How do you watch the news when there's no TV channels at a sit?

I just realized I am a complete cable news junkie! Especially when I am lounging around with the pets, cooking, or cleaning, which is how I spend most of the day at sits, I usually like to have one of the mainstream news channels on in the background. There are plenty of websites I know that have every episode of every series under the sun uploaded to stream for free, but I really do love just picking up the remote and seeing what’s on the menu on the rare occasion I want to watch something other than the news, but don’t know what.

It feels rude and fussy to ask HOs what TV channels they have before confirming a sit, but I hate feeling disconnected from the world and current events when I’m not able to pick up a remote and press a few buttons to tune in. Lots of listings mention their Roku TV, Netflix or Hulu, but in fact those setups are not even able to connect to basic local news via antenna, let alone the main cable news channels most people watch (in the US, CNN - MSNBC - FOX etc.). At best you get a watered-down knockoff version of those channels with completely different content and no breaking stories.

I do wish THS had a box for HOs to tick for “cable TV” or “basic local TV channels” similar to “basic/high-speed wifi” and I have to admit I’ve been taken aback when I asked if there was a TV, and was told “well there’s wifi, just use your laptop” - for me, it’s really not the same and I am always multitasking on my laptop with dozens of tabs open on my web browser.

Does anyone have a good trick to get regular news channels (with the same content as cable) for free on a streaming website or app? If not, how else do you consume your news when all you have is a useless “smart tv”?

Since this is important to you, I think you should ask the HO in your initial interview if they have Live TV news access. There is one show I look forward to each week and didn’t realize I couldn’t get access to it at two recent sits until I tried futilely to tune in; these homes had Live TV shows but only past episodes. So I would ask about Live TV news if I were you, so you can make an informed decision. I may add this to my list of questions too. Although this may not work for you, I get my current news online. I have igHome as my home page and have a variety of news sources on it.


You could connect your laptop to their TV, so that you can stream live news channels. Set yourself up with your own VPN and you can watch any news, Netflix etc. anywhere in the world.
You could also add to your profile that you like to watch TV, then they know that about you. :grinning:

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I actually did, although I have to wonder if it makes me sound entitled or picky and might turn people off. Would love to know what websites you use for streaming regular cable news channels with a VPN, feel free to DM me if you’d rather not out them :slight_smile:

I watch Al Jazeera via YouTube, or just go straight to BBC website for their news. I think most news channels have their own websites, I’m sure you could find your preference. Hope that helps.

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We don’t have cable but we get about 20 channels with a rabbit ears antenna.

We get most major TV networks plus a few locals ones. The channels are in good HD quality. In larger US cities you can get a lot more channels. All you need is some basic antenna and make sure to rescan the TV channels with Antenna as a source not cable.

After asking a UK HO about whether they had a television to watch, I was told that there was no television but I could use my laptop to downstream or watch on catch-up.
I was not convinced that the HO actualky had a tv licence so I did not confirm the Sit.
Being able to legally watch live tv is important to me, particularly during dark winter evenings.

I get all my news from twitter. I follow all the major news outlets and many journalists and see breaking news immediately. I can follow links to get more info when I want to - written stories or video. It’s all I need.

I also have a VPN on my laptop so I can log into my home TV if I want and catch up on local stuff.

I assume you have a license. You must be able to login to your provider from your laptop?

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The responses I have seen are great, but you may also want to update your profile to include this information so HO’s can answer those questions for you.

Here’s a link to the TV licencing rule in the UK for those who may not be aware of them. The licence covers the property, not the person.
UKTV Licence website

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