How to Watch Local TV Channels Using Only the Internet? 1 App Could Save You Quite a Bit of Money

Nowadays there are a ton of streaming services to use; from Netflix to Hulu, consumers can subscribe to a lot of different apps and platforms to watch series and movies on demand. But what if you wanted to watch classic TV or live local television? What about prime-time TV? Can you do that with just the internet? Yep. 

There are several platforms that allow you to pay for live TV and they range from pretty affordable to more pricey. One app is absolutely free, if you’re in its range. There is even a free classic TV streaming channel of sorts. The internet is grand, sometimes, and definitely offers some perfectly legal ways to enjoy television without cable and without gearing up for a binge marathon. 

Locast 

A group of young British children watching television in October 1988
A group of young British children watching television in October 1988 | Express/Getty Images

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Probably the best and most obscure service on this list is Locast. It’s a completely free platform that offers live TV in 31 TV markets, according to GroundedReason.com. It’s all local channels, so it’ll have ABC, NBC, and The (elusive) CW. 

Of those 31 places, Locast is available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Puerto Rico, New York, and Boston. It has Chromecast capabilities on the app plus it’s available on Roku, FireTV, AppleTV, and more. This is the best, free option if you have internet and want live, local TV ASAP. 

ShoutFactory

As promised before, if you want a classic TV streaming channel, ShoutFactory is the place for you. There are a lot of networks that offer live streaming online, but ShoutFactory not only has classic movies but classic shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Johny Carson Show on-demand. Plus there is live TV you can watch on there as well. 

FuboTV, Sling, Philo

Getting into some of the paid options, if you don’t want cable and just have internet, one option is to subscribe to a live service. 

FuboTV starts at $64.99 a month and includes all local channels and then some. From ABC, Fox, CBS, Bravo, and more, that hefty price gets you a lot with 117 channels, plus you can add onto it.  

Sling is a way more accessible option at $25 per month. There are two different sets of channel options for that price with the different amounts of devices allowed and neither involves contracts. However, there are very few local channels.

Philo is the cheapest option here at $20 per month. It includes 64 channels, up to three devices allowed on the account, DVR capabilities, and add ons like Starz for $9. Unfortunately, like Sling, it doesn’t look like Philo boasts as many local channels but more specialty ones like BBC America, Cheddar, Animal Planet, Paramount, and more.  

YouTubeTV

Going into the more “elite” or upper-tier streaming services for live TV is YouTubeTV. It costs the same as FuboTV but it includes The CW which, for whatever reason, is hard to come by on some live streaming services that aren’t straight-up cable. It does have fewer channels than FuboTV however, depending on what you’re looking for, YouTubeTV might have more channels that you want. 

Hulu Live

Photo illustration of Hulu logo on a TV, Nov. 20, 2019 in Paris, France
Photo illustration of Hulu logo on a TV, Nov. 20, 2019 in Paris, France| Chesnot/Getty Images

Hulu is obviously known for its streaming capabilities up there with Netflix. But it also has a live TV option that you can subscribe to as well. It’s about the same as YouTubeTV in that it’s $64.99 a month. While it only comes with 65+ channels to YouTubeTV’s 85+ advertised channels, Hulu’s regular streaming platform is included.

So if you’re already a huge fan of Hulu’s selection of original content or just its general offering of binge-able shows and movies, this might be the best option for you. And, as with many, you can do add-on things including paying more to have unlimited devices on your account. 

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