Tablo Blog

How to Watch The 2018 Emmy Awards as a Cord Cutter

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


On Monday, September 17th, TV’s biggest stars will come together for the 2018 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Awards.

With so much excellent television being produced in what some are calling the new 'Golden Age of Television,' this is sure to be one Emmy awards ceremony you won’t want to miss.

The good news is that you don’t need a cable or satellite subscription to tune in live.

Here’s a rundown of all the ways you can catch the 2018 Emmys - hosted by Saturday Night Live's Michael Che and Colin Jost - without cable.


Watch the Emmys with an Antenna

Over-the-Air television is an often-overlooked option for cutting cable. While streaming services get most of the press, Over-the-Air HDTV antennas are becoming a popular alternative to cable due to their ease of use and low cost. Most of the biggest networks like NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX, and more broadcast free over the airwaves.

All you need to watch these live HD channels is an antenna. Make sure you read up on how to install and where to place your over-the-air TV antenna, as placement is crucial for optimal signal. Once installed, your antenna will let you watch many of the most in-demand networks, depending on your local availability.

Watching the Emmys with an antenna is easier than ever this year. NBC will broadcast the Emmy awards live on September 17th at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (5 p.m. Pacific). NBC affiliates are available in most locations, meaning your antenna likely picks up an OTA broadcast of NBC.

Check an OTA channel guide to make sure NBC is available in your area.

(Canadians can tune in via CTV!)


Can’t Watch the Emmys Live? 

If you can't watch The Emmys live using your TV antenna or you want to fast forward through commercials and award categories you don’t care about, luckily there are DVRs you can use to record the Emmys Over-the-Air.

For example, Tablo is a next-generation DVR which connects to OTA TV antennas to record free broadcasts. You can use the Tablo DVR to record and then stream programs to your Smart TV or mobile device later, or even pair your device with the DVR and then stream the channel to your phone or tablet on-the-go.

One caveat, though: unlike antennas, the Tablo DVR requires a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection in order to stream content to the Tablo apps on your connected devices. While you might not need an internet connection to watch OTA TV, you’ll need one if you’re using a streaming DVR like Tablo to watch later from your device.

Tablo OTA DVRs are compatible with most major Smart TVs, streaming devices, and even computers through web browsers.

Check one out if you can’t watch the Emmys live and start saving other free HD Over-the-Air broadcasts. 


If You Can’t Watch the Emmys with an Antenna in Your Area

If you can’t get antenna coverage in your area, you may still be able to watch NBC without cable through an online streaming service. Many streaming services now carry live streams of broadcast and cable networks, making them a great option for cutting the cable.

Hulu with Live TV, DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV all carry streams of NBC in select areas. Best of all, they offer free trials. So, if you can’t get an antenna signal for NBC, you may still be able to watch the Emmy Awards via a free trial.


Don’t Miss This Year’s Emmy Awards

This year’s Emmy awards are sure to be thrilling. HBO’s Game of Thrones is up for 22 nominations, while Westworld, GLOW, and Donald Glover’s Atlanta are also expected to win big.

If you want to watch the Emmys without cable using an HD antenna, check out one of the guides above and start enjoying the ease of free OTA TV.


Chris Brantner is the expert behind Streaming Observer, where he covers all things related to the world of cord cutting. He has also served as a contributor for US News & World Report, TechHive, VICE, Houston Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, and more. Follow him on Twitter @StreamingOb.


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