4 Best Services to watch PBS Without Cable

If you're the type of person who's always looking for something new to learn, you'll know how valuable PBS can be. The public channel has local stations all over the country and broadcasts educational (and often entertaining!) shows with topics ranging from art, history, science, nature, and music. A lot of people watch the channel via an antenna, but PBS is actually just as easy to watch if you're on a budget or want to cut the cord. For the former, we recommend taking a look at the standalone PBS app, which gives you access to your local station's live stream for free. For the latter, live TV streaming services are a great way to watch your favorite PBS shows along with a couple of other channels. You can read more about them in the list below.
Our top five ways to watch PBS:
Hulu with Live TV
100 channels including PBS
$75.99 Watch
YouTube TV
136 channels including PBS
$72.99 Watch
DirecTV Stream Ultimate
158 channels including PBS
$94.99 Watch
DirecTV Cable $85 Watch
Cox $61 Watch
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Hulu, being owned by The Walt Disney Company, started their Live TV service in May 2016, starting with Disney's other subsidiaries like ESPN. The service was priced at around $40, but after a series of other raises, in December 2022, the cost of the platform was raised to $75.

Price: $75.99/month

Free Trial: 3 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, iPhone, LG TV, Nintendo Switch, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung TV, Vizio Smart TV, Xbox

Channel lineup: A&E, ABC, ABC Localish, ABC News Live, ACC Network, Adult Swim, Animal Planet, BET, Big Ten Network, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CBS local channels, CBS News, CBS Sports Network, Cheddar News, CMT, CNBC, CNN, CNN International, Comedy Central, Comedy TV, Cozi TV, CW, Dabl, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN College Extra, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Food Network, FOX, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FS1, FS2, FX, FXM, FXX, FYI, Golf Channel, Hallmark, Hallmark Mystery, HGTV, History, HLN, ID, Justice Central TV, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, Localish, Military History Chanel, Motor Trend, MSNBC, MTV, NASA, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, NBC, NBC local channels, NBC News Now, NBCLX, News Nation, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, OWN, Oxygen, Paramount Network, PBS, PBS local channels, Pop, QVC, RSNs, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, Start TV, SYFY, TBS, Telemundo, The Grio, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, TVLand, Universal Kids, USA, VH1, Vice, Weather Channel

Youtube TV launched in some areas in the U.S.in mid-2017, first with a limited offering but quickly signing deals with providers like Turner Warner, Warnermedia, and Viacom CBS. This allowed it to carry channels as varried as the BBC and HBO.

Price: $72.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Airplay supported, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, LG TV, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung TV, Shareplay supported, Sharp, Vizio, Xbox

Channel lineup: ABC, ABC News, ACCN, Adult Swim, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, Big Ten Network, Bounce, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, CBS local channels, CBS Sports Network, Cheddar, Cheddar News, CMT, CNBC, CNBC World, CNN, Comedy Central, Comedy TV, Comet, Court TV, Cozi TV, Dabl, Discovery, Disney, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Docurama, Dove Channel, E!, ESPN, ESPN U, ESPN2, ESPNews, Food Network, FOX, Fox Business, Fox News, FOX SOUL, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Weather, Freeform, FX, FXM, FXX, Galavision, Game Show Network, Get TV, Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Family, Hallmark Mystery, HGTV, HLN, HSN, IFC, Investigation Discovery, ION, Justice Central TV, LAFC Channel, Law & Crime, Live Now, Local Now, Localish, MotorTrend, MSNBC, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Classic, My TV, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, NBA TV, NBC, NBC local channels, NBC News Now, NBC Universo, NBCLX, NBCSN, NECN, News Nation, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Orlando City Channel, OWN, Oxygen, Oxygen True Crime, Paramount, PBS, PBS Kids, PBS local channels, PC Mag, Pop, QVC, Recipe.TV, RSNs, Scripps News, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, SNY, Start TV, Sundance TV, SYFY, Tastemade, TBS, Teen Nick, TeleHit, Telemundo local channels, The CW, The Great Courses, The Weather Channel, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, Tru TV, Turner Classic Movies, TV Land, TYT, Unimas, Unimas local channels, Universal Kids, Univision, Univision local channels, USA, VH1, WE tv

Over 140 channels, unlimited DVR and RSNs included - DirecTV Stream Ultimate is one of the most complete cord-cutting streaming bundles out there. Think of every sports network for example, ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NHL Network, etc, you name it, you got it. You also get over 55,000 (15,000 more than the base Entertainment package, mainly from Starz Encore) of on-demand movies and shows included. Of course, there is a price tag that comes with all of this that will rival the most expensive cable packages: over $100 a month. With this package DirecTV is saying: if you want cheap, go to Sling. This is not cheap, but it has everything a family could need from a TV package.

