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How To Get TV With An Antenna

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Scanning Your Television For Stations And Fine Tuning

Tech Tips: How to set up a TV antenna.

Once you have yourre over the air antenna set up, you will need to scan your TV for the stations to show up. That option depending on your television should be in the menu options. Check the user manual for more information. Most TVs also have an option to allow you to see the signal strength to fine-tune the antenna. You may have to move the antenna around a bit to get it in the ideal position to obtain all the channels available. Use the map you generated to point the antenna in the right direction.

Samsung TV rescan option

Learn How To Get Local Channels Without Cable With Our Expert Guide

Over-the-air TV is high-definition television broadcast from local television stations in your area. The only things you need to enjoy it are a TV and a digital antenna. You can even use an OTA DVR to record live TV.

Overall, OTA TV is a cheap way to get local news, nationally televised sports, and primetime TV on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and more.

Which Channels Do I Want To Watch

Your next step is to figure out which stations you want to watch. After all, theres no point wasting time trying to get weak stations if all your favorite shows are on strong ones.

You can check a TV listing guide to see everything thats on the air in your local area and make a list of which stations you want to watch. Youll probably need to enter your zip code and be sure to choose antenna or over the air as your TV provider in the online program guide, so you dont get cable channels mixed in.

Once youve made your list, examine the Rabbit Ears results to find the channels you want to watch. Write down the number in parenthesis, which is the real channel, the Direction , and the color . The colors will inform you if an indoor antenna will be sufficient, or if youll need an attic or roof-mounted model to pull them in.

Its important to remember than an indoor antenna is always going to be a compromise. You will always get better results with an outdoor antenna.

Indoor antennaslike our current favorite low-priced antenna and our favorite amplified antenna are typically flat, so theyre easy to set up, usually by hanging them in a window on the side of the house facing the transmitter. Some look different but the principle is the same: Install them in a favorable location.

There are several excellent options including our current top pick for attic installation, the Winegard Elite 7550, and for a roof-mount, the Antennas Direct DB8e.

The Winegard Elite 7550

Read Also: Samsung TV Airplay Update

Broadcast TV Will Know What You’re Watching

One of NextGen TV’s more controversial features is a “return data path,” which is a way for the station you’re watching to know you’re watching. Not only does this allow a more accurate count of who’s watching what shows, but it creates the opportunity for every marketer’s dream: targeted advertising.

Ads specific to your viewing habits, income level and even ethnicity could get slotted in by your local station. This is something brand-new for broadcast TV. Today, over-the-air broadcasts are pretty much the only way to watch television that doesn’t track your viewing habits. Sure, the return data path could also allow “alternative audio tracks and interactive elements,” but it’s the targeted ads and tracking many observers are worried about.

The finer details are all still being worked out, but here’s the thing: If your TV is connected to the internet, it’s already tracking you. Pretty much every app, streaming service, smart TV and cable or satellite box all track your usage to a greater or lesser extent.

Return data path is still in the planning stages, even as the other aspects of NextGen TV are already going live. There is a silver lining: There will be an opt-out option. While it also requires Internet access, if this type of thing bothers you, just don’t connect your TV or NextGen TV receiver to the internet. You will inevitably lose some of the other features of NextGen TV, however.

That said, we’ll keep an eye on this for any further developments.

Local Channels On Hulu + Live TV

The Best Outdoor TV Antennas for Rural Areas

Hulu + Live TV has ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX as part of a 65+ channel bundle. This live TV service also has cable-TV staples such as A& E, ESPN and TNT.

Subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR, and unlimited access to the on-demand library that people pay $5.99 per month for. That includes Hulu Originals such as The Handmaids Tale. Hulu also lets you see what local channels are available in your area.

A subscription costs $64.99 per month. There is no contract. Customers can subscribe on a month-to-month basis.

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The Benefits Of Owning An Antenna

Despite some shortcomings, there are many good reasons to own a TV antenna.

For one, a TV antenna helps you break away from the onerous service agreements you have with cable and satellite providers and can help you save money. Sure, you won’t get as many channels included, but if you combine the antenna with third-party streaming services, you’ll get awfully close to all you want. And who can really argue with the idea of saving hundreds of dollars a year by cutting the cord and using an antenna to get free programming?

Beyond that, antennas can deliver better picture quality than what you’re experiencing on cable or satellite. Since 2009, over-the-air broadcasts are often delivered in 1080p resolution. In order to save on bandwidth, cable and satellite companies compress those broadcasts and deliver them in lower-quality HD.

MORE: TV Buying Guide: 11 Things You Need to Know

In my experience with the Mohu antennas, the picture quality difference was significant, and made me not want to go back to the cable box.

Finally, and this is something that should not be overlooked, there is a good chance you’re not going to miss the stuff you really care about even if you don’t want to spend any money on streaming services.

