Broadcast TV networks are the most popular for TV viewing. These include ABC, FOX, CBS, FOX, NBC, and FOX. These shows consistently rank in the Nielsen ratings Top 10. This article describes in detail how you can watch your local broadcast network live online or over the air using a TV antenna.
Free Local TV
Cable TV won’t tell you this, but local TV networks can be reached over the air with a TV antenna. Antelope TV is actually better than cable. The TV signals of today are digital. Therefore, you will need a TV that was made after 2007 and has a digital tuner.
Every TV I’ve seen can use a TV antenna. If your TV has a coaxial port, make sure it is visible on the back or side. You will see a label with the words “HD”, “ATSC,” and “HDTV” indicating that your TV has a Digital Tuner. If your TV does not have a digital tuner, you can use a digital converter to convert it.
Once your “digital-ready” TV has been installed, all that is left to do is add a TV antenna. Antenna companies refer to the “digital-ready” TV as a marketing term. Any antenna will pick up the signal. It is the TV turner’s ability to receive the digital signal that is important. You can still use an antenna from the 1950s. If your TV is digital (which almost all of them are), it will work.
There are many options for antennas. It is important to do some research before you purchase one. You don’t have to worry about it. You can return it if it does not receive the channels you wish. Check out the following instructional guides if the flat antenna does not meet your expectations.
Learn how to choose the right TV antenna
Learn How to Use a Single Antenna on Multiple TVs
Learn how to ground your TV Antenna
Learn how to improve antenna TV reception
An Over the Air DVR lets you record from your Antenna
Stream Local Channels for Free
I know that not everybody wants an antenna. Many people want to watch their local channels online. Locast, a streaming service that allows you to stream local networks without any fees, used to be the best. Locast lost a court case to ABC, CBS Fox, Fox, and NBC, so it was forced to suspend operations. These local solutions are not available for long-term steaming. You can still take advantage of free trials from the listed services. You can stream local channels from US TV markets if you’re looking for something quick and easy.
Hulu+Live TV: Offers a 1-week free trial.
FuboTV: Offers a 7Day Free Trial
DIRECTV TV Stream. gives a full return if you cancel within fourteen days of signing up.
YouTube TV Offers a 1-Week Free Trial
Further information is available in the following section.
Streaming Services with Local Channels
An antenna is not necessary if you do not want to stream local network channels. However, there are many options to stream them. Hulu+LiveTV or YouTubeTV provide the best way to stream local ABC/NBC, Fox, Fox, and CBS. Both services offer live streaming of major broadcast networks in most US markets. FuboTV and DirecTV Stream are two other options to view local channels. However, they do not cover as many countries. Lastly, Paramount + and Sling TV, Video streams some of the top 4 local broadcasters in some areas of the country.
The sections below provide information on the local channel offers for each service.
Hulu Live TV has Local Channels
Did you know Hulu streams Live TV Hulu currently streams Live TV from NBC, FOX FOX, CBS, and almost all other markets? Hulu will check where you live to determine which local channels are accessible. It will also inform you of available cable channels! It is possible to get live FOX and CBS in the majority of the U.S. These are the same local networks that you can watch on cable TV or over the air.
They can stream virtually every channel on pay television. There are no contracts so you can cancel at any time. Hulu Live TV starts at $64.99/month. This is a lot cheaper than traditional cable. Hulu’s extensive on-demand streaming library is included.
Hulu+live TV works on Roku Fire TV Devices Apple TV Chromecast Apple TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Android. Find out more about Hulu+live TV in our Hulu review. Also, see a list of all the local channels available on Hulu.
YouTube TV Channels
YouTube TV is a great choice for live streaming ABC, CBS, Fox, and The CW. To verify that these channels are available in the area, you can visit Youtube Televisions Website and check your Zip Code. Youtube TV is also the only service to offer PBS as a live channel.
YouTube TV is also a great service to view local and cable channels live online. The monthly cost of $64.99 is inclusive of no contract. You can cancel anytime. Youtube TV supports Android and iOS as well as Fire TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Fire TV. Roku is not compatible with the YouTube TV App. Roku users have the option to use YouTube TV using the YouTube app. YouTube TV’s in-depth review can be found here.
Fubo TV offers local channels
FuboTV broadcasts live local Fox, ABC, or NBC programming in select markets. This service also features networks known for sports such as FS1, FS2, beIN, NBCSN, BTN, and NBCSN. FuboTV is offering a free 1-week trial. FuboTV is reviewed in-depth.
FuboTV works on many platforms including AppleTV. AndroidTV. Roku. Amazon FireTV. After the 30-day free trial, the “Family Plan”, which costs $64.99 per year, is available. The package includes 250 hours of storage in the cloud and the ability for 3 devices to be viewed simultaneously.
DIRECTV Streams Channels Local
DIRECTV Stream provides local channels in all US TV markets. The price for the service is $69.99 per monthly. It offers live ABC and NBC, FOX, CBS, and The CW. A subscription to DIRECTV Stream offers:
Subscription includes 3 streams
A cloud-based DVR
Freeform, AMC TV, HGTV, Discovery, and many more channels
You can use Roku, Amazon FireTV, and AppleTV to support your AppleTV, Android TV, Roku, or Roku.
This service is available in a variety of ways. You can see the details on their promo page, or read more about it in our DIRECTV Stream Review.
