The price for a cable connection is way higher than it was five years ago. And you can’t use internet connectivity to watch online content unless you have a smart TV. However, there are now ways available to cross these obstacles. But do you know how to watch TV without cable or internet?
Old-school rabbit ear antennas can be a solution if you live in rural areas. However, if you live in the city or in the suburbs, you can also use an HD outdoor antenna or indoor antenna to enjoy free-to-watch channels on your television sets.
Besides, you can also use video-on-demand services to get equal excitement. However, these are not the only ways to watch your favorite shows and movies for free; that too, without having an active cable or internet connection.
But before we reveal all those methods, let’s understand why cable connections are expensive these days and how we can watch the same channels for free.
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Why Is Cable So Expensive?
Gone are the days when we used to get hundreds of channels for just $4 to $5 each month. After the introduction of the set-top box, you can now choose your own bundles rather than paying for a whole package.
However, things start to become quite fuzzy here. Cable TV prices have become quite higher these days, and these packages are the sole cause behind them.
Most of the time, you’ll see that even if you make your own package, there are several additional channels in your bundle. And without even knowing, you are paying for all these channels. But it will be unfair if you blame cable operators for these bundled packages.
TV network companies are solely responsible for this scenario. If any network has 4 good channels with 4 relatively unpopular channels, it will force you to take the bundle of all 8 channels. And unknowingly, you are paying for those lame channels that you’ll never even watch in your life.
How To Watch Free Television Channels Without A Cable Connection?
Yes, many people have already asked us how to watch TV without cable or a dish, as cable connection is becoming costlier with each passing day. However, there are several ways to do it.
First, you need to understand that there are four major television networks in the USA: ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. And all these four companies have their own TV towers from where they transmit signals.
You can simply install an external antenna with your television set to catch these signals without paying any charge. Besides these top four networks, you can even watch free-to-air channels like PBS and Univision.
Depending on the country you are located in, there are various channels that you can watch with just a television antenna.
You can also resort to subscription-based VOD services, such as Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+. All you need is to pay a small monthly subscription fee to access all the OTT content on these platforms.
On a different note, you can not just enjoy television nowadays as there are even ways available to get paid to listen to music online.
5 Easy Methods To Watch TV Without Cable Or Internet Connection
Many people don’t know how to watch TV without cable or internet.
However, we have five such perfect solutions for you where you can enjoy all your favorite programs, movies, and even OTT content without having an active internet connection or satellite connection.
1. Traditional Outdoor Antennas
There is no better answer than a traditional outdoor antenna if you want to know how to get free TV without the internet. Free-to-air television channels transmit their signals through the Advanced Television Systems Committee. And the ATSC tuner attached to your antenna can easily pick up that signal.
While many modern-day television sets come with a preinstalled ATSC tuner, you need a separate tuner and an antenna if you are using an old-school TV set. Depending on your location, these ATSC tuners can pick up the signals of your favorite TV stations, such as NBC, Fox Network, and CBS.
There are even services like TV Fool where you can check the free-to-air channel in your locality before buying an external TV antenna.
However, you need to spend between $50 and $70 on average to buy and install a high-end television antenna. You can even get an HD antenna if you are looking for sharper images and better clarity.
2. HD Outdoor Antennas
Yes, HD output is now dominating the entertainment market on a global scale. As we are going away from the awful viewing experience, more and more people are now concentrating on HD outputs from their TV to get an unmatched viewing experience to get the real excitement and thrill.
And there are several HD outdoor antennas available that you can buy and install in your backyard. These antennas also come with a preinstalled ATSC tuner.
But you can get crystal-clear images on your television with these HD antennas. And if you are from the USA, there are several TV channels that air HD signals.
Most HD outdoor antennas nowadays can cover up to a radius of 200 miles. So, you can watch almost every channel aired in your locality. But yes, you need to spend close to $100 or more to buy and set up one of these HD antennas.
