Does A Smart TV Spectrum Need A Cable Box
When it comes to traditional cable TV connections, a cable box is a must. The same applies to Spectrum service. Whichever TV set you want to get your entertainment from, you need to connect 4567 it to a digital cable box. When subscribing to a Spectrum packages, youll do well if you sign up for their devices.
How Do Smart TVs Connect To The Internet
A smart TV uses your home network to provide streaming video and services on your TV, and smart TVs use wired Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi to stay connected. Most current TVs support 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but watch for older models, which may still use the older 802.11n standard. Some of the latest models will also support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard , but it’s still pretty rare.
We have a guide to optimizing your home Wi-Fi for streaming, whether it’s adjusting your router placement, tweaking settings or just opting for a wired connection.
If your smart TV isn’t getting a strong enough wireless signal, there are a few ways to remedy the problem. If you’re due for an upgrade, any model on our best Wi-Fi routers list will do the trick, even the budget-friendly models.
Mesh routers that extend coverage throughout a home provide another option, and are a great choice for homes where there are multiple TVs, and not all of them near your main router. The Nest WiFi and Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 are two such models that, in our tests, have proved to be excellent solutions for people trying to cover a large home with Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi range extenders are also available from companies such as Netgear, but these devices require some time and patience to set up and install.
Can I Use My Smart TV With Amazon Alexa Or Google Home
The biggest trend in smart home technology is the smart speaker, a speaker with built in microphone and hardware to run a voice-enabled assistant. Amazon made the first big splash here with the and other Alexa-enabled devices, but Google’s own Google Assistant has made strides in products like the . And Apple’s HomePod puts Siri into a similar form factor.
The great news is that these devices will usually work with most smart TVs, and compatibility is improving all the time as new software updates add capability to existing smart TVs. As it stands, all of the major TV manufacturers have smart speaker compatibility with at least one of the three main smart assistant platforms . These options often require using an additional device, such as a smart speaker or mobile device, but it will give you a way to control your TV and smart devices with the convenience of simple speech.
Many of the smart TVs on the market now have these voice assistants built in. Google Assistant can be found in Android TVs from Sony and Hisense. Amazon Alexa is now offered Amazon Fire Edition TVs as well, and Sony has announced compatibility with a new Amazon Alexa app for Android TV. Even better, smart TVs from LG and Samsung now have both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built in.
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How Can I Watch My Favorite Shows
The best way to watch your favorite shows on a smart TV is by downloading the streaming service app.
Most popular channels have these apps now, and it only takes a few minutes or less to download.
This will help you catch any of the popular shows that you used to enjoy with a cable package without paying for a service that you dont use.
It is also possible to download streaming apps, as well.
These are not attached to any of your cable channels but can provide new shows, movies, and entertainment.
Watch Local Channels Online
You may be able to watch your local channels online from your computer if you have Internet access.
Big local stations such as:
Often offer free online viewing of the shows they air. However, the ability to live stream shows on national networks such as these may or may not be available to you depending on different factors.
For instance, when I tried to watch live shows on ABC from my home computer, the site told me that live streaming wasnt available in my area.
Other sites, such as CBS, offer free viewing of some shows as well as a live streaming service that allows you to watch all local CBS shows from your computer at home.
Paramount+ , for example, offers live streaming of their channel starting at $4.99 per month. However, the service may or may not be available in your area.
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Download A Mobile App
Many local stations offer mobile apps for watching local TV shows on your smartphone or other mobile devices for free.
CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW stations all offer mobile apps that allow you to stream local TV shows on your mobile app without the need for a subscription or a cable or satellite hookup.
Its important to note that each app works a bit differently. The CBS app allows viewers to see full episodes of their favorite CBS shows on-demand the day after they air.
However, if you want access to live streaming or to their full archives, youll have to pay for their Paramount+ package which I talked about earlier.
Paramount+ has packages starting at $4.99 per month.
The ABC App
The ABC app offers archive viewing and live stream viewing for free, however in some larger markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City you need to have a cable or satellite provider to do so.
The NBC App
The NBC app offers free viewing of recent episodes of some new shows. They also offer some older episodes and shows from your mobile device.
