Can I Get Cable Without Using A Traditional Provider? Hell Yes!
Lots of us are looking to ditch our cable tv bill these days, and it’s no secret why.
Monopolization of the cable industry has led to rising costs, famously lousy customer service (looking at you Comcast), and the end-user getting shafted at every turn.
Service is getting pricier while options are shrinking.
But if you are looking for an alternative to cable TV service, you are in luck.
Customers all over the world are ditching cable options and learning how to cut the cord.
There is no one best way to cut the cord that will be right for every single customer, so we are going to explore all the best options other than cable tv below!
Cut The Cord Cable Options And Tips
So down to the nitty-gritty: what options for watching TV without cable?
Well, that depends on which direction you go. We have compiled a list of all the most popular methods to save money on cable and internet right here.
Choose the one that suits you best, then read on to see what each option requires. Here’s a brief overview:
- HD antennas This will let you watch all of your favorite network TV stations live, in high definition, with no cost beyond the antenna itself, allowing you to cancel cable service.
- Cable replacement services. These are official services that are almost the same thing as having a traditional cable or satellite subscription (but cheaper). Sling TV, Playstation Vue, and Hulu Live TV are just a few out there.
- Streaming Boxes. Every streaming device has pros and cons. Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and other devices can be a great way how to cut the cable cord forever if you load them with the right apps!
- Check your smart TV. If you’re asking yourself, “what do I need to cut the cable cord?” the answer could be “nothing!” It’s possible your Smart TV already has the capabilities to stream what you need to cut the cord from cable TV already.
- Subscribe to streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video provide massive amounts of classic, new, and original movies and TV shows, and are always updating. They may not help you cut the cord local channels, but if you don’t watch them anyways, you probably won’t mind.
Check out our in-depth guide to individual cable satellite alternatives below!
HD Internet Antennas
What is an HD Antenna? It is essentially the classic “rabbit ears” set-up you may remember from back in the day, updated for the modern world.
The difference is that the signal it captures is now HD digital, instead of old-school analog.
You can watch cable tv alternatives with local channels for a low initial setup cost with this slick method!
We think that HD antennas may be the best-kept secret for non-cable tv alternatives.
Ever since cable companies came to dominate the landscape, people have come to take them for granted as the only game in town.
Most people don’t realize that all your local channels are still broadcast through the airwaves, and all you need is an antenna to watch television service without cable. How about that?
Instead of the cable companies having you over a barrel, you can invest a bit in an antenna (some are as low as $40) and watch all local channels, major networks, and sports for free every month!
Remember that advertisers pay for these broadcasts, NOT consumers, so this is 100% legal everywhere.
Frankly, we aren’t sure why more people aren’t doing this, it’s one of the best ways to cut the cable cord.
You may need to look at other avenues for exclusively cable channels, but for networks, local channels, and regional sports, HD antennas have got you covered!
How do I cut the cord on cable with HD Antenna?
Purchase an HD antenna from a reputable source, such as Antenna’s Direct. Then hook it up according to instructions, positioning it towards your local broadcast tower.
Voila! Free local channels forever!
HD antennas are notable for their incredible clarity and resolution.
If you position your antenna well, you will have great results with streaming to available channels.
It’s also worth noting that in many areas, you may be able to pick up out-of-market channels not even covered by your local cable provider!
There are a few different types of HD antennas.
There are indoor antennas (usually smaller and cheaper), outdoor antennas (often more expensive, but higher quality), single direction, omnidirectional, amplified, and non-amplified.
You will need to do some research based on your location and personal needs to determine what the best set up is for you.
There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind, though.
- Broadcast signals are line-of-sight from a local tower, so you will have to find a way to position your antennae so that it can capture the signal.
- You will also have to purchase an antenna that works for your area. You may have to try a few different options before you find one that works out.
- You may need to purchase an outside antenna depending on where you are, which may be slightly less convenient.
- The splitting of the signal on an HD antenna decreases the resolution over multiple devices.
We have had excellent luck with HD antennas and highly recommend them.
An HD antenna is not an option most people think of, but it’s one of the cheapest cut the cord alternatives you can get.
Related: The Best HD Antennas For Cord Cutting
Fire TV Recast works with HD Antennas
Amazon has recently come out with a box that interfaces with HD Antennas called the Fire TV Recast.
When you connect the Recast to a good antenna, you will be able to view all local channels via your Fire TV interface.
The Fire TV Recast will also allow you to record local broadcasts.
The best part is there are no monthly fees to use this service.
Purchase the Fire TV Recast, connect an HD antenna, go through the setup process, and sit back and enjoy your favorite network shows live or on DVR.
Cable Replacement Service
Cable replacement services are one of the most popular cut the cable alternatives, and you can access one of these services with minimal investment in equipment and fees.
You may be familiar with services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO NOW, and Hulu that do streaming on demand.
But there are other services you may not be, like Crackle, Sling, and PlayStation Vue, that allow you to stream live cable.
These subscription services only require an internet connection, an internet TV box or computer/laptop, and a membership to one of the options listed below.
These services vary in the content they provide as well as price. Here’s a brief rundown of the biggest ones:
- Playstation Vue: This is an excellent service for those looking for the best way to cut the cable cord without sacrificing the major cable channels. Despite its name, PlayStation Vue works on all Android compatible devices, including Firestick and Fire TV. This service starts at $44.99 and includes 48 popular channels, such as ABC, CBS, FX, Cartoon Network, ESPN, ESPN2, and Disney Channel. You will get live streams of these channels, which unfortunately means you will still have to sit through commercial breaks, but you will get access to sports, which other services do not offer.
