One of the most common questions I get is whether Starlink provides TV with their internet service. Starlink doesn’t provide live TV channels, but you can stream live TV with Starlink using internet streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV, and Sling TV.
In this article, I will explain the difference between Starlink satellite internet and satellite TV providers like DirecTV and Dish Network. I will also detail how you can get local TV for free. Finally, I will answer the question of how you can get TV through Starlink by using various internet streaming services.
Starlink vs Satellite TV
When most people think of satellites, they think of satellite TV. DirecTV and Dish Network have been providing TV for many years through their familiar dish’s. When Starlink came along in 2021, many assumed that they would offer TV service. But satellite TV and satellite internet are very different.
Starlink is satellite internet, which connects your home network to the rest of the world wirelessly through a satellite connection. You install a dish (antenna) on your home, and that dish sends and receives information from satellites orbiting overhead. Satellite TV works in a similar fashion, except the dish’s are meant to receive a TV signal rather than internet data packets.
So while I’m sure Starlink could serve live TV signals, that isn’t what the system is designed and built for. The service is for internet, which, as we will discuss, can also be used to stream live TV.
Over-The-Air Antennas For Local Channels
If you decide to get Starlink internet, how are you supposed to get local TV channels? One way to get free local channels is to use a traditional TV antenna to receive local over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. Local TV stations broadcast their signals to the area for free. That means if you live close enough to the station, usually within 70 miles, you should be able to receive local TV for free.
Luckily, OTA TV antennas are relatively cheap and easy to hook up. You’ll need a TV with TV tuner, which most already have. Antennas range from small enough to fit behind your TV, to large roof mounted ones. Which one you need depends on how far away the TV station is to your home.
You can also get local TV channels though a variety of internet streaming services, which I will cover next.
Live TV On Streaming Services
If you want live TV, but don’t want cable or satellite, you can use internet streaming services with Starlink to gain access to your favorite cable networks and channels. Since Starlink is internet, you can use any internet streaming service you like. Many services offer live TV streaming, such as Hulu, YouTubeTV, and Sling TV. Since Starlink offers high-speed, low latency broadband internet, it can handle streaming the latest HD and 4K shows on multiple devices in your home.
Most live TV streaming services also can deliver your local TV channels. If you don’t want to install an OTA antenna, or you live too far away from the TV stations, you can stream local channels through the internet using one of the many available streaming services.
Can Starlink Replace Satellite TV Or Cable?
In summary, Starlink isn’t a live TV service like DirecTV. But since Starlink is internet, you can stream your favorite live TV channels through internet streaming apps like YouTubeTV and others. So yes, Starlink is fully capable of replacing your existing satellite or cable TV connection. Local channels are often available for free using an OTA antenna. For live TV channels, just be sure to select the internet streaming service that offers the networks you want.
My wife and I are retired and average about two weeks out camping in our RV and back at home for three to four before back out again, would it be ok to just purchase RV since we are out on road about week or so out every month but two.
Starlink RV would work great for your situation because monthly payments can be paused when you are at home not using it.
I don’t know when service will be available for me @my home. Could I purchase the RV now and upgrade to my home when it’s available
You can purchase RV to use at your home, but it cannot be converted to Residential. You would have to buy another dish if you wanted Residential service when it becomes available.
Sling will not work on Starlink.
was working for about a week then got error message call sling and went through 60 mins of cs help but only way sling would work is to go back to our slow internet service CenturyLink.
checked on line and found many people had the same problem.
Thanks for the info. I was able to find this discussion that has some more information: https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/10mq5nm/sling_tv_outage_on_starlink/
It appears to be an IP location issue. One workaround would be to use a VPN to manually set your location/IP. Starlink uses CGNAT to hand out IP’s, and your IP can change and isn’t usually located in the same physical state as your home. The good news is that Sling appears to be aware of the issue and is working to solve it, but I think another service or a VPN would be good options until they do.
Hulu will not work on Starlink.
Hulu uses your public IP address to confirm your “home” location and every time Starlink changes your public IP address, which it does frequently, your Hulu will stop working. I spoke with Hulu about this and confirmed it. They too are supposedly working on a solution but have no timeframe for a fix. I agree a VPN back to a location with a static public IP address would work but that means you are paying for a second internet provider somewhere and there’s the “overhead” and complexity of running the VPN on your internet which will slow things down considerably and introduce more potential points of failure. Consequently using a VPN isn’t a great option.
So, Hulu doesn’t work, Sling doesn’t work. Anyone know about Roku or YouTubeTV?