Regardless of what our mother and father informed us, watching TV is an important element of every day life. And now greater than ever, as a result of it’s serving to us to remain linked, knowledgeable and entertained whereas additionally safely locked up at house.

However for many of us, watching TV prices cash, and there are such a lot of individuals proper now who’re making much less cash than typical, or nothing in any respect. So if each penny counts, wouldn’t or not it’s good to avoid wasting money by chopping down in your cable, satellite tv for pc or streaming service payments every month?

You are able to do this by experimenting with free streaming providers that air mainstream motion pictures and in style TV reveals, together with Crackle, Plex or Pluto. They won’t have every part you need, and so they might need commercials, however hey, they’re free. You can even go old-school and purchase an antenna (a one time price) after which get about two dozen free channels broadcast over-the-air from Portland-area stations.

Most of us have extra time on our fingers now, so why not use it to search out some new free TV choices? Listed here are just a few recommendations.

Crackle and Roku Channel are among the many free streaming providers obtainable. Photograph by Ray Routhier


Possibly you already pay for streaming providers like Netflix or Hulu, however haven’t checked out free providers since you thought, “How good can or not it’s if it’s free?” Nicely, there are some free providers you’ll be able to stream in your pc or sensible TV which have fairly huge alternatives of TV reveals and films. Sony’s Crackle reveals ton of mainstream motion pictures from the current and fewer current previous, with titles together with “The Huge Chill,” “Glory,” “The Social Community” and the 1930s basic “It Occurred One Evening.” TV reveals on demand embrace “third Rock from the Solar,” “Bewitched” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

Plex additionally has adverts, however in addition to motion pictures and TV reveals, it has some information and internet reveals, plus podcasts. Some movie titles now obtainable embrace “Friday the 13th,” “What’s Consuming Gilbert Grape,” “The Virgin Suicides” and “Captain Phillips.” Pluto TV has some basic movies, together with a number of earlier James Bond motion pictures like “Dr. No” and “From Russia with Love,” in addition to different movies like “Primary Intuition,” “Legally Blonde,” “The Huge Quick” and “The Founder.” The are additionally documentaries, information and actuality TV reveals. When you’ve got a Roku TV or streaming gadget, the free Roku Channel has TV reveals, together with “The Sopranos,” plus motion pictures and information.


As soon as upon a time (circa 1950 to the 1970s) all TV reveals got here to your own home over the air. A station close to you broadcast from a giant antenna to a smaller one at your own home, and voila, the image was there in your TV. Nicely, over-the-air TV by no means went away, however with cable, satellite tv for pc and streaming providing so many extra channels and higher reception, individuals largely forgot that it was a factor. Native stations are nonetheless required to ship out a sign over the air.

On this age of cord-cutting, over-the-air TV is making a comeback. You will get on board by shopping for a $40 to $60 indoor antenna, obtainable on-line. Many are the dimensions of a framed diploma and may sit on a shelf, or cling in a window. You’ll want one with a spread of about 40 miles to get all of the stations in Better Portland. You will have to maneuver it to completely different locations in the home for one of the best reception. Go to, or comparable websites, for assist. Simply plug in your zip code and also you’ll see the place the towers of native stations are, so you’ll be able to level your antenna in the appropriate course.

Why not watchTV without cost, in the event you can? Picture courtesy of


So what are you able to get with an antenna? Nicely, this reporter makes use of an indoor antenna in South Portland and will get all the main community affiliate stations, together with Information Middle Maine (NBC), WGME (CBS), WMTW (ABC), WPFO (FOX), WPXT (CW) and Maine Public Tv. With these channels, you’ll be able to watch native information and journal reveals, soccer and different sports activities once they’re on, and prime-time reveals like “That is Us” or “Chicago Fireplace.”

However right here’s the cool new factor about antenna TV, the sign is now digital and carries extra content material than older analog indicators. So which means stations can broadcast a couple of channel at a time. Whereas Information Middle Maine broadcasts its information and NBC reveals on channel 6.1, it additionally reveals the Justice Community (true crime) on 6.2, Antenna TV on 6.3, that includes re-runs like “Barney Miller” and “Alice,” and Quest on 6.4, which options journey, science and historical past packages. WMTW carries its native information, “Jeopardy” and ABC reveals on 8.1, however it carries the favored re-run channel MeTV, house of the “Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island,” on 8.2. Maine Public broadcasts in southern Maine from two towers, with its important PBS lineup proven on 10.1 and 26.1. However on its sub channels, Maine Public reveals a community known as Create, which options PBS cooking, journey and residential enchancment reveals, World, which options PBS documentaries and world affairs, and PBS Children.

To see all of the channels you’re prone to get at your own home, and a schedule of packages for every one, go to and plug in your zip code.

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