How To Get TV Channels Without Cable | Step-By-Step Guide

By | November 17, 2017

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!

Amazon is probably the best place to buy a HDTV antenna if you don't already own one. They have internal and external ones to suit all budgets. The external antennae will pick up more channels.

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:

  • NBC
  • CBS
  • Discovery channel
  • Fox
  • ABC
  • 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.

  • Free basic cable TV for local channels
  • Free TV channels with Kodi
  • Paid IPTV subscription with NTV

That TV box can be used for all of the above. Read more about using NTV or register for free and get your trial.

Final thoughts

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.

Proprietor at UK TV Services Abroad
I am a UK expat who has lived overseas since 1997. I started this website to help fellow expats who are trying to watch UK TV abroad. I built this website for free with the help and support of a wonderful online community. Click here if you want to read my profile. It's free to join and you can build 2 websites for free.

4 thoughts on “How To Get TV Channels Without Cable | Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Shwana

    Great article! It was very informative. I knew you could stream some TV stations, but I had no idea that there were so many options for channels. I still have satellite TV and I love it, but I do stream a little. I do work at DISH and one of my customers mentioned KODI to me. I appreciate your honest feedback on KODI not being the option to cut the cord on TV. Although it sounds like a cheaper option than traditional TV, it seems like you must have multiple services to get all your programming like locals, premium channels VOD and cable channels. Is it a hassle? This option is great for those that are limited on their monthly income or just don’t want to pay for TV anymore. Great job!

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Shwana, thanks for the feedback. Kodi is free but you can also get subscriptions to premium services if you want to improve the experience. I actually have multiple devices, not just multiple services. 

      I use Kodi on my Android box when I am looking for a movie but my main TV system is a paid IPTV subscription on a MAG TV box. It sounds complicated but it isn’t. It’s very easy to use and toggle between the 2 devices.

  2. Monica Bouteiller

    Wow.. I heard some people talk about getting TV channels without cable and after reading your article I think this could work very well for me. I had no idea there would be that many options for channels. I live in Canada and in this article you mentioned VPN. What do you recommend for a good VPN in Canada?

    I’m all for getting free TV channels. Which one would be most suitable for where I live… the Kodi or Mobdro?

    Thanks for a very interesting read. Hope to hear from you.

    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Monica,

      Depending on where you are in Canada, you will be able to get free digital over-the-air channels like in USA. Canada is following the U.S. in this regard so if you use my methods for free channels it will work.

      If you want to use a VPN with Kodi then PureVPN will be the best choice. If you click on my link you can get a unique offer from my site. This has only been introduced in the last day or two.



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