It can be pricey to watch television. The cost of cable TV packages varies, starting at $40 or more for an essential bundle and going up to $150+ for the complete ones.
A sizable cable or satellite TV bundle might severely impact the average household’s budget. As a result, individuals frequently look for non-cable options to watch local TV.
There may be a large number of free local TV channels in your area that you may watch. The best ways to watch them without a cable or satellite TV subscription are listed below.
How to View Local Television At Home?
The majority of the cable providers where I live charge $60 a month only to view local TV channels, according to my research on local cable company pricing for this piece.
The starting price for larger packages was roughly $75 per month, but that price did not include taxes, fees, installation, or monthly equipment rental costs.
As you can see, even if you only want a higher-quality reception to watch local TV stations, a cable or satellite TV bundle may add up rapidly. What are your options, then? Here are a few excellent suggestions.
1. Purchase An HD Antenna
It costs a little money and requires some skills to use an HD antenna where you put your antenna matters.
I looked up the address of our rural home on this beautiful site called Antenna Web to see how many channels we could get if we connected an HD antenna.
It indicated we could get 52 local channels with an HD antenna when I filled in our address without ticking the box stating that the antenna would be built at least 30 feet above the ground.
Additionally, we could receive 55 local stations if we erect the antenna at least thirty feet above the ground. So depending on the content those other three stations transmit, the number of channels remains the same.
We could view some stations more than 40 miles away from our homes without mounting the antenna at thirty feet or higher.
Which Antenna Type?
The response to the query is uncertain. Finding out which direction the broadcast stations are in your home might help you decide which sort of antenna is appropriate for you.
You can use a directional antenna if they are all close to your home in the same area. One direction is the focus of a directional antenna’s power.
A multi-directional antenna will function best if the transmission towers are spread out but in the same general direction. On the other hand, an omnidirectional antenna is a useful option if towers are spread out and not necessarily close to one another in any direction.
Additionally, you can purchase an excellent directional antenna with a remote. Depending on which tower you’re connecting to at the time, the remote lets you adjust which way the antenna faces.
You may require a more potent antenna if you reside further away. However, you can get away with something less potent if you live less than 20 miles from most broadcast stations.
Antennas: Indoor or Outdoor?
An indoor antenna should work well if you live close to transmitting stations (say, within 20 miles). However, if you reside in an apartment, townhouse, or condominium were mounting an outside antenna is prohibited, you will additionally require an internal antenna.
However, regardless of where you reside, you’ll likely receive more excellent service if you can erect an external antenna. An outside antenna is necessary if you reside far from transmitting stations.
There are other possibilities, though an antenna is likely the best choice for increasing the local channels you can access without cable TV.
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2. Online Local Channel Viewing
You can view your local stations on your computer if you have Internet connectivity.
Large local stations like:
They frequently provide free internet watching of the programs they air. However, according to various variables, you might not be able to watch episodes on national networks like this life.
For instance, the website informed me that live streaming wasn’t accessible in my location when I attempted to view live broadcasts on ABC from my home computer.
Other websites, like CBS, allow you to watch some episodes for free and a live streaming service that lets you catch every local CBS broadcast from your home computer.
For instance, Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) starts streaming live content from their channel at $4.99 per month. Nevertheless, the service might or might not be accessible in your region.
3. Subscribe To Sling TV
Sling TV is a streaming service that can be viewed online, much like Netflix or Hulu. However, sling TV, in contrast to other streaming services, focuses on streaming live TV programs rather than on-demand content.
Sling is comparable to cable or satellite TV providers in that regard. Sling TV provides these three bundles:
- The $40 monthly Orange package (Includes ESPN)
- Blue bundle, which costs $40 per month (Includes Fox Sports)
- The $55 monthly Orange/Blue combo package
While there is considerable overlap between the channel types offered by the orange and blue bundles, some channels are exclusively offered in one or the other.
The blue package allows numerous (up to three) devices at once, but the orange package can only support one user at a time. Additionally, it’s vital to remember that a Sling TV plan might only include some local channels available in your area.
According to their website, specific markets are the only ones where channels like FOX, NBC, and ABC are available.
Although Sling TV can be a viable cable TV substitute, it might only be able to provide you with access to some of your local channels like an antenna would. However, SlingTV is available for the first month for just $10, thanks to a deal!
4. Get A Mobile App.
Several local stations provide mobile apps for free access to local TV shows on your smartphone or another mobile device.
Without a subscription or a cable or satellite connection, you can view local TV programming on your mobile device from CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW stations.
It’s significant to remember that each app functions slightly differently. For example, the day after they air, full episodes of viewers’ favorite CBS series are available on-demand on the CBS app.
However, if you want access to live streaming or their library, you’ll need to purchase their Paramount+ service, which I previously discussed. Packages for Paramount+ start at $4.99 per month.
The ABC App
In some major cities, like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, you’ll require a cable or satellite provider to access the ABC app’s archive and live stream content.
The NBC App
Recent episodes of certain new shows are available to watch for free on the NBC app. Older episodes and shows via your mobile device are also available. Mobile viewers must have a satellite or cable provider to access live streaming and select recent episodes.
The Fox App
Most programs are available to stream on the Fox app the day following their initial airing. However, your participating TV provider account gives you more options, including live streaming.
The CW App
The CW app is most likely the furthest from live TV. They only permit viewing of the five most current episodes of each show while providing free streaming.
If you have a TV subscription provider, you cannot watch more. However, mobile apps are also available for a few other cable TV stations.
You might only have some options for watching your favorite local channel shows with a cable subscription with mobile apps that don’t provide TV subscription plans. However, they allow you to watch more episodes on your mobile device for free.
5. Subscribe To Hulu
You may watch local stations on Hulu, a well-known streaming service, for as little as $5 per month. In addition, you can access local networks, movie channels, and more with Hulu.
Local channel prime-time programs and other show episodes are streamable the day after they air. Although Hulu does include advertisements, you can remove them for an additional $6 per month.
For $54.99 a month, you can upgrade to Hulu Live TV and watch new episodes immediately. There are tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes available on Hulu.
As well as a free trial period of 30 days for each membership. You can change plans or cancel anytime without additional costs or equipment rentals.
6. View YouTube TV
One of the newest additions to the streaming world is YouTube TV. You may watch local stations, entertainment, sports, news, and more on YouTube TV.
You can add up to six accounts when you subscribe to YouTube TV. In addition, you can access 85 channels or more with YouTube TV, depending on where you live.
Depending on where you live, YouTube TV offers a variety of cable channel favorites in addition to local networks.
The only drawback is that YouTube TV costs too much ($64.99 a month). However, they do provide new users with a free 7-day trial. Even at $64.99 a month, YouTube TV is less expensive than many subscription plans offered by cable companies.
Another reason to cut the cord and stop paying for pricey cable TV packages is the multitude of methods you can watch local TV without cable or satellite. You can choose the most practical and economical route using the information above.