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SideReel's Guide to Cord-Cutting

Cable Add-ons

So you can't bear to cut the cord! It's ok! You actually get extra flexibility with these online and mobile services -- but we have to warn you, not all service providers participate in any or all of these, so please check out the individual sites/apps for eligibility information.

Service Provider On Demand Episodes Day After Live Streaming No Extra Cost
WATCH ABC Family  
WATCH ABC  
Adult Swim Gold    
Cartoon Network
Epix      
FXNow    
HBO Go    
MAX Go    
MTV  
Nickelodeon    
SHO Anytime  
Starz Play    
TBS  
TNT  
Watch ESPN      

WATCH ABC Family Website & App

Along with full on demand episodes of ABC Family's most addictive shows (like Secret Life, Pretty Little Liars, and Switched at Birth), the website and app both offer the ability to watch a live feed from any location.

Pros

  • Streaming of full episodes of ABC Family shows
  • Episodes are available the day after they air (on supported providers)
  • Live stream of television broadcast available for certain cable providers

Cons

  • Ad-supported
  • Episodes expire
  • Not all cable/satellite providers are supported
  • Episodes are available 8 days after initial airing for those with unsupported providers/no cable subscription

WATCH ABC Website & App

Is The Bachelorette your secret shame? Don't suffer the judgment of anyone else — watch it in secret on ABC.com and no one has to know.

Pros

  • Streaming of full episodes of ABC primetime and daytime shows
  • Episodes are available the day after they air (on supported providers)
  • Live stream of television broadcast available for certain cable providers in some areas

Cons

  • Ad-supported
  • Episodes are available 8 days after initial airing for those with unsupported providers/no cable subscription

Adult Swim Gold

If you're just not getting enough Adult Swim between its overnight broadcasts AND its free online offerings, log into the Gold portal for EVEN MORE episodes of its bizarro series. For more free Adult Swim content, check out their website »

Pros

  • Gold content is included at no extra subscription cost

Cons

  • Content does expire
  • No support for simultaneous use on multiple devices

Cartoon Network Website & App

Whether they're home sick or out on vacation, kids (OK, and adults) need their cartoons. Keep everyone entertained from anywhere with on demand content or a livestream of the channel with the Cartoon Network site and app!

Pros

  • Streaming of at least 5 episodes of most (if not all) Cartoon Network series
  • Episodes available the day after they air
  • Livestream available

Cons

  • Content does expire
  • Cartoons can be hazardous to intellectual development

Epix App

Watch any of the movies in rotation on the Epix suite of channels on demand, along with bonus content. It's beyond epic — it's Epix.

Pros

  • On demand access to all films currently in rotation on Epix
  • Movie trailers, interviews and on-set featurettes are also available
  • Social networking integration

Cons

  • Must be an Epix subscriber
  • Content does expire

FXNow

The FX Networks join the streaming world with beautifully designed web and app interfaces that offer access to some of the hippest shows on television (Louie; The Americans). It's pretty good, but it could be great if it expanded its offerings and availability.

Pros

  • Streaming of selected episodes of current FX and FXX series
  • Streaming of selected films in rotation on FXM
  • Show clips, and exclusive extras for FX and FXX series

Cons

  • Limited selection of episodes
  • Ad-supported
  • Not available for all cable/satellite providers

HBO Go

It's not TV, it's HBO Go. Who even cares about the movies it makes available when it's got every episode of every original show HBO has ever aired? You even get immediate on demand access to new episodes of current series AS THEY AIR.

Pros

  • On demand access to all films currently in rotation on HBO channels as well as all original content (regardless of original airdate)
  • Behind-the-scenes features and interviews are also available

Cons

  • Some content does eventually expire; must be an HBO subscriber
  • The service has crashed at times of unexpectedly high usage
  • Must be a HBO subscriber

Max Go

Unsurprisingly, this one comes from the same team as HBO Go, so it's got very similar features, even if the original content isn't as highly coveted as that of its corporate sibling.

Pros

  • On demand access to all films currently in rotation on Cinemax channels as well as all original content (regardless of original airdate)
  • Behind-the-scenes features and interviews are also available

Cons

  • Some content does eventually expire; must be an HBO subscriber
  • Must be a Cinemax subscriber

MTV Website & App

Basically everything you can get from MTV.com, but in app form (not Pog form, though that would be way better).

Pros

  • Streaming of selected episodes of current and former MTV series
  • Show clips, interviews, and MTV News shorts also available on demand

Cons

  • Content does expire
  • Limited selection of shows with full episodes

Nickelodeon Website & App

iCarly was (is?) a Nickelodeon show, right? It seemed pretty cutting edge, what with the lowercase i before Carly. Anyway, get your iCarly and other, non-cutting edge Nickelodeon shows here.

Pros

  • Streaming of selected episodes of current and former Nickelodeon series
  • Games and original videos are also available

Cons

  • Limited selection of shows with full episodes
  • Content does expire

SHO Anytime

Oh man, we know, you LOVE Homeland, but there's no need to make a Claire Danes cryface. Showtime has followed in HBO's footsteps and created this slick portal so that you can look for Abu Nazir whenever (and however obsessively) you want.

Pros

  • A livestream of Showtime East/West
  • On Demand access to all films currently in rotation on Showtime channels as well as all original content (regardless of original airdate)
  • Behind-the-scenes features and interviews are also available

Cons

  • Some content does eventually expire
  • Must be a Showtime subscriber.

Starz Play

It's got all of the Starz movies in current rotation, but that's about it. In our testing we encountered numerous bugs with authentication and playback, but once they get those fixed, you'll have a lot of content to choose from.

Pros

  • On Demand access to all films currently in rotation on Starz channels
  • Behind-the-scenes features and interviews are also available

Cons

  • Unstable authentication and playback on web version
  • Some content does eventually expire
  • Must be a Starz subscriber

TBS Website & App

You can find most of what TBS makes available elsewhere, with the notable exception of Conan. We still love that puppet dance.

Pros

  • Streaming of full episodes of various syndicated and original series
  • On Demand access to TBS events (like the MLB postseason)
  • Bonus features for various shows are also available

Cons

  • Limited selection of shows with full episodes
  • Content does expire

TNT Website & App

You can get your Franklin & Bash episodes, but the real draw here is full streaming access to some the movies currently in rotation on TNT. Then you can go back to Franklin & Bash, we guess.

Pros

  • Streaming of full episodes of various syndicated and original series
  • On Demand access to TNT movies
  • Bonus features for various shows are also available

Cons

  • Limited selection of shows with full episodes
  • Content does expire
  • Franklin & Bash is a terrible show

Watch ESPN

Watch select ESPN programming online.

Pros

  • Includes free mobile app
  • Has live and DVR watching capability
  • Extremely secure

Cons

  • No in-market games
  • Programming is very limited
  • Mobile app lacks many features

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