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Oscars 2016: How to watch the Academy Awards online

Oscars 2016: How to watch the Academy Awards online

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Tonight is Hollywood's biggest awards show — and this year, its most controversial one. Some actors and filmmakers are boycotting the show in response to its repeated failure to recognize the work of non-white artists, but you should still expect most of the nominees to drag themselves out to the Dolby Theatre to be feted by their peers. Chris Rock is hosting, and there will be performances from Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, The Weeknd, and — why not? — Dave Grohl. And who would want to miss Leonardo DiCaprio (probably) winning his first Oscar? Finally, that bear fight will pay off.

The show starts at 7PM ET / 4PM PT and is airing on ABC. If you already have cable service, then you're good to go. If not, here's how to watch it.

Watching on a smartphone or tablet

ABC is once again streaming the Oscars online, but there are a lot of restrictions. First, it isn't free. You'll need a cable subscription (or to borrow a cable login from a friend). And even if you do subscribe to cable, you still might not be able to stream it: ABC is only streaming the Oscars to a handful of cities — Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. And even then, only if your cable provider supports it (although, you can expect that the big names will).

Should you fit all of those requirements, then you're good to go. Just download and log into the Watch ABC app, which is available on iOS and Android. You might want to start your stream early, too. These things always have hiccups.

Watching on a PC or Mac

ABC will be streaming the Oscars at its website. But as with the Watch ABC app, you'll need a cable login to watch and you'll need to be in one of several major cities, like New York (full list above).

Watching on a game console or set-top box

Unfortunately, Watch ABC isn't available on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, so new console owners are out of luck. (Although Xbox One owners will be able to see pre-show coverage through the ABC News app — not that that's much consolation.) If you have an Xbox 360, however, you'll be able to load up Watch ABC and tune into the stream, so long as you're an ABC subscriber in one of the major cities listed above.

Watching without a cable subscription

It's not an elegant solution, but it's not to late to go buy an antenna. ABC is broadcast over the air and is therefore free so long as you have the ability to receive it. So buy one, and you should be good to go.

Watching outside the United States

You'll have to figure out which of your local networks — if any — has broadcast rights for the Oscars. The Hollywood Reporter has put together a thorough guide on where to go throughout the world. And if none of those solutions work for you, well, you may just find something that works if you look around enough on Twitter.

Watching anything else

If you want to boycott the Oscars, we have a guide for that, too.

Correction: It's the Dolby Theatre, not the Kodak Theatre, as previously stated. Sorry Dolby.

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