How to watch Shark Week without Cable 2018


How to watch Shark Week without cable 2018


Every July, millions of people head to discovery Discovery Channel for an 8 day shark extravaganza. There’s no reason to miss out on the Jaws-dropping experience of shark week just because you’ve taken a bite out of your cable bill. There are plenty of ways to watch Shark Week 2018 without cable that are as cheap and reliable as our puns. From Philo for $16 a month to PlayStation Vue for $39.99 a month, you have almost as many options as there are fish in the sea.



Source: Jakob Owens



When is Shark Week 2018?


Since 1988, Sharks have taken over the living rooms of homes around the country for an entire week. Not only will 2018 continue the tradition, it’s the 30th anniversary special!

Starting July 22, 2018 at Discovery will be full of fin-tastic shark-focused specials aimed at educating the public and removing any misconceptions about sharks. Last year we saw Olympian Michael Phelps race a shark and are excited to see what this anniversary special brings.



Source: David Clode


All we really know so far is that the 2018 Shark Week preview features Shaquile O’Neal as he prepares for another exciting year of Shaq Week. Little does he know, he’s actually introducing Shark Week. Hopefully we’ll see Shaq bust out some Kung Fu against the creatures of the deep as a main feature event this year. We’ll do our best to keep this post updated with links to the current schedule as they come out.



What do I need to watch Shark Week?


Besides a bucket of chum and a snorkel, you don’t need much to watch Shark Week without cable. All you need is an internet connection, a streaming service, and way to play it. If you’re not familiar with live TV streaming services, they are really similar to Hulu and Netflix. Instead of on-demand content, these streaming services off the same live channels you get on cable, but through an internet connection and for a fraction of the price.

Unlike cable, streaming services don’t have a contract or an early termination fee. You also don’t have to pay outrageous rental fees for outdated hardware. However, unless you plan to watch Shark Week entirely on your computer or mobile phone, you might need a device to watch it directly on your TV.



Watching content on your TV typically requires the help of a streaming device.



Streaming devices are fairly inexpensive and are bought outright through third parties, not tied directly to the service. If you were paying $10 a month to rent a second set-top-box from your cable provider, after only three months you would have completely paid off your streaming device.


Watch Shark Week live on your TV with a Roku.



Each service has a list of compatible devices that we’ll make sure we mention. That said, we do like to recommend a device for our readers to make the cord cutting process easier. The device we recommend to newcomers and cord cutting veterans alike is typically a Roku. They are some of the cheapest and most reliable devices on the market and support almost every single service. Since our site is based on saving you money, we try to recommend products that are compatible with everything so they don’t go to waste if you switch in the future.


Watch Shark Week on Philo TV




The cheapest way to watch Shark Week 2018 without cable is on Philo TV. Not only is Philo the cheapest option for Shark Week, it’s the cheapest streaming service entirely. They do this by removing local stations and any stations that carry sports from their channel lineup. These channels are typically very expensive for a service to offer and instead of increasing its price, Philo decided to target the market that doesn’t want them.

Philo might miss out on the sports market, but it gives them the ability to offer high quality channels for cheap that other services don’t typically provide. You can see the complete channel lineup for Philo in the image below. Since there are no local stations on Philo at all, this channel lineup should be accurate regardless of your location.



Philo 37 Channel Package


For an extra $4 a month you can get the following 9 channels added to your Philo subscription with their Philo 46 Channel package.



Philo 46 Channel Package


Considering the next cheapest option to watch Shark Week on Discovery is more than twice the price, it shows how well removing sports from Philo works. Another station that Philo offers that you can’t get almost anywhere else is Nickelodeon. Although you won’t be able to watch too many Shark-umentaries on Nick, it helps to show the benefit of excluding sports and local networks from the service.




If Philo TV doesn’t have everything you need, it’s unique channel lineup and low price make it a fantastic “add-on” service. Local channels are broadcast over-the-air and can be picked up for free (legally!) with an inexpensive antenna. Combining Philo TV with an antenna will give you access to local stations that Philo lacks. You won’t get other sports stations like ESPN, but at least you can watch a lot of games. The following table shows channels you can potentially pick up with an antenna:


Popular Over-the-air Channels
The CWTelemundoUnivisiozGetTVReligious ProgrammingLaff
CometTVGritTVEscapeTVHeroes and IconsiONPBS Kids
Antenna TVMeTVJustice TVThis! TVMyNetworkTVQVC
Movies!PBS CreatePBS LearnPBS WorldSWXWeather Nation


If you want additional cable channels not offered by Philo that can’t be picked up with an antenna, it’s completely reasonable to use Philo in conjunction with another streaming service. Philo’s lineup makes it so there’s not a large overlap of channels between two services, ensuring you’re not paying for the same content twice. Paying for two services might seem expensive, but Philo is cheap enough that it’s probably still less than half of your cable bill.


