Friday, March 29, 2024

Streaming local channels (well, some of them)

I'm fortunate in that I have an antenna to watch local channels. Not everyone is in such a situation. I wasn't, for a while, and it cost me a bit to get where I could.

I bought an antenna, pole, and paid to have it put up. Then bought Tablo to make the channels available on all my TVs. Altogether, it cost a few hundred dollars. But there has to be a cheaper way, right?

Well, there is. Maybe. Kinda.

Of the vMVPD services that carry locals -- YouTube TV, Sling TV (limited markets), Hulu+Live TV, DirecTV Stream, Fubo -- the cheapest that carries them in all markets is $73 YouTube TV. But can't it be obtained cheaper?

No. But maybe.

If you only want CBS, you can subscribe to Paramount Plus for $12/month. You'll get your local CBS station live.

If you only want NBC, you can subscribe to Peacock for $12/month. You'll get your local NBC station live.

So, for $24/month you can get CBS and NBC, Plus a lot of other content. That's not bad. But what about ABC and Fox?

There is no comparable option for those channels live. If you are willing to get them on-demand -- think of it as if you always used a DVR for those channels and never watched live -- and are only concerned about prime time shows, then you have an option with Hulu, for $8/month.

That means $32/month gets you two local channels and two other prime time channels. Not exactly what you get from, say, YouTube TV, but not too bad.

Of course, if you can get locals with an antenna, do that. It's a lot cheaper in the long run, especially if you live close enough to get them with an indoor antenna. My Streaming Life enjoys local channels with an antenna. But, if that wasn't an option, Paramount Plus, Peacock TV, and Hulu would get me close enough for my purposes.

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