5 Best Ways to Watch History Channel Without Cable

My firsthand experience and thorough analysis of these services provide you with reliable insights and recommendations to help you choose the best option for streaming History Channel without a cable subscription. I rate each one for strictly for streaming History Channel without a cable subscription.

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You can watch History Channel without cable on five live TV streaming services. DIRECTV STREAM, Frndly TV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, and Sling TV all stream the History Channel live without a cable or satellite subscription. 

There are 12 plans that carry History Channel within those five live TV streaming services. 

Considering price, channel variety, and additional features, Frndly TV and Philo emerge as the top choices for viewers prioritizing affordability and History Channel access, while still offering a decent range of other content.

Philo stands out as a top choice due to its exceptional value proposition. At only $25 per month, it offers not just the History Channel but over 70 other channels, striking the perfect balance between affordability and variety. Its unlimited DVR feature adds significant value for those who want to record and revisit their favorite History Channel shows.

Frndly TV is another leading option, especially for viewers on a tight budget. For as low as $7.99 per month, it provides access to the History Channel along with 50 other channels. This makes it an unbeatable choice for cost-conscious viewers who don’t want to compromise on content quality.

Both Philo and Frndly TV offer user-friendly interfaces and reliable streaming quality, ensuring a hassle-free viewing experience. Their simple, no-contract approach means you can enjoy the History Channel without the long-term commitment and hidden fees often associated with cable subscriptions.

Streaming ServiceProsCons
DIRECTV STREAMComprehensive channels, unlimited DVRExpensive, more suitable for sports fans
Frndly TVMost affordable, free trialBasic plan in SD, limited channels
Hulu Live TVIncludes Disney+ and ESPN+, vast selectionHigher cost, two streams only
PhiloBudget-friendly, unlimited DVRNo sports/local channels
Sling TVCustomizable plans, affordableLimited local channels, basic DVR

History Channel has been a premium cable network since 1995 with documentaries, and hits such as “The Curse of Oak Island”, “Alone” and “The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch.” 

As a dedicated streamer and reviewer, I have personally subscribed to and tested every live TV streaming service specifically for their History Channel offerings.

My firsthand experience and thorough analysis of these services provide you with reliable insights and recommendations to help you choose the best option for streaming History Channel without a cable subscription. I rate each one for strictly for streaming History Channel without a cable subscription.

How to watch History Channel without cable

TV viewers who are cutting the cord from a cable subscription can still watch live TV.

If you own a Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV, you can replace your cable TV package with live TV streaming services. All of these platforms offer a way to watch the History channel live along with dozens of other channels.

History Channel
(photo illustration: The Cord Cutting Report)

Some of these streaming services offer local channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. But you should expect to pay more if you want them in your channel lineup. 

What’s the difference from cable subscription?

You are streaming your live TV channels over an internet connection or mobile data instead of having them pipe through a cable cord. You can watch your live TV channels on more than just your television. These services have apps for Android phones, iPhones and iPads.

It’s worth weighing the pros and cons of each streaming service listed below because chances are you will end up watching more than just History channel.

DIRECTV STREAM, frndly and Philo are currently the three streaming services with History Channel that offer a free trial. Just remember to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to be billed for your live TV plan. 

Here are some of the most popular shows on History Channel that you can watch either on the live TV channel or on-demand. 

  • Ancient Aliens
  • The Curse of Oak Island
  • American Pickers
  • Beyond Oak Island
  • Alone
  • History’s Greatest Mysteries
  • Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels
  • History’s Greatest Mysteries
  • Swamp People: Serpent Invasion
  • The UnXplained
  • Forged in Fire
  • The Proof Is Out There
  • Titanic: Into the Heart of the Wreck
  • Mountain Men
  • Pawn Stars
  • The Food That Built America
  • Adam Eats The 80s

** Note: This most popular list is based on data from the History channel based on new episodes.


Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia

DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) has History Channel in its entry-level channel bundle. You have four ways to watch History Channel without cable through DIRECTV STREAM.

The Entertainment plan has more than 75 live TV channels.

HGTV, A&E, CNN, Nickelodeon, ESPN, USA Network and local channels such as NBC and FOX are included in the Entertainment plan. You get unlimited Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand movies and shows.

DIRECTV STREAM is better suited for avid sports fans seeking a comprehensive array of channels, including History Channel, although its higher cost compared to Philo can be a factor to consider.

The Choice package is ideal for sports fans because it has 40 regional sports channels, including Bally Sports networks, NBC Sports and Marquee Sports Network. Choice subscribers get more than 105 channels total.

The Ultimate package has more than 140 channels, including local channels, and more sports and entertainment channels.

