The how to get free cable tv illegally is a blog post that provides 18 legitimate ways to get free cable TV. Some of the methods include buying an antenna, getting a cheap digital converter box, and even renting a movie.
Cable television is technically a luxury. In reality, it’s virtually a must. While streaming services have gone a long way in terms of their capacity to provide high-quality, on-demand content, certain entertainment choices, such as live sports and real-time news, remain only accessible via cable television. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could receive free cable TV?
We’re all aware that cable television may be excessively costly. The high prices, particularly when coupled with cable companies’ propensity to “bundle” channels and demand exorbitant fees for premium channels, may turn off many consumers who would otherwise be interested in cable TV.
Fortunately, there are many options for lowering or eliminating your monthly cable payment. Continue reading to learn about our favorite cable TV alternatives that are free (or almost free).
Invest in a high-definition television antenna.
HDTV antennas are not a method to obtain free cable TV, but they are an alternative to it. The concept, though, remains the same. You want to watch television but don’t want to spend too much (or anything) on it.
Antennas for capturing free, over-the-air (OTA) signals given out by large content providers in highly populated regions are known as HDTV antennas. The name is a little misleading. Not all broadcasts will be in high definition. HDTV antennas, on the other hand, are capable of receiving signals in HD quality.
OTA transmissions often provide material not seen in standard cable or satellite bundles. They often offer extra local programming not available via your cable provider.
When selecting an HDTV antenna, take into account the unique characteristics of your location and surroundings. A low-floor apartment in Manhattan, for example, will need a different set-up than a high-rise penthouse in Chicago. You may use Antenna Web to find out how many free over-the-air channels are available from your local television broadcasters and which antenna will provide the greatest reception.
Most network channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, WB, NBC, BET, and PBS) may be received for free using an antenna if you reside near or in a metropolitan region.
Directional vs. Omnidirectional Directional vs. Omnidirectional
The first thing you should think about is whether you want a directional or omnidirectional antenna. The former, in essence, takes up signals from the direction in which the antenna is pointed. An omnidirectional antenna receives signals from all directions, but it does it in a less efficient manner. The cost of a decent omnidirectional antenna is about $100.
An omnidirectional antenna is useful if you have numerous broadcasts in your region that originate from various directions. You may wish to purchase a directional antenna if most of your broadcasts originate from the same direction or if you’re just interested in one channel. A decent directional antenna may be found for about $100.
Outdoor vs. Indoor
Antennas may be used both inside and outdoors. Outdoor antennas are usually superior than their indoor counterparts in picking up local broadcasts. On Amazon, you can get a decent outdoor HDTV TV antenna for about $50. However, there may be circumstances in which an indoor antenna is preferable. It’s possible that your homeowner’s association prohibits the installation of outside antennas on your property. Perhaps you live in an apartment with no access to a site where an outside antenna might be installed. Some individuals choose inside antennas because they dislike the look of outside antennas.
At the end of the day, outside antennas are better at picking up broadcasts, while indoor antennas are easier to put up, maintain, and utilize. A good indoor HDTV antenna will set you back about $25.
Free Cable TV Online Streaming
There is a lot of free cable television programming accessible online these days. Cable TV fans may get real-time or near-real-time programming via a number of websites and services. Some of these services are geo-locked, which means they’ll only be accessible in certain regions (often the continental United States).
YouTube, the undisputed king of all streaming platforms, offers a plethora of fresh cable tv programming. YouTube has a plethora of material for individuals of various interests and inclinations, ranging from late-night chat programs to news programming, sports highlights, and even complete episodes of your favorite series.
TV.com is more targeted than YouTube, providing a platform for TV fans to engage and debate the newest developments in their favorite programs. Surprisingly, despite the site’s prominent domain name, it does not seem to be updated on a regular basis (the newest episode posted from Survivor, for example, is from 2018). And it doesn’t seem like the “News” section has been updated since early 2019. This site seems to have gone out of favor since it was purchased by CBS around the same time, but it is still available if you need to catch up on older episodes of specific programs.
Tubi is a Fox-owned streaming service that enables you to watch free TV and movies online. Tubi is an ad-supported service, so you won’t be able to avoid ads as you can on YouTube or other platforms. However, because Tubi is free, who cares if you have to watch a few ads now and then?
