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Watching TV online: Is it free? How do I get it?
Watching TV online: Is it free? How do I get it?

Information for accessing free TV online.

Written by Free TV Project Staff
Updated over a week ago

In addition to the free local channels an antenna will pick up, there are hundreds of free streaming channels on various streaming apps. Some examples of these apps include Pluto TV, Stirr, Plex, Vu-it and LocalBTV. In order to access these apps, you'll need a streaming device such as a Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. Some smart TVs also have the ability to download apps without the need for a separate streaming device.

To access these apps, go to the app store on your smart TV or streaming device, search for the specific app you're looking for, download it, and (in some cases) create an account. In addition to the live streaming channels, there are also apps that offer free TV shows on demand. Some examples include Crackle, Tubi and Peacock.

An internet connection is all you need to download and access any of the free TV apps. If you do not have internet service at your house, you can only access free channels via an antenna.

Getting started

Watching free, over-the-air TV with an antenna is simpler than you may think. In many cases, you can take an antenna out of the box, connect the cable to your TV, run a channel scan and voila! You have dozens of local channels to surf.

The number of channels you can access and how clearly they come in is based on a number of factors, including your distance from the point of broadcast towers, the type of antenna you have and where it’s located in your home.

Not sure what kind of antenna you need? Take our simple quiz to help narrow down the options. You can also find a general list of recommended antennas here.

Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR device to record your favorite shows

Did you know you can use an antenna similarly to how you watch cable? Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

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