‘Bright Lights’: How to Watch the HBO Documentary Online for Free

carrie fisher debbie reynolds

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. (Getty)

Even if you weren’t able to catch the Bright Lights documentary on HBO when it aired Saturday, you can still watch it online, whether or not you have cable. The documentary, which centered on Debbie Reynolds’ and Carrie Fisher’s relationship, was a heartbreaking, touching tribute to the recently-departed mother-and-daughter. Watching the documentary while knowing how the story ultimately ended wasn’t easy, but the movie is not one that you’ll want to miss. The documentary’s airing caught a lot of people by surprise, since it was originally scheduled to air in May. HBO moved the documentary up due to Reynolds’ and Fisher’s deaths. Here are all the details on how you can still see it, even if you missed the live airing.

How to Watch ‘Bright Lights’ If You Have Cable and an HBO Subscription

If you have a cable or satellite package that includes HBO, this section is for you. You can watch Bright Lights for free via HBO Go. It’s a streaming service that’s included with a regular HBO cable subscription and includes all HBO programming. You’ll need your cable or satellite log-in information to access the service.

On a computer, go to HBOGO.com and choose “Sign in” in the upper righthand corner. On mobile devices, open the HBO GO app and choose “sign in.” You’ll need to choose your TV provider, then enter your username and password for your  TV account. If this is your first time using the service, you’ll need to create an HBO Go ID.

HBO Go is available on these supported devices, including Apple TV, Apple mobile devices, Amazon Fire, Android mobile devices, Android TV, computers, Chromecast, Playstation 3 & 4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, TiVO, and Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

If you  have a cable subscription, you can also watch Bright Lights on your TV via HBO On Demand.

How to Watch ‘Bright Lights’ if You Don’t Have a Cable or Satellite Subscription

If you’re in the United States and you don’t have a cable or satellite subscription that includes HBO, you can use the HBO NOW service to watch Bright Lights. It costs $14.99 per month, but it has a free one-month trial that you can use to watch the documentary. If you have any problems getting HBO NOW to work, you can troubleshoot it here. According to HBO’s website, all HBO programming, including Bright Lights, should be available on HBO NOW.

If you  haven’t signed up for a free trial with HBO NOW, you still can. Signing up for HBO NOW is a little complicated, so you’ll want to follow these steps:

1. First Subscribe to HBO NOW

HBO NOW is a standalone streaming-only service, but there are only two ways to sign up, depending on if you want to sign up via a mobile device or on your computer. Signing up through a mobile device is easier.

If you want to sign up through a mobile or TV device, you’ll need to download the HBO NOW app:

  • If you have an iPhone or Apple device, get the app on the App Store here.
  • For Android, the app can be downloaded at this link.
  • For Amazon devices like Fire, download from the Amazon App store at this link.
  • For Apple TV, the app is already installed and should be on your home screen.
  • For Roku, add the HBO Now channel through the channel store.
  • For Samsung Smart TVs, search for HBO Now on the Smart Hub.
  • For Xbox One or Xbox 360, download HBO Now in the Apps window.

If you need more details on where to go to download the app, visit the page here. To find out if your specific mobile or TV device is supported, please visit the webpage here.

If you want to sign up for HBO NOW on your computer:

Contact a participating Internet or mobile provider about purchasing a subscription. You can buy a subscription from Optimum here in the northeastern U.S., or through Verizon here.

After signing up, you’ll need to complete an HBO NOW profile. On your computer, start here, choose your provider, and sign-in with the username or password from your Internet or mobile account. From a phone or tablet, download the app here, open the app, tap “link to your new subscription,” and choose your provider. Sign in with your username and password from your Internet or mobile provider and complete the registration.

If you want to watch HBO NOW on a computer, you’ll need either Mac OS 10.6 or later or Windows Vista or later. Supported browsers include Chrome 37 or later, Firefox 31 or later, Internet Explorer 10 or later, and Safari 7 or later.

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