Buy A Streaming Device
Devices that connect to your television to bring Over The Top media services into your living room offer apps that promise free content from local TV stations, without the need for cable or satellite, or an outdoor antenna.
Examples of such devices are Roku, Apple TV 4K, and . These affordable devices have come a long way in recent years and are likely to offer the live streaming service you want.
If youre willing to pay a little more, many streaming services such as Hulu Live TV channels provide so-called skinny bundles that allow you to watch just local channels.
Dont forget theres IPTV as an option as well, which requires a set-top box.
The Downside of Streaming Devices
The local channels available through free apps on streaming devices arent broadcasting live , but rather are select bits of news, weather, and sports.
So if youre looking for all non cable live channels, youll need to install paid apps, which can cost between a few bucks a month each, or as much as $400 per season for some professional sports broadcasting apps.
In addition, this solution doesnt really qualify as non paying, since viewers will need to buy the streaming devices to access the apps and local channels.
TV Shows From Fox And Nbc Through Hulu
If you just want local channels to watch a favorite show on FOX or NBC, Hulu on-demand is a cheap alternative to a TV antenna. At $6.99 per month, you get some coverage of the latest comedies, dramas and reality TV shows.
Hulu is also an inexpensive way to catch up on past seasons from cable channels such as A& E, History and Science Channel.
Local Channels On Fubo TV
FuboTV offers live local Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS in select markets. This service also includes networks known for sports like FS1, FS2, beIN Sports, BTN, and more. You can see whats available at FuboTV through this link. We cover this streaming service in-depth in our Review of FuboTV.
FuboTV is available on major platforms, including Apple TV, AndroidTV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. The price of their Pro Plan is $69.99 per month That includes a cloud DVR with 250 hours of storage and the ability to watch on three devices at once.
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Option : Buy An Antenna
If you live in an urban or suburban setting, the simplest method for maintaining access to your local channels may be the one-time purchase of an indoor antenna.
Antennas are relatively cost-effective and provide free access to local channels broadcasting in your area.
But the quality of access to these channels is directly correlated to the power of your antenna and your distance from the towers of your local TV stations.
If you live near the stations youre trying to get, you may need an antenna that reaches only 30-50 miles.
If you live in a more rural setting , youll probably need a long-range antenna.
Amazon offers an antenna from XFTREE touting a 200-mile reach for less than $30. With more than 1,400 reviews, it had a four-star rating in May 2022.
Aside from the cost, your main concern in a rural area is the quality of your reception.
Youll have to worry about potential interruptions in your signal that could come from both the surrounding terrain and interfering signals from other towers.
If you need help picking out an indoor antenna, money expert Clark Howard has you covered with this instructional video.
Is A Subscription Required To View Local Channels On Firestick
Many live TV streaming services are not free and require a monthly subscription to use. On the other hand, some services are completely free, such as the News app from Amazon and the third-party Live NetTV application. These free apps are supported by ads. Locast is another free service, with the only inconvenience being requests for a $5 donation.
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How To Get Local Channels On Firestick Using Amazons News App
Perhaps the most widely consumed live TV content is news. And for wide coverage of local news on your FireStick or other Fire TV gadget, there arent many better apps than Amazons own News app. If you own a FireStick and want to stay updated on the latest news in your area, you cannot go wrong with this app.
Local channels on the News app include ABC News Live and CBS News. There are lots of national and global channels available as well, including Bloomberg, HuffPost, and Reuters.
Recently, local news was only available in 12 cities across the United States, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dalas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. However, Amazon recently rolled out much wider coverage, adding 88 local markets. These includes major metro areas like Detroit, New Orleans, and Phoenix.
As a result of this new rollout, Amazon FireStick users in many more locations in the US can tune in to follow their local news. When you launch the app for the first time, it will detect the metro region that is closest to you and will provide you with local news from that area, along with many national news channels.
No subscription is required to use the news app on your Amazon FireStick. It is supported by ads.
You dont need to download the News app manually. It is already installed on your Fire TV device and available under the YOUR APPS & CHANNELS section.
