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The streamer’s guide: How to watch TV without cable

(and save money while you’re at it)

man streaming with headphones

Never miss your favorite show again - just stream it.

You've probably heard the term "streaming", but what does it mean exactly? Streaming refers to watching TV shows or movies via your Internet connection, usually through a streaming service (like Netflix or Disney+, to name a couple), as opposed to watching these programs on cable.

It may take some trial and error finding which subscriptions offer the best TV streaming services and have the programs you love and can't live without. At Verizon, you can manage your streaming service subscriptions all in one place with +play, meaning you can discover a world of subscription and savings when you explore our +play offers.

So, which streaming services are right for you, and how do you stream TV in the first place? Let's dive into all things streaming.

Streaming services and what to watch

There are many streaming services out there to choose from, so finding out which ones are right for you boils down to the kind of content and programming you want to watch. Many streaming services have flagship series exclusive to their platform, like Netflix's Stranger Things or Disney+'s The Mandalorian, while others congregate TV shows and movies from specific networks, like discovery+ (which covers a variety of TLC, Discovery and Animal Planet programs, plus lots more.) So, what does each service have to offer at a high-level? Let's take a look:

What to watch on Netflix

Netflix has a wide array of programming that's ever-changing, but some of its most popular series and films on the platform are always available, such as:

Stranger Things - When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.

Wednesday - Smart, sarcastic and a little dead inside, Wednesday Addams investigates a murder spree while making new friends — and foes — at Nevermore Academy.

Cobra Kai - Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the "Karate Kid" films.

Bridgerton - The eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton family look for love and happiness in London high society. Inspired by Julia Quinn's bestselling novels.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery - World-famous detective Benoit Blanc heads to Greece to peel back the layers of a mystery surrounding a tech billionaire and his eclectic crew of friends.

Slumberland - Joined by a larger-than-life outlaw, a daring young orphan journeys through a land of dreams to find a precious pearl that will grant her greatest wish.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio - Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro reinvents the classic story of a wooden puppet brought to life in this stunning stop-motion musical tale.

And many, many more. What's more, Netflix also offers tons of shows and movies from other networks and production companies, with a frequently refreshed lineup of classic shows, movies, and more available to browse.

What to watch on Disney+

There are many programs available on Disney+ and they're often changing, but here are some of the best shows and movies available on the platform currently:

The Mandalorian (Season 3) - The journeys of the Mandalorian through the Star Wars galaxy continue. Once a lone bounty hunter, Din Djarin has reunited with Grogu. Meanwhile, the New Republic struggles to lead the galaxy away from its dark history. The Mandalorian will cross paths with old allies and make new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together.

Voices Rising: The Music of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - After you stream Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, check out this series that explores its outstanding soundtrack, and gives viewers an inside look at all the music that went into the making of this award-nominated film.

The Proud Family: Louder & Prouder (Season 2) - The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder picks up the story of its central character, Penny Proud, and her iconic family: parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, and grandmother Suga Mama (and Puff!). By Penny's side is her loyal crew: Dijonay Jones, LaCienega Boulevardez, Zoey Howzer, Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins and Michael Collins.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Season 2) - This Star Wars series explores the 'Bad Batch' of elite and experimental clones as they make their way through an ever-changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars.

In addition to these many new titles, there are tons of other great movies and series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic to enjoy anytime on Disney+.

What to watch on Hulu

Hulu saves you from boredom with the freshest originals, and all-time favorite shows, hit movies, live sports and news, all in one place. Hulu is home to the greatest networks and studios like FX, ABC, Searchlight and 20th Century.

Stream FX's The Bear, ABC's Abbott Elementary and Hulu originals like The Handmaid's Tale and How I Met Your Father.

What to watch on ESPN+

ESPN+ has thousands of live events from the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, LaLiga, FA Cup, Bundesliga, Top Rank Boxing, PGA TOUR, college sports, and more. Plus, stream original series, studio shows, and access an extensive archive of on-demand content, including the entire 30 for 30 Library, select ESPN Films, and game replays. ESPN+ also allows subscribers to purchase UFC PPV events and stream Fight Nights.

ESPN+ content is available to stream in HD through the ESPN App on your favorite connected devices (living room devices, phone, tablet, computer, smart TV) and on ESPN+ also gives you access to exclusive fantasy sports tools and premium articles from some of the most respected voices in sports.

What to watch on discovery+

If you're a fan of reality or lifestyle networks under Warner Bros. Discovery like TLC, Food Network, and Animal Planet, you may want to subscribe to discovery+. With discovery+ you can watch your favorite reality TV series and documentaries, such as:

90 Day: The Single Life - Now single, 90 Day Fiance favorites are looking to find love while attempting to let go of baggage from their past.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives - Follow Guy Fieri on his cross-country roadtrips to visit some of America's most 'off the hook' restaurants.

Ghost Adventures - The Ghost Adventures crew - Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley - investigate terrifying tales of the paranormal as they travel to different haunted destinations.

Kendra Sells Hollywood - Kendra Wilkinson embarks on a new career in real estate with only eight weeks to land a spot on one of the most prestigious property firms in the world. She must rise above her old party-girl past to prove she's got what it takes to sell Hollywood.

… and many, many more! In addition to some of your favorite cable TV series, discovery+ also offers originals exclusive to the platform.

What to watch on HBO Max

If you enjoy premium content, HBO Max is the streaming app that offers best-in-class quality entertainment, delivering the greatest array of series, movies, and specials from the iconic brands of HBO, Warner Bros., and DC, as well as Max Originals and blockbuster films, including:

The White Lotus - This Emmy®-winning HBO Original follows the exploits of entitled guests and employees at exclusive White Lotus resorts around the world.

The Last of Us - Based on the critically acclaimed video game of the same name, this HBO Original takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job becomes a heartbreaking journey as they traverse what remains of the United States.

Black Adam - The world needed a hero, it got Black Adam. A spin-off from "Shazam!" centering on the film's anti-hero, Black Adam, is another tale from the DC Universe.

…and so many other watercooler titles like House of the DragonGame of ThronesSuccessionEuphoria and more.

What to watch on Paramount+

Paramount+ is A Mountain of Entertainment™! Stream groundbreaking original series like 1923Tulsa King, and Star Trek: Picard, along with the world's biggest live sports like UEFA Champions League and the NFL on CBS, family hits like PAW Patrol and SpongeBob SquarePants, and a mountain of movies, including the Oscar-nominated Top Gun: Maverick.

Even better, when you bundle Paramount+ with SHOWTIMEⓇ, you can stream even more original shows like YellowjacketsBillions and The Chi and movies like the Oscar-nominated Everything Everywhere All At Once.

AMC+ and other streaming services

That may seem like a lot of streaming services and content to choose from, but that's not all– you can also check out AMC+ to watch critically acclaimed dramas like Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and Mayfair Witches, as well as super-hit TV drama Mad Men, and beyond.

You can also add STARZ, Fox Nation, Lifetime Movie Club, and lots of other TV streaming services and channels with +play by Verizon– the choice is yours!

Again, this may seem like a lot to choose from– however, with +play you can get special offers on some of the most popular streaming services. Or, you can save on Disney by adding it on to select Verizon plans, which gives you access to Disney+ (No Ads), Hulu (With Ads), and ESPN+ (With Ads) for one flat rate.

What's more, +play allows you to manage your subscriptions all in one place if you purchase them through Verizon, so you can keep track of what you're paying for (and stop paying for services you don't use). This goes beyond just streaming, too– you can even manage Google Play Pass, Peloton App Membership (for new customers), and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with +play, meaning you can manage all your entertainment in one convenient area.

Other cable alternatives: FiosTV

Looking for other cable alternatives? At Verizon we also offer Fios TV– a TV service based on our 100% fiber optic network. With Fios TV, you can pick your perfect TV plan. And with no surcharges, broadcast, or regional sports network fees, the price is the price.

Fios TV allows you to select from multiple plans that allow you to choose which channels you want, and which you don't, so you only pay for what you want to watch. Check your availability for Fios TV here.

*+play access included for Verizon postpaid mobile, 5G Home, and LTE Home subscribers. All products and services sold on +play require a separate subscription or purchase. Eligibility requirements apply; some offers may not be available to you via +play. Activation and/or access to +play products and services occur outside of +play on a site provided by the seller. Add'l terms may apply.

Reviewed By: Verizon Editorial Team
Last Reviewed: 7.20.2023
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This content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Verizon is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.