3. HDTV Indoor Antennas
Like an outdoor antenna, an indoor antenna will also get signals for your television set nowadays. And if you are worried about how to watch TV without cable or internet, you can get one of these indoor antennas to start your viewing stint.
However, many television sets nowadays come with these antennas preinstalled. Most of the channels that can be watched with this indoor antenna are mostly HD.
So, you don’t need to compromise your viewing experience or clarity. And depending on your location, you can watch up to 200 free-to-air channels without spending a single dollar.
Not just re-run channels and religious programs, you can now enjoy various TV channels through this indoor antenna, such as NBC, CBS, PBS, and even Fox Network. However, these antennas are costly, and you need to spend around $100 to $150 on average to buy and set up one of these antennas.
There is an old-school answer if you don’t know how to watch TV without cable or satellite. It is just by using a DVR.
If you already have a smart TV, you can simply download or record the entire program on its inbuilt storage space for later consumption. However, if you don’t have one, you definitely need a DVR.
DVR is nothing but a digital video recorder that can record and keep the program that you can watch later on, even without an active internet or cable connection.
There are plenty of basic DVR models available in both offline and online marketplaces. And to get one, you need to spend around $50 to $90 on average.
However, if you are looking for some HD models with channel master service, you need to pay a much higher price. Some of the high-end DVR models can even cost you up to $200 to $300 on average. Besides, you may also need some additional storage space to record your favorite shows.
5. Channel Apps
TV channels nowadays have also gone online, as they are now not only restricted to airing service or satellite distribution. As people now prefer to watch their favorite shows and movies on personalized devices, such as smartphones or tablets, most channels have already launched their dedicated apps.
Most of these apps, such as Netflix, Prime Video, Sony, HBO Now, and Disney+, have apps that you can download from both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
And you can watch your favorite programs on the go. But most of these apps need you to pay a monthly subscription fee that starts as low as $4.99/month.
Almost all these channel apps nowadays have a unique feature where you can record and store the shows and movies you missed. And even without an active internet connection, you can play those shows and movies through their “Downloads” section.
And not just the shows; you can now even watch ads for money as there are several such platforms available.
What Are The Difference Between An Indoor And An Outdoor Antenna?
We have already given you a brief idea about both the indoor and outdoor antennas while discussing how to watch TV without cable or internet.
You need to first understand that the days are gone when we used to get signals on our old TV sets through rabbit ear antennas. We all had the memory to adjust those bulky antennas during our childhood days, didn’t we?
However, there are certain differences between an indoor and an outdoor antenna. Outdoor antennas can cover up to a radius of 200 miles.
And most indoor antennas have a maximum coverage of just 20 to 25 miles. These indoor antennas can’t pick HD signals like an outdoor antenna, although exceptions are there. It is simple to install an outdoor antenna as it doesn’t need any additional space.
But you need to place the outdoor antenna in such a place where it is not affected by any obstruction. Depending on your building height, you may need to place it as much as 30 feet above the ground.
10 On-Demand Streaming Services To Watch TV
Days are gone when we all sit together in front of our old television to watch shows. Now, it’s time for personalized viewing preferences.
And if you don’t know how to watch TV without cable or internet, we have the ten best options for you that you can confidently try this year.
Netflix is not just the oldest subscription-based video-on-demand service but is also among the most popular OTT platforms in the world.
From TV shows to movies, from original content to old classics, you can watch a variety of shows on this platform.
However, there are several free sites like Netflix that also offer equal opportunities. But what makes this platform stand out is the content and the user-friendly app.
And now, you can also consume Netflix content on the go, as it is now available for both iOS and Android.
2. Amazon Prime
If anything is as popular as Netflix on a global scale, it is definitely Amazon Prime.
And with a single Prime account, you can not just watch your favorite shows but can also shop at a discounted price on the Amazon eCommerce platform.
And if you are worried about how to watch TV with the internet, this app now has an offline version where you can easily download a movie and watch it offline whenever your internet connection is not available.
However, you need to pay a monthly subscription fee to avail of this service.
