There are several ways to watch TV that are not from a traditional cable or satellite service. These options include over the air with an antenna, on demand with a service like Netflix and through a live streaming service like YouTube TV.

One of the best ways to get dozens of free channels in HD is over the air with an antenna. The initial investment of an antenna can provide a lifetime of free TV channels. An antenna will bring in local channels such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, CW, Ion, Me-TV and many other networks. It’s important to select the correct antenna for your area to pick up as many free channels as possible. You can find a list of the best antennas here.

Another way to watch TV is on demand with a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu. While most require a monthly subscription, they give you access to thousands of movies and TV shows on demand. They’re great for those on a budget or who want to watch TV on their own time. A smart TV or streaming device like Roku or Amazon Firestick is required to access on-demand services.

Another way to watch TV is with a live streaming service. These offer a variety of local and national channels that are on cable and satellite services. Examples of these live streaming services include Frndly TV, Philo TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Vidgo and Fubo TV. This is great if you want to keep some channels from cable or can’t pick up local channels with an antenna. A good website to determine the best live streaming service based on your channel preference is A smart TV or streaming device like Roku or Amazon Firestick is required to access live streaming services.

No matter which route you take to cut the cord, you will likely save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year compared to a traditional cable or satellite service. There’s also no contract, so you can start and stop each service as you please.

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:

Did this answer your question?