The Walking Dead is only behind Game of Thrones as the most popular show in America.The show is AMC’s most highly-rated program of all time and in October it entered its 8th season.
Whether you want to watch live episodes of Season 8 or just catch up on past seasons of the show, you’re in the right place. Here’s how to watch The Walking Dead without cable.
- 1 Watching The Walking Dead Live on AMC
- 2 Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch The Walking Dead Live
- 3 Watching Past Seasons of The Walking Dead On-Demand
- 4 Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch The Walking Dead On Demand
Watching The Walking Dead Live on AMC
If you’re all caught up on The Walking Dead and want to watch each episode as it airs, you have several options.
DirecTV Now is a viable way to stream The Walking Dead online without a cable subscription, but that’s about all it does.
DirecTV Now lacks many features that could distinguish it from other picks on our list, so there’s little about it that we would recommend.
It’s less expensive than PlayStation Vue and on-par with YouTube TV at $35/month. Only Sling TV is cheaper, at $20/month. This is a decent price, but DirecTV lacks DVR support entirely. Every other pick on this list at least provides a DVR option.
Unless you’re able to watch each and every episode of The Walking Dead right when it airs, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up with the show without a DVR. DirecTV promises DVR service sometime in 2018, but that’s going to be too late if you want to watch The Walking Dead as new episodes are aired.
DirecTV Now is also the most restrictive option when it comes to simultaneous device streaming. You’re limited to streaming only on 2 devices at once. Only Sling Orange offers fewer simultaneous streams.
Sling TV is the cheapest way to watch The Walking Dead live without cable. For just $20 a month with the Orange package, or $25 a month with the Blue package, you can watch the newest episodes of The Walking Dead live as they air on AMC.
Sling TV even offers a few on-demand episodes of the show, but these are limited to the most recently-aired episodes. However, Sling TV is not a perfect method for watching The Walking Dead without cable.
First, Sling TV doesn’t include a DVR in either of its base subscription packages. You’ll have to pay an extra $5/month for a 50-hour cloud DVR service.
Unless you’re able to sit down in front of your TV every Sunday at 9PM to watch the latest episode, you’ll definitely want to invest in a DVR subscription, so the true cost is bumped up to to $25 for the Orange package, or $30/month for the Blue package.
Second, Sling TV Orange plans are limited to streaming on only 1 device at a time. You’ll need to pay for a $25 Sling TV Blue plan to stream on 3 simultaneous devices.
Finally, Sling TV is not a great overall choice for watching other cable networks. It doesn’t support some major streaming devices such as gaming consoles, and its pricing tier scheme is confusing and difficult to understand, as we discussed in our full Sling TV review.
If all you’re interested in is the cheapest method of watching The Walking Dead Live, Sling TV is a good choice for $20/month. Everyone else should probably choose a different service, such as PlayStation VUE or YouTube TV.
If money’s no object, PlayStation VUE is the best way to watch The Walking Dead without cable. It’s the priciest streaming service on this list. To access AMC live streams, you’ll pay $39.99 for an “Access” subscription.
However, there are several reasons that PlayStation VUE is worth ponying up the extra cash. Firstly, it offers up to 5 simultaneous streams within your home WiFi network. Most streaming services provide 2-3 simultaneous streams at most – and Sling Orange plans allow only one device to stream content at a time.
PlayStation VUE also offers an unlimited DVR at no extra cost. You can record as many episodes of The Walking Dead as you want. However, your recordings are deleted after 28 days, so you’ll want to make sure you keep up with the show as it airs.
You can also get a 5 day trial to see if you like the service. After you enroll, you can cancel at any time.
Playstation VUE is available on all major streaming platforms with the exception of Microsoft Xbox consoles. Support includes iOS and Android devices, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, as well as PlayStation consoles.
YouTube TV would be, hands-down, our top pick for the best way to watch The Walking Dead without cable – if not for a couple of issues.
First, despite a recent expansion, YouTube TV is not yet available in every region of America. YouTube TV also still lacks support for streaming devices like Apple TV, gaming consoles, Roku, and Amazon Fire Stick. While Google has said that they will be implementing support for these devices in the future, their timeframe for implementation remains vague and unclear.
Still, if YouTube TV is available in your region and you have a Chromecast, iOS or Android device or a compatible Android Smart TV, we think that YouTube TV is the best choice for watching The Walking Dead without cable. The primary reason: the ridiculously good DVR functionality Google offers. It’s unlimited. In every sense of the word.
You can save as many shows as you want, and they will remain available for up to 9 months, with no other restrictions. This means that you could record the entirety of season 8 of The Walking Dead, and re-watch it whenever you want.
You can also stream on up to 3 devices simultaneously, putting YouTube TV on par with Sling TV Blue and ahead of DirecTV now, though all of services fall short of PlayStation VUE.
Google is also offering a few special promotions that could sweeten the deal for you, such as a 14-day free trial of the service, and a free Chromecast with your first month’s subscription.
