Watching TV without the Internet

A Guide to Watching TV without the Internet

Televisions are fast becoming permanent features in our homes. Almost everyone is switching to smart TVs with enhanced technological features heavily reliant on the internet connection. In a nutshell, you require internet connectivity if you desire to utilize most of the apps incorporated on your smart TV. However, the big question is; can you watch TV without the internet? Yes, your TV will work fine without the internet. You can use a cable box or the antenna and watch your TV hassle-free without internet connectivity.

How do I Watch My TV without the Internet?

How do I Watch My TV without the Internet

Suppose you don’t have internet connectivity; there are a few options you can utilize and enjoy watching your TV. Here are some of them:

1. Watching Over the Air Channels

Over-the-Air channels give you an option to enjoy watching basic cable channels without connecting to the internet. Discussed herein are a few options that will aid you in watching over the air channels:

Antennas: The television signals get transmitted over the Air by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC). Antennas play a crucial role by picking these signals and transmitting them to your ATSC tuner.

Before using an antenna, ascertain that your TV has an inbuilt ATSC tuner. Current televisions have the feature inbuilt, but older TV models may not have the ATSC.

The functionality of antennas largely relies on your location. If you are in a strategic location, you may be able to pick exceptional signals from leading channels such as FOX, NBC, ION, CW, CBC, PBS, and ABC. The signals will enable you to watch TV without internet, cable, or satellite.

It could help to note that there exist both outdoors and indoor antennas. Outdoor antennas will take you back with about $70 to install.

Suppose you decide to use an indoor antenna to watch your TV; below are some of the options you may choose from:

  • Rabbit Ear Antennas: The rabbit ear antennas are an excellent option if you reside 15 miles away from the local tower. The antenna works better with a loop and two dipoles. Whereas the loop provides UHF channels, the dipoles provide VHF channels. The antennas are available at your local store, and they may cost $7 to $20. The best and most reliable rabbit ear antennas include; RCA ANT 111Z Indoors Antenna and RCA ANT 121Z Durable Passive Indoor Antenna
  • Amazon Basics Antenna: The Amazon basics Antenna works best if you have UHF channels. The antenna is suitable for those residing between 5 and 15 miles from the local tower.
  • DIY (Do It Yourself Antennas): suppose you are a do-it-yourself fanatic and your distance from the tower is less than 10 miles, and you have a strong signal; this is an ideal option for you. You can enhance the signal by straightening the paper clip and ensuring you attach it to the coax connection on your TV. 

2. Watching Your TV without Internet via Free Streaming Services

Free streaming services are an ideal way to allow you to watch your TV without the internet. It is important to note that some broadcasters release episodes on their websites. Visit your favorite channel’s website to check if they have posted your TV show.

There are many free streaming services that you can watch without the Internet. They include; Pluto TV, YouTube, Yahoo View, Vudu Movies and TV, Crackle, Roku, PBS, and CW.

3. Subscription Streaming Services

Suppose you don’t find any free streaming service that befits your entertainment requirements; you can opt for subscription services. You can watch your TV without the internet by using subscription services that stream offline.

You can download shows and movies and watch them at your convenience; hence, an internet connection is unnecessary. However, before paying for a subscription, ensure you do diligent research to ensure the service meets your requirements.

Some of the subscriptions suitable for your viewing pressure include Starz, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime, VRV, Epix, and VuDu.

4. Mirroring Your Phone to a Smart TV

Mirroring a phone to a smart TV is a decent option that allows you to watch your television without the internet. The mirroring process requires that both your phone and the TV are compatible.

Check to ensure that both devices have settings that allow them to sync. Suppose your smart TV doesn’t support mirroring; you will be limited to DVDs and local stations.

Alternatively, not all phones can do mirror casting; thus, you must check the devices first. If your TV set doesn’t recognize your phone’s signal, ensure you connect the HDMI cable to both gadgets. 

Why Should I Buy a Smart TV If I Don’t Have Internet Connectivity?

Why Should I Buy a Smart TV If I Don’t Have Internet Connectivity

Since we have established that your smart TV can work without the internet, the other nagging question is, why should you buy it and don’t use it as a smart TV due to lack of internet connectivity?

Here are various reasons that make a smart TV suitable in your home even without the internet connectivity: 


Due to technological advancements, you will buy a smart TV because it is the only one available. Due to more users buying smart TVs in recent years, manufacturers have resolved to shift their production to smart televisions.

Therefore, the assumption that you will buy a smart TV because it is the only gadget available isn’t far from the truth. Whether you choose to use it as a smart TV or not is up to you.

Smart TVs Provide Extra Features

Compared to standard televisions, smart TVs come with additional features that make them a breeze to operate and watch. For instance, the number of HDMI ports in a smart TV is higher than in standard televisions.

Courtesy of the increased number of HDMI ports, you can connect more devices to a smart TV than a standard one. The devices that you may connect to your smart TV include video game systems, Blu-ray discs, players, and cable boxes, to name but just a few.

Availability of Several Streaming Alternatives

A smart TV is a must-have gadget if you prefer to use it in accessing the specific web and video streaming apps. A smart TV is an ideal device for streaming and watching Hulu, Netflix, and other favorite channels.

What Are the Smart TV Features That Can’t Work without Internet Connection?

As much as we have learned that you can watch your smart TV without the internet, some features can’t function without internet connectivity. They include:

Downloading Apps and Content Streaming

One of the most significant aspects of owning a smart TV is connecting to the internet and streaming live content from your favorite channels such as Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc.

Suppose you lack internet connectivity; you can’t be able to download apps like Roku or Fire Stick; thus, your smart television will be of no value. There are essential downloading and streaming features you can’t access on your smart TV without Wi-Fi.

Receiving Firmware Updates 

Your smart TVs firmware requires regular updates to thwart potential. Firmware updates are often essential whenever a new function is added to the TV. Additionally, you can fix potential bugs by updating the firmware.

Below are some of the reasons why you need a firmware update on your smart TV:

  • Avoid automatically restarting your TV when the remote’s “home key” is pressed.
  • To enhance the home screen.
  • To enhance performance.

Note: if you are connected to Wi-Fi, the updates will be installed automatically. An updated smart TV improves user experience whenever streaming the content. However, you should note that these updates are not mandatory, and your Smart TV will work just fine without them.

Direct Connection

Suppose you have amazing content on your phone and wish to watch it on your TV; it becomes hard to accomplish the task without an internet connection. Although you can connect via peer-to-peer airplay or any other direct connection, the video quality will be compromised.

Account Setting

Some smart TVs require that you set up an account. If yours befalls this category, you will find it hard to accomplish the task without internet connectivity.

Most smart TVs feature ready-to-be-installed software once the account is created. Completing this step without internet connectivity is an impossible task. However, you can still use some functions without setting up the account, but you will encounter performance issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Smart TVs Provide Better Image Quality?

Yes. Smart TVs feature an in-built technology that enhances image quality. Regardless of whether you are connected or not connected to the internet, the image quality of a smart TV is better than its standard or dumb counterpart.

Images of a smart TV always appear clearer, brighter, and more accurate than the standard one.

Why Do Smart TVs Require Firmware Updates?

Your smart TV should receive firmware updates regularly as these updates assist in enhancing the general performance of your TV. The home screen also improves for enhanced usability courtesy of firmware updates.

Generally, you can watch your smart TV without the internet, but a few features can’t function without Wi-Fi. So, it is up to you to decide whether you require the internet to watch your TV or do it the other way!