How To Watch Local Channels on Roku
Roku is one of the most popular options among former cable TV users who’ve cut the cord and switched to other TV services. Many viewers are often dismayed that they’ve lost their local channels. Whether it’s your favorite TV sitcom, crime drama, or just the local news, you may be left wondering; how can I watch my local channels?
If you’d still like to watch your favorite local channels, you’re in luck as there are many ways to get them on your Roku. Keep reading to learn about the top options.
Official Local Channels on Roku
The first option available to you is Roku’s own list of official local channels. Nowadays, Roku has over 100 available channels, including News 12, Boston 25, FOX13 Memphis News, and many others.
However, the main drawback here is that the list is constantly changing. This is due to the fact that the channels need to opt-in in order to become available on Roku. Local movie and news channels are Roku’s Achilles heel.
The simplest way to search available channels is by logging into the Roku website from your browser. Scroll through the list of available networks and review the details. Some of these services are only available with a paid subscription so you’ll want to know that before you click the “Install” button.
Once you’ve found the one you like you can install it directly from the website.
In case your favorite local TV stations are not featured on Roku or they exit the platform, you can opt for one of the official third-party apps. You should find them easily in Roku’s store. Here are the most notable apps.
Haystack TV is a good option for all viewers, whether they’re interested in local or national TV stations. In the local segment, Haystack offers more than 150 news stations. The most prominent include CBS best-known affiliates – Chicago’s WBBM, San Francisco’s KPIX, Los Angeles’s KCAL, and Boston’s WBZ, to name a few.
NewsOn is another prominent option in this segment. It is a free app that, apart from Roku, is also available on several other platforms. At the moment of this writing, their roster includes over 200 local news channels from all over the United States. The owners claim that NewsOn covers around 83% of the entire population.
However, on the downside, you can only watch news channels. For movies, sports, and other content, you’ll have to find another solution.
Internet TV Bundles
Some ISPs offer the so-called skinny bundles to those who want to cut the cord and stop using the traditional cable TV. These bundles are affordable and there’s no setup fee. However, the content of each bundle depends on the number of stations that opt-in.
DirecTV Stream is a very popular option among internet TV bundle users. It offers several packages in English and one that focuses on Spanish-language channels.
Currently, the DirecTV Entertainment package offers over 160 channels and costs $64.99 a month. The next package, “ DirecTV Choice, has over 185 channels and will cost you $69.99 a month. The Ultimate bundle has over 250 channels and will cost you $84.99 a month. The Premier package costs $134.99/month and provides access to more than 330 channels.
FuboTV is a great option for sports addicts. The app offers more than 70, mostly sports-oriented channels from around the country. There are no ABC Network programs, though you’ll be able to watch local CBS, NBC, and Fox channels almost anywhere.
FuboTV offers several standard packages, as well as a ton of add-ons. The first month with the Starter FuboTV pack costs $64.99 and includes access to 115 channels. The FuboTV Pro option costs $69.99 and also only has 115 channels, but provides more screens at once and cloud storage.
The FuboTV Latino Quarterly pack costs $33 a month and has 32 channels in Spanish. A package in Portuguese is also available.
Sling TV was the first internet TV service in the United States when it launched back in 2014. At the moment of this writing, it has several million subscribers around the country. Sling TV is famous for its affordable and reliable service.
Sling TV’s menu is based on Fox and NBC channels, with ABC and CBS completely out of the picture. There are two main subscription plans – “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue”. Both cost $35 a month, but their channel selection/amount and number of simultaneous screens available differs. You can also combine them for the full coverage. The “Orange + Blue” plan will cost you $50 a month.
If you don’t want to hassle with bundles, providers, and monthly subscriptions, you can opt to install an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. Have in mind that this option is recommended for users who have TV sets with the Roku operating system. To connect the antenna to the TV, you’ll need to follow the instructions on your TV screen. You can find them in the main menu.
This way, you’ll be able to watch your local NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, and CW channels completely free of charge. If you’d like to record your favorite games, movies, and TV show episodes, your best bet is to buy Tablo.
Subscribe to Your Favorite Channel
Lastly, you can pay for a subscription to most of your favorite local channels. For example, CBS All Access (available as an app on Roku) allows you to access your favorite shows, news, sports, and movies all across the nation as well as anything show locally.
Other prominent channels have the same option. Although you have to pay a monthly fee for these types of services, it is certainly much cheaper than paying a monthly cable or satellite bill.
Roku is a great OTT device that offers a ton of features and possibilities, and watching local TV stations is among them. If you’re a cord-cutter reluctant to give up on his or her favorite local channels, Roku has your back regardless of the depth of your wallet.
Share your thoughts on accessing local channels on your Roku device below.