How To Watch Local TV On Your Chromecast

As streaming entertainment continues to rise in prominence, cable TV is gradually making its way toward the obsolescence shelf. That said, while streaming is better for general entertainment, the end of cable TV as a whole could potentially mean the end of local TV stations, which is unfortunate. After all, did "UHF" not teach us that the delightfully weird and cheap shows on your local TV channels can be just as entertaining as the big-budget stuff? When a movie starring "Weird Al" Yankovic teaches you a life lesson, you'd better internalize it.

Luckily, many small-time TV channels and programs have managed to find a foothold in the new normal by switching over to the streaming framework themselves, making them accessible to streaming devices like Chromecast. While you may not be able to get the most obscure channels in the TV Guide, you can still find most of your favorite locally-sourced programming.

How to find local TV channels on Chromecast

A large number of television networks have gotten on board the streaming wagon. This means that if you're looking for local news and programming, there's a good chance you can find it in your app store of choice. All you need to do is open your smartphone's app store, download the channel's app (or an app that offers their shows), and cast it to your Chromecast-connected TV. As long as both your phone and Chromecast are connected to the same Wi-Fi signal, it'll stream nice and clear.

Our first and foremost choice for local TV apps is LocalBTV, which maintains a massive catalog of local streaming stations for counties and capitals in numerous U.S. states. Not only can you catch local news on your respective state's channel, but each one also has partnerships with multiple local broadcast stations to show their content on the streaming feed. LocalBTV is completely free to use, with the only catch being that you can only sign up to watch a channel if you actually live in the county it's meant for. You can't watch the Hartford, Connecticut channel if you live in Palm Beach, Florida, for instance.

There's also Local Now. This newer streaming app automatically detects your location to provide you with a handful of local channels to watch, including both standalone stations and network affiliate news. While it may not have the hyper-specific local channels from your region, if all you're looking for is the daily news, it provides that and then some.

Sign up for an OTT service that offers local channels

What if you want to get a little more value out of your streaming channels? What if, in addition to local programming, you want the usual slate of series, movies, and whatever else can satiate those hungry eyeballs? If you're looking for a more complete entertainment experience, there are several good apps available. Just keep in mind that most services of this nature do require a subscription fee.

As far as value goes, our recommendation is Hulu + Live TV. While it is Hulu's most expensive tier, that extra cost does get you cable channels like FX, TNT, A&E, and the other primetime hits. The service automatically detects your location to offer you a selection of local affiliate TV channels offering the same news coverage. That's on top of all the extra stuff that comes with a Hulu subscription in the first place, along with bundled access to Disney+ and ESPN+, the latter of which provides access to sports games, local market blackouts aside. The big downside is the price, which starts at $69.99 per month.

If convenience is your goal, then you've already got a good option optimized for your Chromecast: YouTube TV. While this service does require a hefty subscription at $72.99 per month to access the majority of its features, those features are wide-reaching, including both local news stations and broad access to TV shows and movies. YouTube TV has more local channels available than Hulu, so if you don't want all the extras, it may be the more cost-conscious option for you.

The right channel for you

If you're still holding onto your cable service and have been hesitating to finally cut the cord, there's never been a better time. With the convenience of devices like Chromecast and the ubiquity of streaming apps from nearly every channel you are statistically quite likely to find your preferred viewing experience somewhere along the line.

In the event you still can't find the super-small-time local shows you're looking for, well ... have you tried checking YouTube? Most small content creators these days have a YouTube presence at the very least, and even if you don't find the precise strangely-interesting show you're looking for, you'll probably find something almost identical. Maybe you won't find a video of a guy getting kicked in the head by a cow at your local dairy farm, but there are probably a few hundred videos of guys getting kicked in the head by a cow from other farms around the country and the world.