The Premier Package has over 150 channels, including premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax and Showtime.

Subscribers can get three months of Max, Showtime, STARZ, Cinemax and MGM+ (formerly EPIX) for free before the monthly rates kick in.

There are no contracts. You can subscribe month to month and cancel whenever you want.

DIRECTV STREAM is unapologetically expensive, offering a large bundle of sports, news and entertainment networks just like with satellite. That may be attractive for people who miss their satellite service. 

But if you want want History channel, Frndly and Philo cost much less and stream in HD resolution.

DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Smart TVs running on Android TV and Google TV. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial for any plan.

Frndly TV

  • Free 7-day trial
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR (Classic & Premium)
  • Simultaneous Streams: 1 to 3 
Basic$7.99/month50 (SD Resolution)
Classic$9.99/month50 (HD Resolution)
Premium$9.99/month50 (HD Resolution) &
Device support: AirTV Mini, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast along with Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast.

Frndly (or frndly TV) is the most affordable option for watching History Channel without cable TV.

Frndly carries 50 live TV channels. Frndly has A&E, Lifetime Movie Network, The Weather Channel, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama.

The streaming service has apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast with Google TV and Smart TVs with Google TV. You can also watch History Channel live on a PC or smartphone using the frndly TV app.

Frndly TV is a great choice for those who prioritize budget-friendly options with access to History Channel, but its basic plan’s standard definition quality is a drawback compared to Hulu Live TV’s high-definition streams.

Frndly offers three ways to watch History Channel.

The Basic plan costs $7.99 per month. It’s the cheapest way to watch History Channel live. Subscribers get Standard Definition (SD) picture quality, and can stream live TV on one screen at a time. 

For HD picture quality, you can subscribe to the Classic plan for $9.99 per month. Subscribers to the Classic plan get unlimited Cloud DVR for recordings. You can watch live TV on two screens at once. And you can keep recordings for three months.

The Premium plan costs $11.99 per month. Subscribers can watch live TV on up to four screens at once. You can keep recordings for 9 months. 

You can sign up for a free 7-day trial or look over all the channels on frndly before making any decisions.

Hulu + Live TV

  • Sign up & get Disney+ and ESPN+ included
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR (9 mos.)
  • Two simultaneous streams
Hulu + Live TV$76.99/month90+
Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, VIZIO SmartCast, Sony Bravia, PlayStation, XBox, Xfinity Flex and Xumo TV.

Hulu Live TV is a great option as a cable TV replacement, especially if you want to bundle your streaming services.

Subscribers get over 90 popular networks like HGTV, CNN, ESPN, NFL Network, TNT, TBS, Travel Channel and USA Network. Hulu has one live TV plan with History Channel.

Hulu Live TV costs $76.99 per month, and now includes Disney+ and ESPN+. You can stream on up to two devices at once. Subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR.

Local NBC, ABC and FOX stations and regional sports NBC Sports channels are available in most of the U.S.

Hulu Live TV caters well to viewers desiring a blend of sports, entertainment, and History Channel, but it’s pricier than Philo, which offers a more cost-effective solution.

Another big perk with a Hulu with Live TV is the on-demand library. You’ll get unlimited access to TV shows, movies and originals on Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu on-demand.

If you don’t need live TV and just want a library of older 

Hulu with Live TV works on Apple TV, Roku, XBox One, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick and Chromecast.


Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, and Sony Bravia. Web browsers on Mac computers, PCs, iOS devices and Android devices.

Philo offers more than 70 TV channels including A&E, AMC, BBC America, Discovery, History, MTV, and Paramount Network. This service offers largely entertainment-focused cable networks, but no locals or sports channels.

By not carrying sports or locals, Philo remains affordable to people who are seeking alternatives to a cable TV package.

A subscription costs $25 per month and includes unlimited DVR in the cloud. Philo has only one streaming TV package.

Philo’s channel lineup includes a variety of cable networks including Animal Planet, BET Her, BBC World News, Smithsonian Channel, Sundance TV, AXS TV, TLC, MTV2, Nick Jr., Science Channel, TV Land, Oprah Winfrey Network, American Heroes Channel, TeenNick, and Tastemade.

Philo offers additional content beyond its main channel package. For instance, subscribers can add MGM+ for $6 per month, which includes MGM+, MGM+ Hits, and MGM+ Marquee. Another option is the STARZ add-on, priced at $10 per month, which has live channels such as STARZ, STARZ Encore, and STARZ Kids & Family.

Subscribers can activate TV Everywhere apps for specific cable networks on their tablets, TVs and smartphones.

