Sports Without Cable! & How To Watch Almost Anything Else You Want!

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Sports without cable & more

I’d been wanting to chop the cord for a long time but couldn’t because Superman wouldn’t be able to watch sports without cable until now.  His main concern was college football, but he also loves to watch the news, Nascar, local weather, and hunting and fishing shows too.  This is for you friends that want to know how we’re watching all kinds of TV shows, LIVE events, and sports without cable – for CHEAP!

How to Watch Sports without Cable AND everything else!





Also a concern was the fact that my girl and I watch Hallmark movies, DIY, TLC shows, the UP channel, and a tiny bit of Disney.   How would we keep all of our traditions of watching LIVE events, like Presidential Election Coverage, the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving, or Time Square’s New Years Eve, or the reveal of the HGTV Dream House on New Year’s Day?

I’m tickled to report that I’ve figured out how to get it all. Woohoo!

It’s been about a month and a half since “the clipping” took place and as I type, the hubs is watching the Georgia vs. Florida game.  All college football games have been watched for free by “streaming” them onto our TV.  We’ve been able to watch all of the SEC football games.   In the past, Direct TV didn’t always televise all of them in our area so we would just miss out.  We’ve watched more this year than ever!

I’ll explain how to watch all the college football games below along with explaining how to set all this up yourself (surprise that man of yours) because it’s so easy.  But first, let’s start with the basics …..

Life without cable

Here’s the big picture:  to watch sports without cable as well as TV shows, political debates, parades, movies, documentaries, awards, reality TV, weather, and more, you basically have three main choices:

  1. Install antenna (SO much easier than you think!)
  2. Stream through a device or game system with help of internet
  3. Find the show online and connect laptop to TV

#1) Antenna

If I had realized how easy to set up the current antennas are, I would have purchased one even before cutting our cord. Who knew that modern antennas easily broadcast local channels into your home by simply being placed on the wall or window.  Not attics or roofs required!  Check this favorite out …..

Indoor 35-mile range Indoor Antenna

How do you know if an indoor antenna is for you and which one to get?  Two factors:  A) Are you interested in local news, weather, kid shows, and ballgames and PrimeTime shows that come on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and ION?  B) How far away is the closest broadcasting tower?

All you need to understand is how far your antenna’s range is (by miles), what “band” of antenna you need, and if the towers are in the same direction with THIS free site.  This site allows you to simply put in your zip code and “submit.”  When you scroll down, you are looking for how many miles away the towers are, what channels they offer, and if the towers operate on a UHF or VHF band.

For example, my search resulted in two towers very close to me.  They offer PBS, ION, Qubo, and more.  One tower uses VHF and the other uses UHF.  I need an indoor antenna that allows for VHF and UHF.  Easy Peasy!

#2) Internet

Excellent, high-speed internet connection is key to watching the shows you want without cable or satellite dependency.  Make sure your internet speed can handle the load before any clipping takes place.  You can test your internet speed with At&t by clicking HERE.  Can’t find your provider’s internet check?  Try THIS.

#3) Streaming Device

You will need a device that will allow you to stream the internet through it that will then project your show onto the TV screen.  These devices have apps to choose from like Netflix, Amazon Instant Streaming, CBS, NBC, etc, just like your smart devices.  The most popular choices of streaming devices are the Roku Streaming Stick (my fave!), Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick.

The easiest device for my non-techy wife friends (in my opinion) is the Roku.  I purchased a Roku 3 several years ago so that I could stream educational videos from Amazon Prime and YouTube onto our TV screen.  It has proved to be quite an asset to our family for its original intention and now for us to stream just about anything we want to watch.

Last weekend, I opted for one of Superman’s birthday gifts to be a Roku Stick so that he could stream TV shows onto our bedroom TV as well.  I could have chosen other streaming devices like an Apple TV box or a gaming console, but I’ve been so pleased with the longevity of our Roku that I bought a Roku Stick.

Why a Roku stick and not the latest Roku 4?

I’d read many reviews that said the Roku stick could do everything that a Roku 4 could do without the voice activator – and that wasn’t something I felt like we needed. The Roku Stick literally plugs into a USB on the back of your Television and only takes a couple steps to set up.  Easy Peasy!  It has been working like a charm and the new apps on our bedroom TV are synced to the ones on our living room TV.  Woot!

Sports 

It is very possible to get sports without cable by purchasing the indoor antenna that I mentioned above.  If you are close enough to a tower that broadcasts CBS, NBS, and such, you could watch many games there.  Sling TV is an amazing resource for serious sports fans.  Sling is what has made our transition a wonderful experience.

Here are just a few of the networks that easily stream through your streaming device easily for as little as $20 a month (we pay $5 extra for the sports package to include SEC sports).  ESPN, HGTV, Food Network, CNN, History, Disney, TNT, TBS, BBC, A&E, etc.  $25 is nothing compared to what we were paying for cable and then satellite TV.

TV Shows

We watch TV shows on Sling TV, YouTube, Amazon Video, and Netflix.  If you are into the PrimeTime shows and can’t get those channels using your indoor antenna mentioned above, there is always the Hulu App available on the Roku 4 or Roku Stick.

Movies

The options available to watch movies with are endless but Netflix, Amazon TV, Youtube, Sling TV, and the PBS channel are the most popular.  I discovered the Pixl and Feelin apps on our Roku as well. VidAngel is my favorite though because by clicking on the “filter” choices, you can customize your movie in the way that you want to.

Online Events, Games, or Shows

When events, games, or shows are online that you would like to watch, simply use an hdmi cord to connect the USB opening on your laptop to the hdmi slot on the back of your Television.  Here’s more details about connecting that laptop to watch sports without cable.  That is how I am ensuring we can watch the Macy’s Day Parade if it isn’t found elsewhere on my Roku.

UPDATE:  New information!

GUESS WHAT???  Can you tell that I’m excited?

I just found out that a ‘Lifestyle’ extra could be purchased for $5 a month through SlingTV that would add the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the Cooking Channel, DIY Network, and more.  Now we can watch TV shows like we used to on Hallmark like When Calls the Heart, Chesapeake Shores, and Cedar Cove.  Woohoo!

This also means that we now have a channel that I only dreamed about before, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.  Direct TV gave me that run around about why it couldn’t be added to my system without getting all new, expensive equipment.  These mystery movies are so good y’all!  AND, we can be a part of Countdown to Christmas and watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies we want.

I’m so thankful!

Have questions about sports without cable (or other shows)?  Ask in the form below!

How to Watch Sports without Cable AND everything else!

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Shan

Published on HuffPost and Okefenokee Living Magazine and other publications, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist and lover of all things ‘calm & cozy home.’

She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about southern family destinations and creating cozy homes they can’t wait to go home to.

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17 Comments

  1. November 10, 2016 / 10:06 am

    We have done most of these, haha! We got the antenna but never used it, so it went back. But we got a Roku stick and Sling TV and love it! We have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu and are able to watch nearly everything we want. And we save a ton on cable. Great post!

  2. November 10, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    We cut cable this year and I love it! I haven’t really missed anything and I don’t feel guilty about wasting so much money on 500 channels that I don’t watch.

  3. November 10, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    We LOVE our Roku stick! We only really watch netflix and Youtube (which is awesome for most anything that is Live on tv because someone usually has a channel going) but you get a ton of free channels to go with it!

  4. November 10, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    Thank you for all this information. I have been wanting to get rid of cable for awhile now. All this information was really helpful!!!!

  5. November 11, 2016 / 12:08 am

    We cut cable about a year ago. However instead of using an inside antenna for every TV, we bought an outside whole house antenna (about the same size and price as one inside one) installed it on the poll that the direct tv dish was on (took maybe 60 seconds) then hooked the coax cable up to it that was plugged into the direct TV and BOOM free local channels on all the TV’s in the house (just need to hook the TV up to a cable outlet).

  6. November 11, 2016 / 9:56 am

    We haven’t had cable for a few years now and I am SO happy we don’t! We are plenty entertained without and my husband still gets to watch all the games he wants to

  7. November 11, 2016 / 11:31 am

    This is a cool hack. Thank you so much for sharing it. I will try this out.

  8. November 14, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Great share I just cut the cord too last month and purchased an antenna that looks like a sheet of paper so thin so cool and so far so good. Next up is another streaming service I already have Netflix.

    • Shan
      Author
      November 15, 2016 / 6:23 am

      Good for you, Mari. That’s exiting. I had no idea about those super cool antennas until recently. I’m thankful.

      blessings,
      Shan

  9. January 24, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    Totally showing this to my hubby. His college football season is over, but this would have been perfect for him!

  10. January 24, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    You gave some awesome tips! We cut cable a few months ago. We have Amazon prime, so my girls always have programs to watch. We tried SlingTV before, but did not like the picture quality. We may have to look into again if the picture quality improves.

  11. January 25, 2017 / 7:43 am

    We cut our cable almost 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. We opted to install an outdoor digital antenna. Same price as an inside one, you just get MUCH better reception and pick up more channels. We had Direct TV before so we literally just unhooked the dish and replaced it with the antenna and hooked it up using the cable that was already there. Now all TV’s in our house get channels simply by connecting the TV to a cable outlet!

  12. March 16, 2017 / 9:43 am

    This is so helpful! We got rid of cable and my husband has really been missing his sports, especially with basketball season upon us. Thank you!

  13. March 17, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Life without cable is definitely interesting! We are really debating making the cut as we are paying out the wazoo for a lot of things that we don’t even watch.

    With Love Rochelle

  14. March 17, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    We cut the cord when we moved last June and haven’t looked back! We get our cable through Playstation Vue and it’s sooo much cheaper than Direct TV. After figuring all our different subscriptions, we were able to cut our TV bill in half! These are great tips you have here for newbies.

  15. March 17, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    I’ve never paid for cable (so MUCH money), and these are pretty much the ways we get TV, too. We have Netflix for shows just for fun, and then for sports we use our antenna or stream it from the internet. Yay for getting around the cable companies.

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