If you want to cut the cord or stop paying for an expensive cable bill, we have five ways for you to continue watching your local channels
How to Watch Local Channels without Cable
Maybe you’re looking to save money for a new home or you don’t live in an area that offers decent cable company options.
Either way, you’d like to find a way to watch local channels without cable TV. How can you watch the news, a sports game, or Saturday morning cartoons on the cheap?
We have five ways for you to watch your favorite local channel without cable or satellite. We’ll go over each option and how to get them, and hope you’ll leave here with one or even a couple of options for you.
How to watch local TV channels over the internet
Five ways to watch local channels without cable
1. HD antenna
We recommend the Gesobyte Amplified TV Antenna or the 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna. An HD antenna is especially perfect for those who want a traditional TV experience. They are a one-time buy of about $18 to $65, they’re easy to set up, and you actually get more channels than you’d think.
The Gesobyte antenna costs about $30 and gives you over 40–150 channels with great reception. It has a 250-mile range, and it takes no more than 10 minutes to install. It also delivers channels with crystal-clear HD picture quality.
The 1byone antenna is $12 cheaper, a 200-mile radius, and gives you about 15–80 channels.
2. Channel app
The second way to watch local channels without cable TV is getting a subscription to a specific channel’s app. At most, these apps are $10 per month, but sometimes they’re free, and you’ll be able to find all of your favorite local channels in your smartphone's app store.
There’s Paramount+, which gives you access to live TV channels, on-demand TV shows and movies, and Original content. Not only can you watch Star Trek: Picard, Survivor, and The Brady Bunch whenever you’d like, but you’ll be able to watch your local CBS station, CBSN (24/7 news), CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live.
NBCUniversal Peacock provides live news and sports coverage you'd find on your local NBC channel. This streaming service has 50+ custom channels and 60,000–80,000+ hours of on-demand content. (The free plan gives you the lesser amount.)
Peacock's on-demand library includes TV shows and movies like The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Battlestar Galactica, Saturday Night Live, Saved by the Bell, the Harry Potter series, and the Fast and Furious series.
In the Apple Store or Google Play, you’ll also find apps for Fox Now, The CW, ABC, and PBS. You can watch your local CW and PBS channel for free on those apps, but you will have to login with a TV provider to watch the livestream of FOX and ABC.
Before we end this section, you should know that you’re going to need internet to stream. So if you’re not happy with your current internet service, check out our list of the best internet providers.
3. Live TV streaming service
A popular solution to cutting the cord is subscribing to a live TV streaming service.
Sling TV is the least expensive option, but only gives you FOX and NBC. YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV have most local channels on top of a good amount of popular channels, like HGTV and ESPN.
The Sling Orange package doesn’t have any local channels, but the Sling Blue package gives you your local FOX and NBC channels, among 40 other popular channels like FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, and Food Network.
YouTube TV will give you 100+ channels including your local ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS channels. You and your family can also enjoy Disney Channel, Food Network, and NFL Network.
4. Live stream local news online
If local news is what you’re looking for, then the fourth way to watch local channels without cable is simply watching the live stream of your local news station’s newscast on their website.
Find the “Watch Live” option on their homepage, and there you go! Free news.
And for the last and final way to watch local channels without cable: YouTube, the online video-sharing platform. Lots of major networks have their own YouTube channel where they upload clips of their news segments daily.
You can easily find the latest clips, search by keyword, and view their most popular uploaded videos by visiting their channel.
If you happen to choose to watch news on your station’s website or on YouTube, then let me suggest another free option for you for your entertainment channels: Pluto TV.
Pluto TV is a free live TV streaming service with more than 320 channels.You’ll find CBS News, 60 Minutes, JEOPARDY!, Dr. Phil, TV Land Sitcoms, CBS Sports HQ, and FOX Sports, just to name a few.
Recap: How to stream local channels
So you don’t need a cable subscription to get your favorite local channels to watch the news, sports, cartoons, or some great TV shows.
Here are your options:
- You can get an HD TV antenna
- Subscribe to a specific channel’s app
- Subscribe to a live TV streaming service
- Watch the live stream of your local news station’s newscast on their website
- Watch your local news channel on their YouTube page
- Or watch on Pluto TV
You can stay away from paying over $100, including TV fees, and just spend $80 or less, or even for no money at all to get your local channels on your TV right at home.