Can Roku Get Local Channels?
When you start browsing Roku, you’ll notice an abundance of channels for almost anything – from cooking to history, or classical movies of the 20th century. However, there’s always a concern that local TV stations will start to suffer thanks to these streaming platforms.
However, there’s no reason to worry, as it seems that the local television stations are adapting to modern technologies. In fact, there are so many ways to get local channels on your Roku platform. So buckle up, as this article will introduce you to some of the best.
Watch Customized Local TV
Local Now is a relatively new channel developed for Roku. Depending on your location, you’ll get customized, on-demand local content during the whole day. The channel customizes its content for more than 170 different locations in the U.S., and you can even manually switch to a different location to check the latest news over there.
The service contains local news, sports, weather, and traffic updates, but also some entertaining information such as interesting events in your area during the week (festivals, events, concerts), and other activities. The service requires a participating TV provider subscription after your 30-day free period expires.
NewsOn is a free channel that offers free live or on-demand news from your local area. You may watch weather reports and news clips as well as live broadcasts of local breaking news. There are over 170 locations that you can choose from and you can manually switch between them at any time.
Another way to get localized content is to go to the ’News and Weather’, tab on the Roku Channel store, and try to find local affiliates that provide news updates for your location.
Connect Roku to an Antenna
You may think that the days of a TV antenna are over, but you’d be wrong. Today’s antennas are compatible with streaming platforms and are more powerful than ever before. If you connect your TV antenna to Roku, you’ll get an abundance of local television right on your plate.
Thanks to the antenna, you can watch local news, sports, weather reports, and various other local content in full HD via your Roku. You should have access to major television networks such as NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, etc. including your major prime time TV shows.
The range of broadcasts can go up to 50 miles depending on the type and the quality of your antenna. There’s a wide range of antennas available on the market today, so you should pick the one depending on your needs and location. If you’re living close to a television broadcast tower (approximately 30 miles), you can get a cheap, flat antenna. However, if you’re more than 50 miles away, you may need to install an outdoor antenna.
You can easily access the contents from the antenna with the Roku platform. When you install an antenna, you’ll find it as one of the first options on your home screen. To access it, simply press the ‘Home’ button on your Roku remote and navigate the arrow keys to the ‘Antenna TV’ card.
Subscription Services Offer Local Channels
The majority of streaming services that you can subscribe to and access via Roku offer a wide range of local channels. These services allow you to broadcast local TV stations live or on-demand, which allows you to watch some of your favorite shows later (or even rewatch them).
Although you’ll have to pay a certain membership fee for these channels, the upside is that you can watch them outside of Roku, too (for example, via your web browser or another streaming platform such as Chromecast).
Here are some Roku-available services that offer local channels:
- Hulu+ Live TV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV stream local content from FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
- CBS All Access broadcasts local CBS television. The service allows you to watch the TV live as well as on-demand. Here you can listen to all the latest news and watch CBS original TV shows.
- YouTube TV streams content from Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC.
Is Your Local Channel Private?
Some local channels may already be on Roku but aren’t available on the channel store. Instead, you can only find them by entering a code in the private channel section. First, you’ll need to check whether your local channel is available for Roku. Do the following:
- Go to the official website of the local channel that you want to add to Roku.
- See if there’s any available information about their Roku private channel and code.
- Note the code from the website.
- Go to the Roku website.
- Sign in to your account.
- Click the small profile picture on the top-right of the screen.
- Select ‘My Account’.
- Click ‘Add a Channel’ under the ‘Manage Account’ section.
- Enter the code of your local channel.
- Click ‘Add Channel’.
The channel should be added to your Channel list immediately.
Keep Up with Local News
Local news channels are slowly adapting to the expansion of streaming platforms. The smallest cities in every country have at least one local TV station that’s slowly modernizing and releasing content compatible with these platforms. If you have a Roku device, there’s a big chance that you’ll be able to stream it.
Even if you can’t access your favorite local TV station directly via Roku, there’s a chance that you might do so in the near future. Thanks to the high-definition image and the ability to watch on-demand programs whenever you want, all TV stations appeal to these platforms.
Do you know of any other methods to watch local channels on Roku? Leave your favorite method in the comments section below.