How to Watch Local TV Stations Live on the Internet

By Christopher Carter

Watching TV is no longer limited to sitting down in front of your television set. A large number of TV networks can be viewed live online, free of charge. If you have a laptop, you can watch your local TV broadcasts from virtually anywhere. This is assuming you have Internet connectivity using Wi-Fi hot spots, USB modem or some other connection method. In addition, this can be used as an alternative to paying for cable or buying a digital converter box.

Step 1

Visit the website of your local TV station. For example, if you live in Chicago, go to to view the ABC website. In Chicago, ABC appears on channel 7 of your TV set and is identified as WLS-TV. In addition, you'll have broadcast information from sister stations located in other cities. Click the link that says "live video," or you may click on particular segments of programming that you want to view. Clicking on "live video" provides you with a live streaming broadcast of your local TV station on your PC.

Step 2

Log on to websites like or You'll be provided with a list of live TV programming that can be viewed on your computer. You'll be able to watch local TV programs or various sporting events around the country. For example, if you want to catch an episode of American Idol on the FOX network, simply click the American Idol link appearing next to the FOX logo. Note that all TV programs are listed in Eastern Standard Time.

Step 3

Visit websites like or These websites will require you to download the appropriate media player in order to watch your local TV stations live. In addition to live broadcasts from your local TV station, you'll be able to access TV programs from other stations. In the case of, you'll be able to watch local TV programming, as well as programming from TV stations abroad.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some websites that provide streaming or live TV content may request a payment for their service. However, you can watch live TV free of charge on your PC by visiting the sites mentioned above. Additionally, you won't need to purchase extra equipment or a PC Tuner Card. In some cases, you'll be required to download the appropriate media player to view live TV on your computer.