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Browsing the internet and watching TV are common leisure activities; so much so that these are a part of modern culture. Everything from learning, formal education, work, and even shopping can be done through either the internet or the TV. According to studies recently conducted, the U.S. has over 307 million internet users as well as 122.4 million TV subscribers across the nation – which are astounding stats, really. It is expected the trend will continue its upward journey – with TV and internet services becoming more and more accessible and affordable.

If you get a TV from a provider in the U.S., you are most likely going to have to pay for a cable box that helps make the whole experience. In most cases, the cable box does not come included in the service which contributes to a rental each month. But, what do you do if you want cable on TV without a box? Let’s find out!

Before we discuss how to get cable without a box, let us first establish the difference between a “dumb” TV and smart TV. A non-smart TV allows you to connect to a cable or a cable box but cannot connect to Wi-Fi. This is one of the most significant differences between an old TV and a modern smart TV. Since it does not have the capacity to connect to the internet, a non-smart TV would only be able to show you live cable TV channels.

Conversely, a smart TV takes things up a notch with its intricate and advanced technology. Since it can connect to the internet, not only can you watch cable TV channels, but you can also stream on-demand content and do a lot more on a smart TV. While there are quite a few smart TV compatible video services in the U.S., Xfinity X1 TV is one of the best with high-tech features, integrated streaming, smart home automation, and more.

Watch Cable without a Box on a Regular TV

If you have a rather outdated TV and need to watch cable without a box, there are a few options for you to try. As long as your TV has an HDMI port, you can simply get a streaming device and hook it up to your TV. All you need is a streaming device that is compatible with your specific brand of TV and a high-speed internet connection. These streaming devices can include:

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Amazon Fire TV Cube
  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • Chromecast

Once you get a streaming device, simply download your provider’s app onto the device. Providers that offer TV everywhere apps are:

These apps allow you to access your full channel lineup on your home network directly on your TV. Plus, along with live TV channels, you can also enjoy on-demand movie titles, TV shows, and more – all of which just add a kick to your entertainment experience.

Watching Cable without a box on a Smart TV

A smart TV does not need a cable box to function. It can connect to the internet and get you many streaming services without having to go for live TV at all. However, if you are into TV channels and enjoy live programming, there are multiple ways to watch TV without a cable box on a smart TV. After all, what is better than getting to save on the monthly rental of a TV box and still enjoying all the TV channels that you already pay for?

Check out the following two methods to access cable TV without a box on your newest-gen smart TV. You can go for whatever technique you think works best for you.

TV Everywhere Apps from your Provider on a Smart TV

If you have a smart TV, there really is not much to worry about. Since a smart TV comes with apps, you can just download your provider’s app from the app store. You simply have to log in with your service credentials and you are good to go. Your smart TV would be linked through your internet connection and you will be able to access your complete cable TV lineup over your home network. All on your smart TV without a cable box!

The providers that come with a smart TV app are listed above and you can find them on your smart TV or download them easily. And you will never have to pay for a cable set-top box ever again with this simple, yet genius tip!

Get Basic Cable without a Box on a Smart TV

If you just want basic broadcasting channels on your smart TV, you just have to do one single thing. Simply determine if your smart TV has a coaxial cable input – which is usually inbuilt into smart TVs. These inputs generally come labeled as Antenna In or Cable in. When you find the coaxial cable input, simply run your TV cable from the wall jack to your TV and plug it in.

Next, turn on your smart TV and go to the TV input on the menu. Switch to cable in the settings and you would be able to see the available channels in your lineup and enjoy them on your TV. However, depending on your TV provider, you might not be able to access TV channels without getting a set-top box. Hence, we do suggest you check in with your provider before attempting this hack.

Ditch the Cable Box with Exclusive Streaming Services

If you are a person who enjoys streaming more than live TV channels, there are a ton of other options for you to consider. You can simply cut the cord on your TV – and get an exclusive streaming service instead. You can take your pick from DIRECTV STREAM, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Fubo TV, Hulu TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV among other services.

These streaming services go perfectly with a smart TV and get you a limited lineup of live channels as well as premium on-demand content, including movies, docuseries, TV shows, and more. This way you can watch TV without a cable box, do not have to give up live TV, and you also get a load of other things to enjoy on the side too! 

Learn more about the best TV service providers in your area! Call now 1-855-349-9328.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  1. Can a smart TV function without a cable box?

 You can even use your smart TV without the cable box. All you have to do is simply download the TV everywhere app from your provider on your TV and access your cable’s complete channel lineup on your home network. However, you will an internet and cable TV subscription from your provider to make this work. 

See what providers offer TV everywhere service or call our experts at 1-855-349-9328 for more info.


  1. How to connect the cable to a TV?

 You can connect your cable to a TV in one of two ways. You can either plug it into the set-top box that you get with your TV provider service. Alternatively, you can plug it directly into the cable input in your TV and access the cable channels that way.

Check out the best TV providers in your area, or call now 1-855-349-9328.