How to get local channels without cable
Ditch the myth that you need cable to watch your local channels! Keep reading to learn how to stream local TV online.
Cable companies love to perpetuate the myth that without your cable subscription, you won’t be able to get your local channels. But you can get your local news, live sports and favorite network shows without the high cable bill. Local channels vary based on your location.
Top local channels:
These networks offer a lot of primetime programming in addition to local news broadcasts and select sports coverage. Some streaming services offer local channels in their lineups, but you'll still pay for them. Here are a few ways you can access your local channels for free.
Use an antenna
An HD antenna is the most surefire way to get access to the local channels in your area without paying a dime. Availability and number of local channels you receive through an antenna varies, so it’s a good idea to use SLING's local channel finder to see what’s available for you.
- HD antennas range in price from $10 to $90, depending on the quality and signal range
- One-time purchase that allows to you to watch available local channels for free
- Great for addresses that require more range
- Slightly more expensive in upfront costs and setup labor
- Will likely receive better signals to view your channels
Keep in mind things like interference, placement and positioning are important for antennas - unlike cable or internet streaming. Make sure your antenna is facing the nearest broadcast towers and away from obstructions like walls, furniture or electronics.
Access networks online
Each network has different restrictions for online access and streaming. While some networks may still require a TV provider login to access their content, many networks offer free content as well. If your shows require a login, you may still be able to watch your favorite shows for free if you don’t mind waiting through a delay after an episode airs.
For full access to the network’s content or the guaranteed ability to live stream without a TV provider, you'll need a separate subscription for most local channels. A CBS All Access subscription, for example, gets you live streaming and immediate access to full episodes of all CBS shows as well as NFL games, and paying for FOX’s app means that you can watch content beyond a one-hour free preview.
Between HD antennas and network apps, getting local channels without cable is no longer the hurdle it used to be. Cut the cord without losing the channels that mean the most to you by combining free locals with a streaming service (hint: like SLING) and save money without sacrificing entertainment.
Want to learn more about watching local TV for free?
Do you have more questions about how SLING can help you stream local channels? Slingucation wants to answer them all! Here are some more topics to check out: