Two men watching smart tv
Techsping/Arifur Rahman

Do I Need A Cable Box With A Smart TV?

Television watching has come a long way from the days of black-and-white broadcasting reliant on exterior antennas positioned just so to avoid static while viewing your favorite show.

New technologies and the internet have paved the way for new viewing experiences. With smart TVs that connect to the internet and a myriad of streaming services and platforms now ubiquitous in most households, do I need a cable box with a smart TV anymore?

No, a cable box is not necessary with a smart TV to view your favorite programs and movies. It mostly depends on your personal preferences and viewing habits.

Let’s explore your smart TV viewing options in this article.

Using Your Smart TV Without a Cable Box

Viewing your favorite shows, movies, and live television using your smart TV without a cable box or subscription has never been easier and more accessible.

All you need is a fast and reliable internet connection, be it Wi-Fi, broadband internet, or even an ethernet cable. Otherwise, you’ll end up with constant buffering and poor picture quality.

Smart TV Viewing Options Without a Cable Box

The beauty of a smart TV lies in its ability to connect to the internet, which gives you the ability to download apps and platforms that suit your needs without the need for a cable box or costly subscription.

Here are some of the most common ways to view your favorite programs without the need for a cable box:

  • Antenna
  • Live TV streaming
  • Free streaming platforms
  • Subscription platforms

Antenna – An Over-the-Air Option

While having an endless pool of on-demand content at your fingertips is no doubt convenient and virtually expected nowadays, old habits die hard and some of us may still enjoy the local channels for regional news and sports.

To avoid paying for live streaming services, you can install an HD antenna to your Smart TV and watch many of the channels available in your area, including public ones, such as PBS and PBS Kids.

Keep in mind, however, that you may have to adjust your antenna to get the best reception and as many channels as possible.

Live TV Streaming

Don’t want to deal with having to purchase, install, and readjust an antenna for live TV? Many streaming services, such as Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV, offer live TV streaming options at a monthly fee.

You’ll have access to a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and live-streaming programs, many of which can be found on cable channels.

Free Streaming Platforms

Are you still hoping to keep your TV-watching costs down? Not to worry! Many streaming apps, such as Roku, Pluto TV, Crackle, and Tubi, offer many free shows, movies, and live TV options at no cost.

 Some smart TVs come with their free streaming channels already installed, such as Samsung Smart TVs.

Do keep in mind, however, that free streaming platforms are ad-supported. This may be a small price to pay to keep your monthly entertainment bill low.

Subscription Platforms

Also referred to as Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services, subscription platforms offer access to a wide library of movies, TV shows, and different types of content for charge a monthly subscription.

These platforms also offer original programming exclusive to paying members. Such subscription platforms include Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

Many subscription platforms do have a limited number of members or devices they allow, and additional fees may be required to increase the number of users.

Final Thoughts

With their ability to connect to the internet, Smart TVs have revolutionized the way we enjoy our favorite TV shows and movies. Thanks to smart TVs, it is now possible to enjoy a wide variety of programs and channels without the need for a cable box or subscription to unwanted channels. It is now easier than ever to customize your viewing experience to your likes and interests.