3. YouTube TV
YouTube is not just our favorite video streaming platform anymore, as it has already started dedicated services, such as YouTube Music and YouTube TV. And with YouTube TV, you can now watch excellent content from great directors from all over the globe.
You can also use up to three screens at once while using this service. Besides, it comes with an unlimited storage facility where you can download your favorite shows for offline consumption.
However, you need to pay around $49.99/month to get this service in the USA.
4. HBO Now
If you ask me how to watch TV without cable or internet, I’ll tell you to check out HBO Now first.
It comes from one of the global media powerhouses, HBO; this platform offers web series, movies, television shows, and a lot more. And with a single subscription, you can watch all that.
You can also get the dedicated HBO app from both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
And you can also use the download option in the app to get what you need from their server. You can then comfortably watch those shows, even offline.
5. Hulu TV
Although Hulu is also a primarily OTT platform, you need to pay a little more money than its basic subscription price to watch your content ad-free.
Otherwise, you’ll get frequent ads while enjoying your content on the website or even on the app.
The best thing about this platform is that you can also watch currently aired television shows here. Besides, there is an excellent collection of movies, from Hollywood Blockbusters to Neo-Noir.
Moreover, there are several old classics to enjoy on this platform.
If you are looking for a live-streaming service that mainly specializes in sports, you must check out this fantastic platform called Fubo.
From FS1 to NFL Network, from CBS Sports to Big Ten Network, you can watch almost every sports channel available in the United States.
You need to pay a fixed monthly subscription fee of $55 to get this service. However, this company is now offering a free 7-day trial service for their new customers with a complete money-back guarantee.
And with an additional 10.99/month, you can get Red Zone sports channels.
7. Sony Crackle
Comes from the house of Sony Entertainment, Sony Crackle is one of the most prominent forces in the OTT market nowadays.
And if you want to know how to watch TV without cable or internet, you must check out this streaming service, as it also supports offline downloads.
It is actually an advertisement-supported video-on-demand service that primarily works like an SVOD service.
However, you need to pay a subscription fee on a monthly basis to enjoy your content ad-free. But yes, the contents are quite limited here, although they are constantly adding new shows.
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We all love the shows on Showtime, isn’t it? And now, you can even watch those favorite shoes of yours on this brilliant platform.
And like most other SVOD services we have mentioned above, this platform, too, has an offline watching service where you can download your shows and movies.
Once you don’t have an active internet connection, you can just watch the pre-downloaded content on the app.
However, you need to pay a small subscription fee of $10.99/per month to get this service. This company also offers a 7-day free trial for new customers.
From anime shows to your favorite superhero movies, you can enjoy brilliant content on this platform.
Besides having a dedicated website, this platform also has a user-friendly app that you can download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
However, you do need to pay $6.99/per month to get this service. And for the 12.99/month package, you can get Hulu and ESPN addons.
10. Paramount Plus
Formerly known as CBS All Access, Paramount Plus is the go-to place if you don’t know how to watch TV without cable or internet.
For just a $5.99/month subscription, you can watch fantastic content on this platform. And for commercial streaming, you just need to pay $9.99/month.
You can also get an additional 15% discount if you take the yearly subscription package. And if you are a student, you can get that with a flat 25% discount.
Besides watching online, you can also use this service with any smart device, such as Chromecast and Fire Stick.
5 Alternative Methods To Watch TV In 2023
If you don’t have a smart TV and want to know how to watch TV without cable or internet, there are several smart devices available that can work as alternatives.
So, we have filtered five such smart streaming devices that can let you enjoy all your favorite shows and movies.
1. Google Chromecast
Do you know what makes Google Chromecast way different than any other smart device? You can now control video playback on this device through any of your Android devices.
Besides, you can access various different streaming options right through this device. You can get the basic model of this device for just $35. However, the ultra-HD version can cost you up to $69.
Once you get this device, all you need is to insert it into your smart TV to start watching your favorite shows and movies. You can start streaming from the device as well.
