How to Watch Channel 5 Boston Without Cable
This guide will show you a number of different ways you can watch Channel 5 Boston (WCVB) live without a cable TV or satellite TV subscription.
WCVB is a local ABC network that serves Greater Boston, all of Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.
If you live in these areas and currently watch WCVB by subscribing to Comcast or another cable company, there’s an excellent chance you can get ABC 5 elsewhere.
Watch WCVB live for free
You can quickly check to see if a TV antenna is a viable option for you. Broadcasters began transmitting digital signals in June 2009, but many people remain unaware that you get a number of channels for free.
WCVB transmits in 1080i. You will notice the picture quality is brighter and more crisp than what your cable TV provider delivers to your home. That’s because digital signals are uncompressed. Use a tool like TV fool or Antennaweb to see how far you are from a broadcast tower.
You may only need a simple indoor TV antenna to get a clear signal.
Note: If you have run into recent trouble with watching WCVB on a TV antenna, it means you need to re-scan your channels due to the “TV Repack“ that’s underway all over the country.
Scanning for channels is a simple process that can take between five and thirty minutes. For more tips on picking a TV antenna, read over How to Choose the Best TV Antenna & OTA DVR.
Stream WCVB live on Hulu with Live TV
You may already stream Hulu to watch TV shows on-demand. But Hulu also has a Live TV service that includes Channel 5 Boston.
Hulu with Live TV offers 65+ live channels over the Internet. In Massachusetts and Southern, New Hampshire, you’ll find WCVB (Channel 5 Boston), WBZ (Channel 4), WFXT (FOX 25), My38, NBC Boston, WMUR (Channel 9), NBCSN Boston, NECN and Telemundo.
The rest of the channel lineup has dozens of national networks that you’ll find on a cable TV package. A&E, Food Network, HGTV, ESPN, TNT and USA are included along with 50 hours of Cloud DVR.
Hulu with Live TV costs $54.99 per month, but you also have unlimited access to the on-demand library that people pay $5.99 per month for. So compared to other live TV streaming services, you’re getting two streaming services for the price of one.
Hulu with Live TV works on most streaming devices.
So instead of a cable box, you can watch Channel 5 Boston with a Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV.
Look over what local channels are offered in your area, or sign up for a subscription. If you don’t like the service, you can easily cancel online. There are no contracts or obligations once you sign up for a free trial or longer period.
Watch WCVB live without cable on YouTube TV
YouTube TV has 60+ live TV channels including WCVB (ABC), NBC, CBS and even NESN. A subscription costs $40 per month. You get unlimited Cloud DVR. YouTube TV works on most streaming devices: Roku, Apple TV, web browsers and Android TV devices. There is an excellent mobile app, too.
Just don’t try YouTube TV on Amazon Fire TV or Fire Sticks because there is no support for them. YouTube TV offers a free 7-day trial.
Can I get ABC (WCVB) on Sling TV?
No. Sling TV carries local ABC stations in a small number of markets. There is nowhere in New England where you can use Sling TV to watch WCVB live. You are better off trying another alternative outlined above.
What’s the best way to watch Channel 5 Boston without cable?
Personally, I watch WCVB live using my TV antenna. If you’re interested in doing the same, read over my guides: How to Choose the Best TV Antenna & OTA DVR for tips. You can also take a look at: The Best Indoor TV Antennas.
If a TV antenna isn’t your thing, then I’d consider signing up for Hulu with Live TV. You’ll be able to watch Channel 5 Boston without a cable subscription. Subscribers get about 60 other live TV channels and 50 hours of Cloud DVR.
A subscription is $44.99 per month, but you’re also getting Hulu’s on-demand service that people usually pay $5.99 per month for. So you’re really getting two streaming services for the price of one. Just cancel online before your trial ends if you decide the service isn’t for you.
If you want NESN for Red Sox and Boston Bruins games, then give YouTube TV a try at $50 per month. YouTube TV has 70+ live channels and unlimited Cloud DVR. Just remember that YouTube TV doesn’t work with Fire TV devices. YouTube TV also offers a free 7-day trial.
How do you watch WCVB live without cable? Tell fellow readers in the comments below.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble