HGTV, AKA the Home & Garden Television is no small channel. In fact, it is the third most-watched cable channel in the US behind giants like Fox News and ESPN. In this article, we’ll expose you to 6 of the best options for watching HTGV online, without a cable or satellite subscription.
Recommended: How to Watch ESPN Without Cable – Full Guide
For each option we recommend, we’ll review the channel lineup and pricing structure, along with their pros and their cons. And since there are other channels in the HGTV family (Food Network, DIY, Cooking Channel, Great American Country and Travel Channel), we’ll also make a point of telling you which of these channels each service includes. Let’s get started!
How to watch HGTV without cable
Only services that offered a live feed of HGTV were considered in my research. Services that only offer on-demand content from HGTV or its sister channels were excluded. Here’s what I could find about each of them.
While fuboTV started out as a primarily sports-focused streaming network, it has expanded quite a bit in recent years, and begun to become a good option for those interested in entertainment television.
|Fubo||Fubo Extra||Fubo Latino||Fubo Português|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sign Up||7-DAY FREE TRIAL||7-DAY FREE TRIAL||7-DAY FREE TRIAL||7-DAY FREE TRIAL|
As you can see, you’ve got two primary channel packages – the $45/month fubo package, which comes with about 80 channels, and the $50/month fubo Extra package, which ups your number of channels to 100+. To get HGTV, though, you’ll only need the base-tier “fubo” package.
You’ll also get a number of other channels which may be of interest to you, including Food Network, Bravo, E!, and more. If you pony up for the fubo Extra package, you’ll also get Cooking Channel, DIY Network, GSN, and a number of other entertainment networks.
For your money, you’ll get all of the above channels, as well as a cloud DVR which offers 30 hours of storage. You can expand this to 500 hours with a $10/month add-on. You can stream on up to 2 devices at once with fuboTV, but with the $6/month Family Share add-on, you can also add a third stream.
Device support is also good. You can stream on your iOS or Android smartphone, on your laptop, or on the Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Roku, as well as some Android TV devices.
Philo is an interesting addition to the world of internet TV streaming services. It offers a really great deal on a huge number of channels – but no sports or local channels.
|Package 1||Package 2|
|Fire TV Support||No||No|
|Sign Up||7-DAY FREE TRIAL||7-DAY FREE TRIAL|
As you can see, Philo is the cheapest list on our option by far. To get HGTV, you’ll only need to pay $16/month, and you’ll also get a number of other great channels like TLC, Game Show Network, FYI, DIY Network, Motor Trend and more. Pay an extra $4/month, and you’ll also get Cooking Channel, Revolt, and a number of other top entertainment and lifestyle channels.
Not only do you get a great selection of channels, you also get great features. You can watch Philo on up to 3 devices at once, which is nice for larger families. In addition, you get an unlimited 30-day DVR, and a pretty good selection of on-demand content.
And while device support for Philo used to be poor, it’s improved by leaps and bounds. You can now stream Philo on iOS and your web browser, as well as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. Frustratingly, Android users don’t yet have a dedicated app – and have to watch on their web browser, which is a sub-par experience.
Overall, if you’re just looking for the cheapest way to watch HGTV, Philo is definitely the best choice.
Sling TV is another Internet TV streaming service owned by Dish Network. Missing only the Great American Country channel, it has all the others in the Scripps family. Its content can be viewed on a computer, an Android- or iOS-based tablet or smartphone, several set-top devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, 4h generation Apple TV, Xbox One and many LG smart TVs. And like DirecTV Now, 7-day free trial is available
Sling TV’s pricing structure
Sling TV’s pricing structure is quite complicated, albeit very flexible. You first get a base package of which you have two choices: Sling Orange at $25 and Sling Blue, also at $25. They differ in the number of channels each includes, and in the number of concurrent streams. Sling Orange offers 30 channels while Sling Blue has more than 43 — including local sports channels in some areas. Furthermore, Sling Blue allows streaming to multiple concurrent devices. If you want HGTV, Food Network, and the Travel Channel, you’ll need the Orange package.
There is some content overlap between the two packages but some channels are unique to one or the other. Sling offers a discount when subscribing to both. You can choose to add more channels to your lineup by means of Extras, which are smaller themed packages available for $5 a month. For example, the Lifestyle Extra will add DIY and the Cooking Channel to your selection.
Both basic plans include 9 top-25 channels including CNN, Lifetime and TBS. Combining the Blue plan with the Orange plan will add the Disney Channel and ESPN. With a combination of extras and premium channels, you have a possibility of 16 of the top-25 channels.
Pros and cons Sling TV
- Very flexible pricing structure
- A good option for HGTV, as well as a balanced selection of other channels
- Complicated pricing structure
- Can’t add individual channels; they all come in bundles
DirecTV Now is a subscription-based streaming service from AT&T. Of all the services I’ve found, it is the only one that offers not only HGTV, but also the other five channels in the HGTV family. Its content can be viewed on the most devices, including many TV set-top boxes, Android and iOS portable devices, and a computer. And if you want to give it a try, a free seven-day trial is available.
DirecTV Now’s pricing structure
DirecTV now has four subscription levels. The basic plan, called Live a Little, includes 70 channels, including HGTV and the Food Network for $40 a month. The next level is the Just Right plan at $55 which adds over 25 channels including the Cooking Channel and the Travel Channel. Further up, the Go Big plan goes for $65 per month and gives you 24 more channels including DIY and Great American Country. DirecTV Now is the only service that includes Great American Country. At the top, the Gotta Have It plan adds six more channels including Starz and Encore and goes for $75 a month.
Other interesting channels on DirecTV Now
DirecTV Now offers 17 of the top-25 TV channels on their most basic plan. And their offer includes popular channels like ABC, USA, MTV or Discovery. They also have HBO and Cinemax as individual premium channels.
Pros and cons of DirecTV Now
- Four-tier easy to understand pricing structure
- Number of devices supported
- The most-number of top-25 channels
- At $75 a month, their top plan is a bit expensive
- Poor overall features
Sony also has an IPTV streaming service called PlayStation Vue. In all, they have five of the six channels in HGTV’s family, missing only Great American Country. Its content can be viewed on PlayStation gaming consoles (obviously), on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon TV, Android TV and Apple TV set-top boxes, on Android and iOS mobile devices and on a computer via a web browser. Their basic plan is the most expensive of the four services on our list but the pricing structure is simple. And like the others, a free trial is available.
PlayStation Vue’s pricing structure
Just like DirecTV Now, there are four subscription levels. The first, Access, is available for $45 a month and includes about 60 different channels. Among them, HGTV, DIY, Food Network and the Travel Channel. Next up, the Core level, at $50 a month adds 16 more channels. The third level, Elite at $60 a month gives you 25 more channels and includes the Cooking Channel. The top-level, Ultra at $80, adds HBO and Showtime to your lineup.
Other interesting channels on PlayStation Vue
PlayStation view will give you access to thirteen of the top-25 channels with their Access plan, including the 3 major networks, ABC and CBS and NBC as well as Fox, Disney, Discovery, and CBS. Other plans can bring the number of top-25 channels up to 16.
Pros and cons of PlayStation Vue
- Cloud-based DVR allowing you to watch live content when and where you want
- Excellent channel selection
- Simple pricing structure
- The most expensive service in the list
- Some issues have been reported with the cloud DVR functionality
On-demand content provider Hulu also has a live IPTV service called Hulu with Live TV currently in Beta phase. The pricing structure the simplest with a single plan that includes between 50-70 channels for $39.99 a month. Their lineup is great, and includes HGTV, Food Network, and the Travel Channel. Like with the other services, 7-day free trial is available. And while the number of supported devices used to be rather small, it has expanded dramatically over the last year.
Other interesting channels on Hulu with Live TV
With 13 of the top-25 channels available, Hulu with Live TV’s offering is among the best. Channels include TBS, TNT, Lifetime, Disney, and much more.
Pros and cons Hulu with Live TV
- includes the Hulu with limited commercials plan for pre-recorded on-demand content
- simple pricing structure with only one plan
- Limited number of devices supported
- Still in Beta phase
And the winner is…
There isn’t really a winner here. It all depends on what you want or need. If all you’re after is a live feed of HGTV, then Philo, at $16/month is certainly the cheapest option. But if you absolutely must have all six channels in the family, DirecTV Now is the only service that them. In fact, if you’re a Country music fan, DirecTV Now is the only service I found that carries it.
