – or with the new wave of live TV streaming services that are challenging the legacy pay TV companies. These days, there are a ton of ways to get HBO without cable, and that can make things a little confusing. The good news is that it's not hard to see how to watch Game of Thrones without cable, and you don't have to miss out on the golden age of TV just because you don't have cable. The bad news is that the huge number of options can make your head spin. We'll sort it all out below.

How to Watch HBO Online Without Cable

An HBO live stream is easy to come by, but you may want to spend a little time deciding how you're going to get yours – because there are a lot of different options. We'll list them all below, but before we dive in, let's talk about some of the types of services you'll see on this list.

First up are the skinny bundles – the live TV streaming services that are challenging cable and satellite. These guys offer slimmed-down cable-like bundles of live network television channels, and they let you stream those live channels on all kinds of devices. Most skinny bundles allow you to tack on premium channel subscriptions for an extra fee each month. Think of these as being just like cable, but online and cheaper.

Live TV-focused services aren't the only ones selling an HBO live stream subscription. The more on-demand-focused Amazon Prime also lets you tack on HBO as an “Amazon channel.”

And, of course, HBO has its own streaming service: HBO Now.

Each of these options below is a viable path to an HBO live stream. So which one should you pick? Price is a factor, and we'll cover that below. But think as well about which services and platforms you use to view your content. If you are an Amazon power user with a Fire TV, a Prime account, and a couple of other Amazon channels already set up, it's a no-brainer to opt for the Amazon path and keep everything organized. If you've signed up for your favorite services through one device (like a Roku or iPhone) and want to keep your media-related bills all in one place, HBO Now – which bills you through whatever device you use to register for it – is a convenient option. If you want to reclaim that cable feeling and plan to invest in a skinny bundle, you might as well tack HBO on there, so that you don't have to switch apps every time you want to switch from another live TV channel to your HBO live stream. In short, HBO is always the same, so ask yourself which app you'd like to use to access it (that's app, not device – as we'll cover later, most of these work just fine on any major streaming-capable device). In many cases, you'll also have the option of using HBO Go – HBO's streaming app for pay TV subscribers. You need a pay TV login to access HBO Go, so it's not on the list below as a standalone option. But it is accessible to cord cutters who pay for HBO through skinny bundles or Amazon, so if you don't want to use your service's main app to watch HBO for whatever reason, you can grab HBO Go as well.

Alright, we've gone on long enough with the explanations. Here's the list! This is how to watch HBO without cable.

Stream HBO for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV offers HBO as an add-on to its live streaming multichannel bundle. If you're already a fan of Hulu's live TV streaming service, it makes sense to have all of your live TV in one place. If you're not yet a fan, it's worth checking out: Hulu + Live TV has a week-long free trial (check it out via the link below), and matches up well against the competition. To learn more, you should read our review of Hulu + Live TV.


AT&T TV Now is a skinny bundle from AT&T — which, as it just so happens, is also the parent company of HBO. It's no surprise that HBO is available as an add-on for AT&T TV Now customers. For HBO fans who were already planning to get a live TV service anyway, AT&T TV Now is a worthy choice.

Amazon Channels (Amazon Prime)

HBO is available as an add-on to your Amazon account. Just as the skinny bundles above will integrate your HBO experience with their apps, this option would put your HBO live stream inside of your Amazon Prime app (unless you have a Fire TV, which acts in some ways like one big Amazon app and will give Amazon subscriptions and purchases top-level billing alongside full apps from competitors like Netflix – for more on how that feels as a user, check out the Amazon Fire TV review).


HBO's standalone streaming service is HBO Now. And, to be clear, HBO Now is HBO's only stand-alone streaming service: HBO Go is not a stand-alone service, and it exists to serve those who have an HBO subscription by some other means (you'll have to log in with your pay TV credentials to use HBO Go, which is why it doesn't get its own section in this piece). HBO Now, on the other hand, is a direct subscription service and a true cord cutting option.

HBO Now can be mildly confusing to some because of its device focus: originally launched as an explicitly mobile solution, HBO Now is billed through your device. Sign up on your iPhone, for instance, and you'll be billed through your Apple account. But that doesn't mean you can only watch HBO Now on your iPhone (or whatever device you signed up for): you can use your new account to log in on all sorts of other devices. Whether or not this piggybacking billing scheme is appealing to you is a matter of personal preference. Also worth noting: this option puts your HBO live stream in its own app, rather than integrating it into some other app.

Can I Watch HBO on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

You bet! The apps listed above all have fantastic platform support.

Hulu + Live TV and AT&T TV Now work great on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Android TV. They also work great on computers and mobile devices (iOS and Android).

HBO Now and Amazon have great platform support, too.

Oh, and one more thing: you can also use HBO Go. HBO Go is not a subscription service in and of itself, so it didn't get its own section above, but it offers all the same content that we've been focused on here. You get in by logging in with credentials that prove you pay for HBO through some other provider, so HBO Go is widely used by people who have cable or satellite and want to watch HBO on their streaming device. But you can also log in if you have HBO through a skinny bundle or Amazon, so it's worth mentioning here that HBO Go works with Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast as well.

2 thoughts on “How to Watch HBO Without Cable

  1. Avatar James Prokop says:

    Ok. I have Chromecast & Netflix as well as Dish TV. Dish no longer carries HBO. Big fan of RealTime Live on HBO. How can I watch it and specifically how do I set it up.

  2. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I have Frontier. They say they cannot provide me with HBOMAX even though I have been an HBO subscriber for years. Why does HBO make this so difficult??Just because I do not have a so called SMART tv.

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