1ByOne 85 Mile Digital Attic Amplified Antenna




Philo TV isn’t supported by quite as many devices as some of its competitors, but at least you can still use a Roku. The following devices support Philo TV:

  • Android Phone
  • Android Tablet
  • Apple iPad
  • Apple iPhone
  • Desktop
  • Roku
  • Smart TV (Select Models)


Watch Shark Week on DirecTV Now


Whenever we mention DirecTV Now as a cable alternative, people immediately think of the satellite company. Although they are both owned by AT&T, the two services couldn’t be any more different. Besides the name, the only thing they have in common is that they offer live TV without cable.




Unlike DirecTV, DirecTV Now has no contracts and doesn’t involve satellites at all. The only thing you need to watch DirecTV Now is an internet connection and a streaming device. It’s a fantastic service that just needs a name change.

DirecTV Now offers four main streaming packages that all include Discovery Channel to watch Shark Week. The cheapest package, Live a Little, costs $35 a month and has almost 4x as many channels as Philo. Unlike Philo, DirecTV Now includes a lot of local networks and sports stations in all of its packages. The image below shows the current channel lineup for our Boston location in white. The grayed out logos are for channels that require DirecTV Now’s bigger and more expensive package options.



DirecTV Now Live a Little


Make sure to check DirecTV Now’s channel lineup page to confirm the local networks for your area. You might not get the same channels we do and we don’t want you to get the service only to be disappointed.

In addition to a 7 day free trial, DirecTV Now currently has an incredible three month offer. As part of this offer, instead of the trial you can get your first three months of the Live a Little package for only $10 a month. Your bill will increase to back to $35 when the three months are over, but that’s still a total savings of $75.




One of the biggest complaints we had with DirecTV Now was their lack of DVR. However, earlier this month they finally released one! The DirecTV Now DVR allows users to record up to 20 hours of video for free and will store it for up to 30 days. If you pay an extra $10 a month, you can upgrade the DVR service to 100 hours and 90 days. It might not be the best DVR in the industry, but free is always good and it’s better than what DirecTV Now offered previously!

DirecTV Now is supported by most of the major TV streaming devices on the market. The following is a complete list of compatible devices:

Watch Shark Week on PlayStation Vue


PlayStation Vue shares the “confusing name” problem with DirecTV Now. Although the name might imply it, PlayStation Vue doesn’t really have much to do with the PlayStation at all. It was initially launched by Sony (maker of PlayStation) on the PlayStation game console only, but quickly expanded to most of the major streaming devices. You don’t need a PlayStation to use the service, but you can run it on one if you wish to do so.



PlayStation Vue offers four major packages, similar to DirecTV Now. The packages range from $39.99 per month to $74.99 per month and contain between 50+ and 90+ channels. Thankfully, every package contains Discovery channel to watch Shark Week, so we’ll only need to worry about the smallest package option.

The smallest package, PlayStation Vue Access, is $35 and has contains over 50 channels. The image below is the Access channel lineup for our Boston location. Due to their local channel offerings, your package might be different than ours. Make sure to check out their channel lineup page to make sure.




The major non-local channels that PlayStation Vue has over DirecTV Now are the Golf Channel, MLB Network, OWN, Oxygen, Science Channel, POP, Travel Channel, and WE TV. There is also a fairly big difference in the local channel offerings for both services. For example, PlayStation Vue offers CBS in way more locations than DirecTV Now and is also one of the few ways to watch NESN without cable. If local news or sports networks that PlayStation Vue supports or any of the above mentioned channels are important to you, PS Vue might be worth the extra $5 a month over DirecTV Now.

To watch PlayStation Vue on your TV, you’ll need one of the following devices:

  • Android Phone
  • Android Tablet
  • Apple iPad
  • Apple iPhone
  • Desktop
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Fire TV
  • Roku
  • Smart TV (Select Models)
  • Fire Tablet
  • XBox
  • PlayStation



Watch Shark Week on other streaming services

There are a few other ways to watch Shark Week without cable this year that we didn’t outline in our guide. We write these channel or show specific guides to help show the cheapest way to watch one thing in particular. If you’re looking for a complete cord cutting guide our web app can help. All you have to do is fill out the form and let our program know which channels you want to watch. Using that information, plus your address, the app will show you the cheapest cord cutting service that you should get. It helps show people how to only pay for the content they want and not waste any money they don’t have to.




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