Tubi is unique in that you do not need to register to begin viewing free material. The content collection is amazing, and the design is straightforward and simple to use. A streaming device and the internet may both be used to stream material.
Vudu is a Walmart-owned company that sells and rents digital copies of television shows and movies. Vudu, which is similar to an online Blockbuster (depending on your age, that company name may be unfamiliar to you), has a large variety and an easy-to-use interface.
Vudu is well regarded as providing fast access to brand-new movies when they are first released. However, the service is more costly in the long run than Netflix or Hulu. If you really must be the first to see a movie when it is released (but don’t want to go to the cinema), this service may be for you. NBCUniversal is in negotiations to buy Hulu as of February 2020, but no agreement has been reached.)
For individuals who receive their media via streaming providers, Justwatch.com is similar to a TV guide. Go to Justwatch.com and enter the title of the program you really must watch right now into the search box to find out which provider (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.) offers it.
The site will inform you how and where you may watch the program, whether it’s via streaming, renting, or purchasing it digitally. Based on your specified and proven viewing habits, the site also makes suggestions for further viewing.
Pluto.tv is a free, ad-supported streaming service that can be found on smart TVs, as well as most set-top streaming boxes like Roku and Chromecast. It has a large selection of TV and movie choices, with a strong emphasis on the latter.
Crackle is a television channel that broadcasts in the United
Crackle TV offers a great pricing – it’s completely free. Crackle TV’s streaming menu is free since it is ad-supported. You should be aware, however, that none of its services are accessible in high-definition. However, the selection is very excellent, particularly given that it is free.
ShareTV is a Hulu distribution partner that enables users to watch free TV online. The site allows users to keep track of when new episodes of their favorite programs are released.
ShareTV offers a large variety of free online TV programs as well as the platform on which to view them.
Another method to watch free TV on the internet. Popcornflix is a service that provides free ad-supported movie and TV program streaming video.
The service mainly enables users to see indie films in a range of genres, including drama, action, horror, and more. Popcornflix also has a large variety of TV programs and Reality TV, so if you’re a TV show addict, this might be a fantastic choice for you.
Popcornflix is a completely free streaming service that is accessible on the web and on a variety of streaming devices.
Local Public Libraries
The choices for digital streaming aren’t the only ones accessible today. You may also pick tangible material, and your local library is likely to have a large selection of films and television programs. So go to your local library to check what they have accessible for watching, whether it’s a locally held physical media collection or accounts with some of the bigger streaming providers.
Television Networks, both local and national
Many local and national networks provide people in their coverage areas with free versions of their programs. Releases are often somewhat delayed, so you may have to wait a day or two to watch your favorite program, but getting to them is generally simple.
Check your favorite network’s website to check if any of their programs are available for free streaming.
ABC, BBC, Bloomberg, BCS, Discovery Network, Food Network, FOX, NBC, PBS, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and many more networks provide a range of free programming (regardless of whether you have cable or not). You may find out what free material they have available by downloading their app to your streaming device (see pro tip above).
Trials on Paid Streaming Services are available for free.
Paid streaming services are credited with kickstarting the global cord-cutting trend. They provide programming at a fraction of the cost of even some basic cable bundles. Streaming has only grown in strength over time. Modern streaming services deliver a depth and breadth of content that no cable or satellite provider can match.
The good news is that all of these services provide a free trial, so you can always try out a platform before committing to it.
Another streaming service that has been around for a while is Hulu. (It was established in 2007.) However, it differs from Netflix in a few respects. For starters, it focuses mostly on television rather than movies. Hulu is all about vintage and current TV, while Netflix began as a movie rental business and retained a strong emphasis on full-length films when it transitioned to a streaming platform.
Second, Hulu’s basic version is a few of dollars less expensive than Netflix, but it is ad-supported. Ads popping up in the midst of your favorite programs may be a little irritating, especially if you’re accustomed to Netflix’s ad-free atmosphere.
Third, Hulu’s original content is often less extensive than Netflix’s. Hulu is a fantastic site, but if you don’t watch network programs, you’ll notice that there is less original, exclusive content available. It’s all a question of personal taste.
Hulu provides a free one-month trial so you can start viewing your favorite programs whenever and wherever you choose.
