How To Watch Local Channels Without Cable (2024)

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For years, cable television companies have been losing consumers. As a result, many people have cut the cord and now get their TV news, sports, and entertainment via streaming services or by utilizing an antenna. Thankfully, paying a hefty cable bill isn’t the only way to access your local cable channel affiliates. That said, the following are some of the best ways to watch local channels without cable.

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The 5 Best ways to watch local channels without cable are below, scroll on down to see the full list.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting an antenna is one of the fastest ways to connect to cable channels constantly. Depending on where you are located, you may need to get your hands on a suitable antenna to access broadcasting towers near you.
  • Live TV streaming services such as YouTube TV, HULU, and Sling TV are a popular trend for those who have decided to let go of Cables’ high fees and move on to something more affordable. That said, free streaming services such as Peaco*ck, Pluto TV, and Roku Channel are not far behind in popular preference.
  • If you are only in need of Local News, then streaming live local news websites has been knowns as a go-to method for many cord-cutters today. With that in mind, getting your hands on free local news apps for smart TVs, mobiles, and tablets, such as FOX News, PBC, ABC, and more, is another excellent option for those who have their personal preference.

Table of Contents

  • Key Takeaways
  • How To Continue Watching Cable Channels After Cutting The Cord
    • 1. Watch Cable Channels With An Indoor Or Outdoor Antenna
      • The Best Antennas Found On Amazon
      • ANTAN Indoor Window HDTV Antenna
      • PEAWI Indoor 380+ Mile Indoor HDTV Antenna
    • 2. Live TV Streaming Services Provide Cable Channels
      • YouTube TV
      • Hulu Live TV
      • Sling TV
    • 3. Free Video Streaming Services Can Get You Your Favorite Series
      • Peaco*ck: Top Rated Free Streaming Service
      • Pluto TV: Best For Free Live Streaming Channels
      • Roku Channel: Best For Originals Streaming
    • 4. Live Stream Local News On Their Websites
    • 5. Individual Network Apps On Your Smart TV Or Mobile Device
  • Related Questions

How To Continue Watching Cable Channels After Cutting The Cord

Streaming services have altered the way we watch television. Compared to traditional cable, users may have quick access to TV shows and movies for a fraction of the cost and some even for free. With cable costs averaging approximately $99 per month, it’s no surprise that more people are looking for alternate methods to watch television without paying for it.

New streaming services join the market every other week, resulting in a streaming battle. In addition, streaming firms are also producing original programs and films.

While this is beneficial to the user, it can be challenging to decide which streaming service to join if you don’t know where to start. But, with a touch of guidance, this list is the best place to begin. So, starting with getting an antenna, here are some of the best ways to get back to browsing your favorite local channels.

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1. Watch Cable Channels With An Indoor Or Outdoor Antenna

Purchasing a digital HDTV antenna is the simplest method to tune into local channels without paying for cable.

However, antennas aren’t all the same. You’ll need to figure out the direction the stations transmit from before you can choose the best antenna for your requirements. It’s simple to discover whether you’re near any broadcast towers with that in mind. Go to the Federal Communications Commission website (FCC) and scroll down to the DTV Receptions Maps tool to find out more.

Then, push the “Go To My Location!” button or type in your zip code, city, or address and select “Go!” You’ll get a channel list and even some TV antenna recommendations based on your location found on the left of the map.

Now that you know where the tower is positioned, you can use a directional antenna if broadcast towers are in the same direction. A directional antenna directs its power toward the broadcast channels you wish to watch.

On the other hand, a multi-directional antenna is recommended if you wish to reach stations generally placed in the same direction but in various places. You may adjust the direction the antenna faces according to the broadcast tower you want to reach at any moment if you buy a directional antenna with a remote.

When broadcast towers are spread out and not in close proximity to one another, a problem occurs. You’ll need an omnidirectional antenna in this situation. In addition, you’ll need a more powerful antenna if you reside more than 20 miles from a broadcast tower.

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The Best Antennas Found On Amazon

Amazon is a brilliant place to start hunting for the best antenna for your needs. However, distance is an essential factor in determining which is ideal for you. Here are a few outstanding examples of antennas to search for with that in mind.

