You may be wondering how you’ll be able to watch your local channels without cable, probably because of one reason or the other. In this article, we will take you through the best ways that you could watch broadcast TV without cable.
TV can be expensive to watch. The price of Cable TV packages varies from $40 or more for a very simple package to $150 + for the complete packages.
In the typical budget, a large cable TV bundle will really make a dent. As a consequence, people also search for ways to access cable-free local television.
How to Watch Local Channels Without Cable
The number of local channels you can receive with a TV aerial depends on a few factors:
Aerial Quality: We’ve all seen those cheap $5 aerials in Walmart. You should avoid them. They are of poor quality and cannot pick up the same amount of content, especially if you live in a more rural area where the signal strength is not as strong.
Aerial Location: The higher you can place your aerial, the better. For the best performance, you need to buy an external TV antenna and mount it on your roof.
Market: Some markets have far more local channels than others. If you live in a large metro area, it’s not uncommon to be able to get more than 30 OTA channels. People who live in the countryside might be restricted to one or two local stations.
It takes a bit of money and a bit of knowledge to use an HD antenna. Wherever you place your antenna it matters.
Using this cool website called Antenna Web, our country home address search was conducted to find out how many channels we could get if we hooked an HD antenna up.
When our address was typed without checking the box stating that the antenna would be installed at least 30 feet above ground, it said we could use an HD antenna to obtain 52 local channels.
If we install the antenna at least thirty feet above ground, though, we could get 55 channels locally. Depending on what the other three channels broadcast, it is not a significant difference in the number of channels.
We could also see certain channels that were 40-plus miles away from our house without mounting the antenna at thirty feet or above.
Watch Local TV Online
If you have internet access you can watch your local channels online from your phone.
Frequently provide free online streaming of the shows that they broadcast. Nevertheless, the opportunity to live stream shows on certain national networks may or may not be open to you depending on various factors.
For example, the site told me that live streaming wasn’t available in my area while watching live shows on ABC from my home computer.
Other apps, such as CBS, provide free viewing of certain shows as well as a live streaming service that lets you watch all local CBS shows from your home device.
For example, CBS All Access provides live streaming of their channel starting at $5.99 a month However, the service may or may not be available in your area.
Download a Mobile App
Many local stations offer free mobile applications where you can watch local TV shows on your smartphone or other mobile devices.
CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and CW stations all offer mobile apps that allow you to watch local TV shows on your mobile app with no subscription or cable or satellite hookup necessary.
It is important to remember that each app operates a little differently. The CBS app lets viewers see full episodes of their favorite on-demand CBS shows the day after they air.
However, you will have to pay for their CBS All Access bundle if you want access to live streaming or to their entire archives.
Access has packages, which start at $5.99 a month.
Sling TV is a streaming service, which can be accessed via your Internet connection. Unlike similar subscription services, Sling TV is specialized in broadcasting live television shows rather than on-demand programs.
In that way, Sling is similar to cable or satellite TV companies.
Sling TV offers three packages:
The Orange package for $30 a month
The Blue package for $30 a month
The combination Orange/Blue package for $45 a month
Although the types of channels available with the orange and blue packages have some overlap, there are some channels that are only available in one bundle or the other.
The orange package is also limited to one user at a time while the blue package allows multiple users (up to 3) at a time.
It’s also important to remember that a Sling TV package cannot include all of the local channels in your area. Their website says networks such as FOX, NBC and ABC are available only in selected markets.
Sling TV might be a decent alternative to high cost of cable and satellite TV, but it may not be able to provide you with access to all your local channels like an antenna.
A digital antenna can be the most cost-effective option for watching local channels in the region without having to sign up for cable TV. But usually subscribing to an online subscription service offers a better all-around experience.
However, the tricky part is that different streaming services offer different local channels and overall benefits, so you’ll have to choose one that suits your needs.