How Do You Watch Local Channels Without Cable?

Are you watching local channels for FREE or paying for a service? Tell us how you’re watching local TV!

Several years ago I looked at my OTA options and decided on:

  1. Terrestrial antenna installed in my attic
  2. HD Homerun tuner with input from antenna and output to my home network (there are multiple options including hard drive storage as well as multiple tuners for watching/recording multiple stations simultaneously)

Although not required I use Channels app, a one time purchase, which I use on AppleTV, Firestick and smart TVs.

I also subscribe to Channels DVR service (about $80/year) which allows me to record shows to a NAS (network attached storage) since HDHomerun didn’t offer internal storage device at the time. One can set it up to record one or all episodes of a series easily, even remotely from your phone. One can also set it up to skip commercials, which works pretty well. WIth an Apple TV one can also pause live tv, which is great if you need a BR break or need to take a phone call.

This set up also allows me to add my own home or purchased movies to my NAS storage.
I am able to watch all of these at home on my TVs, on my tablets and phones.
And if traveling, I bring along my FIrestick and can watch live or recorded programming by plugging it into any HD television.
Best of all for my wife: ONE TV REMOTE only! (Apple TV or Firestick)

I’ve been content with YTTV for the last 6 months since cutting the cord with one of the satellite providers and even getting an additional $10 off per month through T-Mobile. YTTV is a great service for sports and I especially love the unlimited DVR capabilities for recording network series etc. No additional hardware to be concerned with except my fire stick for the YTTV app.

I’ve had a 2-tuner HD Homerun for about ten years now. I also run the HD Homerun DVR on a NAS NAS server, the NAS-resident DVR app is free but they charge $35/yr for the programing guide which works really well. You can also download and/or edit the recordings with a video editor. Recently SiliconDust, the HD Homerun people have made an LG smart TV app which works almost as well as the computer-based versions. It works seamlessly with their DVR.

I also have PlayOn but they recently stopped supporting the desktop version. PlayOn still works well as a DVR for PBS Passport streaming. HomeRun records using an MPG format while PlayOn records in MP4.

I supplement the OTA programing with Passport, Paramount+ subscriptions

I just watch over the air. I have “rabbit ears” for mine, which gives a decent signal most of the time. But I don’t watch that much over the air TV. If I did, I would likely put an antenna in the attic to a bit stronger signal. I will say that over the air HD is WAY better than cable.

Pretty big antenna outside. Get a lot of different channels.

No such thing is free. You either pay with a subscription service, or through watching ads, or both.

Due to the pesky 9,500 foot hill between us and the towers, we get 4 OTA stations - 2 religious in English, 1 Spanish religious and 1 Spanish entertainment (mostly game and talk shows). So, Comcast is us.

LG now has a HDHomerun APP on their C-model OLED TVs. It works pretty good with the LG remote.

No over the air TV for me. In fact there are no TV or radio stations between me and Antarctica and the rest are blocked by giant volcanoes. Other people on the island can get OTA programming from Maui.

So until a number of years back I was able to watch what stations the cable company failed to block. They just bled through the filter. At one time I had 20 cable channels watchable, now none.

I watch a number of free “almost cable” provider lineups. Roku has a boat load of content as does Pluto TV. There are other providers who offer channel line ups that you would swear are a cable company lineup.

Even without a smart TV people can watch Pluto.TV offerings by just using a browser or cellphone app. I don’t mind commercials to get free service.

I pay for a few channels and some I get from relatives who share their account.