ANTAN Indoor Window HDTV Antenna

Of course, you might just need a 30-50 mile antenna if you live close by a broadcasting tower. Enjoy free HD and 4K channels – no need to pay a large TV bill with the ANTAN TV antenna. ABS, cabs, Fox, NBC, PBS, the Cw, Univision, and other over-the-air network broadcasts are available in uncompressed HD.

The 15-foot coaxial wire that comes with this out-of-the-way multi-directional antenna can reach up to a 50-mile radius and be bought for a good price. That’s money well spent for unlimited access to free cable channels.

PEAWI Indoor 380+ Mile Indoor HDTV Antenna

The PEAWI indoor HDTV antenna is more potent for those living further away from the broadcast towers for specific channels. With an excellent reputation, this beast will set you up comfortably with all the channels that every tower in its radius offers in a 380+ mile radius.

Aside from the cost, the quality of your reception is your first issue in a remote place. Next, you’ll have to be concerned about signal disruptions caused by the surrounding topography and interference signals from neighboring towers. With that in mind, this YouTube video link would help you set up your antenna to get the most channels.

2. Live TV Streaming Services Provide Cable Channels

You’re probably contemplating a live TV streaming deal if you’re cutting the cord from outdated cable but still want to watch some of your favorite TV stations. In addition, many, though not all, of these services, include at least some of your local channels.

Both YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV advertise that their memberships offer access to some local channels, but the cost may be exorbitant for others. For example, Hulu + Live TV is now $70 per month, while YouTube TV starts at $65 per month.

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However, this isn’t the most inexpensive option, but it could be the most beneficial for you. As a result, here’s what to expect from some of the best live TV streaming services.

YouTube TV

Get YouTube TV here

YouTube TV is 2022’s Best Live TV Streaming Service and 2022’s Best Sports Streaming Service. YouTube TV is a streaming service with over 85 channels that can replace your cable subscription. The package includes HGTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, Disney, PBS, BET, MTV, Nick Jr., and various sports channels such as ESPN and NBC Sports for around $65 per month.

However, for out-of-market games or those involving non-local clubs, YouTube TV may not be the ideal option. With a subscription, you may watch material on three separate devices and create six distinct accounts.

At no extra charge, YouTube TV offers unlimited DVR cloud storage. That said, as long as you are an active member, you can retain recordings for nine months. A free trial of the service is available for five days.

Hulu Live TV

Get Hulu + Live TV here

Hulu + Live TV is a one-of-a-kind subscription that offers both live TV streaming and access to Hulu’s on-demand library. Hulu is sometimes regarded as a direct rival to Netflix, but if you want on-demand shows and live TV, Hulu may be the superior option in the long term.

Hulu + Live TV costs around $70 a month and gives you access to over 75 live channels, including local networks and sports channels, and 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and two-screen viewing. Unfortunately, you’ll just have to pay six dollars extra each month, for a total of around $71, to get rid of Hulu’s commercial-supported service.

Hulu + Live is now available in a special bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+, and you can also add HBO Max to your Hulu account for an extra $15 per month.

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Sling TV

Get Sling TV here

Sling is another good choice that is less expensive than its two competitors. It also offers a free plan and two premium options that may be modified to fit your needs. Sling Free allows you to test out Sling TV programming without committing, and the free trial has no time restriction. Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans start at $35 each, with a $50 monthly bundle.

The channel roster includes NFL Network, FOX News, BET, CNN, ESPN, and AMC, depending on your plan. So choose Sling Blue and start building your bundle from there if you’re more interested in news and entertainment.

If you like sports and family programming, you may customize your subscription with Sling Orange and add-ons. For example, Sling TV includes a cloud DVR with 50 hours of storage.

3. Free Video Streaming Services Can Get You Your Favorite Series

Free streaming services aren’t supposed to compete with the top free streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus. As a result, they lack the latest television shows, blockbuster films, and some original content. However, that’s OK since, after all, they’re free!

You can stream popular movies and TV series without spending a cent with the top free streaming services. Furthermore, these free streaming sites include live TV and on-demand material, with a focus on older and classic titles and some current releases. With that in mind, here’s who they are and what they offer:

Peaco*ck: Top Rated Free Streaming Service

Visit Peaco*ck and start streaming here

NBC’s Peaco*ck TV is massive, with over 13,000 hours of material available in its Peaco*ck Free tier. That stuff is also excellent. Among the shows available are The Office, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Cheers, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, and Parks and Recreation. There are also many flicks to choose from, ranging from Harry Potter to Jurassic Park.

