Written by: Thomas Reese
June 3, 2024

Whether you are seeking the convenience of offline viewing or the availability of local channels, I have perfect Cable TV alternatives for your needs. 

By referring to my list of top 11 alternatives of Cable TV, you can find free and paid options to enjoy hassle-free streaming.  

From live streaming services like DirecTV to feature-rich platforms like FuboTV, let’s explore the exciting world of cable-free entertainment!

Check out the comparison table of Cable TV Alternatives before diving into its details.

Sr. No.Cable TV AlternativeFree TrialStarting Price (per Month)Simultaneous Streams 
1.DirecTV Stream5 Days$69 (for 24 Months)2 to 3
2.Fubo TV7 Days$79.99 10
3.YouTube TV7 to 10 Days$72.996
4.Sling TV7 Days$40 3
5.Hulu+ Live TV7 Days$89.99 2
6.Philo7 Days$25 3
7.Roku TV30 Days$29.99Unlimited
8.Disney Plus$7.9910
9.Peacock TV$5.993
10.Paramount+7 Days$5.993
11.HBO Max$9.993

Now that you have seen the list, let’s explore each platform in detail below!

1. DirecTV Stream

Free Plan 
Price$69 (for 24 Months)
Channels In Base Package60
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Imagine all your favorite cable channels, but they are way more flexible! 

DirecTV Stream lets you pick a channel package that fits your crew. Plus, you get most local channels (like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) in your area and even sports channels for your hometown heroes (depending on where you live). 

DirecTV Stream
Source: DirecTV Stream

So, catch the latest news, binge classic shows, and cheer on your hometown heroes – all streamed to your phone, laptop, or smart TV. 

Pro tip: Many channel options can be confusing, so take some time to find the perfect package.

2. Fubo TV

Free Plan 
Price$79.99 
Channels In Base Package152
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Sports nuts, listen up! FuboTV is your streaming dream come true. This service is all about live sports, with plenty of channels (including local ones in many areas), so you never miss a game. Plus, they have some cool entertainment channels, too. 

 Fubo TV
Source: Fubo TV

The catch? The layout might be a bit trickier to use than cable, but the smooth streaming and sports focus are worth figuring out.

3. YouTube TV

Free Plan 
Price$72.99
Channels In Base Package100+
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Craving a cable-like experience with the bonus of recording shows? YouTube TV is ideal for you! This service offers all the major US networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) along with the ability to record shows using unlimited cloud DVR storage. 

YouTube TV
Source: YouTube TV

It also works on a variety of devices, making it easy to watch your favorite shows on the go. Think of it as your favorite cable channel with the flexibility of streaming and recording!  The downside? YouTube TV can be pricier than some options.

However, currently, you are getting the service at $45 off + the 7 to 30-days free trial. After the free trial offer you can go for the paid plan. Don’t forget to try apply these YouTube TV Promo Codes to save upto $50 on paid plans.

4. Sling TV 

Free Plan 
Price$40 
Channels In Base Package30 to 50
On-DemandLimited
DVRLimited

Are you on a tight budget but still want to enjoy specific channels? Sling TV lets you create your channel lineup from a la carte options or two base packages (Sling Orange & Blue) offering different channel selections. 

Sling TV
Source: Sling TV

It is a fantastic way to save money if you only care about a few specific channels, like sports or entertainment networks. However, the variety of channel options can be overwhelming, and there’s no live TV option for local news or major network programming. If you’re a student you can look for Sling TV Student Discount here.

5. Hulu+ Live TV

Free Plan 
Price$89.99 
Channels In Base Package75+
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Want the best of both worlds: live TV and on-demand content? Hulu + Live TV has you covered! This service combines Hulu’s vast library of shows and movies with live TV channels, including local networks in some areas.

Hulu TV 
Source: Hulu TV 

Plus, you get unlimited cloud DVR storage, so you never have to miss a thing. However, the combined interface might take some getting used to.  

6. Philo TV

Free Plan 
Price$25 
Channels In Base Package60+
On-Demand
DVR

Philo is designed for budget-conscious viewers who prioritize shows over sports. The streaming service offers a curated selection of entertainment channels at a lower price point, featuring favorites like MTV, Comedy Central, and Hallmark.