Netflix was a groundbreaking DVD renting business via mail when it first launched in 1997. (According to Statista, over 2.15 million individuals in the United States still utilize their DVD service as of late 2019.) Netflix didn’t start providing internet streaming services until 2007, and it just started producing original content in 2013.
It now has an unrivaled variety, a user-friendly design, and a fantastic predictive technology that recommends the next item to watch based on your preferences. In reality, one of Netflix’s problems is decision paralysis. It may be difficult to make a choice when you have so many alternatives.
Netflix has a ton of exclusive, in-house programming. There’s so much to watch here, including original and licensed material, that no one individual could possibly watch it all.
Netflix, like many of its rivals, provides a one-month free trial, so there’s no danger in checking it out.
Amazon Video (Amazon Prime Video)
One of the most valuable aspects of having an Amazon Prime membership is access to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. It, like Netflix, has a huge library of original, in-house programming (both movies and TV). Unlike Netflix, though, Amazon Prime comes with a long list of perks, including same-day to two-day shipping throughout North America, discounts on Audible and Kindle Unlimited, and more.
Amazon Prime streaming provides a user-friendly interface and a large variety of programs and films to watch in addition to original content. Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime also has a student discount, which reduces the cost by half for students attending a qualified post-secondary school.
Amazon Prime Video provides a free 30-day trial to try out their service.
Apple has launched a new streaming service called Apple TV+. Apple TV+, unlike Netflix or Hulu, does not have a large content catalog, but that may change in the near future as the company invests heavily in original content.
Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month, which is less than Diseny+ and Netflix. If you’re already a member of the “Apple Family,” you may be eligible for further savings and packages.
All Apple devices, including Apple TV, iPhones, and iPads, may access the service. You may also use a web browser such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to view it, as well as smart TVs (Samsung Smart TVs) and streaming devices such as Roku.
A seven-day free trial of Apple TV+ is now available.
Disney+ has been dubbed “Netflix Killer.” Disney+ has 50 million members as of early April 2020, thanks to its massive library of desired, exclusive content. Aside from the Disney programming, Disney+ varies from Netflix in a few ways. It offers an annual membership deal that saves you money on top of the already low monthly subscription cost. Furthermore, it includes 4k streaming on multiple devices as part of its basic subscription, while Netflix needs you to upgrade to a more costly plan to get that advantage.
A seven-day free trial of Disney+ is now available.
Philo is a cable and satellite TV alternative aimed at cord-cutters who want to save money on entertainment. HGTV, AMC Investigation Discovery, Food Network, Hallmark, Nickelodeon, and more are among the networks available.
Their cheapest plan, which includes 59 channels, costs $20 per month. You may record an infinite number of programs and stream them simultaneously from different devices. All you need is a streaming device and an internet connection.
A free seven-day trial of Philo is now available.
Pro Tips for Getting Free or Cheap Cable TV
We have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you save even more money on cable. Keep in mind that several of these suggestions have limitations. (Thus, instead of simply reading the headline, read the whole section!)
Sharing of Accounts
Sharing accounts for several of the above-mentioned streaming services may be a good idea, particularly if you share with family or close friends. The concept is straightforward. One individual creates a single account, which is then used by numerous others to use the service. Isn’t it simple?
However, there are a few drawbacks to this popular technique.
Problems with Security
Sharing your account credentials, even with trustworthy family members or friends, is a big danger. Any account upgrades, extra purchases, or account modifications made by other password holders are the responsibility of the account holder. So, if your brother chooses to rent a $20.00 movie or upgrade your Netflix account to 4k, you’ll be responsible for the expense.
Second, many individuals reuse passwords across a variety of online accounts. If you do this and give up your “master” password, don’t be shocked if the receiver uses it to access one of your other accounts.
Violations of the Terms of Service
Most streaming providers do not allow password or account sharing. A careful reading of the Netflix contract’s Terms of Service, for example, reveals:
4.2. The Netflix service, as well as any material watched via it, is for your personal and non-commercial use only, and it may not be shared with anyone outside your home.
Other limitations, such as regional limits, impact the sharing of passwords or accounts as well.
While these restrictions are seldom enforced, coloring outside the boundaries of a Terms of Service agreement is never a smart idea. It’s a contract violation that may impact your rights in a number of ways.
