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Can I Watch TV on My Laptop, Computer, Phone, or Tablet?

Just a few years ago, watching shows and movies on your television was the norm. Today, however, it’s more common for people to watch TV on their computers, smartphones, and tablets. U.S. viewership of shows and movies on television screens declined 11 percent in 2015, and 89 percent of global TV consumers now watch video content on connected devices.

While Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services make it simple to watch certain programs on nearly any connected device, what about cable television? The short answer is that it depends on the provider. For the long answer, keep reading. This article will take a look at the most popular pay TV providers and their streaming capabilities.


DISH makes it easy for customers to watch live and recorded TV on smartphones, tablets, Kindles, computers, and laptops with its DISH Anywhere™ app. As long as you have a connected Sling® Adapter and a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection, you can watch live sporting events, news, popular shows, and On Demand titles. Using a broadband-connected Hopper™ Whole-Home HD DVR with a Sling Adapter, you can also manage and set new recordings and transfer select DVR programs to your connected device. The DISH Anywhere™ app is free to current customers, and users can even create multiple profiles so that children can only access safe, kid-friendly content.



Watch DIRECTV® on any of your connected devices with the DIRECTV app. You can access more than 5,000 movies, 10,000 TV shows, and exclusive live events right from the app. Or, to watch content on your laptop or computer, visit a channel’s website and sign into your DIRECTV account. While you can watch any channel live on a connected device via your home Wi-Fi network, you can only stream select channels when using a 3G/4G connection or a Wi-Fi network that isn’t the one connected with your HD DVR receiver.


AT&T U-verse

AT&T U-verse® customers have access to the U-verse® app, which serves as both a screening platform and remote control. Through the app, you can watch live or On Demand programs, control TV viewing from your connected device, manage your Total Home DVR®, and more. The app is more limited in its availability than others on this list, though it’s still available on several popular gadgets, including Amazon, Apple, and Android devices. If you’d prefer to watch programs on your computer or laptop, you can access select channels by visiting participating websites and signing in with your AT&T account.



Cox offers customers two apps. The Cox Connect app allows you to remotely schedule your DVR and check TV listings. The Contour 2 app, on the other hand, allows you to access your favorite shows and movies from your smartphone or tablet, stream from anywhere in your home, or take your programming with you. Cox also participates in the TV Everywhere system, giving subscribers access to content through various third-party TV network apps. Discovery GO, for example, is the newest TV network app accessible with a Cox account, and it offers programming from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and several other channels.


Spectrum (Time Warner Cable)

Time Warner Cable® provides users with the TWC TV® app, an app that, like the AT&T U-verse app, functions as both a screening platform and remote control. Available on Kindle Fire HD and HDX and on any Apple iOS or Android device, the app lets you control your TV and DVR, watch TV on any connected device in your home, and stream thousands of On Demand TV shows and free movies from any location with Wi-Fi or a 3G/4G connection. As with other apps on this list, certain channels aren’t accessible if you are using the app outside of your home.


Now that you know how these five popular providers allow you to watch TV on your laptop, computer, smartphone, and tablet, it’s time to determine which provider best fits your needs.

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