So you’ve decided to ditch cable and buy a Roku device. There is a lot of excellent streaming content, but how do you watch your local channels live? While many web pages explain how to watch local news on Roku when you google this question, this article describes how to watch your local ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, and more with your Roku Device.
Free Local Channels on Roku
Over 40% of the U.S. population can watch all local channels broadcast in their area using Locast. Locast has an app available on Roku and several other devices (See our review of Locast for more details.) As of this article’s publish date, the Locast app will receive all the channels locally broadcast in the following areas.
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Puerto Rico
- Rapid City
- San Francisco
- Tampa, Seattle
- Sioux City
- Sioux Falls
- Washington D.C
- West Palm Beach FL
For example, I live in Baltimore, and downloading the Locast app on my Roku allowed me to watch 16 channels live, including my local PBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS, CW, MeTV, and more.
Use a Live Streaming Service
Coverage of live local ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox availability on live streaming service is better than ever. Hulu and YouTube TV have nearly the entire country covered on the big 4 TV networks.
Hulu’s Live TV – This service currently streams live ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS in nearly every TV market and the CW in quite a few markets. They also offer a bunch of channels you’ll typically find on cable. You can check your zip code with Hulu to see which local channels are available in your area. It will also tell you which cable channels are available! Hulu live starts at $54.99 per month, but they offer a free trial.
YouTube TV – is an equally great option for watching live ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. You can check your Zip Code on Youtube TVs Website to make sure those channels are available in your area. They are also one of the only live services to offer PBS in their channel lineup. The service costs $54.99 per month after a free trial. You can see our in-depth review of YouTube TV for more information on their service.
Use a TV Antenna with Your Roku
If you have a Roku TV instead of the standalone Roku device, there is a “TV Antenna” Roku app that reads input from the coaxial port on your Roku TV back. Connect your TV antenna to the port and turn on the TV Antenna app. You will have access to a program guide and all the channels your antenna receives. See our guide to TV Antennas to find the right antenna for you.
If you don’t have a Roku TV but a Roku device, you still may be able to use an antenna. However, you will need some additional hardware. Here are two solutions.
Tablo DVR – This is a DVR for your TV antenna. Your antenna plugs into Tablo DVR, and the Tablo plugs into your home router. From there, you can use the Roku table app to manage the DVR, watch live TV, and set recordings. Read more in our review of DVRs for your TV Antenna.
HDHomeRun Connect Duo – This device is not a DVR. It connects to your router via ethernet. You then connect a TV antenna to the HDHomeRun, and the TV signal is available on your home network through the HD HomeRun Roku app. This device is available through Amazon.
If this article didn't answer your specific question, head over to our Home Page! It will guide you to affordable internet providers, streaming services to meet your needs, information on antennas, and many more tools and resources to help you save money on TV and Internet access.
For tips and tricks on cutting the cord and other tech topics be sure to join our Facebook Page.
With over 60 live channels including HGTV, AMC, Paramount Channel and more for just $20 per month, Philo TV is one of the best TV provider deals you 'll find online. Try a Free Trial to Philo Now! No credit card required!
Disney+ is offering an amazing deal combining Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ for just $12.99 per month! For more on the new Disney streaming service, check out our ultimate guide to Disney+