You know how to use your Apple TV to watch movies and TV shows through on-demand services like Netflix. But do you know how to watch local channels on Apple TV? As it turns out, Apple's popular streaming box is just as good at showing you local news broadcasts and regional sports networks (RSNs) as it is at streaming movies on demand. All you have to do is decide how you're going to get local channels on your Apple TV — and we're going to make that easy by showing you your options below.
How to Watch Local Channels on Apple TV
One of the best ways to get local channels for free is to use an over-the-air antenna. But those plug right into your TV, right? So they're not for use with Apple TV — or are they?
Actually, you can use an antenna to get local channels on Apple TV, albeit with the help of some other devices. We'll show you how below. But there are also ways to stream local channels online with your Apple TV.
The streaming services that help you get local channels on Apple TV have a few things in common, so let's take a moment to talk about them together before we list them out. The first few items on our list of ways to watch local channels on Apple TV are what we call “live TV streaming services” or “skinny bundles.” They're pay TV services that work similarly to cable and satellite, except that they're more affordable and, in many cases, offer slimmed-down channel bundles. And they stream over the internet, which means you can watch them on your computer, your phone, and — yes — your Apple TV.
Most major skinny bundles offer live local feeds of some or all of the major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC). Keep in mind, however, that such feeds are available in select markets only. You're likely to be covered, but double-check to make sure; or you can take advantage of a free trial to be sure that you're getting all of the channels that you want.
And there are still more ways besides these to get local channels on Apple TV, so read on!
Already wellknown for its on-demand content, Hulu is also a great way to watch local channels on Apple TV, thanks to their Hulu + Live TV service. Hulu + Live TV has deals with local affiliates of major networks as well as with many RSNs, so those in eligible markets will have plenty of live local and regional TV to watch on Apple TV. You can read our review of Hulu + Live TV to learn more.
fuboTV has a flair for sports, so expect solid coverage of RSNs here. It also offers some local affiliates of major networks in eligible markets, making it a great way to watch both regional and local channels on Apple TV. You can read our review of fuboTV to learn more, or you can test it out for yourself by signing up for the service's free trial.
Sling TV isn’t the first streaming service viewers think of when they think of “local channels.” But while Sling is still encouraging antenna usage, it also offers local streams of FOX and NBC in some markets. Our Sling TV review will tell you more about this service’s features.
CBS All Access worked with Apple TV, so it only makes sense that the rebranded Paramount Plus works with Apple TV as well. While you can’t watch multiple local channels on Paramount Plus, you can watch one important one: CBS. Some Paramount Plus viewers can view a livestream of their local CBS affiliate, though this feature depends on where you live. Since this is still a relatively new service, you may want to check out our Paramount Plus review for more info.
Google's skinny bundle option is another great way to watch live TV on Apple TV, including local channels. Despite the sometimes tense relationship between Google and Apple, this app plays nice with Apple TV. You'll get live local feeds (in select markets) of the major networks, plus some RSNs. Check out our YouTube TV review to learn more or sign up for the service's free trial offer.
Free Over-the-Air TV
The antenna you'll need in order to watch free over-the-air TV will plug directly into your TV, with no streaming box required. But what if you want to use an antenna to watch live local channels on Apple TV? You don't necessarily need an Apple TV in this equation, but it's nice to have all of your content in one place (and on one input on your TV). Well, good news: you can watch local channels on Apple TV using an antenna, as long as you get a little creative with it.
You could choose to connect your antenna to a OTA DVR instead of directly to your TV, for instance. OTA DVRs allow you to record live TV from your OTA antenna. You can then stream that recorded OTA content — and, with most such devices, live OTA content — using your OTA DVR's app on a device like your Apple TV.
Another option is to use a computer or other device to set up a Plex media server. Plex's premium version allows you to DVR over-the-air content, which you can provide your server with by attaching an antenna (you'll need a TV tuner to do that, but there are plenty of affordable USB PC TV tuners out there). Plex's cloud DVR feature will then allow you to stream live and recorded OTA onto supported devices running the Plex app. Happily, Apple TV is among the supported devices.
Watch Local Channels on Every Type of Device
It's not just Apple TV: You can stream local channels online which these services on a whole range of different devices.
24 thoughts on “How to Watch Local Channels on Apple TV”
AirTV (black box 2018) allows you to mount an indoor antenna where it can receive best possible reception, then transmit the OTA broadcast over your home network. Their free app for Apple TV displays the OTA broadcasts at home, as well as an app for IOS that allows iPad or iPhone to receive on the go. An update to Sling TV is due soon that will integrate the OTA signals from AirTV into the EPG guide in the paid service.
Use the free Locast app and watch for free!
Dude thank you so much!!!
Unfortunately, my home state of Mississippi, is tan option
The only issue with locast is the commercials and it has to be restarted (hit play again after a little while unless you donate $5/month.
Locast has shut down operations.
Thank you!! Live streaming free local channels. Happy camper
Keeps showing wrong location when I try to stream
I use an HD Homerun and the Channels app to watch Antenna TV. It’s much better than Locast (60 FPS for Sports) and the Channels App has a great guide. The HD Homerun has a free App for iPads and phones.
Do you need an antenna and what does this cost?
How do you you create an account? Keep trying but can’t get it to work???
Is there way to use Locast if its not available in my area?
I got the Locast app, but I can’t get into the channel I want, it keeps asking me to donate
It is good but is not available everywhere in all the states
It is good but is not available everywhere in all the states
I have a Vizio tv that has no way for a antenna hookup, so will I need to buy Hulu or will a Apple TV work?
Your Vizio don’t have a coax input on the back or side? Like for connecting cable to. That’s what you plug an antenna to as well.
Locast is the worst. It won’t let you watch anything unless you donate. Unbelievable! To tell you the truth I prefer to pay for comcast, at least they ask for your money and they don’t advertise free local channels only to find out that you can’t watch anything after like 3 or 4 days.
Doesn’t a simple OTA indoor antenna plug in directly to an Apple TV?
Locast is great. The app is lacking and buggy, for for a small $5/mo you get no ads and all the local channels (without the need for mounting an antenna on the house).
Locast doesn’t give me all the channels I can receive with an antenna. it doesn’t give CW and subchannels nor does it give ION and subchannels.
Not available in Southern Oregon 😢