Rick and Morty fans need to get their regular does of inter-dimensional comedy while they wait for new episodes to appear on Adult Swim. If you’re cutting the cord this year, you’ll want to make sure you pick a streaming TV service that will let you watch the most popular comedy on television. Here are the seven best ways to watch Rick and Morty without cable.
What happened to Rick and Morty?
Unlike the big broadcast and cable networks, the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has a reputation for taking a long time to produce new seasons of its animated series. It isn’t unusual for fans to wait more than a year to get fresh episodes.
Rick and Morty is no exception. The second season premiered fifteen months after the first. The third season took a full 18 months to finish production.
The fourth season of Rick and Morty, however, may set a new record. In a conversation with DetroitCast last December, writer Ryan Ridley revealed that none of the Rick and Morty writers had started work on the new season. Given typical production schedules, Ridley estimated a late-2019 premiere date for the new season.
A month later, Variety tried to get Adult Swim to provide a status update. The response wasn’t promising: the network had “no timing to share on premiere or status of production.”
While everybody waits, Adult Swim gives Rick and Morty fans a couple of ways to watch past episodes.
Streaming TV Services
In case you’re new to the cord-cutting scene, live TV streaming services let you watch many of the channels you’re used to seeing on cable. These services deliver that content as video streams to apps rather than running through a cable box.
The streaming approach lets you watch live TV on more than just your television. Smartphones, tablets and computers — whatever you use to tune in— become televisions.
Even better, these streaming TV services are much cheaper than a cable subscription. Most of them charge $40-$50 per month.
AT&T-owned DirecTV Now built its reputation on having the largest channel selection of all the streaming services. It’s the closest you’ll get to the full cable experience.
Subscribing to DirecTV Now is a simple matter of picking the right plan for your budget. You’ll get more channels as you step up in price. As far as Rick and Morty goes, however, the entry-level “Live a Little” plan includes the Cartoon Network.
- Live a Little: 60+ channels / $35 per month.
- Just Right: 80+ channels / $50 per month.
- Go Big: 100+ channels / $60 per month.
- Gotta Have It: 120+ channels / $70 per month.
|Live a Little||Just Right||Go Big||Gotta Have It|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE FIRE TV DEAL||FREE FIRE TV DEAL||FREE FIRE TV DEAL||FREE FIRE TV DEAL|
Compare DirecTV Now’s most expensive plan to a typical cable bill. You’ll be paying a third to half as much to stream the same channels.
You’ll also find lots of promotions for new subscribers. Just pay the first few months up front and DirecTV Now will send you a free streaming device, like an Apple TV 4K or an Amazon Fire TV.
AT&T gives its Unlimited wireless subscribers an extra sweet deal: a $15 discount on each month’s DirecTV Now bill.
DirecTV Now features
Of course, nothing’s perfect. DirecTV Now’s feature set is a lot weaker than competing streaming TV services. For one thing, DirecTV Now only lets you stream to two devices at the same time — a big issue for families.
More importantly, there’s no way to record shows with DirecTV Now. Most other services offer a “cloud DVR” feature that lets you save shows to watch later.
The closest you get to recording shows is DirecTV Now’s 72-hour Rewind. You get three days to watch 72-hour Rewind enabled shows on-demand before they disappear. Only a fraction of the networks DirecTV Now carries supports this feature, but fortunately Cartoon Network is one of them.
Related: DirecTV Now Review 2017
DirecTV Now’s main weaknesses will disappear later this year as AT&T revamps DirecTV Now. Within a few months, DirecTV Now’s cloud DVR will transition out of beta testing to become an official feature. Support for three simultaneous streams is also in the works.
As far as which devices you can use, DirecTV Now offers apps across a decent selection of streaming platforms. Other services do a better job, but all of the major devices are covered — with the exception of gaming consoles.
- Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
- Game consoles: None.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome and Safari.
Cartoon Network and fifty-two other networks let you use your DirecTV Now credentials to unlock their apps. Only PlayStation Vue unlocks more TV apps.
Sling TV, a subsidiary of the satellite TV company Dish Network, built its reputation on customization. The “a-la-carte” streaming service lets TV-watchers tailor their channel lineup with dozens of plans and add-on bundles.
Added customizability also means more complexity, unfortunately. Your initial decision is simple enough: just choose between three options for your base subscription.
You get the Cartoon Network and Adult Swim with both the Orange and Blue plans, so there’s no issue there.
- Orange: 30 channels for $20.
- Blue: 45 channels for $25.
- Orange+Blue: 53 channels for $40.
|Sling Orange||Sling Blue||Sling Orange + Blue|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE ROKU DEAL||FREE ROKU DEAL||FREE ROKU DEAL|
Once you pick a base plan, you can choose among thirty-five channel bundles. Sling TV organizes Extras by topics like comedy or news. The Sling TV Minis are organized by language.
Sling TV features
Although Sling TV offers a cloud DVR, the streaming service does not include it with any of its base subscriptions. You must pay an extra $5 per month.
Sling TV also limits the number of simultaneous streams. You can stream channels available through the Blue plan to as many as three devices at a time. The Orange plan only lets you stream to one device.
The streaming restrictions get confusing for the Cartoon Network when you subscribe to both the Orange and Blue plans. If you accidentally start streaming the Orange version of Cartoon Network, you’ll lock out the rest of your family from any other Orange plan channels. A setting in the Sling interface lets you hide the Orange version of shared channels.