Peaco*ck is at the top because it seemed like a premium experience with a little smaller range of titles when I tested it. It is a circ*mstance that just a few other providers in the area can provide. As a Peaco*ck Free subscriber, you may view the service’s originals, like Psych 3: This is Gus.

There are also “live” networks similar to Saturday Night Live and the Today Show. So if you’re stuck for anything to watch, go through the channels and see what’s on. Overall, I’d call Peaco*ck Free a bargain!

Pluto TV: Best For Free Live Streaming Channels

Visit Pluto TV and start streaming here

Pluto TV, which Viacom owns, offers a good collection of on-demand movies and episodes, but it truly excels in live TV streaming. Viewers may browse live channels in a grid, similar to how they would read a cable TV guide.

For example, you may watch TV Land Drama, BET Her, MTV’s Jersey Shore, and VH1’s I Love Reality since Viacom’s other assets highly influence the roster. They also have other well-known companies like CNN and Fox Sports; however, those only show handpicked excerpts instead of the live broadcast you’d see on cable.

Roku Channel: Best For Originals Streaming

Visit Roku Channel and start streaming here

Each Roku TV or device comes with the Roku Channel app pre-installed, but you can also download it to use on smartphones or tablets. You can also access it online. Despite not being required to register for an account to view the Roku Channel (you may watch as a guest), registering allows you to watch on another device later.

Like other services, it offers on-demand movies and TV shows. In addition, Roku Live TV Guide allows viewers to navigate between channels with the Roku Channel. Roku Channel’s best feature is its frequent broadcasting of premiere episodes of major cable series like Game of Thrones, Billions, Outlander, and Watchmen.

4. Live Stream Local News On Their Websites

If you’re looking for local news, you might be able to get by with some of the programs available on new free streaming platforms. Amazon News is the most recent to deliver free local news updates in 158 U.S. regions. Of course, you’ll need the Amazon News app, which is available on Fire TV streaming devices, to use this function.

Alternatively, you may also download various news apps for free through the Amazon.com webpage, and you will be able to find CNN, ABC News, Fox News, and more through their link.

On the other hand, if you use the Amazon news app, you’ll be able to select from a menu of local channel newsfeeds after you’ve opened the app. Typically, the channels that are closest to your area are presented. So, for example, I received free news and weather from my local CBS affiliate in my situation.

Remember that this isn’t a live feed of the channel’s over-the-air programming. Highlights and snippets from newscasts and other local programs are used instead. That said, if you have a Roku device, there’s a comparable alternative called NewsON that gives you access to over 275 local news sources around the country.

5. Individual Network Apps On Your Smart TV Or Mobile Device

My last piece of advice for getting local channel material without cable is to go right to the source on the internet. Here’s a brief list of connections to your local channels’ network-level apps:

You may frequently watch free (but ad-supported) on-demand replays of your favorite network shows. Local network affiliates may also have their own apps or websites with clips, streaming, articles, and highlights from locally produced programs. So, in conjunction with the national applications, you might be able to put together a usable free content mix from your local channel without spending any money.

Are Smart TVs Equipped With Tuners?

Although most smart TVs have their own tuners, you’ll still need to connect an HDTV digital antenna to your TV to get local over-the-air channels.

What Is One Of The Best Streaming Devices, And Do I Need One?

The ideal gadget for streaming entertainment is a matter of personal taste. For example, the Amazon TV Firestick may be the perfect option if you wish to utilize Alexa with your television. On the other hand, a Chromecast TV is the most excellent option if you like to use Android devices.

Finally, consider utilizing Apple TV to stream if you use Siri and exclusively use Apple goods. Again, there are several options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, if you have a Smart TV, you would not need the use of any streaming device.

How Do You Add Local Channels To Your TV?

The best approach to adding neighborhood networks to your TV is to install an antenna. The antenna will identify the channels available to you during installation. Then, you choose the ones you wish to watch on your TV. After that, you may start viewing any of those stations whenever you switch on your television.

How To Watch Local Channels Without Cable (2024)

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