Tablo Blog

The Best Way to Watch the 2018 Oscars as a Cord Cutter

We hope you enjoy the following guest post from Alex Haslam, one of the cord cutting experts behind


It’s that time of year again—the 90th Academy Awards (aka The Oscars), will air this Sunday, March 4, at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC in the US and on CTV in Canada.

Whether you’re new to the cord-cutting lifestyle or just looking for the best way to catch the ceremony, we’ve got all the ‘how to watch’ details below.

2018 oscars

This year’s ceremony will honor the best movies of 2017 like The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, and Dunkirk. Jimmy Kimmel will return as host, and hopes to avoid the Best Picture mixup of last year.   

Whether you want to catch another history-making blunder, or you’re hoping it all goes off without a hitch, the Oscars are always a must-see television event.

Let’s take a look at how cord cutters can catch the Oscars without cable.


The Best Way to Watch the 90th Academy Awards

ota antennas

The Oscars air on ABC in the US (and CTV in Canada), which means an Over-The-Air (OTA) antenna is the best way for cord cutters to catch the ceremony.

All you need to do is flip over to ABC, kick back, and enjoy the show. If you won’t be home, you can even use an Over-the-Air DVR to set up a recording and play it back any time, anywhere. (More on that later…)

We love to recommend Over-The-Air broadcast TV because it doesn’t require a monthly subscription—once you’ve paid for and positioned the antenna, you’re ready to watch. Another big reason is that OTA broadcasts are actually live TV, just like you’d get with cable.

Yes, you can subscribe to Live TV plans from streaming providers but they can be pricey, and an antenna provides access to many of the same channels for free. Plus, being able to watch live is especially important with a broadcast like the Oscars where you want to avoid spoilers!


Adding an Over-the-Air DVR to Your Antenna Setup

tablo oscars record

If you’re concerned about not being able to catch the Oscars (or other live programming) when it airs, an OTA DVR like the Tablo might be just what you need.

With Tablo, you can set your favorite programs to record just like with any standard cable or satellite DVR and play them back when it’s convenient for you, as many times as you like.

Or you can use Tablo to watch on 'tape delay' and skip through the commercials and lengthy Oscar speeches, or directly to the awards you care about most. Tablo OTA DVRs even let you watch live or later on your device of choice including smartphones, tablets, or your computer.


Streaming TV Options

If streaming is more your thing, or you’ll be watching at a friend’s house where streaming is the only option, there are a few ways to stream the Oscars, although none are perfect.

Your best bet is DIRECTV NOW, which gives you access to DIRECTV’s channel lineup for a monthly fee, no satellite dish required. This service is overkill if you just want to watch the Oscars though, and you won’t be able to record the broadcast. Sling TV is another option, but the Oscars broadcast will only be available in select markets.

What are you waiting for? Get your antenna positioned just right and invite your friends over! This is going to be a great show!



Alex Haslam is a cord-cutting expert at, which aims to help TV watchers find the best legal cable alternatives. Connect on Twitter @CutCableToday and on Facebook at




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