Cut the Cord in Chicago

Free TV in the Chicago Area

Cord-cutters in the Chicago Metropolitan area are very fortunate. They live in or near the Midwest’s largest city, and the airwaves are filled with a variety of free HDTV.

Chicago is the third biggest city in North America, right after New York and Los Angeles. Like its larger counterparts, Chi-Town is known for its amazing shopping opportunities, international cuisine, entertainment, and unique sights and attractions. Surrounding this beauty, refinement, and culture of the city are a variety of neighborhoods and enclaves. While each has its own unique character, these communities personify Chicago’s strong Midwestern character.

As a Chicagoan, you shouldn’t have to shell out bucket loads of money for your TV programming. Each day, plenty of free TV programs are broadcast from transmitters atop the Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, and a few other locations. The right antenna can open up a new world of over-the-air TV channels, and it’s all free. To receive them, all you need to do is make the decision to cut the cord of cable TV.

 

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Area

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Area

The Chicago media market is huge.  The Chicago-Aurora-Joliet, Illinois area is its largest part. It encompasses eight counties – Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, and Will – and nearly 8,000,000 people.  The market extends east across the state line into Gary, Indiana, where more than 709,000 people live in Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter counties.  It also creeps north into Lake County, IL and Kenosha County, WI.  These areas have a combined population of nearly 870,000 people.  Add it all up, and it’s easy to see that the greater Chicago area has a lot of people who could be saving big money by cutting the cord.

To see all the free HDTV available in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area, use this ultimate TV listing guide:  

Station

Ch.

RF

Network

HD?

Lang.

Tower Location

WBBM-DT

2.1

12

CBS

HD

English

Willis Tower

WBBM-DT2

2.2

12

Decades

SD

English

Willis Tower

WMAQ-DT

5.1

29

NBC

HD

English

Willis Tower

WMAQ-DT2

5.2

29

Cozi TV

SD

English

Willis Tower

WLS-DT

7.1

44

ABC

HD

English

Willis Tower

WLS-DT2

7.2

44

Live Well

SD

English

Willis Tower

WLS-DT3

7.3

44

Laff

SD

English

Willis Tower

WGN-DT

9.1

19

CW

HD

English

Willis Tower

WGN-DT2

9.2

19

Antenna TV

SD

English

Willis Tower

WGN-DT3

9.3

19

This TV

SD

English

Willis Tower

WTTW-DT

11.1

47

PBS

HD

English

Willis Tower

WTTW-DT2

11.2

47

WTTW Prime

SD

Spanish

Willis Tower

WTTW-DT3

11.3

47

Create World

SD

English

Willis Tower

WTTW-DT4

11.4

47

V-me

SD

Spanish

Willis Tower

WYCC-DT

20.1

21

PBS

HD

English

John Hancock Center

WYCC-DT2

20.2

21

FNX

SD

English

John Hancock Center

WYCC-DT3

20.3

21

MHz Worldview

SD

Spanish

John Hancock Center

WCIU-DT

26.1

27

WCIU

HD

English

Willis Tower

WCIU-DT

26.2

27

The U Too

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCIU-DT

26.3

27

Me TV

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCIU-DT

26.4

27

H&I

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCIU-DT

26.5

27

Bounce

SD

English

Willis Tower

WFLD-DT

32.1

31

FOX

HD

English

 

WWTO-DT

35.1

10

TBN

HD

English

Deer Park

WWTO-DT2

35.2

10

Hillsong

SD

English

Deer Park

WWTO-DT3

35.3

10

JUICE TV - Smile of a Child TV

SD

English

Deer Park

WWTO-DT4

35.4

10

Enlace USA

SD

Spanish

Deer Park

WWTO-DT5

35.5

10

TBN Salsa

SD

English

Deer Park

WCPX-DT

38.1

43

Ion TV

HD

English

Willis Tower

WCPX-DT2

38.2

43

qubo

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCPX-DT3

38.3

43

Ion Life

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCPX-DT4

38.4

43

Ion Shop

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCPX-DT5

38.5

43

QVC

SD

English

Willis Tower

WCPX-DT6

38.6

43

HSN

SD

English

Willis Tower

WSNS-DT

44.1

45

Tele mundo

HD

Spanish

Willis Tower

WSNS-DT2

44.2

45

Tele Xitos

SD

English

Willis Tower

WPWR-DT

50.1

51

My 50

HD

English

Willis Tower

WPWR-DT2

50.2

51

Movies

SD

English

Willis Tower

WPWR-DT4

50.4

51

Buzzr

SD

English

Willis Tower

WYIN-DT

56.1

17

PBS

HD

English

Lake Dalecarlia, Ind.

