Watch TCM Online: Best Ways to Indulge in Turner Classic Movies Without Cable

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Movie fans love TCM because it runs unedited films without commercials. At one time, you needed a cable subscription to get the channel. But no more! Read on to learn all your options to watch TCM.

In a hurry? If you want to start watching TCM without cable now, these three streaming services provide immediate access, and a lot more.

  • Hulu + Live TV: Known for its outstanding on-demand content, this plan has 85+ live channels including TCM. Check it out for free for 7-days!
  • Sling TV: The low-cost streaming leader offers TCM with an add-on for a great overall deal. Get the first month for $10!
  • DIRECTV STREAM: This reputable provider offers 65+ live TV channels, including TCM. They offer a 14-day money back guarantee for new subscribers!

How To Watch TCM Live Without Cable

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is unusual in the “basic cable” world. It doesn’t run any commercials. The channel is funded primarily on carriage fees, the money that cable, satellite, and streaming companies pay for rights to provide the channel to their customers.

As a result of this, TCM is not as widely available as, say, Discovery or Hallmark. But it is still available for one main reason: there are a lot of TCM fans! Famed director Martin Scorsese plays it in his editing room for inspiration. Like him, most TCM viewers are older. But this is changing with more and more young people tuning in.

Since TCM is not broadcast over the air, you can’t get with an antenna, or for free. You need to purchase it through a third-party provider. And for those who want to avoid long contracts with cable and satellite companies, streaming services are the only option.

All you need is an internet connection and a supported streaming device. If you’re reading this, you likely already have both. All you need to do is sign up with the right streaming service — you can decide which one that is below.

Hulu + Live TV

hulu logo
Movie ChannelsAMC, Bravo, Disney, FXM, LTM, SyFy, TCM
Total Channels85+
Cloud DVR50 hours
Simultaneous Screens2
Free Trial
Hulu Price$64.99/mo

Hulu is known for its on-demand streaming service. It is extremely popular with cord-cutters who don’t care about watching live TV but want to stay up on recently aired shows. Hulu + Live TV adds to that 85+ live channels for $64.99/mo.

In addition to TCM, Hulu + Live TV offers other movie channels like AMC, Bravo, Disney, FXM, Lifetime Movies, and SyFy. They also provide access to premium movie channels like Cinemax, Showtime, HBO, and Starz.

Hulu + Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR. You can also stream on up to two screens at one time. Both the DVR storage and simultaneous screens can be upgraded.

You can try Hulu + Live TV free for 7 days, or find out more from these guides:

Sling TV

Sling TV Logo
Movie ChannelsAMC, Bravo, Disney, SyFy
Total Channels40+
Cloud DVR50 hours
Simultaneous Screens3
Free Trial
Sling TV Price*$35.00/mo
* Sling TV offers the first month for $10.

Sling TV does not offer TCM with either of its base plans. Sling Blue does, however, provide you with AMC, Bravo, Disney, SyFy, and almost 40 other channels for just $35/mo.

One of the selling points of Sling TV is how easy it is to personalize with add-ons. For $6/mo, you get the Hollywood Extra add-on, which includes TCM, FXM, Cinémoi, and 7 other film-oriented channels. That’s $41 per month and you have TCM with a bunch of other channels.

For another $6/mo, you can get the Lifestyle Extra add-on, which includes Lifetime Movies, the 3 Hallmark channels, and 6 others.

This plan comes with 50 hours of DVR storage and the ability to stream on up to three screens at one time. You can try it out for one month for $10 without obligation.

Check out these in-depth articles on Sling TV for more:

Sling TV TCM
Sling TV’s dashboard with TCM’s schedule and on-demand shows.


Movie ChannelsAMC, Bravo, Disney, SyFy, TCM
Total Channels65+
Cloud DVR20 hours
Simultaneous Screens20
Free Trial*
DIRECTV STREAM Price$69.99/mo
* DIRECTV STREAM provides no trial but they do offer a 14-day money-back guarantee.

The DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) base (Entertainment) plan offers 65+ channels for $69.99/mo. It comes with TCM as well as AMC, Bravo, Disney, and SyFy. If you also want FXM and Lifetime Movies, you will need to choose the Ultimate plan. It comes with 130+ channels (including HBO MAX free for a year) for $94.99/mo.

The cloud DVR that comes with DIRECTV STREAM is pretty stingy with just 20 hours of storage. But you can make this unlimited for an extra $10/mo, or with a two-year commitment.

On the other hand, DIRECTV STREAM has the best deal in the industry when it comes to sharing an account. You can use your account on up to 20 devices simultaneously in one household (and three devices when away from home).

DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t offer a free or low-cost trial. But they do offer a 14-day money-back guarantee. So if you find it isn’t for you, you have two weeks to change your mind.

Read more about DIRECTV STREAM in our detailed review.

Other Ways to Get TCM Online

There are other ways to watch TCM live:

  • You can watch both the east and west coast feeds of TCM as well as a huge collection of movies on-demand. This requires a login from your streaming service. It doesn’t work with Sling TV, however.
  • TCM App: This is the same as the website but it runs on Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku devices.
  • YouTube TV: a general streaming service similar to Hulu + Live TV.

TVs and Devices That Support TCM

Sling TV TCM Android
Android phone with TCM via Sling TV.

The three streaming services that we’ve discussed above support most of the streaming devices that are currently in use.

All of them support the main “stick” devices: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. They also support Chromecast, which allows your TV to accept casts from mobile devices and web browsers (if the TV doesn’t already support this).

Vidgo and Sling support smart TVs with Android TV. DIRECTV STREAM and Sling TV support recent Samsung smart TVs. Sling TV supports a number of other devices including LG smart TVs, Xbox One gaming consoles, and Oculus VR devices.

DIRECTV STREAM supports its own device, which can be an easy way to move away from cable, without having to mess with third-party devices.

And finally, all the streaming services support web browsers. This has an advantage — most devices that run web browsers can be connected to a smart TV for display.

Wrapping Up

TCM has thousands of ad-free movies for you to enjoy, and now you can do it without cable. Get comfortable and start streaming while enjoying more for less money!


How do I watch TCM for free?

TCM is a pay-TV station. It isn’t broadcast over the air and isn’t available for free. You must get it from a third-party provider. Many streaming services like Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV offer a one-week free trial. There is no way to get TCM free long-term.

How do I get TCM on-demand?

“TCM on-demand” or “Watch TCM” is available through the TCM website or app. These give you access to the east and west coast live streams of TCM. But they also give you on-demand access to TCM’s large collection of classic films. To use this, you must log in with your streaming services using TV everywhere. 

What type of shows does TCM offer?

TCM doesn’t have much in the way of shows — they just air movies. This is one reason that many film fans like it so much. They present one film after another with introductions by the hosts. What’s more, there are no adverts on TCM, so films run uninterrupted.

How do I watch other entertainment channels without cable?

You can find out the best ways to watch different entertainment channels in the guides below.

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