Philo TV
Source: Philo TV

It’s ideal for those who enjoy sitcoms, reality TV, and classic movies, but live sports aren’t a priority. 

7. Roku TV

Free Plan Requires Separate Streaming Service
Price$29.99
Channels In Base PackageRequires Separate Streaming Service
On-DemandRequires Separate Streaming Service
DVRRequires Separate Streaming Service

Roku TVs are essentially smart TVs with a user-friendly operating system built directly in. This eliminates the need for a separate streaming device, offering a streamlined viewing experience. 

Roku TV
Source: Roku TV

Roku TVs come in various sizes and budgets, making them versatile. 

However, it’s important to note that the platform itself does not provide any channels – you will still need to subscribe to individual streaming services to access your desired content. 

8. Disney Plus 

Free Plan 
Price$7.99
Channels In Base PackageDisney Library
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Disney+ is a one-stop shop for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. 

Disney Plus
Source: Disney Plus

While Disney+ doesn’t offer a free trial, its extensive library and focus on family-friendly content make it a compelling option for many viewers. In short, Disney Plus has everything from classic animated films to the latest superhero sagas! 

9. Peacock TV

Free Plan Free with Ads
Price$5.99
Channels In Base PackageLimited Free Content
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Embrace flexibility with Peacock TV. This service caters to viewers seeking a free or premium option. The free trial of Peacock offers content selection with advertisements, allowing you to explore shows and movies at no cost. 

Peacock TV
Source: Peacock TV

Upgrading to the premium tier unlocks a wider content library for a monthly fee. 

Peacock TV is an excellent choice for sampling free content before committing.

10. Paramount+

Free Plan Free with Ads
Price$5.99
Channels In Base PackageLimited Free Content
On-Demand✔️
DVRLimited

Paramount+ offers a vast library of content from ViacomCBS, including iconic franchises like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Survivor. 

Paramount+
Source: Paramount+

Like Peacock TV, Paramount+ provides a free tier with ads and a premium tier with a broader selection for a monthly fee. This service caters to viewers who enjoy classic shows, blockbuster movies, and originals produced by ViacomCBS. 

11. HBO Max

Free Plan 
Price$9.99
Channels In Base PackageHBO Library
On-Demand✔️
DVRDownload on selected devices

This premium service boasts a vast library of content, encompassing HBO originals, DC Comics superhero films, and beloved Studio Ghibli movies. 

HBO Max
Source: HBO Max

While HBO Max is more expensive than some alternatives, it caters to viewers who crave a premium streaming experience with critically acclaimed shows, blockbuster movies, and a deep library of diverse content.

However, the service is only available in the US, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Cable TV Alternatives As Per Countries

The topmost search results for Cable TV alternatives have come from countries like Pakistan, India, and Canada. So, let’s dive into each region’s details!

Cable TV Alternatives In Pakistan

  • DTH (Direct-to-Home) services: Popular options include Dish TV and TH World. These offer satellite TV packages with a variety of channels.
  • IPTV services: Evostar is a leading IPTV provider that offers live TV and on-demand content over a high-speed internet connection.
  • Limited Streaming Services: While availability may be limited compared to other regions, some international streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer content libraries.

Cable TV Alternatives India

  • DTH services: Major players include Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV, and Tata Sky. They provide a wide range of channel packages to suit different preferences.
  • OTT (Over-the-top) streaming services: India has a thriving OTT market with services like Hotstar (known for cricket and Indian content), JioTV (offers a large library with mobile network subscriptions), and SonyLIV (features popular Indian shows and movies).
  • IPTV services: Airtel Xstream is an IPTV option that integrates live TV, on-demand content, and OTT subscriptions into a single platform.

Cable TV Alternatives Canada

  • Streaming services: Popular choices include Netflix, Hulu (available through Crave), and Disney+. These offer a vast library of on-demand content, along with some original shows and movies.
  • IPTV services: Major internet providers like Bell and Rogers offer IPTV services like Bell Fibe TV and Rogers Ignite TV, bundling live TV with high-speed internet.
  • Satellite TV providers: Shaw Direct and Bell Satellite TV are traditional options for those in remote areas or who prefer satellite reception.