WYIN-DT2

56.2

17

NHK World

SD

English

Lake Dalecarlia, Ind.

WYIN-DT3

56.3

17

PBS Kids

SD

English

Lake Dalecarlia, Ind.

WYIN-DT4

56.4

17

PBS

SD

English

Lake Dalecarlia, Ind.

WXFT-DT

60.1

50

UniMás

HD

Spanish

Willis Tower

WXFT-DT2

60.2

50

Univision

SD

Spanish

Willis Tower

WXFT-DT3

60.3

50

Escape

SD

English

Willis Tower

WJYS-DT

62.1

36

WJYS

HD

English

Willis Tower

WJYS-DT2

62.2

36

MCTV

SD

English

Willis Tower

WJYS-DT3

62.3

36

PRISM

SD

English

Willis Tower

WJYS-DT4

62.4

36

PRISM2

SD

English

Willis Tower

WGBO-DT

66.1

38

Univision

HD

Spanish

John Hancock Center

WGBO-DT2

66.2

38

Get TV

SD

English

John Hancock Center

WGBO-DT3

66.3

38

Grit

SD

English

John Hancock Center

*The Chicago TV market has several additional low-powered TV stations. You may or may not be able to receive some or all of these stations. This depends upon your distance from the broadcast towers, geography, choice in TV antenna, and other factors.

Cord-Cutting and the Chicago Sports Fan

Free TV in the Chicago Area

When it comes to watching sports, cutting the cord has its limits.  In nearly all TV markets, watching pro sports teams over-the-air is limited or practically non-existent.  This is due to agreements between the teams and TV networks.  While this presents a challenge, Solid Signal provides options for cord-cutters to watch pro sports.  If you want to see the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, or White Sox, check out our Chicago Cord-Cutter’s Guide to Sports.   

What’s Available in TV Markets Near Chicago?

What’s Available in TV Markets Near Chicago?

The Chicago TV market is unique in that it’s not one that’s surrounded by many other large markets. Cord-cutters in most of the smaller, surrounding communities typically try to receive Chicago’s many programming options.  Still, if you’re a Chicagoan who wants to watch programming outside your TV market, the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha Metropolitan Area might be your best bet. If you live in the northern reaches of the Chicago market, and are using a powerful antenna, you might be able to enjoy these additional TV stations.

 

Your TV Antenna in Chicago

To cut the cord, you need a TV antenna. No two TV antennas are the same, and no two over-the-air viewing experiences are the same.  If you live in the Chicago and are considering cutting the cord, keep these things in mind:

  • How far you live from Deer Park, the John Hancock Center, and Willis Tower.  Many of Chicago’s free over-the-air TV programming are broadcast from these towers.
  • The number of buildings, trees, and other obstructions between your home and the broadcast towers.
  • Which Chicago TV channels are your favorites?  This is an important point when choosing a VHF, UHF, or VHF/UHF antenna.

So why are these factors important?  They all affect the quality of your OTA TV reception and the number of TV programs you’re able to receive. We use all of these factors to help determine whether you need an indoor TV antenna or one of three types of outdoor TV antennas. From Peru to Portage, and from Momence to Mount Pleasant, we’ll help get you the best TV reception possible.

At Solid Signal, we take these and other factors into consideration before recommending an indoor TV antenna or one of three types of outdoor TV antennas. We've compiled our most popular antennas for indoors and outdoors into one handy guide that helps you compare and choose the right antenna for you!

Cut the Cord in Chicago!

Solid Signal is the premier destination for OTA TV equipment, information, and support.  We know TV antennas and we know the Chicago media market.  Our team of experts will help you decide which of the following antenna types, makes, and models are best for you.  We also can help you with TV viewing options.  And if you’re moving to another media market, we can help you get free HDTV there, too.  Just call us at 877.312.4547 when you’re ready to cut the cord.


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