Complete Guide To Watch TV Online

Complete Guide To Watch TV Online


If you think that you are paying far too much for your cable TV, you are absolutely right! The cost of cable has skyrocketed in the last few years and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. However, the good news is that there are other ways to watch all your favorite TV shows, without the need of cable! That’s correct, you can get that cable monkey off your backs, all you need is the internet!

There are tons of online services that eliminate the need to have a cable connection. With subscription-based services such as Sling TV, you can even stream live TV! If you are looking for a ‘play-on -demand’ type of a service, there is no shortage of them either. Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, HBO Go are some of the most popular services that follow this model. Let’s see some of the most popular services in detail.

how to get local channels without cable

Sling TV

Type: Live TV streaming

Compatible Devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, iOS devices, Android Devices, Laptops.

Sling TV is one of the most popular streaming services that can stream live TV. You can watch almost any channel, live. That’s not all, Sling TV is available on almost any imaginable platform. You can watch Sling TV on your smart TV, laptop, and even mobile devices!

The basic package starts at just $20 each month and there is no contract or commitment at all. You can cancel the service at any time you want. The basic package includes all the most popular channels such as TNT, ESPN, History Channel, ABC and many more. If want more channels, you can simply opt for an extra ‘add-on package’. There is a sports package for just $5 or you can get HBO for just $15. There are many international packages available as well.

The beauty of Sling TV is that you can watch live TV on almost any imaginable device. If you are on the go, you can use your smartphone, just log in to your Sling TV app! It is as simple as that. With this service, you can literally carry your TV with you!

Sling also offers a free, no strings attached, 7-day trial for new customers as well. They also have offers with new Roku or Apple TV devices as well.

On top of that, Sling TV has one of the best customer services in the industry, and I am writing from personal experience. They will never harass you even if you cancel the subscription after the free trial.

You can try Sling TV for 7-days without paying a single penny! See if you like the service and if you do, trust me, you can save a bundle on your cable bill!


  • Live TV
  • Many channels are available
  • You can watch on-demand shows as well
  • Cancel anytime, no commitment
  • No hidden charges


  • Can be a bit more expensive than other ‘on-demand’ services

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Type: On demand/Live TV

Compatible devices: Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Almost all game consoles, smartphones, and tablets.

Amazon has created a storm in online business. If you think that Amazon is only good to buy stuff online, think again! You could always buy individual movies or TV show episodes through Amazon. However, if you are a Prime member you can stream a ton of movies and watch many TV shows through the new Amazon Prime Instant Video service.

To avail this service, you should be an Amazon Prime member, which costs around $99 per year. When you break it down to a per-month basis, it comes to about $8.25 a month. Mind you this includes many advantages including the free 2-day shipping, special Prime offers and yes, the Prime Video as well.

As far as the content goes, there is no shortage of movies or TV shows on Amazon Prime Video. There are about 40,000 movies and TV shows waiting to be streamed! Recently, Amazon is also streaming live TV channels such as Showtime, STARZ and more on an ‘add-on’ basis. Also, there is a free trial available for each of these.

One of the best things that I like about Amazon Prime TV is the accessibility. You can watch Amazon Prime Video on your computer, TV or even a mobile device!

If you are not an Amazon Prime Member, you can take advantage of their 30-day free membership offer and try it out. If you are a University student and have a .edu email address, there is a special offer for you! You can get the free trial extended for 6 months and you can get the full year membership after that at a 50% discount!


  • Comes with other Amazon benefits such as free 2-day shipping
  • Exclusive ‘Amazon only’ content
  • Great trial offers, especially for students
  • Available on multiple platforms
  • Live TV option also available


  • The TV shows are somewhat limited compared to the competition


cable tv alternatives


Type: On demand

Compatible devices: Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Almost all game consoles, smartphones, and tablets.

Netflix is perhaps one of the most well-known streaming services on this list. As a matter of fact, Netflix has become synonymous with internet streaming. The one thing that sets Netflix apart from other streaming services is the sheer amount of content. From classic TV shows to blockbuster movies, Netflix has one of the most exhaustive collection. Now that Netflix has started its own production division, the list of ‘Netflix Originals’ is also increasing.

Another great thing about Netflix that I like is the pricing model. The basic package starts at just $7.99 a month. You can stream unlimited content in standard definition on a single screen with this plan. At $9.99 a month, you can get simultaneous ‘high definition’ streaming not on one but two devices. And if you chose the premium $11.99 plan, you can get ‘ultra HD’ content on four screens simultaneously. The pricing model is flexible and there is no commitment whatsoever. You can cancel at absolutely any time you want, no strings attached!