Related: Sling TV Review 2018
Despite those limitations, Sling TV offers one of the widest ranges of apps among the streaming services.
- Living room devices: Air TV Player, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain models from LeEco, LG, Samsung and ZTE.
- Mobile devices and tablets: Amazon Fire tablets, Android and iOS.
- Game consoles: Xbox One.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome.
Even though Sling TV has been around longer than any other streaming TV service, it’s one of the weakest when it comes to unlocking TV apps.
Only eighteen TV apps accept Sling TV credentials. Cartoon Network isn’t one of them. You can watch Rick and Morty on Sling TV when it airs on Cartoon Network. You can also watch any on-demand episodes Cartoon Network gives to Sling TV. But you won’t be able to unlock Rick and Morty content on the Adult Swim site.
Hulu’s popular on-demand TV service now has a live TV option. Launched as a public beta project early last year, Hulu with Live TV has become a popular choice for many cord-cutters.
For only $40 per month, your subscription gives you more than fifty live TV channels, including the Cartoon Network. You also get full access to Hulu’s on-demand catalog.
Hulu with Live TV features
Unlike Sling TV and DirecTV Now, your Hulu subscription includes a limited cloud DVR. You can only record fifty hours of content before Hulu starts deleting recordings. You can’t record programs airing at the same time. And you can’t fast forward through commercials.
A $15-per-month upgrade to the cloud DVR expands the recording time to two hundred hours and removes the other limits.
Related: Hulu with Live TV Review 2018
Hulu with Live TV only lets you stream to two devices at a time. Another $15 upgrade removes all limits on your home network and lets you stream to as many as three devices at a time away from home.
Buying both upgrades will only cost you $20.
Hulu with Live TV supports a wide range of streaming platforms:
- Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain TV models from Samsung
- Mobile devices and tablets: Amazon Fire Tablets, Android, and iOS
- Game consoles: Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari.
Hulu unlocks twice as many TV apps as Sling TV. Unfortunately, the Cartoon Network app isn’t one of them.
YouTube unveiled its streaming TV service within months of Hulu. The streaming service is now available in the one hundred largest markets and within reach of 85% of Americans.
YouTube TV took a market-by-market approach to get as many ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations signed up as possible. Complicated business negotiations make it difficult for streaming services to carry every station in every market. The slow approach means YouTube TV’s support for local television stations is better than any other streaming service.
A YouTube TV monthly subscription, only $35 right now, will rise to $40 in mid-March. That subscription comes with more than fifty channels, including the Cartoon Network.
YouTube TV features
YouTube TV has one of the best cloud DVRs in the industry. You can record as many programs as you want for up to nine months.
YouTube TV also has a family-friendly system of profiles. You can create profiles for as many as six family members on a single account. Each profile gets its own cloud DVR, viewing history, favorites lists and recommendations.
Related: YouTube TV Review 2018
If YouTube TV has any weaknesses, they are device-related. You may have six family members, but YouTube only lets three of them stream at the same time. YouTube TV’s app support is also relatively weak.
- Living room devices: Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain models from LG and Samsung.
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
- Game consoles: Xbox One.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome.
Cartoon Network is not one of the networks that accept YouTube TV login credentials to unlock their premium content.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue combines the rich feature set of YouTube TV with the large channel lineup of DirecTV Now.
The only thing keeping PlayStation Vue in a distant third place among streaming TV services may lie in its name. Despite the PlayStation branding, you don’t need a game console to watch Vue.
The subscription plans Sony offers follows a simple pay-more-get-more structure. You don’t have to pay much to get the Cartoon Network, which is part of PlayStation Vue’s entry-level “Access” plan.
- Access: 45 channels for $40 per month.
- Core: 60 channels for $45 per month.
- Elite: 84 channels for $55 per month.
- Ultra: 87 channels, including HBO and Showtime, for $75 per month.
PlayStation Vue features
PlayStation Vue lets you record as many shows as you want to its cloud DVR. Unlike YouTube TV, however, you can only keep those recordings for four weeks.
You can stream PlayStation Vue to more devices at the same time than you can with any other streaming TV service. Sony limits you to five devices at a time.
Related: PlayStation Vue Review 2018
When it comes to finding PlayStation Vue apps, you’ll find them in app stores on more devices than other services.
- Living room devices: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None (not even Sony’s).
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android, Amazon Fire Tablets and iOS.
- Game consoles: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.
The Adult Swim app is one of the 67 network apps that accept PlayStation Vue login credentials.
Watch on Adult Swim
Adult Swim’s never-ending marathon stream plays all of the episodes. The only downside: there’s no way to watch specific episodes. You just have to accept what’s on offer at the time you jump into the stream.
Adult Swim offers on-demand content on the Rick and Morty site and the Adult Swim app. You can watch clips, making-of commentary on episodes and the stop-motion Rick and Morty Non-Canonical Adventures.
However, Adult Swim only lets you watch ten episodes on demand. Half of those videos require a TV provider’s log-in credentials.
Fortunately, Adult Swim treats some of the live TV streaming services in this guide just like a cable company. That means you can watch Rick and Morty without cable through the Adult Swim app and website