While live streaming and some recent episodes require mobile viewers to have a satellite or cable provider.
The Fox App
The Fox app allows you to stream most shows the day after the original airing date. However, more selections and live streaming are available with your participating TV provider account.
The CW App
And theres not an option to view more if you have a TV subscription provider.
Watch Local Channels On Roku And Amazon Fire TV
Obviously, if you chose to use Hulu, YouTube TV, or other live TV streaming service to watch your local broadcast channels, you can download the app to your streaming device and watch local TV. However, if you decided to go with a TV antenna, we need to go into more detail.
If you have a Roku TV instead of the standalone Roku device, a TV Antenna Roku app reads input from the coaxial port on your Roku TV back. Connect your TV antenna to the port and turn on the TV Antenna app. You will have access to a program guide and all the channels your antenna receives. Amazon Fire Smart TVs have similar functionality.
If you dont have a Roku TV but a Roku device, you may still be able to use an antenna. However, you will need some additional hardware. Here are two solutions.
Tablo DVR This is a DVR for your TV antenna. Your antenna plugs into Tablo DVR, and the Tablo plugs into your home router. From there, you can use the Roku table app to manage the DVR, watch live TV, and set recordings. Read more in our review of DVRs for your TV Antenna.
HDHomeRun Connect Duo This device is not a DVR. It connects to your router via ethernet. You then connect a TV antenna to the HDHomeRun, and the TV signal is available on your home network through the HD HomeRun Roku app. This device is .
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Streaming Service To Watch TV For Free
Before you go searching for a free streaming service, many broadcasters release episodes on their own websites. If you are a fan of a certain channel, visit their site and see if they have posted your favorite TV show.
Some of these shows may be a little behind their regularly broadcasted time schedule but you will still be able to watch for free on any device.
If your favorite channel doesnt post their episodes on their site, there are many streaming services that you can access for free. These services include:
Subscribe To Youtube TV
A lot of people arent aware that YouTube has launched its own TV-like streaming service. Its called YouTube TV and it may be one of the best options out there right now if youre looking for live local channels without cable.
YouTube TV is available today in over 80 metro areas around the U.S., covering over 85% of the country. This includes all four major metros areas , as well as cities like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle and more.
Interestingly enough, they are also offering a free 7-day trial that may be worth checking out if you want to see how it works.
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Does A Smart TV Need A Cable Box Or Broadband
If you want to continue receiving the same channels you have, then the answer is yes: You still need a cable or satellite box, because no other option will deliver the same channels and stations in the same way.
However, whether or not you need to stick with a paid subscription in order to keep getting the shows you want to watch is another question. Many channels offer their own streaming apps, and popular shows can often also be found on services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
As for the question of broadband, then the answer is unequivocally yes. If you want to take advantage of any connected apps and services anything that makes the smart TV smart you’ll need an internet connection. As for what speeds you need, it will vary according to your intended use, but the following guidelines will help.
To stream video in DVD quality, at less than 1080p resolution, you’ll need a minimum speed of 3 Mbps. For Full HD, at 1080p, you’ll need 5 Mbps or 6 Mbps .
But if you want to stream in 4K, the demands are much steeper: Hulu suggests a minimum bandwidth of 16 Mbps, while Netflix recommends “A steady internet connection speed of 25 megabits per second or higher.”
Install A TV Antenna For Local Channels
One way to get around the high cost of local networks on streaming is to use an antenna. To qualify as a television, and not a monitor, a display needs to have an over-the-air tuner built-in, so you can plug in an antenna and watch broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS. Reception varies widely depending on where you live, however, and unless you buy an antenna DVR like the Fire TV Recast, AirTV or TiVo Bolt OTA, you’re restricted to live-only viewing.
Over-the-air antennas are affordable and easy to install.
