Cancelling an expensive cable subscription does not mean giving up TLC’s unique combination of wedding and lifestyle programming forever. Thanks to these seven streaming options, cord-cutters do not have to say no the dress. Read on to find out how to watch TLC without cable.

Live TV Streaming Services

Many people are replacing their expensive cable TV subscriptions with more affordable internet services that stream live TV. Unfortunately, the channel lineups vary quite a bit from service to service and only a few carry TLC.

Services like fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV all have their selling points. TLC, however, is not one of them. DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue and Philo are the only three of the seven main streaming services that carry TLC.

Philo

Philo has TLC
Source: Philo

Philo’s lifestyle and family entertainment focus aligns perfectly with TLC’s programming. Both of Philo’s low-cost subscription plans include TLC:

  • 43 Channel Package: $16 per month.
  • 55 Channel Package: $20 per month.
 Package 1Package 2
Price$16$20
Channels4355
Simultaneous Streams33
Fire TV SupportNoNo
Roku SupportYesYes
Sign Up7-DAY FREE TRIAL7-DAY FREE TRIAL

Just keep in mind that Philo’s low prices are only possible because it does not carry sports channels or local TV stations. Philo is a good choice if its lifestyle-centric lineup is all you care about. If you and your family have more varied interests, however, DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue will be better options.

Related: Philo: Who Exactly Is The New TV Streaming Service For?

Philo Shortcode

 

Philo just launched in mid-November, so its app support is still fairly limited, but is improving steadily.

  • Living room devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS (Android only supports streaming through Chrome, with no dedicated app)
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari.

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now
Source: DirecTV Now

Thanks to AT&T’s main TV business, DirecTV Now is able to offer the largest national channel lineup of any streaming service.

 Live a LittleJust RightGo BigGotta Have It
Price$35/mo.$50/mo.$60/mo.$70/mo.
Channels60+80+100+120+
Simultaneous Streams2222
ESPNYesYesYesYes
Fire TV SupportYesYesYesYes
Roku SupportYesYesYesYes
Special OffersFREE FIRE TV DEALFREE FIRE TV DEALFREE FIRE TV DEALFREE FIRE TV DEAL

TLC comes standard with all four of DirecTV Now’s quirkily-named subscription plans:

  • Live a Little: 65+ channels / $40 per month.
  • Just Right: 85+ channels / $55 per month.
  • Go Big: 105+ channels / $65 per month.
  • Gotta Have It: 125+ channels / $75 per month.

Currently, DirecTV Now has a limited feature set and app selection – it also struggles to offer local TV stations. However, AT&T plans to revamp all of its streaming video services in 2018. DirecTV Now customers can expect the value of their subscriptions improve over the next few months.

Related: DIRECTV NOW Officially Surpasses 1 Million Subscribers

Right now you can get DirecTV Now on the following platforms:

  • 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.

DirecTV Now is part of the TV Everywhere program. Subscribers can use their DirecTV Now login credentials to unlock full access to apps from NBC, ESPN, and TLC.

Shortcode TV Subscription Desktop Directv black 700px

 

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue has TLC
Source: PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue carries the branding of Sony’s game console, but is not exclusive to PlayStation owners. It has a large channel lineup and does a reasonably good job of supporting local TV stations. Of particular interest for families is PlayStation Vue’s support for five simultaneous streams. This limits the number of prime-time arguments as everyone tries to watch their own shows.

Related: Best Cable Alternatives for Americans – A Complete Guide for 2017

TLC is a standard offering across all of PlayStation Vue’s four subscription plans:

  • Access: 45 channels for $45 per month.
  • Core: 60 channels for $50 per month.
  • Elite: 84 channels for $60 per month.
  • Ultra: 87 channels, including HBO and Showtime, for $80 per month.

You can get PlayStation Vue apps on a full range of streaming platforms including:

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • 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.

PlayStation Vue is also part of the TV Everywhere program which lets subscribers access the TLC app and more.

TLC Go

TLC Go has TLC
Source: TLC

TLC will let anyone watch a limited number of TV episodes through its TLC Go service. The rest of TLC’s content is locked unless you have a TV Everywhere provider. In most cases, that means having a subscription with one of more than five hundred traditional cable or satellite companies. However, subscribers to PlayStation Vue, Philo and DirecTV Now can get full access to TLC Go.

What you get with TLC Go

You will find a lot of content through TLC Go once you unlock it. You get on-demand access to its current-run TV programming with new episodes available the morning after they run on cable.

TLC is also developing original content for TLC Go users. Unexpected: Baby Bumps, for example, is a series of short interviews with teens who talk about the reality of being pregnant so young.

You will also find a considerable library of previous seasons and old series, but TLC does not guarantee that the programming will always be there. Episodes may disappear after a certain amount of time.

How to watch TLC Go

TLC Go is available on the web and through the most popular streaming devices:

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

What people think of TLC Go

Amazon has TLC Go
Source: Amazon

Reviews on the various app stores range from 3.2 stars on Amazon to 3.8 stars on Google Play and the Apple App Store. The negative reviews all stem from TLC’s approach to advertising. It inserts a three-minute block of ads every five-to-ten minutes. You can’t skip the ads. TLC doesn’t offer an ad-free subscription either.

