How to watch free live HDTV on your Apple TV

“It is possible to legally watch free over-the-air terrestrial television via the Apple TV,” Jeff Benjamin writes for iDownloadBlog. “This can easily be accomplished by connecting an HDHomeRun to your home network along with an ATSC antenna to pull in free over-the-air high definition local channels.”

“It’s basically the equivalent of connecting an antenna to your TV. TVs generally include a tuner built in, which allows the unit to display the channels pulled in from over the air,” Benjamin writes. “Wouldn’t it be cool, though, if you could broadcast all of those channels on your home network? By using an HDHomeRun, you can easily tap into free high definition television streams via the Apple TV and an app like Kodi. You can even watch live TV on your iPhone, Mac, or other devices.”

“You can watch high definition streams for NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and more. There’s no monthly subscription involved, or anything like that, which makes this perfect for cord cutters,” Benjamin writes. “First, you’ll need an HDHomeRun box, it’s pricey, but there’s no subscription fees involved, which makes it a one time purchase. I recommend the HDHomeRun Extend, which includes a dual tuner that allows you to watch two simultaneous streams via Wi-Fi. You’ll also need an antenna… If you don’t wish to use Kodi, you can use an app like Channels instead, which is available on the App Store.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The new third-party Apple TV app, Channels ($15), lets users watch live TV through a SiliconDust HDHomeRun networked tuner. HDHomeRun receives video from any broadcast antenna and it connected to a Wi-Fi router. Using apps like Channels, users can stream live TV on various devices throughout Wi-Fi network.

Channels is only available via the new Apple TV App Store. Just search for “Channels” to find and download it.


  1. “It’s basically the equivalent of connecting an antenna to your TV.”

    So why not just connect your antenna to your TV?

    Actually, it is pretty cool that it lets you watch TV over all your devices. However, using one box to convert a signal for a second box to be watched on your TV is a little weird.

    1. The one good thing I can think of is that you can just run your antenna to this one HDHomeRun box. From there you can connect it via your network to all the TV’s that have Apple TV4. If you already have coax cable run to all your TV’s or you only have a single TV, then this wouldn’t give you much.

    2. I cut the cord a few years back and have a couple of the HDHomeRun Dual tuners on my network. Older HDTVs, like mine, often did not include an HDTV tuner (just an NTSC one) so connecting the antenna to the TV isn’t an option. I have a Mac mini connected to my HDTV and run Elgato’s Eye TV DVR software. With that I can watch and/or record 4 channels at the same time.

      Being able to watch elsewhere is quite nice too. I work from home and on occasion will connect to one of the HDHomeRun tuners to watch TV in a window on the Mac Pro in my office. Sometimes I’ll watch live TV in bed on my iPad Pro (don’t have a TV in my bedroom).

      More info in my DVR Project blog if you’re interested:

      These blog entries show the mini displaying 4 channels at the same time:

      1. Or close enough to broadcast station to receive it. I live approximately 66 miles away from the nearest broadcast station. With hills, trees and such it would be a very weak signal. Pisses me off I they won’t put one closer.

    1. Or live in an EMF shadow of the hill where the broadcast aerial is located. I have an external aerial with amplifier inside my house. If I move it more than a few inches half the channels disappear.

  2. $150 ($120 used).

    I DID hook up a decent amplified antenna to my TV and it works fairly well. But it would be great to watch and control away from the TV. The price is sort of in line with what one would expect, comparing to the similar Europe-only Elgato TV solutions.

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