There are several ways you can watch A&E without cable. Using the info contained in this guide, you can save money on your cable bill while still retaining access to all of A&E’s premium shows.
- 1 How To Watch A&E Live Without Cable
- 2 Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch A&E Without Cable
How To Watch A&E Live Without Cable
The best way to watch A&E without cable is to subscribe to a “skinny bundle” cable alternative.
Skinny bundle services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now allow users to watch A&E and other channels live without a cable contract – and for a reasonable price.
At the moment, there are 4 main streaming services which offer A&E content.
DirecTV Now provides you with a total of 60+ cable channels, even with their lowest-tier, $35/month “Live A Little” cable package.
With DirecTV Now, you get access to not only A&E but also other top cable networks such as FX and FXX, TBS, TNT, Spike, USA Network, and AMC. Other channels include a selection of various cable news channels, FOX sports local networks, and ESPN.
For the price, no other streaming service offers a better, more comprehensive selection of cable channels. However, there are some serious issues with DirecTV’s service that may make you want to consider an alternative service.
Our biggest problem with DirecTV Now is that there is absolutely no DVR support. You can’t even pay for a DVR upgrade. There just isn’t one. This is a huge problem because every other service on our list offers some kind of cloud-based DVR, and you should expect that to be offered as part of any streaming package.
Even if you prefer watching live TV, a DVR is great to have. While DirecTV has started offering a beta DVR program, it’s only open to a small percentage of subscribers. Not only that, the DVR will not be publicly available to subscribers until sometime in 2018.
DirecTV’s simultaneous streaming feature is also not that great. You can only stream on 2 devices at once. This is lower than alternative streaming services like Sling TV Blue. When you combine this with the fact that there is no DVR, you’re bound to run into some issues when you’re trying to stream your favorite A&E shows.
There are good things about DirecTV Now, though. As we mentioned, you do get excellent channel coverage with DirecTV Now. Streaming quality is also usually very consistent.
Platform support is pretty good, too. You can watch DirecTV Now on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast as well as all iOS/Android devices and web browsers. Currently, there are no apps for smart TVs or gaming consoles of any kind.
DirecTV Now gives you access to a large variety of great channels at a reasonable price. However, because it lacks a DVR, and it only allows you to stream on 2 devices at once, it’s a bit hard for us to recommend it as the best way to watch A&E without cable. You just don’t get enough for your $35/month subscription fee.
However, there is an exception. If you are an AT&T Unlimited mobile subscriber, you can get the “Live A Little” package for only $20/month. This is a pretty significant discount. If you don’t mind missing out on a DVR, it’s probably worth it for AT&T subscribers.
If you’re interested in trying out this service, you can head to DirecTV Now for a 7-day free trial, and see if it’s right for you.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to stream A&E without cable, you’ve found it – Sling TV is definitely the best option. A&E is available as part of both the Sling Orange package, which costs $20/month, and the Sling Orange package, which costs $25/month.
The Orange package includes 30 total channels, depending on your area. With Orange, you get A&E, as well as other cable channels like AMC, TBS, TNS, Comedy Central, IFC, and ESPN. You can see more with our full channel breakdown.
At a mere $20/month, Sling Orange is one of the cheapests way to watch A&E without cable. However, there is one major problem that may make you reconsider subscribing.
You can only watch Sling channels on a single device with a Sling Orange package. You can’t share your account with any friends or family members. Or in other words: if you stream, nobody else can.
However, you can avoid this problem by subscribing to Sling Blue. There is a lot of channel overlap between Sling Blue and Sling Orange. However, Sling Blue includes A&E, as well as a few networks that are missing from Orange, such as USA Network, Fox Sports channels, and Bravo.
Sling Blue allows you to stream on 3 devices simultaneously. This places it ahead of services like DirecTV Now and fuboTV.
You can even combine the Blue + Orange packages together for $40/month. This will give you a more complete list of cable channels, and allow you to stream to a total of 4 devices at once (3 devices for Blue channels, 1 device for Orange channels).
But there is a drawback of Sling TV. It doesn’t come with a cloud DVR included. You have to pay an extra $5/month to get DVR service. That means the true cost of the service is $25 or $30 a month for Orange and Blue, respectively.
The DVR is pretty good, even though it costs extra. You get 50 total hours of cloud storage, and your content never expires. However, some networks, like Disney-owned ESPN, block DVR functionality altogether.
Platform support for Sling TV is pretty good. You can watch it on Amazon Fire devices, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Android/iOS devices. Other supported devices include LG and Samsung Smart TVs, the Xbox One, and all modern web browsers.
For $20, you can subscribe to Sling Orange, and watch A&E live on a single device without a DVR. For $30, you can get A&E, as well as a good DVR, and simultaneous streaming on 3 devices at once.