It’s the repetitiveness of the advertising that drives people nuts. As with other streaming services, TLC does not draw on a deep pool of ads. As a result, you have to watch the same ad during every commercial break.

To be fair, the repetitiveness is a weakness of all ad-supported video services. TLC’s approach isn’t all that different from other streaming services.

Few of the negative reviews complain about the content itself or the quality of the video playback. More than two-thirds of the reviews on the Google Play Store and the App Store are four or five stars. Clearly, TLC fans find a lot to like in TLC Go – as long as they are willing to accept the reality of ad-supported streaming.

On-Demand Services

TLC’s parent company, Discovery Communications, pulled its content from Netflix in 2015. That only leaves TLC fans with a handful of options to stream their content on-demand.

Hulu

Hulu has some TLC
Source: Hulu

Hulu lets you stream episodes on demand from nine popular TLC programs, and all but 5 of the programs are older series no longer in production. Say Yes to the Dress, My 600 lb. Life, Cake Boss, Long Island Medium, and Counting On are the only shows on Hulu that are still airing new episodes.

You can’t watch the current season of those five shows – or even their entire catalog. Say Yes to the Dress, for example, has completed fifteen seasons. You can only watch seasons nine through thirteen on Hulu.

Hulu is available on most platforms including:

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Nexus Player, TiVo Premiere and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Select models from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8.
  • Game consoles: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Hulu’s on-demand pricing is much more reasonable than its live TV service. You get a choice between two monthly subscription plans:

  • Hulu Streaming Library: $8 per month.
  • Hulu Streaming Library With No Commercials: $12 per month.

Hulu does have a live TV streaming service (Hulu With Live TV) but it doesn’t carry TLC.

Amazon Prime

Amazon has TLC weddings
Source: Amazon

Amazon Video offers on-demand access to a number of TLC programs – but only if you buy each season. None of TLC’s broadcast programs are available on demand. As with iTunes and other online video stores, the Amazon Video season passes cost as much as a set of Blu-ray discs.

TLC does offer an Amazon-only subscription channel called Say Yes Weddings. It lets you watch all of the network’s wedding-themed shows, including Say Yes to the Dress, Randy to the Rescue, and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Say Yes Weddings is available to Amazon Prime members for $3.99 per month after a seven-day free trial. Amazon Video apps are available across a full range of platforms including:

  • Living room devices: Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Select models from LG, Samsung and Sony.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Amazon Fire Tablets, Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Facebook Watch

Facebook Watch has TLC
Source: Facebook

TLC has also launched an experiment with Facebook’s new streaming service, Facebook Watch. Hayley Ever After is a behind-the-scenes documentary. It follows bridal fashion “It Girl” Hayley Paige as she transforms a dress from concept to wedding day.

Facebook Watch has a five-episode exclusive. A one-hour special Hayley Ever After: The Dress will air on TLC itself.

Facebook Watch is free and is a standard part of these Facebook apps:

  • Living room devices: Android TV, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Select models from Samsung.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

What to Watch on TLC

Cake Boss on TLC
Source: TLC

The Learning Channel started out as a home for documentaries and educational programming. Today’s TLC is a female-oriented lifestyle channel “offering real-life stories without judgment”.

TLC found its niche fifteen years ago with its flagship program, Say Yes to the Dress. Spin-offs and other wedding-centric programming have made TLC the cable destination for all things wedding-related.

Cake Boss is a reality TV series that follows an Italian-American family of cake artists through life and business. It has also generated spin-off shows and baking competitions like the Next Great Baker.

Little Couple on TLC
Source: TLC

Dwarfism is the subject of several TLC shows from Little People, Big World to 7 Little Johnstons to Little Couple. The shows document the normal family life, physical challenges and discrimination that little people face in our society.

At the other end of the spectrum, several TLC shows like My 600 lb. Life and My Big Fat Fabulous Life follow obese people as they deal with their condition and society’s intolerance of the overweight.

Unusual family situations are another TLC favorite. The current series OutDaughtered follows the Busbys, America’s only family of all-girl quintuplets. Sister Wives features a man, his four wives and their eighteen children. In 90 Day Fiancé, an immigrant and an American have three months to get married before the visitor’s fiancé visit expires.

More TLC Options in 2018?

Discovery plus Scripps
Discovery Communications is buying Scripps to create a lifestyle cable powerhouse. Source: Discovery Communications

Cord-cutters who want to stream TLC may get more options this year once its parent company, Discovery Communications, completes the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Scripps produces lifestyle channels like the Food Network, the Travel Channel and HGTV. Company executives hope that combining the two companies will turn Discovery into a powerhouse in lifestyle programming that can compete more effectively with Netflix and Amazon.

The streaming services that do not carry TLC all have agreements to carry programming from Scripps channels. That opens the possibility that TLC could join the channel lineups on fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling or YouTube TV.

Say Yes to TLC Without Cable

Say Yes to the Dress on TLC
Source: TLC

There’s no reason to give up TLC’s reality-focused lifestyle programming just because you canceled (or never had) a cable subscription. Internet TV services, streaming directly from TLC or taking advantage of on-demand options can give you your daily dose of wedding dresses and real-life drama.