How to Watch/Get Free Local Channels on Apple TV

Apple TV of today comes with a lot of streaming services and content providers for you to enjoy. However, sometimes you might want to watch local channels on your TV. Whether your Apple is a smart TV or a non-smart one, there are multiple ways to watch local TV channels on it. The question of how is what we are going to answer here today.

Setting up your Apple TV to run local channels may require purchasing additional components and devices. Continue reading to learn what you need to do to get local channels on Apple TV.

Method 1#: How to Get Local Channels on Apple TV With Antenna

If you are creative, you can use an antenna to get local channels. First, you need to buy an antenna compatible with your TV. You can buy a high-performance, long-range Winegard Antenna or an indoor antenna with a 40-mile range called the Mohu Leaf 30.

Included with the antenna will be a coaxial cable that you will connect to the RF connector on the back of your Apple TV. Set up your antenna outdoors, and follow these steps to complete the procedure:

1. Turn on the TV and open the home screen from the remote.

2. Navigate to the source from the app bar on the home screen.

3. Click the Up button from the remote and select television.

4. Plug the coaxial cable mentioned earlier in the back of the TV. If you haven’t connected it or it is defective, you will see a No Signal message on the screen.

5. Select Channel Scan from the options on-screen.

6. Select the signal source (Air, Cable, etc.). Because you are using an antenna, it will be Air.

7. Press Enter on the relevant source to start scanning for channels.

8. Close the window when the scan is complete.

If you choose to install an outdoor antenna, there may be problems with signal interference if there are tall buildings around your property. This problem will also occur during bad weather.

You can use an indoor antenna even if you have a smart TV made by Apple. The process for storing local channels will remain the same.

Method 2#: Using Third-Party Apps to Watch Local Channels on Apple TV 

Some apps and streaming services available on your Apple smart TV app store can broadcast local TV channels without the use of an antenna. That includes popular apps like Locast, Pluto TV, and Xumo Free movies & TV.

Here is how you can download and install a third-party app on your Apple smart TV:

1. Click the Home button to open the home screen.

2. Select Apps and then select the Search in the top right.

3. Type in the app you want to get and press on Install.

4. When the download completes, you can find your app on the home screen (or inside Apps).

You will have to connect to WiFi even when watching the local channels available in these apps.

Method 3#: Connect Your Apple  Smart TV Cable Or Satellite

If you want to watch local cable TV or satellite channels on your Apple smart TV, you can connect a cable or satellite box to your TV via an HDMI cable. Follow these steps:

1. Make sure that the TV and the cable/satellite box are off.

2. Plug an HDMI cable in the HDMI OUT port of the external device.

3. Connect the other end of the cable to an empty port on your Apple smart TV.

4. Turn on both devices. Depending on what model TV you have, one of two things can happen

Your TV may automatically recognize the external device and switch the source for content to the cable/satellite box. The TV may not have detected the new connection. In this case, press Source on the remote control (or press Home and navigate to source on the home screen). Switch to the HDMI port with the external cable/satellite box connected.

If your Apple TV is not discovering channels during the scan, the antenna is in the wrong slot. Remember, there are two types of RF connectors provided in most TVs. One is for Air as a source, and the other is for cable. If the source you selected does not match the slot with the antenna connection, your TV will not be able to find channels.

In case of an unsuccessful scan, you can also restart your TV to see if that solves the problem. Software or hardware glitches can sometimes interfere with such processes. Switch off your TV and unplug it from the mains. Plug it back in after a few moments and turn it on again. Repeat the process of selecting and finalizing the source to begin the scan.

Method 4#: Connect to Internet TV Platforms

If you don’t want to deal with extra hardware like antennae or TV tuners to obtain your local television stations, the simplest option is to subscribe to an internet-based live TV service. Many of them provide live access to all or nearly all of your local television channels.

Most also provide cloud DVR, which allows you to save live shows to your account. You can watch them on your computer, mobile device, or smart TV. The only bad side of using this method is that the monthly costs for these services might be high.

For instance:

YouTube TV, which also costs $65 a month but includes unlimited cloud DVR storage, is another choice (the recordings do disappear after nine months) while FuboTV is a bit cheaper, starting at $55 a month, and includes 500 hours of cloud DVR. However, not every local channel is available in every market.

Hulu Plus Live TV on the other side costs $65 a month with 50 hours of cloud DVR, is one of them.

Apple TV Not Discovering Local Channels

If you are using the antenna method and your Apple TV is not discovering any local channels, or if you find your TV channels disappearing, here are a few things you can do:

1. Connect the coaxial cable to another RF cable slot. 

2. Change the position of the antenna and look for any interferences. 

3. Power cycle the TV. 

4. Reset your Apple TV.

If you are unable to get local channels on your Apple TV, it is best to contact customer support. The team of experts will be able to help you in a better way according to the locality you live in


Apple TV is among the best for entertainment, as they come packed full of TV shows, movies, and Live TV channels. However, You might want to watch some local channel on your TV once in a while. The steps above have explained both types of Apple TV.

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