how to get local channels on vizio smart tv

Many of you are wondering how to get local channels on Vizio Smart TV.

If you are part of that demographic, you are just on the right page!

In today’s guide, we will be walking you through the procedure of how you can watch and access local channels on your Vizio Smart TV!

For you to get and stream local channels, duly connect an external antenna to your Vizio Smart TV.

Navigate to the Channels option on your Vizio TV, which can give you access to the local channels.

Is this the only option?

Let’s find it out! We will explore the best possible methods to get the local channels on your Vizio smart TV!

Doesn’t a Vizio Smart TV Have Free Local Channels?

Contrary to what most people believe in, even if what you have is a Smart TV, you won’t automatically get local channels.

The only advantage you have of using a Smart TV is that you can use it to connect to the internet.

Furthermore, there also are a couple of pre-installed streaming apps on them that you can use, too!

But, is there a way on how to stream local channels on your Vizio Smart TV?

Luckily, yes, there are too few ways of getting access to local cable channels on your Smart TV.

A Guide on How to Get Local Channels on Vizio Smart TV

how to stream local channels on vizio smart tv

There are two ways of getting or streaming local cable channels on your Vizio Smart TV – via an external antenna or through downloadable apps.

We will guide and teach you both of them, so you don’t need to worry about which one you’ll use.

Getting Local Channels Via an External Antenna

In this method, you will need an external antenna with a (1) coaxial (coax cable), (2) HDMI cable, and (3) composite or component cable.

Coax Cable

If you are using a coax cable connect the other end of the antenna coaxial cable to the back or the rear part of your Vizio Smart TV.

Next, follow these steps:

  • Once connected, press [INPUT]on your Vizio Smart TV’s remote.
  • Press [INPUT] continuously until you see the option TV highlighted.
  • Hit on OK on your remote to select the TV option.
  • Then, using your arrow keys, highlight the option that says Find Channels > OK.

HDMI Cable

If you are using an HDMI cable, attach and connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the rear or the back of the television.

Make sure that you know what HDMI port number it’s connected to.

For instance, if you connected and attached it to HDMI port 2, you should know it; if you connected it to HDMI port 4, and so on.

Next, follow these steps:

  • Press [INPUT] on your remote continuously until you see the specific HDMI port where you connected the HDMI cable.
  • Once you see the specific HDMI port number highlighted, press OK.
  • Scan Channels

In order for you to scan through the different local channels available, use the remote control of the satellite or the cable box you have.

Composite or Component Cable

If you’re using a composite or a component cable, you’d have to follow these steps:

  • Hit on the [INPUT] button of your remote.
  • Press on that button continuously until you see the Comp option highlighted.
  • Then, hit on OK on your Vizio remote to be able to choose the correct input.

Once you have that set, turn to the remote of your cable or satellite box.

That’s what you’ll be using to scan through the different local channels.


The last two (2) options would need a satellite or a cable box. But, you’ll be able to access local channels on your Vizio Smart TV.

Read Next: Learn How to Remove Narrator on Vizio TV

Getting Local Channels via Smart TV Programs and/or Apps

This method will involve getting local channels by downloading certain applications on your Smart TV.


You need to make sure that your Vizio TV is capable of housing programs and apps.

There are older versions and models of Vizio TVs that do not have this feature.

Step #1: Activate Your Television

The first step you need to do is to, of course, activate or turn your television on.

Make sure that it’s plugged into a wall outlet that has the correct wattage or energy.

Turn it on using the Vizio Smart TV remote control that you have.

Step #2: Navigate to the Download Apps Section

The more current and advanced Smart TVs have functionalities where you’ll be able to download programs and apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc.

You’ll have to press the [MENU] button on your remote and navigate to the feature where you’re able to download programs and applications.

Step #3: Download Apps or Programs

There are several applications and programs you can use to get access to local channels.

The most common and the most used ones include, but are not limited to:


Locast is a non-profit organization that was established in the year 2018.

They aim to distribute over-the-air TV broadcasts online.

You can use Locast to access local channels on your Vizio Smart TV.

It’s free, but the organization is accepting donations for the support they’re financing.

Pluto TV

Akin to Locast, you can also utilize Pluto TV, an on-demand video service, as well as a live-stream television service that’s free.

It’s from ViacomCBS and contains more than 250 live channels.


Last but definitely not least is Xumo. It’s a free streaming service that you can use to watch on-demand TV and live content.

It’s free and it has more than 190 different channels you can access!


These aren’t all the programs that can give you access to local channels.

They’re just the most common and the most customary!

Step #4: Access the Apps and Programs

Once you have downloaded any or all of them, you can now use and access them to watch the local channels you’ve always wanted to watch!

You would have to make accounts for them, though, by giving your email address so that they can send you alerts.

And while that may seem inconvenient for you, you will actually get free local live channels on your TV!

If you are stuck asking how to stream local channels on Vizio Smart TV, this is the key!

If you initially thought that it wouldn’t be possible without a cable box, you thought wrong; this guide proves it! 

Read Next: The best ways to fix Vizio TV buffering

Local Channels Not Working on My Vizio Smart TV?

local channels not working on vizio tv

In the event that your television is telling you No Signal, Tuner Has Not Been Setup, or No Channels, try to perform these steps first:

Step #1: Power the Device On

What you first need to do is to power the television on.

If it doesn’t power up or activate, you might be in an area where there’s a power outage.

Check if you are by activating other electronic devices in your house, too.

Step #2: Ensure Cable/Cord Connection

If you’re not in a power outage area, check and assess the status and the conditions of your connections and cables.

More often than not, people overlook the status of their wirings and cables.

They think that they don’t succumb to damage because they’re not touched frequently, but, in reality, they can be worn out, too.

Step #3: Check the TV’s Input

The next thing you want to do is to check what input or mode your television is in.

If you’re using an antenna, double-check if your input is in the right mode (e.g. HDMI 1, etc.).

This might be the reason why your television is not able to pick up the signals required.

Step #4: Check the Input Name

Lastly, check the input name. You might be connected to the wrong input at the back of your television.

It’s similar to checking the input on the TV but this step requires you to check which port the external device is connected to.

Performing that procedure should give you the local channels you’re looking for.

Otherwise, contact Vizio’s technical support team and tell them the dilemma that you’re having.

You can also tell them upfront that you’ve already finished all the necessary troubleshooting to fix it.


Needless to say, this guide on how to get local channels on Vizio Smart TV will be the only guide you need.

Your experience in the matter is irrelevant – with this guide handy, you can have a permanent resolution to your dilemma!

Nicole B