To utilize this feature, users must verify their subscription by signing in with their Philo credentials on the TV Everywhere app or website. Once verified, they can stream live channels and access on-demand shows and movies. This feature extends the accessibility of live TV streaming beyond the TV screen, allowing viewers to enjoy content while on the move.

Philo’s inclusion of unlimited DVR and the ability to stream on multiple devices simultaneously makes it a versatile choice for families or households with diverse viewing habits, while still being highly affordable compared to other services.

Philo is ideal for budget-conscious viewers seeking History Channel among other popular networks, though it lacks the sports content available in DIRECTV STREAM’s packages.

Sling TV

Orange$40/month32 (No locals)
Blue$40/month40 (Locals included)
Orange + Blue$55/month88
Device support: AirTV Mini, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast along with Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast.

Sling TV has History Channel in its Orange and Blue channel bundle.

With Sling, you’re able to build your own channel package. You can pick either Sling Orange or Sling Blue before deciding whether you want any add-on channel packages.

The Sling Orange plan includes 32 channels, including entertainment networks like AMC, A&E, BBC America, Bloomberg TV+, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, History, and TNT. A subscription to Sling Orange costs $40 per month. 

The Sling TV Blue plan has 40 channels, including Bravo, Cartoon Network, NFL Network, TBS and FS1.  You can combine the Sling Blue with Sling Orange for $55 per month. All subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.  

Sling is known for its extensive selection of add-on bundles.

Hollywood Extra ($6/mo): For cinephiles and fans of classic and contemporary Hollywood entertainment, the Hollywood Extra add-on brings you an array of channels that cater to your movie and TV cravings, including REELZ, Heroes & Icons, StartTV, GRIT, HDNet Movies, Sundance TV, Cinemoi, TCM, and Bounce.

From timeless classics to action-packed blockbusters, Hollywood Extra transports you to the heart of the film industry, offering a diverse selection of movies and series to keep you entertained.

Lifestyle Extra ($6/mo): For those who love lifestyle and home improvement content, this bundle has channels like Magnolia Network, Hallmark Channel, VH1, Cooking Channel, fyi, We TV, Lifetime Movie Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama.

Sling TV offers a flexible and affordable way to watch History Channel, making it a viable option for those who want customizable plans, yet it falls short in DVR capacity compared to Hulu Live TV.

Sling’s customizable plans and affordability are attractive, but the lack of certain local channels and limited DVR in the base plan could be limiting for some viewers.

Discovery Plus

  • Popular Cable TV shows
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Free 7-day trial
Standard (ad-supported)$4.99/mo.On-demand
Device support: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, LG Smart TV, Samsung TV, VIZIO Smart TV, Xfinity Flex.

Discovery Plus is a streaming service that offers a vast array of TV shows from History, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Animal Planet, and the Discovery Channel. The service includes a wide range of genres such as lifestyle, true crime, home improvement, food, and adventure.

One of the unique selling points of Discovery Plus is its extensive collection of both new originals and classic hit shows. The service regularly adds a fresh lineup of new series to its roster.

Discovery Plus offers two main subscription plans: a standard plan starting at $4.99 per month and an ad-free version at $8.99 per month. This is the easiest and most affordable way to get Animal Planet programs into your rotation of weekly TV shows.

Both plans come with a 7-day free trial for new subscribers.

How to Watch History Channel FAQs

These are questions that readers ask when searching for ways to watch History Channel without a pay TV provider. 

What streaming services has the History channel?

A number of streaming services now provide live TV and carry the History channel. They include DIRECTV STREAM, frndly, Hulu with Live TV, Philo, Sling TV and Vidgo. These streaming services work on Google Chromecast with Google TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and various Smart TVs.

How to watch History Channel for free

You can sign up for a free trial of DIRECTV STREAM (5 days), Philo (7 days) or frndly TV (7 days) and watch History Channel live. Plans and pricing for each service varies and you will want to cancel service before the free trial ends if you do not want to be billed. 

Can I watch History channel on YouTube TV?

YouTube TV doesn’t currently offer the History channel live. But YouTube TV has been adding channels since its inception. So you could see some new channels come to YouTube TV in the future.

Is History Channel on fubo?

fubo (formerly fuboTV) does not carry History Channel. The company told customers on June 30, 2021 their service will no longer carry History Channel, A&E, Lifetime, FYI channel, Lifetime Movie Network and Vice TV.

Is History Channel on Discovery Plus?

Discovery+ costs $4.99 per month, and carries all past seasons of shows from the History channel.

The service does not carry a live TV feed of History channel or its latest seasons. Discovery Plus has 55,000 episodes from HGTV, Food Network, History, A&E, TLC, Discovery Channel and others.

You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, or look over what else Discovery+ offers as part of its streaming library.