Either way you slice it, this is a good deal. Sling TV is definitely one of our top picks for watching A&E without cable. Check out a free 7-day trial of Sling TV, and see if you like the service.
fuboTV began as a streaming service that primarily focused on soccer and international sports. While you still get quite a few sports networks with fuboTV, they have shifted their business model somewhat.
Today, fuboTV offers quite a few popular cable channels, including A&E, in their $39.99 skinny bundle. A subscription gives you access to a total of 74+ channels. You’ll get A&E, as well as other popular cable networks like FX/FXX, SyFy, E! and the USA Network.
Right now you can subscribe to fuboTV for $19.99/month for a total of 2 months, but after this promotion ends you’ll be on the hook for the full $39.99/month subscription price. As far as price goes, fuboTV is tied with Hulu With Live TV for the most expensive option on our list.
Unless you’re a big sports fan, fuboTV isn’t really worth the money. You don’t get as many entertainment channels as other picks on our list.
However, if you love soccer, rugby, and other sports, fuboTV may be worth the price of entry. With fuboTV, you can get channels like beIN Sports which are not available in any other streaming packages.
A cloud-based DVR is included in the price of entry, but it is somewhat limited compared to other choices on our list. You only get 10 show “slots” or 30 hours of programming time. Your shows will be overwritten automatically if you try to record when you’re out of space.
You can also only stream on 2 devices at once with fuboTV. Given that the service costs quite a bit more than Sling TV Blue – which offers more simultaneous streams for a lower price – this is disappointing.
On the other hand, if you love sports you may want to give fuboTV a spin. With fuboTV, you get dozens of sport-specific channels.
fuboTV also has good app support. You can stream fuboTV in your web browser, on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV devices, as well as modern iOS/Android devices. There are no apps for gaming consoles, though.
Don’t choose fuboTV unless you’re a big sports fan. The $39.99/month price is just too much unless you’re interested in its sports content. If you only want to watch A&E, there are much better choices on our list.
Give fuboTV a spin with a free 7-day trial and see for yourself if it’s worth the money!
Hulu With Live TV, like fuboTV, only offers one package of channels. For $39.99/month, you get a subscription to a total of 55+ cable channels. This includes A&E as well as other top cable networks such as FX, FXX, TBS, USA Network, SyFy, and TNT. The only major channel that is missing is AMC – which is not surprising, given that Hulu and AMC were publicly feuding earlier in the year.
Hulu With Live TV is still in beta, but is already becoming one of the top cable alternatives. The main reason for this is that your Hulu With Live TV subscription also includes a base Hulu subscription. This means you can access all of the TV shows, movies, and Hulu Originals available on the website, for no added cost.
The DVR is another one of the good points of the service. It’s better than the FuboTV and Sling TV DVR. You can record up to 50 hours of total content, with no time restrictions or blocked channels. If you pay an additional $14.99 for the Enhanced DVR package, you can get 100 hours of storage.
Simultaneous streaming is a bit limited by default. You only can stream on 2 devices at once. This is the same as DirecTV Now and fuboTV. However, you can opt to pay an additional $14.99/monthly fee for an “Unlimited Screens” package. With Unlimited Screens, you can stream on 3 devices outside your home network, and on unlimited devices within your WiFi network.
If you want, you can subscribe to both the Enhanced DVR and Unlimited Screens package for a single $19.99/month fee. If you have a large family and need to watch on multiple devices, and require a lot of DVR storage space, it may be worth the investment.
Hulu With Live TV began with limited device support, but it has improved throughout the beta program. Today, you can stream in your web browser, on Apple TVs, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire devices, and all iOS/Android devices. Some Samsung Smart TVs are also supported, as are all Microsoft Xbox consoles.
If you are interested in both Hulu on-demand content and watching A&E live, Hulu with Live TV is a great deal. You get a great package of channels, as well as a fantastic DVR – and access to the entire library of Hulu on-demand content. However, if you don’t like Hulu’s on-demand content, a cheaper option like Sling Orange or Sling Blue may make more sense.
Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch A&E Without Cable
The cheapest way to watch A&E without cable
Sling TV wins this category. You can get A&E for just $20/month with the Sling Orange package, or $25/month with the Blue package. Even with the limitations of Sling TV, and the need to purchase DVR service separately, it’s one of the best ways to watch A&E without cable on the cheap.
If you are an AT&T Unlimited subscriber, you can get DirecTV Now for $20/month, which may make it a viable alternative.
Our top overall pick
Hulu With Live TV has the best combination of features and available cable channels. It’s definitely our top overall pick. You get a great DVR, as well as access to the entire library of Hulu content.
However, Sling TV Blue with a DVR is also a viable option. For $30/month, you get quite a few cable channels – though not as many as with Hulu – as well as a good DVR, and 3-device simultaneous streaming.