2. Amazon Fire TV
Amazon has also entered the streaming device market after launching its all-new Amazon Fire Stick.
And with this device, you can access tons of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. It is also pretty easy to install on your existing TV set.
You can now get this device for just $69.99, although this company also offers discounted prices during the Prime Day sales.
You can also get an Amazon video-on-demand service with this device. Amazon not only just offers this service, but you can now even make money on Amazon as well.
If you want to know how to watch TV without cable or internet, you must try this smart device called Roku.
Although it is now primarily available in the USA, you can watch global content and access various streaming services from all over the globe through this device.
You can get the Express model of Roku for just $29 or less. But, for the ultra-HD model, you need to spend up to $99.
And you don’t need to pay any fee to activate this service. You can just plug this device into your TV and start enjoying content for free.
4. Apple TV
If you have already installed the Apple ecosystem on your house or office, you better install Apple TV to enjoy unique content even while you are offline.
However, many people have complained that it takes a good amount of time to get accustomed to the remote that comes with the package.
And the best thing about this smart device is that you can now also use Siri to control it.
Besides changing the channel, you can also increase volume, increase sharpness, and do a lot of things through just voice commands.
5. Sling TV
Many people look for the cheapest way to watch TV without cable, as the living cost is surging all over the globe.
But if you have a Sling TV device on your side, you don’t need to worry about anything. With this device, you can watch TV channels and OTT programs on a single platform.
This skinny bundle comes with two basic packages, Sling Blue and Sling Orange. To get any of these services, you need to pay $30/month on average. However, you don’t need to pay an additional fee to get this plug-and-play device.
How To Watch TV Channels In Gaming Consoles?
Do you know that popular gaming consoles nowadays come with preinstalled streaming apps?
And if you don’t know how to watch tv without cable or internet, all you need to do is turn on your gaming consoles. However, it can burn a hole in your pocket as this service is pretty expensive.
If you have any PlayStation 4 or 5 models, you can watch various online content through preinstalled streaming apps, such as YouTube, Netflix, and a lot more.
You can even download streaming apps from the app station. But yes, you need to get a premium membership for that.
And if you have a Microsoft device, such as Xbox One or 360, you can even watch your favorite content by getting an Xbox Gold Live membership. But it can cost you up to $59. And to get one gaming console nowadays, you need to spend up to $400 on average.
A cable connection will be the cheapest way to enjoy all your favorite shows and movies, no doubt about it! However, you can also use streaming sticks, such as Firestick or Roku, to watch those shows on your smart television.
Besides you can also use streaming apps that support offline downloads. On a different note, other than just having fun, you can now even get paid to watch movies.
So, this is all that you need to know about how to watch TV without cable or internet. If you think we have missed any device, or if you know of any other way to watch movies and shows offline, feel free to drop your suggestions and feedback in the comment box below.
How can I watch TV without Wi-Fi and the internet?
You can connect an external outdoor or indoor antenna to your existing TV set to get free-to-air local TV channels.
You can now also download your favorite content directly on the streaming apps to watch it later offline. Besides, smart devices, such as Fire Stick or Roku, have built-in storage where you can record your favorite movies to watch later.
Can you watch regular TV without the internet?
You can definitely watch regular television channels without having an active internet connection.
You can simply get a cable connection from your local cable operator to get a fixed TV connection for a monthly subscription fee.
Besides, you can also use DVRs and Blu-rays to watch movies on your old TV set without an internet connection.
Will Firestick work without the internet?
Yes, Amazon Firestick will only work with an active internet connection, as it needs you to connect it to a Wi-Fi network.
However, there are certain versions of Firesticks also available that come with storage facilities. And by getting one of those devices, you can record any shows or movies to watch later.
Will Roku work without the internet?
No, Roku channels will not work without an active internet connection.
Like Firestick, you also need to connect it to an active internet connection to start watching your favorite TV shows, sports events, and Hollywood chartbusters. However, you can also record shows on this device to watch later.
Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.