You have limited options
Sling TV does not offer local FOX and NBC unless you subscribe to Sling TV’s Blue channel package. Sling TV can be watched on Windows and Macs as well as Android and iOS devices. Roku, Amazon Fire TVs, Nexus Player, Xbox One, 4th Generation Apple TVs, Chromecast, and other devices are all supported. You can read this review to find out more about Sling TV. Sling TV gives you a 3-day complimentary trial.
Paramount – This provides live broadcasts from local CBS stations across the U.S. The link will allow you to check if the live local feed in your area is available. Paramount+ can be downloaded for free if you are interested.
Vigo provides Fox and ABC coverage in more than 100 markets throughout the country. However, it does not provide NBC and CBS. Video is compatible with Android, iOS, Roku Apple TV, Fire TV. The service can be streamed simultaneously on three devices. Our guide to Video’s live streaming services has all the details. There is a free 3-day trial that you can cancel within the first 3 days.
Roku and Amazon Fire TV offer local channels.
You can also download the app to your streaming device to view local TV. But, if your decision was to buy a TV antenna, we’ll go into more detail.
A “TV Antenna Roku” Roku Roku app can read input from your Roku TV. Turn on the TV Antenna and connect your TV to the port. A program guide as well as all channels received by your antenna will be displayed. Amazon Fire Smart TVs offer similar functionality.
An antenna can still be used even if you don’t have a Roku television but a Roku device. To use an antenna, however, you will need additional hardware. Here are two ways to do it.
TabloDVR This is a DVR which records your TV signal. Your antenna plugs directly into Tablo DVR. The Tablo plugs into the router of your home. Roku’s tablet app can be used to manage the DVR, set recordings, and watch live TV. Learn more in our review on DVRs for TV Antennas.
HDHomeRunConnectDuo – This is not a digital video recorder. It connects to the router via ethernet. Once connected, the HDHomeRun will send the TV signal to your home network via the HD HomeRun Roku APP. This device is and available from Amazon.
You can hook up the antenna to your TV to stream live TV. These solutions are more to make it easy to watch live TV from your Roku menu.
Prime Time Network TV Online
Even if you live outside of the markets where streaming services are available, they can still stream content on-demand. Even though you won’t be able to access local news, it will provide access to prime-time network television. There are no fees for trial and no commitments, so there’s no risk in trying them.
Stream Network Shows on-Demand
Hulu On-Demand is one way to catch primetime TV. The combination will give you several hits primetime programs on CBS, ABC/NBC, FOX, and The CW. Hulu are worth a look to see if the service appeals to you. You can view PBS shows via the PBS app. It is compatible with almost all devices.
Although Paramount+ and Hulu are supported on most browsers and tablets, smartphones and tablets can’t support these apps, you may want to see these shows on TV. You will need a streaming device such as a Roku to do that.
These devices connect to different video services using apps (also known under the name channels). They stream the video to your television.
Network TV Apps Available for Free
You won’t be able to stream your local networks through these apps but you will find some free content. These apps usually offer primetime show seasons for free. While there is some free content, you shouldn’t expect that they will have all of your favorite shows.
You can watch many NBC Shows at NBC.com. Although you have to wait eight days for the most recent episode, the full-length episodes can be viewed on most streaming devices. For the NBC App, search your channel store.
The NBC App has the latest episodes of each show’s season.
Some content requires login to the ABC App from your TV provider. But, you can still access current episodes of ABC shows for free. A “lock” symbol will indicate which episodes require you to connect your TV provider account. However, you can still view locked episodes for most shows without signing into your participating television provider account until 8 days after they air on TV.
I checked, and the latest episodes of the following shows can be viewed on ABC within eight days.
The shows will make the last 5 episodes free. The app can be downloaded to your mobile, streaming, or desktop computer or you can also watch ABC’s website.
Fox Now offers free online programming. However, they will delay the current episodes if your account isn’t valid for satellite or cable TV. Some shows seem to be more delayed than others. But, there is a solution to this madness.
The average FOX show that has been on the air for at least one season, returning FOX programs, which are shows that air every 8 days, can be unlocked by viewers who do not have a TV provider. In some cases, the last 5 episodes may not be available. You can view the latest episodes The Simpsons, The Masked Singer. However, you will not be able to watch new shows like LA’s Best without a TV provider.
The Fox Now App is accessible on most streaming services.
You can view multiple CBS Shows on the CBS App or at CBS.com. It may seem confusing which shows are available to watch on CBS vs the premium Paramount+ service. However, you can access the full episodes on most streaming devices. Just search your device’s channel store to find the CBS App.
The CBS app now has the latest episodes from the following series: NCIS ( The Equalizer), Clarice, as well as the NCIS (NCIS) and NCIS ( NCIS). New episodes air the day following their airing on CBS. They are generally available for free for several weeks before moving to Paramount+.
Online streaming of broadcast TV can be a breeze with The CW. They have full-length, up-to-date episodes of “Arrow,” Supernatural,” “The Flash,” among others. They usually make most of their shows available within a few hours of airing. You can access the CW App on your streaming device’s channel store.
PBS also makes great efforts to provide online content. You can stream live from the PBS member station in any of over 125 TV markets. Check out our guide on watching PBS online. PBS.com provides many full-length episodes for PBS shows.
Are You Looking for a Local Network?
If you are part of a specific local live network, please see the channel-specific articles.
Watch Fox Online Without Cable
Watch NBC Online Without Cable
CBS Online Without Cable
ABC Online Without Cable
Online CW Watch
PBS Without Cable
To view other TV channels online, please visit How Do I Stream TV Channels
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