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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 your friends that want to know how we’re watching all kinds of TV shows, LIVE events, and sports without cable – for CHEAP!
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 Year’s 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 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:
- Install antenna (SO much easier than you think!)
- Stream through a device or game system with help of internet
- Find the show online and connect laptop to TV
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 …..
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 Pixel 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 as 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!
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