One latest addition to Netflix is the ‘Download for later’ feature. With this new feature, you can download your favorite episode or a movie and watch it later, no internet required for playback! This is a great feature in my book. I mean imagine if you are traveling, you don’t have to pay for mobile data to stream Netflix!

As for the devices, you can stream Netflix on almost any device imaginable. From laptops to mobile devices, I couldn’t find any device that won’t work with this service.

Netflix has several promotions throughout the year. Currently, they have free one month trial going on right now.


  • Great collection
  • Original Netflix content that has quality programming
  • Can stream on multiple screens simultaneously
  • Great ‘download to watch later’ feature
  • Competitive pricing


  • It takes time for the latest seasons of most popular TV shows to appear on Netflix


cheap tv service


Type: On demand

Compatible devices: Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, smartphones, and tablets.

Hulu is a great streaming service that is most like Netflix. One of the great features of this service is the fact that you can watch the latest episode of many popular shows the day after they air on cable! This makes the content very fresh and you can keep up with all your favorite shows, no waiting for months!

One of the unique ways in which Hulu operates is the fact that in the basic plan, you’ll have to endure some ads. Although if you upgrade your plan, you can completely remove the commercials altogether. The basic plan will set you back $7.99 a month and the premium plan is $8.99 a month. I personally don’t find the commercials that intrusive and I have the basic plan. However, if you absolutely hate commercials, an extra dollar a month is not a bad deal either!

As for device compatibility, Hulu apps are available on almost all mobile platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows phone. It also is available on Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, Apple TV and Amazon TV.

If you want to give this service a try, you can get a free 7-day trial, no commitment.


  • Watch many popular TV shows the very next day they air
  • Good collection
  • Competitive pricing
  • Multiple device compatibilities


  • The movie collection is not that great


cutting cableSelect TV

Type: On demand

Compatible devices: Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

Select TV is perhaps the latest service providing online entertainment on this list. Basically, Select TV is an aggregator service that, you guessed it, compiles the content from across the web. In other words, Select TV scours the internet to find any TV show you want and organizes the providers all in one place. With this service, you’ll not have to hunt for the episodes of your favorite show, the service will do it for you. You can search using many filters such as year, network, or even actors. Once you find the episode you are looking for, Select TV organizes all the sources from free to paid services such as Netflix or Hulu.

Another good thig is the fact that with Select TV, you can get a lot of Pay-per-view content as well. They also have more than 50,000 radio stations as well, although it’ll cost you more.

Currently, the basic plan starts at $2.99 a month. One of the great features of Select TV is that thy will ship you a free HD antenna. With this, you can watch 100s of free local channels including weather and news channels.

Although there is no free trial offer with Select TV, the $2.99 is not a steep price at all and as always, there is not commitment.


  • Collect all the services in one place
  • No more logging into different services, Select TV manages all your subscriptions
  • Listen to hundreds of free radio stations


  • It is an aggregator service and you’ll often have to use your premium services such as Hulu or Netflix to stream
  • It is not compatible with Roku or Apple TV or any smart TV. You must connect your laptop or mobile device to your TV to enjoy this service on a big screen.



alternatives to cableM-Go (FandangoNOW)

Type: On demand

Compatible devices: Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

M-Go has been rebranded as Fandango-NOW recently and is one of the best premier on-demand streaming services out there. The Fandango-NOW service takes a slightly different approach compared services such as Netflix. Rather than opting for a monthly membership, this service offers you to selectively rent or buy movies or TV show episodes.

The Fandango-NOW service has contracts with several studios including Fox, Disney, Sony and much more. You can also find latest episodes of TV shows from networks such as CBS, STARZ, and Universal. This means that you’ll have one of the most exhaustive libraries of both TV shows and movies at your disposal.

For renting through Fandango-NOW, all you need to have is the free app, which is available on most smart TVs and mobile platforms. With a free account, you are all set to rent or buy any media content you wish, it is that simple.

Renting movies on Fandango-NOW will cost you between $3.99 to $5.99. Although there are offers that can cut the price down significantly, especially around the holidays. However, if you want latest and greatest movies, it can sometimes cost you as much as $19.99 depending on the movie.

One of the great things about Fandango-NOW is the fact that they have various offers and discounts throughout the year. If you keep an eye, you can snatch a great deal! So, if you want to give this service a try, keep looking for those promo codes and offers.


  • On-demand content is massive
  • Watch latest episodes as quickly as the next day they originally air
  • You can watch a single episode or buy a season pass


  • It’s not an all-inclusive service. You must buy individual content.



how to watch game of thrones without hbo


Type: On demand

Compatible devices: Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

It is no secret that HBO offers some of the best TV shows and movies around. If you are a fan of any of the tens of great shows like Game of Thrones, HBO is now available without a cable connection. HBO Now is a standalone streaming service offered by HBO that does not require the cable subscription.