Throttling of the Stream
Many streaming services may restrict or limit services when the maximum allowed number of devices is surpassed, since account sharing outside of the home is not permitted. So, if you’re permitted to use four devices in a single home (a typical restriction), and you use two but a family member in another house uses three, one of the streams won’t function properly. This may be inconvenient and unexpected in equal measure.
Get a DVR
Many individuals are reluctant to cut the cord and switch to broadcast TV because they are unaware that they can record their favorite programs just as they could with their cable DVR box. However, there are many options for resolving this problem. Here are a handful that come to mind.
Invest in a TiVo.
Yes, TiVo is still alive and well. While it was formerly a standalone DVR, and the world’s first and most popular, it is now a cable or over-the-air DVR combo. Critics are split on whether or not it’s still worth your money.
The previous king of DVRs has not fared well with the passage of time. The once-dominant TiVo has lost its allure due to an antiquated user interface, expensive subscription costs, and restricted capabilities. On the other hand, for individuals seeking for a simple method to record over-the-air or cable transmissions, this may be the solution.
Obtain a Tablo
Tablo is a tiny box into which you connect your antenna. The Tablo QUAD is a gadget that enables you to concurrently record and stream four free broadcast channels from your HDTV antenna. All you need is a WiFi-enabled computer or mobile device, an HDTV antenna, an internet connection, a USB or SATA hard disk, and a USB or SATA hard drive.
The great thing about this gadget is that it allows you to choose the recording storage choice that best suits your requirements.
All you need is a Smart TV, a streaming device, or a game system with streaming capability to view the material you recorded on your Tablo.
Take advantage of Playon.
Playon is a highly powerful service since it enables you to record almost anything. It’s essentially a gateway to the best streaming providers compiled into one simple interface for you.
You may record streaming videos from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO GO, and many more sites. Plans start at $2.99 per month for 50GB of cloud recording and storage.
After you’ve recorded your favorite program or movie, you may save it as an.MP4 file to view on your phone, tablet, or computer later. You may also use streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation, xBox, and Wii to watch your recordings.
The best part of Playon is that your recordings will never expire and you will be able to skip advertisements. Yes, you may view all of your programs and movies without paying for them.
Purchase a Streaming Device.
Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV are streaming devices that allow you to just connect them into your TV and utilize virtually any of the major streaming services (Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and so on). You’ll need an account with the streaming provider you’re using, but the majority of streaming gadgets are very convenient. They’re small, light, and cheap, especially when compared to more costly set-top boxes like the NVidia Shield.
Bills Should Be Negotiated
If you’re dead bent on keeping your cable membership, at the very least make sure you’re paying as little as possible for the pleasure of watching live television. Cable and satellite providers are well-known for bundling their services, thereby trapping customers in costly and unneeded services, as well as inconvenient payment schedules.
Many cable providers, for example, lure you in with a cheap introductory rate when you move over, only to raise the rates after you’ve forgotten about the payment.
Billshark, Truebill, and Trim are all services that may help you save money on your monthly subscription costs. These firms keep track of who your service providers are and negotiate with them to get your prices as low as humanly feasible using a mix of artificial intelligence and plain old-fashioned haggling. After that, they take a percentage of your yearly savings.
Of course, if you’re used to negotiating on your own, you may choose to do so. However, if you’re short on time or don’t want to have an uncomfortable discussion with your cable provider, any of these options may be perfect for you.
The consumer media landscape is more diverse than it has ever been. The days of having no choice but to put up with the cable company’s outrageous pricing schemes and poor customer service if we wanted to watch particular channels and programs are long gone. You may now select from a variety of over-the-air choices, commercial and free streaming services, YouTube, and even the material available at your local library.
It all depends on what you’re searching for and how much you’re prepared to spend for whatever of these choices you select. However, whichever option you pick, you will almost likely spend less than you would for cable television.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get basic cable for free?
There are a number of ways to get basic cable for free. One way is to use a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Another option is to buy a digital antenna and watch over-the-air channels with your TV.
What is a cheaper alternative to cable TV?
There are many ways to watch TV without cable. You can stream shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.
How can I get free TV channels?
Unfortunately, you cannot get free TV channels. You can only get them by paying for a subscription or buying a digital antenna.