Thursday, June 1, 2023

Streaming local channels cheaply

If you have cut the cord, or are thinking about it, you will probably want to pick up local channels. The easiest way is with an antenna. Most people in the U.S. are able to pick up the major network stations with an antenna. Some, such as me, need a large outdoor antenna to get everything, but it's still possible to pick them up.

This isn't true for everybody, however. There are some areas where it is not easy to pick up the major network stations. Some family friends recently moved to an area where it's difficult to pick up the major networks.

They can pick up a local (12 miles away) PBS station, consisting of four channels. They are in range of another station (51 miles) that has Ion, CourtTV, Ion Mystery, Grit, Laff, and a few other shopping and news channels. And that's it. No ABC. No CBS. No Fox. No NBC. No CW.

This isn't common, but it does happen, and it's a problem they're wanting to overcome. But how?

Well, they could subscribe to one of the major live streaming cable-like services:

  • DirecTV ($65)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($70)
  • YouTube TV ($73)

There is also Vidgo (ABC, Fox only) ($70) that only carries ABC and Fox. However, there is an option that gets you CBS and NBC local stations for $20/month. How?

Subscribing to both Paramount Plus Premium ($10/month) and Peacock Premium Plus ($10/month) get you those services, ad free, plus local live CBS (Paramount Plus Premium) and NBC (Peacock Premium Plus).

Is that a viable solution? Well, I don't know. Maybe. If I didn't have an antenna, this may be how I'd go for the local channels. It's a lot cheaper than the cheapest major streaming service that includes the channels. True, it's only two of the four, but two is better than none. To get more than those two via streaming, it'll cost a lot more. $20 for the two services is the cheapest way to go.

My Streaming Life has been fortunate to have an antenna as part of it. Not everyone is as fortunate as I.

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