How To Stream Local TV Channels on Your Roku Device

Roku devices provide an easy way to stream content from popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. But did you know you can also use your Roku device to stream local TV channels? Here’s a guide on how to access local channels on your Roku.

Connect an HDTV Antenna

The easiest way to get local channels on your Roku TV is by connecting an HDTV antenna. Most Roku TV models have a port where you can connect an antenna.

Here are the steps:

  • Purchase an HDTV antenna and connect it to the antenna input port on your Roku TV. You’ll usually find this port on the back of the TV.
  • Go to the Home screen on your Roku TV and select “Settings”.
  • Select “TV inputs” and choose the input where you connected the antenna.
  • Select “Scan for channels” and your Roku TV will automatically scan for available local channels being broadcast over-the-air in your area.
  • The local channels found will be added to your Roku TV channel line-up so you can easily access them like any other channel.

Using an antenna gets you completely free access to local broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and more in crystal clear HD quality.

Use Free Local Channels in The Roku Channel

The Roku Channel is Roku’s free streaming channel available on all Roku devices. It provides free on-demand movies and TV shows.

But The Roku Channel also offers over 190 free live streaming TV channels, including local news and weather channels for most major cities across the United States.

To access the live channels:

  • From your Roku home screen select The Roku Channel app
  • Click on the “Live TV” section along the top menu bar
  • Scroll through the available live channels to find your local news and other channels

This provides a convenient way to watch local news and weather without any subscriptions or additional equipment.

Subscribe to a Live TV Streaming Service

Live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and others provide live local channels in many markets as part of their channel packages.

Most of these services offer major broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Availability of other local channels varies by region.

Here are some of the most popular options:

  • YouTube TV – Offers local channels in over 90% of US markets where available. Channel lineups will vary by location. Plans start at $64.99/month.
  • Hulu + Live TV – Local channel availability varies by location, but includes major broadcast stations in most regions where available. Plans start at $69.99/month.
  • Sling TV – Offers local Fox and NBC channels in select markets through their Sling Blue plan. Some local ABC, CBS and other channels available via add-on packs. Plans start at $35/month.

The benefit of these streaming TV services is getting local channels, cable channels and on-demand all from one service. The downside is the monthly cost.

Use Individual Network Apps

Many local TV station networks like ABC, CBS and NBC have their own streaming apps on Roku where you can watch live local news and shows.

For example, the CBS News app allows you to stream your local CBS station live in over 200 markets.

Availability for live local channels varies by network and region, but its worth checking out the app for your favorite local stations.


Here are some additional tips for accessing local channels on Roku devices:

  • Try connecting both an HDTV antenna for over-the-air channels and using streaming options for maximum channel availability
  • An amplified HDTV antenna can help receive more over-the-air channels from farther distances
  • Position your antenna near a window for best reception
  • Live TV streaming services often offer free trials to test local channel availability in your area
  • Individual network apps like CBS offer their live local streams for free
  • Use Roku’s on-screen Live TV Channel Guide to easily flip between local channels from different sources

With all the options available, you should have no problem accessing your favorite local TV channels on your Roku device. Follow the guides above to unlock your full channel line-up.

My Experience with Roku

I have personally been using Roku devices to stream content to my TVs for over 5 years now. I currently have 3 Roku TVs in my home.

I have found Roku devices provide the most robust platform for streaming with the widest selection of apps and channels available. Their software and menus are intuitive and easy to navigate.

The ability to stream local over-the-air channels via an HDTV antenna connected to my Roku TVs has been a game changer. I can now easily access my local news, sports and sub-channels completely free.

I also utilize a live TV streaming service, YouTube TV, to access additional local channels not available over-the-air. This gives me a very complete local channel line-up.

The one feature I would love to see Roku add in the future is access to streaming DVR recordings from services like YouTube TV directly within the Roku media player. This would eliminate having to switch between apps.

Overall I have found Roku devices to offer the best cord-cutting platform available. Their support for accessing local TV channels specifically solidifies them as my top recommendation for streaming devices currently on the market.