YouTube TV is not available everywhere but if you can sign up for it, it’s definitely the best way to watch The Walking Dead without cable.
Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch The Walking Dead Live
Live stream on a budget
If you’re looking for the cheapest option to watch The Walking Dead live without cable, and don’t mind paying extra for a DVR, Sling TV is the best choice. For $20 a month, you can watch live episodes on AMC, and for an extra $5, you can record them on your DVR.
The best all-around way to watch live
If it’s available in your area, and you have a streaming device that’s compatible, you should try out YouTube TV. It’s cheaper than PlayStation VUE, and has a better DVR. While you will only get 3 simultaneous device streams, this is not a huge problem for most people.
The best way to watch live for families
If you’ve got a larger family, and don’t mind paying a bit more than other options on our list, PlayStation VUE is the best option. With 5-device simultaneous streaming and an unlimited cloud DVR, as well as a wide range of compatible playback devices, PlayStation VUE has a lot to offer.
DirecTV NOW doesn’t have much to offer (yet)
There’s really no reason for us to recommend DirecTV NOW as a method to watch The Walking Dead without cable. It’s a viable method to do so – but YouTube TV is the same price, and offers a DVR. Even if YouTube TV isn’t available in your area, Sling TV or PlayStation Vue are still preferable alternatives to DirecTV Now.
Watching Past Seasons of The Walking Dead On-Demand
If you want to watch the entire series of The Walking Dead from the very beginning without a cable subscription, you have a few options.
Currently, Netflix is the only subscription-based streaming service with rights to seasons 1-7 of The Walking Dead. If you’re looking to watch the show without paying for each season individually, it’s definitely your best choice.
Netflix offers a 30-day free trial. As long as you cancel your subscription before your trial ends, you won’t have to pay a dime. Considering that 99 episodes of The Walking Dead have aired, you’d have to do some serious binge-watching – 3 episodes a day – to watch every episode before your free trial ends.
If you want to purchase a season pass for The Walking Dead, Fandango Now is your best choice. At $39.99 for the full, 16-episode season in HD, Fandango Now is the least expensive option on our list.
Individual episodes can be purchased for $1.99 for SD, or $2.99 for HD.
One drawback of choosing Fandango Now is that device support is currently quite limited. Smart TVs, Roku, and Chromecast are supported, but gaming consoles and Apple TV are not.
Amazon is also a solid choice for purchasing VOD episodes of The Walking Dead. The full HD season can be purchased for $41.99. An SD version of the series is also available for $27.99
These prices are industry standard. What makes Amazon a good choice is that you can “complete” your season for a discount, based on your already-owned episodes. If you’re not sure that you want to buy the entire season 8 of The Walking Dead right away, you can buy a few a la carte episodes, then complete your season later if you’d like to.
You can watch your episodes on just about every device. However, Chromecast support is not present on the Amazon Prime Video, so if you’re a Google fan, you’d be better off choosing Google Play.
Google Play Movies & TV
Google Play offers the full season of The Walking Dead season 8 for $27.99 in SD, and $41.99 HD, the same price as Amazon. Individual episodes are available for $1.99 in SD, and $2.99 in HD.
Google Play Movies & TV is only available on PC and Mac systems, and iOS and Android devices that are compatible with Google Play. Chromecast support is the only way to play your episodes on your TV.
If you’re a big Google user, this is a viable way to watch The Walking Dead. However, the platform restrictions will be pretty disappointing for everyone else.
iTunes is the most expensive option on our list, at $42.99 for the HD season, and $2.99 for HD episodes. SD will cost you $27.99 for the season, and $1.99 per episode.
The primary draw of iTunes is that they offer fans a variety of additional content with their season pass. You can watch retrospectives about the series, behind-the-scenes production content, and interviews with the stars of The Walking Dead. If you’re a serious fan, this is a good deal, despite being a bit more expensive.
Platform support is very limited, however. You can only watch your episodes on your computer, an Apple TV, or an iOS device.
Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch The Walking Dead On Demand
Streaming past seasons of The Walking Dead
Netflix is definitely the best option here. For just over 10 bucks a month, you get full access to seasons 1-7 of The Walking Dead, making it by far the best way to stream past seasons.
For comparison, buying each previously-aired season individually in HD from Amazon would cost you around $300 – which would get you a Netflix subscription for just over 2.5 years.
Watching current-season episodes on-demand
Fandango Now is the cheapest way to watch season 8 of The Walking Dead as it airs, but Amazon allows you to purchase a la carte episodes, and then complete your season later.
If you know you’ll watch all of season 8, go with Fandango Now. If you’re not sure, Amazon is your best bet.
iTunes and Google Play Movies & TV are outliers here. They have poor platform support that make them only useful to Apple and Google users, respectively. If you don’t mind these viewing restrictions, they’re certainly viable choices. However, both Fandango Now and Amazon are better for most cord-cutters.