Price: $94.99/month

Free Trial: 5 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung TV

Channel lineup: A&E, ABC, ABC News Live, ACC Network, AccuWeather, AHC, American Heroes Channel, Animal Planet, Aspire, BBC News, Bein Sports, Bein Sports 4, Bein sports 5, Bein Sports 6, Bein Sports 7, Bein Sports 8, BET Her, BET Jams, BET Soul, BIG Network, Big Ten Network, Bounce, Bravo, CBS, CBS local channels, CBS Sports Network, CBSN, Cheddar, Cheddar News, CMT, CNBC, CNBC World, Comedy Central, Comet, Cooking Channel, Cozi TV, Curiosity Channel, CW, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, DUST, E!, ESPN, ESPN U, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNews, ESPNU, Estrella TV, Fanduel TV, Food Network, FOX, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 2, Freeform, Fuse, FX, FXM, FXX, FYI, Galavision, Game Show Network, Get TV, GetTV, GINX Esports TV, Golf Channel, GRIT, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Family, Hallmark Mystery, HBO, Heroes & Icons, HGTV, History, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime Movie Network, Local Now, Logo, Magnolia Network, MLB Network, MotorTrend, MSNBC, MTV, MTV Classic, MTV Live, MTV2, MTVU, Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, NBA TV, NBATV, NBC, NBC local channels, NBCLX, NBCSN, Newsmax, Newsy, NFL Network, NHL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, NickMusic, Nicktoons, Olympic Channel, OWN, Oxygen, Oxygen True Crime, Pac-12 Network, Paramount Network, PBS, PBS local channels, People TV, Pop, Pop TV, Pursuit Channel, REVOLT, Revry, RSNs, Science Channel, SEC Network, Showtime, Showtime FamilyZone, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Movie Channel, Sportsman Channel, Stadium, Starz, SYFY, Tastemade, TeenNick, Telemundo, Telemundo local channels, Tennis Channel, The Weather Channel, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, TVG, Unimas, Universal Kids, Universo, Univision, UPtv, USA, VH1, Vice, WGN America, Zona Futbol

PBS channels around the country are free on television, and thanks to the PBS app, they're now free to stream as well. The PBS app gives you on-demand access to many of the network's famously educational shows, including Nova and PBS News Hour, as well as the nearest local station in your area. You don't need an account to start watching on the PBS app, although you might have to activate it beforehand. Again, PBS is free, but if you want to support your local PBS station and gain extended access to even more films and TV shows, then you can purchase a PBS Passport membership, which costs around $5/month or $60/year.

Price: free for 2 channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire Tablet, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Comcast, iOS, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Vizio

Channel lineup: PBS, PBS local channels

Let's recap the streaming services that allow you to watch PBS without cable.

What is the cheapest way to watch PBS?

The most cost-efficient way to watch PBS content is to get a subscription to PBS App for $0/month.

How to get a free trial to PBS?

You can get a limited time free trial to PBS by subscribing to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, or DirecTV Stream Ultimate.

How to get a PBS live stream?

The platforms that will get you a PBS live stream are Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, Xfinity TV, Spectrum TV, Sparklight, Optimum, DirecTV Cable, Cox, Astound Broadband powered by RCN, or Armstrong Cable.

How to watch PBS on Roku?

You can watch PBS on your Roku device by subscribing to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, or PBS App.

How to watch PBS on an Amazon Fire TV?

PBS can be accessed on an Amazon Fire TV device by subscribing to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, PBS App, or DirecTV Cable.

How to watch PBS on an Apple TV device?

The streaming services that include PBS and are available on Apple TV are Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, Sparklight, PBS App, and DirecTV Cable.

How to watch PBS on a computer?

On a web browser head to the websites of Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, or PBS App to start watching PBS.

How to watch PBS on iOS (iPhone or iPad)?

You can watch PBS on an iPhone or iPad by subscribing to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, or PBS App.

How to watch PBS on an Android phone?

You can watch PBS on an Android device such as Samsung or Google Pixel by subscribing to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, or PBS App.

How to watch PBS on an Android TV?

You can watch PBS on a Smart TV that runs on Android by getting a subscription to Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream Ultimate, Sparklight, PBS App, or DirecTV Cable.

How to watch PBS on an Xbox?

You can watch PBS on an Xbox console through Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, or Sparklight.

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 14 live TV streaming services that offer a free trial.

More lists

The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.

That's all from us for the 5 Best Services to watch PBS Without Cable!