Call for the Best Cable, Phone and Internet Deals: 855-349-9328
Call For Best Deals: 855-349-9328

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 318 million internet users as well as over 65 million pay-tv households 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 to watch TV without cable box? Let’s find out!

First Things First: Smart TV vs. Regular TV

Before we discuss how to get cable without a box, let us first establish the difference between a regular TV and a smart TV.

  • A regular or 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 cannot 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 stream local channels but also watch on-demand content and do a lot more. 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 TV without Cable: Cord Cutting with 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If you have a rather outdated TV and need to watch cable without a box, there are a few options for you to try. Let’s explore these:

Streaming Devices

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.

Free Over-the-Air (`OTA) TV

Have you ever seen those huge towers on the properties of ABC, CBS, Fox, or other TV channels? Ever wondered what purpose they serve? Well, that’s mainly to offer OTA TV signals to the users – it is one of the most traditional yet successful ways to offer free TV signals to users without using cable.

Over-the-air (OTA) TV is one of the best ways to watch TV without cable. All you need to do is set up the OTA antenna at your home, and you are good to go. These antennas are a one-time investment and cost somewhere around $18 to $65, depending on the quality and features they offer. The best part is that OTA TVs are pretty convenient to set up, and you actually get more channels than you would expect!

Watching TV without Cable: Cord Cutting with 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 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?

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 will 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!

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 built-in 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 will 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.

Subscribe to Live TV Channel Apps

One of the most convenient ways to watch live TV without cable is to subscribe to your favorite TV channel apps. For a minimal monthly fee (in most cases), you will get to enjoy live news, sports, TV shows, music, and more 24/7, depending on your preferences. You can view these channels on various smart devices such as smartphones, laptop, tablets, etc.

For example, if you subscribe to Paramount+, it will give you access to on-demand TV shows and movies, live TV channels—including SHOWTIME, and more at just $11.99 per month! How cool is that?

Stream TV without 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. Whether you want to enjoy streaming services with local channels or get your hands on international channels, 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, Pluto TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV among other services.

Cord cutting allows you to enjoy a wide range of streaming services that go perfectly with a smart TV. They also get you a limited lineup of live channels as well as premium on-demand content, including movies, docuseries, TV shows, live TV streaming services, and more. This way you can watch TV with no cable TV subscription or 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!

The Bottom-Line

There you go!

We hope you found this guide helpful and enjoyed learning about different ways to watch TV without cable, along with different alternatives to cable TV. Just in case, you still have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at 855-349-9328.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I watch TV without cable or internet?

You can watch TV without cable or internet via over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts using different types of HD antennas, local digital libraries, subscribing to popular streaming services with free plans—such as Pluto TV, Tubi, Crackle, etc.—and more.

Do I need a cable box with a smart TV?

No, you do not necessarily need a cable box with a smart TV.

How can I watch local channels without cable?

You can watch local channels without cable via various channel apps, live TV streaming services, official websites of different TV channels, OTA HD antennas, and more.

How can I watch TV on the internet?

You can watch live TV on the internet via various live TV streaming services such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu TV, and more. Or, you can also check out the official websites of different TV channels to watch live TV on the internet.

How can I stream without cable?

You can stream without cable via over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts using different types of HD antennas, accessing local digital libraries, subscribing to popular streaming services with free plans—such as Pluto TV, Tubi, Crackle, etc.—and more.

How can I get cable on smart TV without a cable box?

You can get cable on your smart TV without a cable box in a few simple steps. All you have to do is download the TV Everywhere app from your provider on your TV and access your cable’s complete channel lineup on your home network. You can also try multiple types of streaming services such as YouTube TV, Pluto TV, Hulu TV, and more.


Robert is a dedicated and knowledgeable author, an SEO expert with a passion for all things tech. He has a keen eye for detail, allowing him to write interesting blogs that are informative and engaging for readers. He has extensive knowledge of internet, TV, and phone pricing and plans, and has created numerous how-to guides to help users make informed decisions. As a tech geek and TV buff, he is always up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry, making his content always fresh and relevant.