Is History Channel free on Amazon Prime?

No. History Channel is not offered as part of an Amazon Prime subscription. You can subscribe to a live TV streaming service such as DIRECTV STREAM, Philo, frndly TV, Sling and Vidgo to stream History Channel live. 

Can I activate the History channel app?

Yes. If you want to use the History app to watch episodes, you used to need a subscription to Comcast or Spectrum. That’s no longer the case.

Now when you subscribe to DIRECTV STREAM, Philo or fuboTV, you get to use your subscription to activate the History app and many other networks. Being able to activate these apps is known as TV Everywhere support.

Are History channel shows on Netflix or Hulu?

Yes. Netflix has a number of shows from the History Channel in its library, including “Ancient Aliens”, “The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch”, and “The UnXplained with William Shatner.” But you won’t find the latest episodes of these shows on Netflix.

For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News.

This article was originally published Feb. 12, 2018, and has been updated.

Jim is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.

21 thoughts on “5 Best Ways to Watch History Channel Without Cable”

  1. Fubo just took History, A&E, Lifetime off of their list of channels effective 6/30/21 with no advanced warning. Looking for another streaming company now. Ever since FUGO went public (stock exchange) they have made 3 big changes, History channel was the last straw!

  2. I’m like the ones complaining that there’s still a need for another service provider, why?!? Why can’t A&E come out with it’s own “Plus” app that includes the Discovery networks AND has Live TV channels, especially if they air before the stupid so called service providers, which don’t provide the service I, for one, want, such as NO FREAKIN SPORTS! I have my own balls, I don’t need to watch a bunch of over paid f@g$ running around chasing after each other’s in a field/court! I NEED REAL ENTERTAINMENT, which to me is watching Ancient Aliens, The Curse of Oak Island, and Scientific shows from Science channel. Other’s in my household like the Lifetime networks and Hallmark channels, when we’re not watching movies. An app similar to Discovery+ with live channels would be perfect even if the price for no commercials went up to $12/month especially if I could bundle it with HBO MAX and EPIX add-ons for a complete package.

  3. You neglected to mention that Philo has intrusive commercials that waste a large amount of time, while flashing bright lights at your face. Had I known this, I’d have never signed up. No way am I paying cash to be subjected to that crap.

  4. I just want to get History channel audio on my computer… The nursing home where I live gets History TV but my room mate watches other shows.. How can I get the audio from history channel
    so I can use my head phones connected to the computer ?

  5. What is the difference between cutting the cord with cable or paying for a streaming service, it is still a monthly fee and you still need the cable company for high speed internet, looks like smoke and mirrors to me.

  6. Depending on your favorite. History channel shows, Roku channel app does carry several Free shows such as American Pickers, Oak Island and others. The Roku app is free of any charge and provides many favorite TV shows along with free movies. You can also sub to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz right on the Roku app. *note, you need an active free Roku account with a payment option included which includes PayPal option. Roku offers many more channel options.

  7. 100% agree Les. I was a DirecTV customer for over 10 years and they used to have excellent customer service. Since they became AT&T, their customer service has vanished. They finally priced me out so I called to cancel and while they were processing my request and I asked, “Are you even going to try and retain me” and the answer was “not really.”

      I was a DTV subscriber and a FAN
      OF THAT ONCE GREAT SERVICE. I divorced last week when they stopped the Blue Heart (discount for legacy).
      DTV is out of business and will end up merged with DISH.
      ATT are just financial SHARKS that play with their food before eating it.
      This is why the FCC should stop these ruinous mergers that DO NOT serve the public interest.


  8. Directv Now is NOT Directv. Both are owned by AT&T, but one is a streaming serice and one is a tv service. I had Directv for years, but recently cancelled my account and signed up with Directv Now. Pretty much the same channel assortment, but 50% cheaper. Now I get my tv shows via the internet instead of from the satellite dish.

  9. In our capitalistic free market economy “Let the buyer beware” is the best advice. Noone provides free TV. You can be sure they will get their hands in your bank account somehow. The trick is to figure out what “the catch” is before you swallow the bait. And that is becoming very difficult with modern technology e.g. streaming plans.

  10. I have a fire stick hooked up to the big monitor. Then I use my tablet to get fire stick big and type in Histoory channel.
    Then they say with your internet service History is free. I can’t find mainstream on the list, what should I do now. I’m a prime member. Joy Bradford

  11. For these services you have to have your own streaming device, then the “subscription” is monthly. How would you buy the service w/o a “subscription”? It is exactly like the Netflix “subscription”. Hope this helps clear up any ambiguity about it.

  12. I will resort to smoke signals before I ever sign up with Direct TV on any basis again. The WORST customer service in the world.

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