HBO Now should not be confused with HBO Go, though. HBO Go requires a cable connection and it is not something that we’ll be talking about. HBO Now is available across all the popular platforms such as Roku TV, Smart TV, Apple TV and Amazon TV. It is also available as a standalone app on iOS and Android devices. So, whether you are at home or on the ‘Go’, you will have full access to all your favorite shows!

The price tag of $14.99 a month is also not that steep, considering the content. What’s more, HBO offers a full one-month free trial if you sign up now! So, if you are willing to give this service a try, use it for a month, no strings attached and see if it works for you.


  • Excellent content, both TV shows, and movies
  • Watch shows that are currently on the air or previous shows as well
  • Available across all platforms


  • You’ll not be able to watch any TV shows other than those produced by HBO



cord cutters


Type: On demand/ Add-on

Compatible devices: Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

Showtime is another entertainment giant that offers a standalone service without the need of hooking up cable services. There are more than one ways to enjoy all the awesome Showtime content online. You can bundle Showtime with your existing streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video or Hulu at a reasonable cost of $9.00 a month. If you want a separate Showtime subscription, they offer that as well at $11.00 a month on a variety of devices.

If you opt for Showtime as an ‘Add-on’ with services such as Amazon or Hulu, you can enjoy live TV as well. Although the mobile apps don’t have live streaming, you’ll have the whole Showtime catalog at your disposal. You’ll be able to stream almost any Showtime show, current or previous, anytime.

If you want to cut the cost of cable but still want to keep enjoying Showtime programming, this is a perfect alternative. Give it a try, you won’t regret!


  • Great content, both TV shows and movies
  • Option of watching live TV
  • Watch shows that are currently on the air or previous shows as well
  • Available across all platforms


  • You’ll not be able to watch any TV shows other than those produced by Showtime



free cable tv


Type: On demand/ Rental

Compatible devices: Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

Vudu is an ‘on-demand’ service like the Fandango-NOW that we just saw. You can rent TV shows or movies and watch them at your comfort whenever you want. It is available on multiple platforms that make watching TV easy no matter where you are!

The movie rentals on Vudu start at about $3.99, however, there are some great titles that can be as low as $0.99! A huge collection of TV shows is also available at a reasonable price but you can watch the first episode free! So, if you want to give a new show a try, you can do it without spending a penny!


  • Huge collection of movies and TV shows
  • The prices of renting movies and TV shows are reasonable


  • As it is a standalone service, you will not be able to watch anything other than your purchased item



cord cutting options


Type: On demand

Compatible devices: Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

Crackle is a great streaming service that offers a free service! All you need to do is sign up with your email and you are all set. There are many popular TV shows such as Seinfeld and Modern Family on Crackle. Although not all seasons or not all episodes of a given season are available, the service is free!

You can watch Crackle on a variety of devices including Roku, Apple TV, and all your mobile devices. There are many movies available to stream as well on Crackle. Although you’ll have to bear with some commercials, they are not that intrusive at all in my opinion.

One great feature that I love about Crackle is that I can pause a show on one device and pick up from the same place from my other device! This is a great feature for a free service, don’t you think?

It also has some good parental control features that can come handy as well. The service is free, so there is no question of whether you should give it a try! Register today and enjoy free TV and many classic movies.


  • Good collection of movies and TV shows
  • Free, Free, Free


  • Not all shows or all episodes of shows are available, but hey, it’s free!



how to watch walking dead without cable

Pluto TV

Type: On demand/ Live TV

Compatible devices: Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Laptops and desktops, mobile devices (iOS, Android)

Pluto TV is yet another great service that lets you watch 100s of TV channels for free! You can watch live streaming from 100 odd channels and enjoy the on-demand content as well. Although there is nothing on Pluto TV that is not available on any other sites such as Vimeo or YouTube. Still, the ease of access of all your content in one place without you having to search for it is great!

The service is free and is available on almost all platforms such as Roku TV and as apps for your mobile devices. You can even record any shows, just like you would on your DVR! It is one of the best ways to watch free live TV.


  • 100s of free live TV channels
  • Free, Free, Free


  • Premium channels are not available and the picture quality is not HD for some of the channels


Time to cut the cord

Well, we just saw how easy it can be to get out of the clutches of cable TV. There are tons of services available ranging from a rental format to a streaming format. Whether you have a Smart TV or any of the thousands of mobile devices, there is a service that is just right for you. All you need to do is give these services a try. And with many of them offering a free trial period, there is zero risk!

It can be difficult to get rid of cable but trust me, with these services, you can! Just go online and give these cable killers a try. I assure you you’ll find a service that works so well for you that you’ll not need cable at all.

It’s about time to liberate yourself, to cut the cord once and for all!