Buy An Airtv Device For Sling TV Integration
If you buy an AirTV device, you can watch Local Channels for free with Sling TV, directly within their app. If you want to stream all of your TV in one place, this is a good option. With an AirTV device, you can watch all your favorite shows, news, and sporting events in one place.
However, this is not necessary to watch your new channels. Once youve connected your antenna and scanned for channels, you can watch them using just your TV theres no need to buy another device. In fact, some smart TVs integrate broadcast channels directly into their homepage menus, which makes it just as easy to watch your favorite local channels. But if you like the sound of buying an AirTV device, you can visit their website here to browse their latest models and find the streaming device thats right for you.
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How To Set Up The Digital Antenna And Tuner
Setting up your digital antenna and tuner is shockingly easy. Basically, we just need to get this stuff connected to your home networkit should only take a few minutes, unless you need to install an outdoor antenna, of course.
First, take your digital tuner and connect it to your router via Ethernet cable. If you have a mesh Wi-Fi system with multiple router nodes, you should connect your tuner and Plex server to the same node for maximum reliability.
You should now connect your TV antenna to your digital tuner. Most antennas have a built-in coaxial cable, and outdoor antennas come with super long cables, so you dont need to buy anything extra.
Antenna placement is very important, as it can greatly affect your signal. If you use an indoor antenna, I suggest sticking it to a window or wall with painters tape instead of the included adhesivefor now, at least. This way, you can easily move the antenna if you find that the reception is bad .
Once your antenna and digital tuner are all set up, you can enter the Plex web app and enable OTA TV. Assuming that youve done everything right, this should take five minutes or less, though you may need to wait half an hour for Plex to fill out the data in its channel guide.
Watch Live TV From Third
You can subscribe to third-party services that provide local channel access. For instance, Hulu offers the Hulu + Live TV subscription plan, which includes its standard content along with local and cable-based channel access.
Sling TV offers local programming too with pricing starting around $15 per month. You can install the Sling TV app on your Fire Stick or Fire TV. Other services supporting live TV include Google’s YouTube TV, and Fubo TV.
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Sling TV: Great Antenna Option
Sling TV may be the best budget option if youre looking for local channels. There are two ways to stream local channels live with Sling TV:
Sling TV allows you to stream Fox from 18 localities and NBC from 11 localities. Both are available in the seven largest media markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Ft Worth, San Francisco, and Washington DC.
Sling TV doesnt offer any of the standard US-based Spanish-language channels. However, they have several packages with local channels from different areas outside the US. Each package offers between 3 and 20 channels and costs $10 each.
Check out these articles for more information:
Hulu Live TV probably offers the best local channel line-up of any of the streaming services. Even in the smallest towns, they manage to supply ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Thats also true of The CW.
They arent as good for Spanish-language channels. They dont offer Univision or Unimas anywhere. But they do offer Telemundo pretty much anywhere its available.
Read more about Hulu + Live TV here:
Install An Hd Antenna
One of the simplest ways to watch local channels without cable is to simply purchase an antenna.
Antennas have come a long way.
Theyre no longer those rabbit ear style ones that used to deliver a grainy, inconsistent image. Nowadays, you can buy HD antennas that produce a crystal clear picture.
With an antenna, you can get access to local channels and basic cable TV, without having to pay for a cable subscription.
And, well tell you exactly how to do it.
How to watch local channels with an Antenna
Firstly, youll need to purchase a quality HDTV antenna and dont worry, these really arent too expensive. Generally, you can pick one up for $10 to $50.
You can find them on Amazon for a reasonable price.
Here are a few that you should check out:
Or you can purchase one at your local electronics stores. Places like Costco sometimes also have antennas.
There are two types of antenna indoor and outdoor.
Outdoor antennas take a bit more effort to install, but they can pick up a wider range of channels.
Consider your own particular needs before making a decision.
If you want a clearer idea of the channels you can pick up, then visit , enter your zip code, and youll see what channels are available in your area.
You only need to pay for the initial cost of the antenna, and then you get access to local channels for free!