- Sling TV: This is a great option to cut the cord on your cable tv without spending a ton of money. This service offers 30 major channels for $20 a month, making it the best alternative to cable for people who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles and need to stay on a budget. It includes a variety of ESPN channels, making it ideal for sports lovers. The best part about this service is that there’s no setup or box rental fee like traditional cable, so you aren’t locked into anything!
If you want to maximize your Firestick or Fire TV to save money, one or more of these services can go a long way towards letting you cancel cable TV!
However, there are still even cheaper options.
Third-Party IPTV Service To Cancel Cable TV Save Money
If you are willing to use an unofficial source, you could also opt for a third party IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service.
A third-party IPTV loaded onto your Firestick or Fire TV is one of the best ways to save money on cable and internet.
We recommend Gears TV, which provides 500+ live cable and network channels from around the world, plus access to all the major sports leagues, for only $25 a month!
For a comparable selection of content, you’d have to shell out for subscriptions to multiple cable replacement services.
This mess could end up costing about the same as traditional cable does, leaving your wallet no better off.
The only thing to keep in mind about third party IPTV is that its possible you may encounter copyright-protected material.
We NEVER condone piracy, but to protect yourself from legal troubles, we do suggest using a VPN service to protect your identity. It’s pretty much mandatory to do so with these services.
Even with a VPN subscription, you will still end up saving a ton of money while gaining access to more content!
Best Streaming TV Boxes
If you are looking to cut the cable cord and still watch TV with minimal investment in equipment, there are many great streaming boxes out there.
The most popular (and our favorite) are the Amazon Firestick and Fire TV.
These Android-based streaming TV boxes are extremely affordable, with the Firestick costing only $30.
These convenient devices connect right to your TV set and allow you to stream whatever you want via WiFi.
With these devices, you can COMPLETELY cut the cord with the correct setup and the right apps installed!
The right set up for you will depend on what you want to use your Amazon Firestick and Fire TV.
If you want to replace cable simply, you could use an official cable replacement service, like Sling, or Playstation Vue.
If you’re going to watch the sporting events that aren’t covered by those, you can get memberships to the official league apps, like NFL Sunday Ticket, Premier League, or NBA League Pass.
How To Cut The Cable Cord With A “Fully-Loaded” Box
However, if you want hundreds of cable channels from around the world AND on-demand content AND tons of live sports all in one place, consider purchasing a “fully-loaded” Firestick or Fire TV.
These are units that have been “jailbroken” and installed with numerous powerful third-party apps that give you %100 free access to virtually any streaming content your heart desires.
TechLife.TV does an excellent job selling fully-loaded Firesticks and Fire TV with all the bells and whistles you need to cut the cable cord.
Once you hook up your fully-loaded box to your TV and the internet, you will have way more apps to play around with than the standard factory model. We were able to cancel cable with firestick they day we got ours, and haven’t looked back!
The only thing to keep in mind about these fully loaded boxes is that because they are the third party, you may encounter copyright-protected content.
We NEVER condone piracy, but to protect yourself from legal troubles, we do suggest using a VPN service to protect your identity. It’s pretty much mandatory to do so with these boxes.
However, the savings you get make fully loaded boxes one of our favorite cord-cutting TV options.
Think about it: $69 one-time purchase of a jailbroken Firestick (cheapest option), then about $5 a month for a trustworthy VPN service, and you’ll never have to worry about using a cable provider or expensive season pass ever again!
If you are looking for a one-time purchase solution, this is the best way to eliminate cable tv.
If you have a laptop or internet streaming box like a Fire Stick, it’s incredibly easy to learn how to cut the cord on cable tv with official streaming services.
You are probably already familiar with the biggest ones, like Netflix and Hulu.
You can watch a ton of on-demand content with the following subscription services, including original programming you can’t get anywhere else.
They have a ton of options and are always adding more, so you are sure to never run out of quality content.
However, while these services are good alternatives to cable TV, they are not genuine replacements. They don’t provide live cable channels, local networks, or sports.
The other methods on this guide may be the best option to cut the cable cord if that type of programming is what you are after.
Here’s a rundown of the main cord-cutting TV options in this category:
- Netflix: The grandaddy of them all, this service provides a rotating selection of movies, TV shows, documentaries original programming, and more, all for only $8 a month. This service was one of the earliest reasons for going without cable, as it provides so much stuff to watch, and is continually updating its library.
- Hulu: This service provides access to most major networks TV shows, and many cable TV shows soon after they air, making it a suitable replacement for traditional cable. They also offer some pretty good original content. It costs $8 a month, and you will still have to sit through some ads, but less so than cable.
- Amazon Prime: This service is available to all Amazon Prime members (it comes bundled when you sign up for their free shipping service at $99 a year). This service is similar to Netflix as far as the type of content they offer, but it’s somewhat less comprehensive.
- HBO NOW: This is HBO’s answer for people who want TV viewing options without cable. As you may expect, this service pretty much focuses on HBO’s legendary premium content, like Game Of Thrones, Westworld, and The Sopranos. There’s a ton of great movies available as well. It’s a bit pricier than it’s competitors, at $14.99.
Smart TV Without Cable Bill
If you have a “smart TV” that can connect to the internet without additional hardware, you are already one step ahead of the game.
If you can connect to the internet with your TV, you can install official streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Sling TV, or an unofficial app, such as XXX, and you are good to go.
You don’t need to purchase a cable cutter box, such as the Amazon Firestick.
As smart TVs become more and more prevalent, this method will become the norm for people saying, “I want to cut the cord.”
And if you still have a “dumb TV” that lacks internet access, don’t worry: you can simply pick up one of the streaming boxes listed above in this guide.
Wrapping Up On Best Ways To Cut The Cable Cord In 2019
Well, there you have it, our comprehensive guide to cut the cord cable alternatives.
By now, you should have found a method (or combination of methods) to cut the cable that works for you.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and, most importantly, that it helps you save money!
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