Table of Contents
- Watching Local TV Channels Without Cable
- Online Streaming Services
- How To Get Free TV
Watching Local TV Channels Without Cable
If you’ve landed on this page then you’re most likely in the group of people who have a HIGH COST CABLE BILL that’s drowning YOU silly!
We understand it all too well, especially when you’re paying above $100+ for an extra 200-500 channels you don’t even have time to watch.
Seriously, you really only have enough time to watch a few select shows after spending your life at work, with your family and all the “adulting” you need to do. If you don’t then more power to you.
Getting local TV channels has actually gotten a lot of easier within the last couple of years with technology and several emerging online streaming services.
We’ll list some of the best ways to get at least your local TV channels and more information on some of the best products and services to use.
1. Get Yourself An HD Antenna 📡
An HD antenna is actually one of the best options for tapping into local TV channels without cable. It is also our highest recommended equipment for cord cutters.
It’s the basic backbone for getting free channels with no hidden fees and no monthly payments. It’s just the initial cost of the product itself.
It picks up broadcast signals from towers in your area, which are freely transmitted through the air. The device just picks it up and finely tunes it into your television set. It even displays HD quality depending on the channel.
- Check our Best HDTV Antenna Guide here!
◻️ Are they clunky?
With technology improving each and every day, the HD antennas we have today are actually much more powerful and sleeker in design.
It’s not like those huge satellites on your roof that looked like you were transmitting/receiving messages from space!
◻️ Indoor VS Outdoor Antenna?
There is a difference depending on where you live. Indoor HD antennas are normally best suited for homes in a larger city and relatively closer to broadcast towers.
Rural areas would probably want to look into outdoor antennas due to the distance away from broadcast towers.
Here are some quick recommendations on Antennas
2. Watch Online on Your PC 🖥️
If you don’t mind sitting in front a computer then this option is another alternative to watching live local TV channels.
You can access certain channels/shows directly through the network’s website but it won’t work on all networks. There will be some free content and obviously paid content.
You can even use certain official network apps from the appstore (Windows Appstore, Apple’s Appstore for example)
Here are some web links below:
If you have a laptop or a long HDMI cord, you can actually just connect it from your computer to the TV directly and watch the channels.
3. Watch Major Network Apps on Your Phone/Tablet 📱
If you’re on the go most of the time, watching local channels on your phone makes it that much easier through various apps.
Each large network has its own app and sometimes even your small local news channel. Whether you have an android, Apple or Windows based phone, just open your app store and search for the network you wish to watch.
CBS, NBC, ABC, CW and Fox are some examples. Each network app evidently works a bit different one another.
Some might offer free content on select shows and paid on others. It just varies but worth exploring.
4. Using a OTA-DVR!
This type of product works great for anyone who wishes to record their favorite live TV show and watch it later.
However, the difference between a subscription base DVR from cable and an OTA-DVR is that the OTA-DVR mainly just records over-the-air versus paid subscription channels (Syfy, Discovery, Disney, etc).
This over-the-air is just broadcasted channels you would normally receive with an HDTV antenna.
If that is what you’re in the market for then here are a few popular & recommended DVRs to look at:
- Fire TV Recast
- Tablo OTA DVR
- TIVO Roamio
Online Streaming Services
The list below here is going to be paid subscription services, which are still cheaper overall compare to cable services.
So if you’re diving into the realm of cord cutting then this is going to be a great list to scour through.
Pick the best service that fits your needs without all that extra BLOAT from expensive cable services!
5. Get SlingTV
SlingTV is by far the most popular streaming service online. It specializes more in live TV versus on-demand content such as Netflix and Hulu. All of which requires internet to steam content!
Sling TV does offer 3 different packages:
- Orange Package: $20/month (1 user at a time)
- Blue Package: $25/month (up to 3 users at a time)
- Combination of Orange + Blue: $40/month
You can find our more thorough Sling TV review here. It’ll breakdown the differences between the 3 packages.
Sling TV might not have most of your local TV channels but they are available in select markets. Channels such as FOX, NBC, ABC.
6. Get FuboTV
FuboTV is another great alternative to live local TV channels. It offers to more than a dozen sports channels such as FS1, FS2, beIN Sports and VTN along with some cool DVR functionality.
A DVR feature that allows you to record shows, movies, and sports that have aired in the last 3 days. Pretty badass for those who like to record & watch later.
It also offers access to local channels without cable such as Fox, CBS, and NBC in select markets. It’s worth a try, considering they have a free 7-day trial.
7. Get Hulu with Live TV
If you’re already subscribed to Hulu’s On-demand services then it might please you to hear that they also offer live TV services.
It’s seriously just like an add-on to something you’re already using and accustomed to.
For $44.99 per month, you’ll get access to over 60+ channels with the ability to watch local TV channels in select markets. Rivals that of Netflix, which is strictly still on-demand.
Try out Hulu Live with their 7-day free trial.
8. Youtube TV
The question is, who hasn’t heard of YouTube? Silly to think about since YouTube is the biggest video platform on EARTH, especially with hours and hours of user-created content.
YouTube TV now offers 40 channels for a price of $35.00/month with local TV in select markets. It’s still the new kid on the block but has the potential to be the biggest kid on the block.
9. Playstation Vue
Definitely a great service if you’re accustomed to the PlayStation platform, which allows you to watch local TV channels in select markets.
If offers 45-90 channels starting at $44.99/month and offers a 5-day trial!
10. Philo TV
Philo TV is an option we wanted to throw up since it’s by far one the cheapest alternatives to streaming live TV online. It’s definitely different since it doesn’t offer any sports content or local channels (probably why it’s cheaper).
However, it’s AMAZING for people who are more geared toward entertainment and lifestyle content for a grand slam monthly deal of just $16 per month (40 channel lineup).
For an extra $4.00, you can easily add 9 more channels to your arsenal!
11. Amazon Instant Video
This is by far my favorite service since I am a huge Amazon fan. It’s what definitely on my list of paid streaming services since I have Amazon related products anyways.
The point of listing so many different streaming options is because you’ll connect or vibe with one in some type of way through products or association of services.
Anyways, Amazon doesn’t offer streaming local channels but it does give access to thousands of movies and TV shows.
12. DirecTV Now
DirecTV is our last and final option. It doesn’t provide access to local TV channels but it’s a great alternative to high-cost cable services.
They offer plans starting at $50.00 for 40+ channels. Like all other streaming services listed above, there is no contract!
How To Get Free TV
◻️Jailbroken Firestick (Not Recommended)
We listed this as an option from an educational standpoint since you mostly have heard of this due to its popularity.
It’s quite possible to get local TV channels on these so-called “Jailbroken Firestick” but it’s DEFINITELY not something we recommend you get your hands on. It has unsafe third-party programs installed with questionable legality issues.
Just don’t do it.
However, getting a stocked Amazon Firestick is obviously perfectly fine. Just download the stock programs from the Amazon store.
There are plenty of free apps that have awesome free content that you can access.