How to Get Local Channels on Samsung Smart TV? (In-Depth Guide)

While myriads of streaming services may be available right now, it’s nothing like watching TV via free local channels. Although there may not be many local channels available and the programs are not that exciting compared to paid services like Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, with local channels, you can get the most relevant content in connection with the local community.

In addition, some local stations now offer HD broadcasting. Moreover, with the local channels, you’re not bound to contracts, and an unstable internet connection will not be an issue for your TV viewing since you don’t need the internet. However, those local channels won’t appear on your TV automatically. While some TV models have built-in antennas, you still need to get your TV to scan the local channels and lock them on your Samsung Smart TV. Read on to find out how to get local channels on Samsung Smart TV.

Before you can start scanning for the local channels, you need the help of an antenna to get any reception. You can get a pretty decent antenna from your favorite e-commerce sites without breaking the bank. 

How to Get Local Channels on Samsung Smart TV


To search for free local channels on your Samsung smart TV, you will need to install an OTA antenna and connect it to your TV.

To scan free local TV channels on your Samsung smart TV, go to Settings > Broadcasting > Auto Program > Start > Air.

If you don’t want to use the antenna, you can use the Samsung TV Plus app that allows you to watch dozens of free channels, but this app requires an internet connection. 

If your TV, for some reason, can’t scan channels, you could try a few things: check the cables and tighten up loose connections, restart your Samsung TV, or reset it to factory default settings.


Here’s how to set up your antenna:

  • Unbox the antenna and see if it comes with the cord, known as the coax cable. If not, you need to get a coax cable to connect it to the TV.
  • In many cases, one end of the coax cable is already attached to the antenna. If it’s not, you need to attach it by aligning the connector pin to the antenna cable connection. Then, attach the cable and tighten it by turning the outer collar clockwise.

How to hook up the antenna to the TV

  • Next, take the other end of the coax cable and attach it to the antenna cable connection on the TV in the same way you attached it to the antenna.
  • If your antenna comes with a power cord, plug it into the power source.
  • Now, you are ready to scan local channels using the connected antenna.

How to Mount an Outdoor Antenna for Best Reception


Follow these steps to scan and auto-tune local channels on your Samsung smart TV:

  • Firstly, you need to switch the source to the TV input on the remote. Hit the Home button at the center and navigate to the Source button on the left.
  • Then, you go up and press on the Samsung TV Plus (or just TV).
  • You can scan the local channels now that you’re on the TV input mode. On this screen, you need to hit the Home button again and navigate to the left to find the Settings icon. 
  • Press Settings and then Enter.
  • You’re going to see a few options there, but you need to select the Broadcasting option.
  • Next, hit the direction button to the right, where you can see the Auto Program. Highlight the Auto Program button and press Enter.
  • Hit the Start button to commence the Auto Program.
  • On the next screen, you will see three options to scan the channels – Air, Cable, or Both (if you choose to scan both ways). Since we’re using an antenna, select Air (OTA, or Over the Air TV transmissions via radio waves). Then, hit the Enter button again.
  • Now, your TV will scan for available channels. Once the Auto Program detects a channel, it will store it, and the number of detected channels will appear alongside the DTV Air.
  • Let the process continue. It might take a while for the antenna to scan all available channels. However, you can hit the Stop button to end the process when you think you have secured enough channels already. 
  • When you’re done with the scanning, go back and see all the local channels the antenna managed to scan. 
  • That’s it – now you can watch local channels on your Samsung TV.
  • It’s good to rescan the local channels occasionally because your local TV stations keep updating their services, including adding new channels and upgrading existing channels to produce HD output.

How to scan local channels on Samsung TV

If hooking up an antenna seems troublesome, or if you want to have more free channels on your Samsung TV, the Samsung TV Plus is here. This Samsung proprietary app has been available on all Samsung smart TV models since 2016. With the app, you can watch about 200 totally free virtual channels (off-course, you need to pay internet fees) offering news, movies, shows, and more. The best thing is that you can also watch Samsung Plus TV channels on your Galaxy phones and tablets.

Introducing Samsung TV Plus


Sometimes you may not be able to scan local channels on your Samsung smart TV. Follow these methods to fix the issues:


The antenna won’t work if the coax cable is loose. Check the connection and tighten it up by turning the outer collar clockwise until you cannot turn it anymore. You might have also plugged the cable into the wrong slot. So, make sure you plug it in the right slot – the antenna in the cable connection on your TV.



Sometimes you can fix the antenna connection problem by restarting your TV. Here’s how to restart your Samsung smart TV:

  • Firstly, shut down your TV by pressing the ON/OFF button on the TV remote.
  • Pull out the power cable from the TV and the wall socket.
  • Wait for a short while before plugging them back in.
  • Now, you can restart your TV and repeat the scanning process mentioned above.
  • See if you can scan the local channels now.


Restarting the TV may not fix the problem, and you will still be stuck in the scanning process. Try another method by putting your TV back in its factory settings. Here are the steps to reset everything back to its initial settings:

  • Grab your Samsung TV remote and press the Source or Settings buttons.
  • In the next screen, move the cursor to the left and hit the gear icon (Settings).
  • Press Enter and choose General.
  • On the General Menu, go to the bottom and choose Reset.
  • Enter the PIN, and the TV will start resetting everything after you hit the Yes button.

How to Factory Reset Your Samsung Smart TV


Question: How to access OTA local channels on my Samsung TV?

Answer: OTA channels are free local TV channels transmitted over the air via radio waves. You can easily scan these OTA channels using your TV remote, but installing an external antenna on your Samsung TV can get the best results.

To start scanning, set your mode to TV and press the Home button on your remote. Then, select Settings > Broadcasting > Auto Program > Air (since you’re using only an antenna). The antenna will pick up OTA local channels on your TV.

Question: My Samsung TV cannot scan local channels. What should I do?

Answer: There could be many reasons why you cannot scan. One of the reasons could be that you didn’t change the source menu before starting to scan for channels. Grab your Samsung TV remote and press the Home button in the middle. Move to the left, hit the Source option, and then move up to the Samsung TV Plus and press the button. Then you can start the scanning process, starting with the Settings option.

Question: Which Samsung TVs have embedded antennae?

Answer: Most Samsung smart TVs don’t have built-in antennas. You can only find it in several recent models launched after 2020. That said, you shouldn’t have problems getting an antenna – most antennas available are compatible with any type of TV. Plug the antenna in, and off you go with scanning local channels.

Best Outdoor OTA Antennas to Buy

Question: Do local TV channels have apps?

 Answer: Yes, several local TV channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox offer apps that you can use to download and watch programs for free (but you still need to pay for internet service). 


Local Over-The-Air (OTA) TV channels are great alternatives for paid, cable, satellite, or online TV services. The best thing is – they are free. However, we recommend getting an antenna to assist in scanning those free local channels. This post guided you on how to set up your antenna and TV and showed you how to get local channels on your Samsung smart TV. We have also included a few troubleshooting tips in case you cannot start scanning.

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