The ONLY way to get free local TV is to use an antenna. Yes, you can buy your local news service via some streaming systems, but to get absolutely free television network service, you will need an HDTV antenna.
I am not referring to rabbit ears gadgets from the 70s or that you need to put up a steel structure that can be seen from space. Antennas have come a long way and most areas of the US have pretty good access to local channels over the airwaves.
If you live within a few miles of the local TV transmitters serving your area, a small indoor antenna will work fine. You should expect to spend between $25 – $50 to purchase the indoor antenna. Open the FCC digital TV reception map link below and type in your home address. Green network listings indicate strong signals in your area that you should be able to receive with a basic indoor amplified TV antenna.
Launch the FCC digital TV reception map to see how many TV stations you might receive.
To get reception from networks that are displayed as moderate or weak (yellow and orange) you will need a stronger outdoor mounted antenna. Most of us will be able to get by with a basic indoor antenna.