According to one study, more than 60 million Americans choose to use antennas to watch TV, rather than cable.
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Other Ways To Stream Local Channels
There are other options for streaming local channels:
- YouTube TV: provides good coverage of the major networks. This includes PBS in most locations . They have 85+ other channels as well as add-ons.
- Paramount+: With the premium plan, you can stream your local CBS affiliate, which provides access to NFL and other sports as well as all the local programming.
Scan For Channels Find Your Favorites And Enjoy
Once youve connected your new antenna, youll need to scan for channels. This process will use your antenna to pick up broadcast signals. Then, your TV will save these channels so that you can browse and watch them whenever you want.
The exact process will vary depending on your TV. But heres a general overview of what it will look like:
All modern TVs have a channel scan option, so if you cant find it, you should consult your users manual. If youve lost the manual, find the serial number or model number of your TV. With some Googling, you should be able to find the manual online.
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Look For Other Free Local Broadcasting In Your Area
Services that allow viewers to watch local television online free tend to be highly local, so what works for one region wont work for another. Youll need to check whats available in your area. Some of these non cable alternatives tend to be fleeting and transitory, so they may come and go.
If youre a newshound, you may wish to check out NewsOn, a service that launched a year ago. The company says it provides a free streaming service that offers live and on-demand channels from local news stations like CBS all over the country.
It doesnt offer around-the-clock live feeds of single local stations, but aggregated newscasts from local stations. So if youre addicted to local news and dont particularly care whether its about your own locality, it might be a viable option.
For instance, if youre from Rhode Island and not particularly keen on the antics of some mischievous squirrels on the power lines in Dubuque, or what kind of a season the minor league baseball team Albuquerque Isotopes have had, give it a miss.
So the answer to, Can I stream local TV channels for free? is yes, as long as youre willing to make some effort and give up some convenience.
If youre looking to get access to all the local, non cable content you want when you want it, and in full program schedules, its worthwhile to choose a subscription-based streaming service that will allow you to choose what you watch the most.
Local Channels On Sling TV
Sling TV has limited NBC and FOX coverage in the Blue channel bundle.
Sling TV has two main channel bundles to choose from. The Orange plan has about 34 channels. But only the Blue plan carries local NBC and FOX in a small number of markets. Use the map below to see what local stations are available in your area.
A subscription costs $35 per month for one of the main channel bundles. Sling is offering $10 off the first month for new and returning subscribers. There is no contract. Customers can subscribe on a month-to-month basis.
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How To Watch Local Channels Via Streaming Services
People normally think of Netflix and Hulu when it comes to streaming services. But Live TV streaming services are in a different category . And in this field, the biggest thing that separates services is their support of local channels.
If youd like access to your local TV stations, your best bet is to find a streaming service that will allow you to watch them online. All you need is an internet connection. And along with the local channels, you get a bunch of premium cable channels with these subscriptions.
Whats important to understand about local broadcast channels is that networks like Fox arent just single channels. Networks that are known as local channels are affiliated with a local counterpart. This is why local network affiliates may only be available in some areas but not in others.
Additionally, each streaming service must have a contract with the local channel. This is why some are missing nationwide or in a particular location. For example, Sling TV offers relatively few local channels but this allows them to keep their prices down.
Haystack News: Local News Weather Channels
Haystack News is a really elegant way to get news feeds from local ABC and CBS channels along with international news feeds. Its a quick way to look at the local weather in your area, and find out whats happening across the world.
To get the most out of Haystack, you should sign-in either with a Facebook or Google profile. Make sure you pick your local town or city you live in, and what local stations you want to see in your live stream.
Haystack has more than 300 local, national and international news streams, and its all free.
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Get More Channels With Samsung TV Plus
If you’re already bored of all the channels that come with cable or an antenna – or maybe you don’t have either set up – you can get free TV using Samsung TV Plus! This service is complimentary on all newer Samsung smart TVs and streams channelsover the internet directly to your TV.To access this feature, you simply need to press the Home button on your remote and then select Samsung TV Plus. You can learn more about the service by checking out our complete Samsung TV Plus guide.