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How To Get TV Reception Without Cable Or Antenna
It is easy to get TV reception without cable or antenna because most of the channels even if pay channels are going live streaming. So the people may go live streaming of popular channels. In your cable connection, you dont surely like all channels. So it is really convenient to choose the channels that you prefer watching and you can watch according to your priority. However, getting TV reception without cable or antenna can be possible in two ways. These ways are-
You Can Still Stream On An Old TV Without An Hdmi Port
If you have an older SD TV without HDMI ports, you can still stream with the right equipment. Roku is the only streaming device manufacturer that makes a device that works with the red, yellow and white composite jacks found on older TVs.
Additionally, you can also purchase an HDMI to RCA adapter to convert your TV. This lets you use any streaming device you want, but there have been complaints about this not working very well with streaming services. We recommend going with the Roku if you have an older TV.
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When Do I Want To Watch TV
Something to keep in mind is that not all of these alternatives will have the latest and greatest shows. So, if you want to avoid spoilers and keep up with your friends who have still have cable, youll want to get something like Hulu that offers new shows right after they air on cable vs Netflix, where you have to wait until the entire season is over and thats if they acquire the rights to the show.
In my experience, Hulu is better for newer TV shows from cable and Netflix is better for older content, like shows that are no longer airing on cable. Both also have a good variety of original content to choose from too.
Mixing Matching And Prioritizing: How To Watch TV Without Cable Using The Above Solutions
As we said in our introduction, cord cutting is the easiest thing in the world: just cancel cable! It’s replacing the content that gets tricky. And part of what makes it tricky is that pesky truth that a lot of our peers in the cord cutting media would prefer to ignore. We’ll say it again: if you want every channel that cable offers in exactly the way that they offer it, you should not cut the cord. When we explain how to watch TV without cable, we explain how to watch certain channels for free, and others for less, and some shows and movies on demand. What we’re not saying is that you can watch every cable channel you used to get for less without cable. We’re simply giving you to tools to replace a whole bunch of stuff, plus gain some new content and perks. It’s up to you to decide what to do with that!
Cord cutting is, ultimately, a budgeting decision. It’s about looking at big, dumb, overpriced cable and deciding it’s not worth it. But what you think is worth it is up to you and only you. If you want to cancel cable and replace it with nothing and live in a cabin in the woods, that’s cord cutting. If you decide to replace cable with Netflix and an over-the-air antenna because you like live broadcast television and are willing to replace live network TV with on-demand network TV shows, well, that’s cord cutting, too. And if you replace cable with a huge streaming bundle that has just as many channels as your old cable service did, yes, that’s cord cutting, too.
Which Streaming Services Work On My Smart TV
Most streaming services will work with your smart TV. Whether you want to use Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, or one of the options available on your local cable network, youll have the option.
You can choose which apps to add to the smart TV, and most have no limits on the type or how many apps you choose to use.
Most smart TVs will be compatible with all of them. If you can reach your streaming apps online using your computer, you will be able to reach them on your smart TV once connected to your wireless network.
Do A Trial Run Before You Cut The Cord For Good
Cutting the cable cord can save you a lot of money but you’ll need to do some planning to make the transition as painless as possible. It pays to get all your streaming ducks in a row before you make that final fateful call to your cable provider.
Go through your checklist and figure out which services you need to subscribe to and which devices you’ll need to get. Install everything on your main TV, unplug your cable box and get used to using streaming instead. Familiarize yourself first, then move on to helping other members of your household.
Chances are you’ll experience some bumps along the way. The menu systems on some streaming services are different, the remote controls on devices are different, even the lack of channel numbers and need to use search can be tough to grok. Give it time and patience, however, and it will be fine.
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How To Watch TV Without Cable
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Approximately 10 percent of American TV patrons have canceled cable TV to reduce household costs, and statistics show the number of people cutting the cable cord doubles every year. If you are tired of surfing through hundreds of channels and paying high subscription fees, examine your current TV usage, buy a streaming device and opt for media streaming from your TV or computer.
Use A Live Streaming Service
Live streaming services such as DIRECTV Now and YouTube TV stream nearly all the same TV channels you get in a cable package for around $40 per month. And if youre really looking to save, skinny bundles from companies such as Philo and Sling start as low as $16.
Youll still have to pay for internet through a traditional internet service provider, but in most cases, switching to a live streaming service will save you about $50 per month.
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