Cable TV Alternatives Without Internet

Unfortunately, most reliable cable TV alternatives require an internet connection for streaming content. However, there are still a couple of options that might work for you:

1. Over-the-air (OTA) TV With Antenna

This is the most traditional alternative and doesn’t require an internet connection. You’ll need an antenna (prices vary depending on quality and range) that picks up local broadcast signals.  

The quality of reception depends on your location and distance from broadcast towers. You can find websites that help you determine what channels you might be able to receive with an antenna in your area – refer to this link for accurate details. 

All you need to do is enter your ZIP code and receive the channel information.

Remember that this option only provides access to local channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, etc.) and won’t offer cable channels or on-demand content.

2. Satellite TV

While not as internet-dependent as streaming services, Satellite TV requires dish installation and a subscription to a service provider like Dish Network or DirecTV.  Read the following post for better information.

These services offer channel packages similar to traditional cable but with the caveat of needing a clear southern sky for reception (buildings or trees might obstruct the signal).  While internet connectivity might be an option with some satellite providers, it’s not always necessary for basic service.

Here’s a quick comparison table to help you decide:-

FeatureOTA TVRequires the Southern skyInternet Required
Equipment CostAntennae (one-time purchase)Varies (Installation and Equipment)No
SubscriptionFree – Local ChannelsMonthly SubscriptionNo
Channel selectionLoca Channels OnlyVariety of channels (local and cable networks)No
On-Demand ContentNoWith the internet add-onYes 
ReliabilityReception depends on the locationRequires the southern skyYes

What Equipment Do I Need To Get Rid Of Cable TV

There are two main pieces of equipment you’ll need to ditch the Cable TV:

  • High-speed internet: This is necessary for streaming video content. The minimum recommended speed for HD streaming is 5 Mbps, but for a smoother experience, especially for 4K content, you will want at least 25 Mbps.
  • Streaming device: This small device plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to access streaming services. Many streaming devices are on the market, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast. 

Some smart TVs also have built-in streaming capabilities.

In addition to these two essential types of equipment, you may also want to consider the:

  • HD antenna: This will allow you to watch free local broadcast channels, such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC.
  • Streaming service subscriptions: Many different streaming services are available, each with its own content selection. Popular options include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max.

How To Watch TV Without Cable Or Satellite?

Streaming services and HD antennas are two main ways to watch TV without using Cable or Satellite. With HD antennas, you just need to contact the provider, who will help you with the installation. 

All you need to do is select your desired channels and further pay for the suitable plan. 

On the other hand, you can follow my step-by-step guides for signing up for streaming services. I am taking Hulu TV example. However, feel free to choose any other service too.

Step 1: Choose your desired streaming service – I took Hulu TV as an example.

Step 2: Go to its official website and sign up for the subscription.

Select Hulu TV Subscription
Source: Hulu TV

Step 3: Enter your personal details. 

Enter your personal details
Source: Hulu TV

Step 4: Click “continue,” which you will find on the black button.

Click Continue
Source: Hulu TV

Step 5: Enter your payment details and enjoy the streaming!

Wrapping Up: DirecTV Stream is Our Top Pick

DirecTV Stream is the number one best choice due to its extensive channel packages, including most local channels, catering to fans of local news and sports. It offers flexibility with various subscription plans while providing a generally user-friendly interface.

Check out my two more recommendations:

  • YouTube TV shines for those seeking a familiar cable-like experience with unlimited DVR storage. However, its subscription can be pricier. 
  • Budget-minded viewers would enjoy Philo’s focus on entertainment channels at a lower cost. However, it lacks sports and live TV options.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your needs. So, what are you waiting for? Test the Cable TV alternatives using their free trial, and let me know which one best serves your needs!

FAQs

What is the best option for a TV without cable?

The best option for cable-free TV depends on what you watch and your budget. Streaming services offer on-demand content, often at a lower cost than cable, while HD antennas provide free local channels but with limited choice.

How can I get rid of cable and still watch TV?

To ditch cable, you’ll need high-speed internet and a streaming device. You can then use streaming services for live TV or an HD antenna for free local channels.

What is the cheapest option for cable TV?

The cheapest option is an HD antenna, a one-time purchase for free local channels.

What are my options if I don’t want to pay for cable?

If you don’t want to pay for cable, you can try free trials of streaming services or use an HD antenna for local channels.

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