Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

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Raybo
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Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by Raybo » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:41 am

My DW wants to get rid of the (big) cabinet in our living room that holds the TV. We don't watch much TV and being without one would be OK. I do watch the big sporting events (Superbowl, World Series) but nothing else. We don't have cable, so I can't stream it from them. I don't want to get cable just to stream the "free" TV channels.

I have done a bit of checking and I can't find a way to stream the over-the-air TV stations on a Windows laptop for free. It appears there are antenna-like devices that I can plug into my laptop that work with customized apps.

Is there some way to stream over-the-air TV channels on a Windows 10 laptop (or an iPad) without having to pay a monthly fee? I don't want/need access to anything but the main TV networks.
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Smoke
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by Smoke » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:58 am

Interesting I had not thought of that situation before, so I did a general search and it seems there is a solution, although I have no idea if it works well or not.

https://www.antennasdirect.com/clearstr ... setup.html
.................................................................................................

EDIT
Apparently it doesn't work with a laptop or PC. upon further investigation, however I saw a reply from that company asking the same question and this was their reply...
"If you have a computer like a desktop or laptop and you want to view an antenna's channels, you would use a tuner that connects to your computer with a compatible input like USB."

So perhaps there is a device like that available somewhere? Give them a call and ask them :beer
Last edited by Smoke on Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

azxd09
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by azxd09 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:00 am

Check out the Silicon Dust HDHomerun...it is a standalone network tuner that allows you to access your OTA channels from any device connected to your network. This assumes you are able to receive OTA broadcasts in your location with the antenna that you plug into the HDHomerun device.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:03 am

I have an old Dell laptop that includes a TV tuner. Connect an antenna and you can watch TV.

Also look into USB gadgets from www.hauppauge.com/

sschoe2
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by sschoe2 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:06 am

HDHomerun. It can stream the channels over your wifi.

open_circuit
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by open_circuit » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:08 am

There was another thread very much like this recently. I can't recall what to search for to find it, however. I think the requestor in that thread was not purely restricted to free, but the HD Homerun came up in that thread as well.

I've been using an HD Homerun since the very first version, so long ago that I can't remember if it's been 10 or more years since the first one. Regardless, I'm quite happy with mine and highly recommend it for over-the-air use.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:13 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:03 am
I have an old Dell laptop that includes a TV tuner. Connect an antenna and you can watch TV.

Also look into USB gadgets from www.hauppauge.com/
+1 on the Hauppauge. When the analog TV shutdown was approaching, my boss and I took a laptop around to various civic group meetings, senior citizen centers, etc, with a Hauppauge USB over-the-air tuner, and demonstrated digital TV. Since we were fairly close to our transmitting antenna (less than five miles), we just used an unfolded paper-clip jammed into the center pin hole of the adapter's antenna connector. Worked like a charm. The particular USB tuner we used was the 950Q, but this was several years ago, they have newer models now.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

Rupert
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by Rupert » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:16 am

Would it be cheaper/easier to just buy a cheap, smallish TV with a TV tuner (careful, not all TVs have them anymore) and a small antenna that you can store in a closet or somewhere when you don't need it?

regularguy455
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by regularguy455 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:17 am

I know you are looking for free solutions, but I would strongly recommend Youtube TV. You can access it through Roku/Chromecast/Apple TV, it streams OTA TV and many channels without buffering, includes unlimited DVR, and you can access it on several devices simultaneously. You can also set it to record shows/movies ahead of time. All of this for just $40/mo!

I think it's easy to get caught in the minutia of trying to completely eliminate the cost of TV services, but for $40 I think YoutubeTV is a bargain.

mmmodem
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by mmmodem » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:25 am

Silicondust HDHomerun user here as well. I stream over the air TV to my laptop, Fire TV, iPhone, Android, just about everything.

magicrat
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by magicrat » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:28 am

Locast.org (depending on your market). Haven't tried it though.

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Don_Qua
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by Don_Qua » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:33 pm

I've been streaming over the air TV to my laptop via WiFi with an HDHomerun for several years now. You attach the output of your TV antenna to the HDHomerun and plug your HDHomerun into your router, scan for channels on the laptop and you're done. There are also smartphone apps, in a pinch we watch TV on smartphone and tablet with the HDHomerun as well.

ReadyOrNot
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by ReadyOrNot » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:17 am

I was walking around a Fry's Electronics store and saw some USB digital TV tuners and TV tuner boards, but for reasons I don't remember, bought a small 7" screen stand-alone portable over-the-air digital TV instead, at the same store. I must have thought it was more convenient or cost-effective. You can probably find similar devices at Amazon.

bob60014
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by bob60014 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:46 am

The HDHomerun, Silicondust are great. Depending on your location, in particular suburban/rural , be sure there is a signal into them, outside antenna preferred, to ensure you are able to view the channels you want. I did this at my old home and worked well.

This tool will help determine what you may need.
https://antennaweb.org/Address

BHUser27
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by BHUser27 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:54 pm

This isn't exactly what OP asked, but Tablo will stream channels from your antenna to Roku, PC, Smart TV, phone etc.
https://www.tablotv.com/

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:01 pm

Rupert wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:16 am
Would it be cheaper/easier to just buy a cheap, smallish TV with a TV tuner (careful, not all TVs have them anymore)
Please point me to a television set that does not have a tuner. It was my understanding that the FCC mandated inclusion of ATSC tuners in new TV sets.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

mrmass
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by mrmass » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:14 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:01 pm
Rupert wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:16 am
Would it be cheaper/easier to just buy a cheap, smallish TV with a TV tuner (careful, not all TVs have them anymore)
Please point me to a television set that does not have a tuner. It was my understanding that the FCC mandated inclusion of ATSC tuners in new TV sets.
Vizio sells displays - often bought without reading the specs. Woot/Amazon sell them. I'm not sure about Costco. https://www.lifewire.com/vizio-eliminat ... vs-4023105

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:17 pm

mrmass wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:14 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:01 pm
Rupert wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:16 am
Would it be cheaper/easier to just buy a cheap, smallish TV with a TV tuner (careful, not all TVs have them anymore)
Please point me to a television set that does not have a tuner. It was my understanding that the FCC mandated inclusion of ATSC tuners in new TV sets.
Vizio sells displays - often bought without reading the specs. Woot/Amazon sell them. I'm not sure about Costco. https://www.lifewire.com/vizio-eliminat ... vs-4023105
Well, I personally would not call those "television sets" (I would call them "monitors"), but I guess that's a byproduct of almost 40 years in the television engineering profession. You're right, though, in that one needs to be careful when plunking down their bucks to make sure what they buy will meet their needs.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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