DisableMyCable.com

Free and cheap TV without cable or satellite

Save Thousands of Dollars While Watching the TV Shows You Love

Jul 7, 2020

I’d like to help you save money by canceling cable TV and replacing it with free and cheap alternatives. It’s called “cord cutting” and the techniques I present in this site are completely legal!

The average cable customer spends $100 a month on cable. That’s $1,200 per year for the rest of your life, or about $60,000 in your lifetime! Why pay when you can watch many of the same shows for much less or free?

Part of the solution to the ridiculous cost of cable and satellite TV is to switch to FREE broadcast digital TV using an antenna like one of the ones below. If you live near or in a decent-sized metropolitan area, you should be able to get most of the network channels (ABC, CBS, NBS, Fox) plus PBS and local stations with an inexpensive indoor antenna.

Broadcast TV antennas that I have tested
Some of the TV antennas I have tested

You can also connect your TV to a device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV to get additional free and pay TV and movie services using your Internet connection. I explain all of this on DisableMyCable™.

Start with Free Broadcast Digital TV

Did you know that people in or near big cities can receive most of the major network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW), plus PBS and local stations in hi-def for free? It’s called broadcast digital TV. I was able to get thirty channels total in Providence, RI, and over 100 in Los Angeles, CA. It takes a little work to set up, but I’ll guide you through it.

To see which channels YOU can get using an antenna, click the big Station Finder button below and enter your zip code.

You will see a map of your area like the one to the right. Wait a few seconds for the colored list of stations to appear on the left. You should be able to pick up the green and yellow channels with a good indoor flat antenna. The ones in orange will probably require an outdoor antenna. The list is not exact but will give you a ballpark idea of the number of channels you should be able to get.

Finding TV Stations at DisableMyCable.com
The FCC’s Station Finder

If the stations you want are available, then keep going! If not, skip down to other options.

Test Your TV’s Reception Now – No Antenna Required!

If you have a modern flat-panel TV (the kind that you can hang on a wall), all you need is an antenna to get these channels, and you’ll be getting most of them in high-definition, with better picture quality than you got with cable!

If you don’t have an antenna right now, here is a quick-and-dirty way to test your TV to see if it will work:

For detailed instructions on how to hook up your antenna and configure your TV, go to the antenna setup page on this site!

If You Have an Old Analog Tube TV

Tube TV
Tube TV

If you have an old analog tube TV like the one above, you can still get free TV using an antenna.  You’ll need to get a converter box to do it.

My Favorite Indoor TV Antenna

A rooftop outdoor antenna will get you the most channels. For those of you who are not able to install a rooftop antenna, I’ve done extensive testing of indoor antennas to come up with the one which brings in the most channels. Read more about the indoor TV antenna I chose!

Mohu Leaf Antenna
The Mohu Leaf Indoor Antenna

How to Record Broadcast TV Shows

Many people ask me if they can record the shows from free broadcast TV.  The answer is a resounding “yes”!

If you love the Amazon family of products like the  Echo and Fire TV, I recommend the Fire TV Recast. If you don’t use Amazon products, I would recommend Tablo

How to Get Cable TV Channels Without Cable/Satellite

Using an antenna is great for getting your local stations plus the major networks and PBS. But what if you need certain cable TV channels like AMC, ESPN, or HGTV?

Happily, there are now more than a few companies offering live cable-TV-like streaming services over the Internet. Cost is a lot less than cable or satellite, and you can watch the shows on your computer, tablet, or phone, or on your TV using a streaming device.

One of my recommended streaming services is Sling TV (affiliate link), which has plans starting at $30 per month. You can get all of the channels below for $45 per month:

Sling TV Orange and Blue Plan Channels
Sling TV Orange and Blue Plan Channels (affiliate link)

So, by using an antenna to get the networks and local channels for free, combined with a low-cost streaming service like Sling TV or Philo TV, you have an impressive package of channels for a fraction of the cost of cable! And there is no contract, and no dealing with the cable company!

If you can’t get the networks using an antenna, don’t fret, there are services that offer live TV channels for you. For more information on all of the options, check out my page on streaming services.

My Favorite Way to Watch Streaming Services on My TV

If you want to watch streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Sling TV on your TV, you’ll need to get a streaming media player. These connect to your TV and require an Internet connection.

Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra

There are many streaming devices available, including Amazon Fire TVApple TV, and Chromecast. But the one that I am recommending for most people is Roku. It offers the most channels, voice search across many content providers, and headphone output, all at a reasonable price. Read my full Roku review here.

Watch TV and Movies on Your Computer for FREE

The Internet Remote Control: Free TV and Movies Online
My links to free movies, TV, and video online

People have asked me for an easy way to watch their favorite TV shows on the Internet. Here it is: your Free Internet Video Links! I’ve assembled the best sources of free TV on the Internet and put them on one easy-to-use page – you Internet “Remote Control”!

