With more people streaming TV, I’m encountered some confusion from people when attempting to watch live cable channels on their Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and other streaming devices. This confusion stems from people downloading cable channel apps, known as TV Everywhere Apps, to their Roku or other streaming devices. They download a channel app like MTV, start it, and then are asked for a TV provider login. Then they think, “What? Why did I buy a Roku if I still need a cable provider?” The good news is, you don’t need a cable provider to watch cable channels on your streaming device. This article will teach you how to watch your favorite cable channels on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, and more.
You Don’t Need the Channel App
The first thing many of us do when we are new to streaming live TV is download the Channel app for the network we want. These channel apps are called TV Everywhere apps. They were created as an initiative by cable companies to compete with the threat of cord-cutting. These apps require users to authenticate themselves as a subscriber to the channel through a paid TV provider. You don’t need these apps to watch these channels. You can watch all your favorite cable channels using a live TV streaming service. However, if you want to use the TV Everywhere app, a live tv streaming service subscriber’s credentials can unlock many TV Everywhere apps.
How To Watch Cable Channels on a Streaming Device
So which live TV streaming services are available to watch cable channels on a Roku or Roku-like device? There are over a half dozen available on the market, including Hulu Live TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, Philo, Vidgo, and DIRECTV STREAM Now. All you need to do is subscribe to the service and download the streaming service app to your device.
These apps have an on-screen guide with all the channels available. You can flip through the channels and watch shows just as if you have cable. Most include a cloud DVR for recording shows, on-demand, and other features.
Channels Available on these Services
The list below links to our sites channel listing for these streaming services:
- Hulu Live Channel List
- YouTube TV Channel List
- Philo TV Channel List
- fuboTV Channel List
- Vidgo Channel List
- Sling TV Channel List
- DIRECTV STREAM Now Channel list
TV Streaming Service Overview
I’ll link the in-depth review of each TV streaming service at the end of this section. However, I wanted to provide a high-level overview of each of these Live TV Streaming Services. These services don’t force you into a contract so that you can cancel any time without penalty. You can even cancel within their free trial period and not be charged at all.
Philo is the most affordable live streaming service on the market at $25. The current channel lineup offers favorites like A&E, AMC, BBC America, Comedy Central, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, LifeTime, Nick, History, TLC, and more. That price even includes a Cloud DVR, among other features. Try their 1-week free trial.
Hulu Live TV offers both a Live TV streaming service and a back catalog of movies and TV. The streaming quality is one of the best around. Hulu provides over 60 channels and the live stream of local ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox stations in nearly all US markets with a cloud DVR. You can see all the channels offered in your area by entering your zip code on this Hulu Page.
Hulu Live TV supports Roku, Fire TV Devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and more.
Vidgo is a newer Streaming service that offers fairly competitive pricing over other live streaming services. Vidgo offers four different channel packages with a cloud DVR. Each Vidgo channel plan provides a 3-day free trial.
Vidgo supports Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV.
Sling TV is a streaming service that also offers live TV over the internet. Sling TV provides a free trial membership to try out their service. The service works on most streaming devices, and Sling also offers a cloud DVR. For $40 a month, subscribers will have access to AMC, History Channel, Disney, A&E, Epix, IFC, Lifetime, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, CNN, and more. There are multiple channel packages so be sure to check out the review (linked in the list at the end of the article)
Sling support Android and iOS devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Nexus player, Xbox One, 4th Generation Apple TV, Chromecast, and more.
FuboTV is a live online streaming service that specializes in live sports while still offering pay-TV channels like A&E, Bravo, The Weather Channel, and more. They offer a Cloud DVR with its base channel service. They also provide live streaming of Fox, NBC, and CBS is some local markets. Channel plans start at $74.99. The service offers a 1-week free trial.
FuboTV supports Roku, Fire TV Devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and more.
YouTube TV isn’t just for “YouTubers” anymore. Google now offers a YouTube TV live streaming service. The service offers just about every major cable TV channel. It even includes live streaming of ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS. Other features include six profiles, three simultaneous streams, and a personal cloud DVR. All this comes with a price tag of $72.99 per month.
YouTube TV supports Roku, Android, iOS (includes airplay to Apple TV), Chromecasts/Chromecast-compatible TVs, and more.
DIRECTV STREAM NOW (Formerly DIRECTV NOW) is a streaming service from AT&T that offers live TV over the internet from networks you typically receive with a cable bundle. The service costs $55 per month. You can check out everything this service offers by taking advantage of their 7-day free trial
DIRECTV STREAM NOW supports Apple TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and most modern web browsers.
We cover more in-depth information in the individual review guides below:
- Hulu TV Review
- fuboTV Review
- Philo Review
- Vidgo Review
- DIRECTV STREAM NOW Review
- Sling TV Review
- YouTube TV Review
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