Your best bet is probably to start shopping, visit each of the service’s websites and compare what channels they offer. One of them might be carrying a channel that you want and that the others don’t have. And with all six of these services offering a free trial, there’s no reason why you can’t simply try them all and see which one best fits you.
(Almost) everything you wanted to know about HGTV
HGTV has been with us for a while. Started back in 1994 as the Home, Lawn and Garden channel, it was later shortened to Home and Garden Television and is usually referred to as HGTV. The channel, owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and is received in over 95 million American households.
HGTV’s most popular shows
One might ask: why is HGTV so immensely popular? There’s a simple reason for this popularity: its shows. Most of HGTVs shows are of the scripted reality genre, a very popular niche these days. Scripted reality shows are all about “ordinary” people who experience problems, issues, and conflicts like we all do. We can relate to them and this is probably why we like these shows so much. And being mostly shot on location, the production costs are relatively low, making them interesting for the networks as well. Let’s introduce you to a few of HGTV’s most popular shows.
The most popular of them all is called Fixer Upper. It’s a reality show that features Chip and Joanna Gaines who start by showing one couple three potential homes for purchase, each of which requiring repair or renovation. The couple chooses their home, Joanna designs it, and Chip acts as the lead contractor. Typically, buyers have a total budget of under $200,000 with at least $30,000 in renovations. The show typically attracts some 4.3 million viewers
Flip or Flop is HGTV’s second most-popular show at just under 3 million viewers. The show follows real estate agents and real-life husband and wife duo Tarek and Christina El Moussa. The premise is simple and follows them as they buy homes – typically bank-owned short sales or foreclosures, and renovate and resell them. Christina’s expertise is primarily in design, and she works with Tarek on renovating the homes they purchase.
Property Brothers and its spinoffs are among HGTV’s most famous shows. The show, currently in its tenth season is about identical twins Drew (a real-estate expert) and Jonathan (a contractor) Scott. They work together to help families buy and transform fixer-uppers into dream homes while working on a tight budget and schedule. Several spin-offs of the show have been produced, most of them as much or even more successful than the original. They include Property Brothers Buying and selling and Brother vs Brother, currently HGTV’s third most-popular show.
Ellen’s Design Challenge, HGTV’s fourth most-watched show stars and is executive-produced by talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres. It is a reality design competition that features six furniture designers competing on their abilities in sketching, designing and building furniture within a 24-hour time constraint.
The House Hunters franchise is also hugely popular on HGTV. It follows people in search of a new home. Each episode has the buyer presented with three homes of which he must choose the one that best fits his needs, criteria, and budget. Each episode concludes by revisiting the buyers a few weeks or months later to see what changes they made to their new home. The formula has proven so popular that there have been over a dozen spin-offs. Three of them, House Hunters International, House Hunters: Where Are They Now, and Tiny House Hunters are still amongst HGTV’s most popular shows.
HGTV’s sister channels that you might find interesting
Throughout the years, Scripps Networks Interactive, HGTV’S parent company acquired or launched a handful of other channels. Some of them might interest you.
Founded in 1993, the same year as HGTV, the Food Network was acquired by Scripps Networks Interactive in 1997. This channel, as its name implies, is all about food. Between cooking shows, reality shows, and cooking competitions, watching the Food Network can be a mouth-watering experience. At least, it is for me. It features its share of celebrity cooks and chefs such as Guy Fiery, Giada De Laurentiis, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen and Rachel Ray.
The third channel in the family, launched in 1999, is DIY. It’s described as the “go-to destination for rip-up, knock-out home improvement television.” It used to feature programming focused on all sorts of DIY activities such as auto repairs, jewelry making, knitting or woodworking but nowadays, it’s solely about home improvement and gardening.
Launched in 2002 as the Fine Living Network, this channel was rebranded as the Cooking Channel in 2010. As opposed to its sister channel Food Network which focuses on reality and competition series, the Cooking Channel is oriented towards more traditional instructional cooking shows. As such, it often airs reruns of older Food Network programs.
Great American Country
Great American Country is kind of a country music version of MTV. The channel features country music videos, music performance and live events as well as country lifestyle entertainment programming.
Last in the family, the Travel Channel, which had been launched 22 years earlier was acquired by Scripps Networks Interactive in 2009. It features documentaries, reality and how-to shows related to leisure and travel, both in the US and around the world. You’ll find shows on African safaris, tours of grand hotels, visits to the world’s greatest cities and attractions.