Note, these sites mostly work on desktop and laptop computers, not phones or tablets.

My Story

I was a loyal cable TV customer for all of my adult life, paying about $34/month for basic cable (which sounds ludicrously cheap now). Then I moved to a different city where the cost was $52/month for basic cable. I paid it and figured, “well, that’s just the cost of getting TV”. More and more, however, I realized that I wasn’t getting good TV. I was just surfing through the channels over and over looking for good TV. Then, my 6-month “introductory cable rate” ended and my cable bill went up to $57/month. Sure, it was only a few dollars more, but that was the last straw. After a few months of putting up with the higher cost and lack of good shows, I decided to “Disable My Cable” and try broadcast digital TV. The first thing I tried was an old rabbit-ear antenna that I had from the pre-digital TV days… Read the rest of my story here.

Press

DisableMyCable.com has been featured in many news publications and websites including these:

The Washington Post
AARP
WFMY CBS 2
WikiHow
KIDY Fox West Texas
Vox
WCNC NBC
WATN ABC 24

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I try to answer every question. If you have a reception question, please leave your zip code.

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Michael McCall
Michael McCall
3 months ago

Hey Brian!
I was wondering, I am thinking about switching to Sling, and was wanting to know if there is an external hard drive that will work with Slings cable-oriented channels? I am asking because I am a huge auto racing fan and would like to record and keep a whole season to watch in the off-season to tie me over till the next one. Thank you for your time and attention. Michael :)

Nathan.kinard
Nathan.kinard
3 months ago

Hi please send me an disable cable box please thank you and have an bless day and it tv free send that to

Glen Johnson Jr.
Glen Johnson Jr.
3 months ago

I’m an high functioning autism 25 years old man, who are currently living with my parents house, and going to be move in an apartment soon. How do I watch TV without cable or satellite while living in an the apartment?

Jeff Carbine
Jeff Carbine
6 months ago

I loved when you said that if you live near or in a decent-sized metropolitan area, you should be able to get most of the network channels (ABC, CBS, NBS, Fox) plus PBS and local stations with an inexpensive indoor antenna. We have had cable tv connections for five years. Just yesterday, we are noticed that our subscription has been terminated. Maybe it’s time to apply for a new cable tv provider. I will follow your advice.

Amanda Allen
Amanda Allen
3 years ago

Hello..
I just had direct TV out in my home. I can afford only one box at this time, however, I really want to watch TV in my bedroom. What do you suggest I use to also get TV in my room? I watch HIST, TLC, DIScovery, Investigation Dis, Tru Tv…
THANKS!

Brian
3 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Allen

Hi Amanda,

With cable and satellite, you’re kind of stuck; you’ll have to pay for a separate receiver for each TV. Generally they are at least $100 to buy and even more to rent over the long run.

These Internet streaming services offer a lot of the same channels for less:
https://www.disablemycable.com/streaming-services/

These require a streaming box such as a Roku, which starts at $29.95.

Best,
Brian

Chaz
Chaz
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Hello

Ugo
Ugo
3 years ago

Let’s do it

Ugo
Ugo
3 years ago
Reply to  Ugo

what

joe
joe
3 years ago

I want to receive OTA independent stations that are out of range of my external antenna with a preamp. These stations do not have an online service or feed. Is there any way to watch these stations. A new antenna isn’t the answer as the old one is already a long range antenna. I am wanting to watch UHF stations 80 to 120 miles away over flat terrain.

Brian
3 years ago
Reply to  joe

Hi Joe,

I don’t know of a solution; in fact, getting UHF signals from that far away may be nearly impossible due to the curvature of the earth. Check out this article to better estimate the transmitter’s range:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/estimate-tv-reception/

Best,
Brian

Christine George
Christine George
3 years ago

I found this site name in AARP magazine. So glad I did. I am preparing to start using my tv as my PC monitor allowing me to stream content on a bigger screen. Thank you for all the advice about the local antenna. I got 6 green hits for local stations only 6 miles away so that part should be ok. Here’s my question. As a member of Amazon Prime already, do I need Fire TV also? And if I understand correctly, the stick or the box is simply a choice. Thank you for making all this understandable.

Brian
3 years ago

Hi Christine,

I’m so glad you found my site and that it was useful to you!

Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV have the Amazon app on them, so you could get any one of them to watch Amazon Prime on your TV. I would probably go with a Roku due to the uncertainties of getting YouTube on Fire TV. If that doesn’t matter to you, then either is fine.

Regarding the Amazon Fire TV stick, vs. the “box”, the box has 4K whereas the stick does not. If your TV is not 4K, then you can go with the stick.

Best,
Brian

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