If you are trying to get TV channels without cable or satellite, this comprehensive guide will help you. Today I will show you how, plus no contract!
The days of TV being monopolized by the fat cats is pretty much over now. However, not everyone knows how to get free TV or quality channels without being ripped off by cable or satellite suppliers.
This step-by-step guide will show you how you can get all your favorite local channels and also premium channels for free and another way to replace your cable TV subscription.
When I discovered this in July 2016 it was the reason for me starting this website. I wanted to share this information with fellow expats around the World plus anyone else who was sick of paying expensive cable TV bills.
I have been searching for a system like this for a very long time but I have finally replaced my cable TV and now have access to 200+ Premium channels from UK, USA and Canada plus a few others.
How to get free basic cable TV
If you are in the States you can get local channels for free just by using an antenna. Broadcast Digital TV is available for everyone and you can check which channels are available on the FCC website.
Just enter your location and they will give you a list of channels with varying strength signals. I don't live in the States now but I lived in Houston for 2 years back in 2002/3 so I entered my old zip code and checked out the results for the TV stations.
The list was actually quite long and included CBS and NBC, not too bad. Of course, you won't get access to premium channels but I will show you another way how to do that later.
How to set it up
Firstly, you will need an external antenna. If you want to have a full Electronic Program Guide (EPG) similar to cable TV, you could purchase a hybrid TV box which has a TV tuner port.
This would allow you to connect the TV box to the TV via HDMI and once the antenna is connected you are good to go! You will get a full EPG showing all the programs that are broadcasting. You can even record with this TV box!
The best hybrid TV box I have seen so far is the WeTek Play 2 which has TV and Satellite tuners. It's an Android TV box which is good because the system I will tell you about later can also be used on Android.
So, you would have free basic cable TV channels from your region plus you could use the same TV box to access premium and international channels. Win-win!
Watch free cable TV online
Believe it or not, some of the major cable networks actually allow you to watch some of their shows on their websites. They don't upload everything but you will be able to watch free cable TV if you go to their website.
This is free and available for everyone in USA. If you are not in the States you will have to connect to a USA server using a good VPN. This is a good way to get past geo-blocks.
The TV Channels
Some of the TV networks will allow you to watch channels online including:
- Discovery channel
- Food network
Of course, you have to be online to watch free cable TV like this. If you don't like watching on your laptop and you don't have a TV box, you could connect your laptop to your TV and stream like this.
There are various ways of connecting a laptop to a Television but it will tie up your computer if you watch in this way.
How to get free TV channels
Everyone likes something for free! I have been watching free TV for a few years now but it's not something that will replace a cable TV subscription. Some people may disagree but if you are looking for high quality, it falls a bit short.
I'm talking about using a free TV app like Kodi or Mobdro. Both of these can be downloaded and installed on most devices for free. Kodi is the most popular of the two and it can be easily installed on an Android TV box (or hybrid like the WeTek Play 2) and connected to your TV via HDMI or RCA.
How does Kodi work?
Back in the old days before Android I would watch Kodi (or XBMC as it was called then) on a Apple TV box. When Android boxes became more prominent, it changed everything.
Suddenly Kodi could be installed directly from the Play Store which could be accessed from my Android TV box. This was so much easier!
Kodi is open-source software which is free to download. Unfortunately due to a recent crackdown on illicit streaming, when you install Kodi it's just a basic version.
There are no apps available (or addons as they are called) to access any TV channels. You have to know how to install the addons or use a Kodi build with a full set of featured addons. Read more about how to watch live TV on Kodi.
Note: Kodi is good for watching VOD (video-on-demand) but for live TV channels it can sometimes buffer a lot. You can reduce buffering by tweaking a few things but it's still not perfect.
This is due to everyone accessing free streams which hogs the bandwidth. It's free so we shouldn't really complain but it's not a good option to use as a cord cutter.
If you are not interested in getting free local channels you don't need a hybrid TV box with tuners. You could purchase any Android TV box and install Kodi. Check out my top Kodi boxes for 2017.
How to get premium cable TV channels
You can still get premium cable TV channels without a cable TV subscription. The system I am going to tell you about has no contract and you can choose to pay month by month. This way of watching TV is a real cord cutter.
It is compatible with all major platforms including Internet Explorer (Web), Kodi, Android, iOS and MAG TV box. It offers 350+ live TV channels and a 14 day catch up service (MAG TV box subscription only).
I discovered a paid IPTV subscription last year and I now use it as my main way of watching TV at home. My IPTV provider is called NTV and they have been around since 2012. This service is not available in UK.
3 day free trial
They offer a 3 day free trial with no obligation. All you have to do is register your email address on their website and contact me for a free trial. It's that easy.
They have various packages available to suit everyone. Prices start at €14.95 for access to 200+ TV channels. If you were to purchase the WeTek Play 2 hybrid TV box you could effectively have 3 ways of watching TV.
I hope this step-by-step guide has shown you a few ways to get TV channels without paying for a cable TV subscription. Watching TV over the internet is definitely the future, or maybe even the present!
If you are still unsure or have any questions about this article feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. I usually respond within 24 hours.