In fact, most of the programming you watch now, including live events, are already available over the air.

“Ninety-four of the top 100 television programs are broadcast free over the air,” Buff says.

Find Your Local Broadcast Transmitters

Why its helpful: Knowing the location of your local TV stations broadcast transmitters helps you make a better decision about where to place your antenna. Broadcast signals are not narrow beams theyre actually more like wide waves rolling over you at the beach. Generally, you get the strongest signal if the maximum amount of the antenna is exposed to the wave, so you should position your antenna parallel to the wave front and perpendicular to the signal direction. Youre usually best off placing the antenna on a wall that runs at or close to a 90-degree angle to the direction of the signal.

How to do it: You can find the direction and distance of your local transmitters by visiting AntennaWeb or RabbitEars, or you can use either of the free smartphone apps from RCA and Winegard, both of which are available for iOS and Android and work with antennas of any brand. The RCA app is particularly nice because it shows you which direction to orient the antenna for optimum reception of any specific station.

In some citiessuch as Denver, New York, and San Franciscomost of the TV transmitters are clustered together atop a mountain or a tall building, which makes positioning your antenna easier. But most citiesespecially those in flatter areas, like Atlanta, Boston, and Houstonhave TV transmitters in multiple locations. In these locales, if you point the antenna so that your favorite channels come in reliably, you may sacrifice reception of some other channels.

Also Check: How To Stream Philo On Smart TV

Whats The Best TV Antenna For Me

The best way to find the best digital TV antenna for your home is to visit AntennaWeb. There, you can input your address and/or ZIP code and review antenna recommendations from participating Consumer Technology Association vendors.

AntennaWeb offers choices from several companies for each search, so be sure to comparison shop those options to get the best deal for your wallet.

Another way to find out if an antenna might work for you is by asking your neighbors. This tactic may seem old-fashioned, but the signals picked up by an antenna vary a lot depending on location. Your neighbors might have already gone through trial and error to find a TV antenna they love.

Our Best TV Antenna Advice

How to setup a TV Antenna (How to get Free TV Forever)

Getting an antenna is the first step toward cutting the cord or pulling in free local channels. You don’t need to spend a lot of money the best cheap TV antennas do a great job, and even a $12 set of bunny ears might do the trick and you don’t even need a TV.

But simply having an antenna won’t automatically solve all of your over-the-air TV woes. Better antennas and optional amplifiers will go a long way toward bringing in more channels, but that’s only part of the equation.

We recommend researching beforehand to determine what range of antenna you need, and whether you want an indoor model or an antenna made for outdoor installation. The best place to start is, which lets you enter your address or ZIP code and see what stations are broadcasting in your area, as well as how far away the broadcast towers are.

Worried about future proofing for ATSC 3.0 as it rolls out to new cities? The good news is that your existing antenna will work, and may even pull in more channels under the new standard. The bad news is that you’ll need to buy a new tuner or an ATSC 3.0-equipped TV, and these are only now coming to market.

And check out our other advice for TV antennas to help you get yourself properly equipped and set up for the best reception:

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Best Indoor TV Antennas 202: 6 Digital TV Antennas Worth Having

ByAndrew Haywardlast updated 2 February 22

How to find the best indoor TV antenna for your over-the-air needs

TV HDTV Antenna

The best indoor TV antennas are absolutely essential for anyone planning on cutting the cord. Buying an indoor TV antenna for your home is a cheap and easy way to get access to many free over-the-air channels in HD for no monthly fee.

The best TV antennas offer a portal into the world of sports, sitcoms, news, and more that are all on offer across Americas most popular TV networks absolutely free with no extra costs. This fact is largely obscured by cable companies because theyre keen to sign you up for an expensive cable plan.

However, what you can get with a TV antenna isnt without its limits. Over-the-air broadcasts offer fewer choices than any cable package out there and their quantity and quality will depend on how far away you are from broadcasters like your local NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX stations that carry sports events, sitcoms, dramas and comedy shows.

So which is the best indoor antenna for your smart TV? That’s exactly what we wanted to find out, so weve tested a whole range of them from different tech brands and put them to work. What you’ll find below is our round-up of the best indoor TV antennas on the market in 2022. Keep checking back as well be adding new antennas to this list.

Scan For Channels From An Antenna Or Cable Box On Your Samsung TV

Over the air programming has come a long way – instead of static, most local stations now broadcast in HD! And to make things even better, your TV has a tuner that can scan for and automatically program local channels that will appear on your channel list. Plus, an antenna will help your TV find even more channels and improve the quality of the signal.

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Get An Antenna And Hook Everything Up

Now that you’ve figured out where to put your antenna, it’s time to buy an antenna. This part may be a little overwhelming, as there are a ridiculous number of antennas for sale at all sorts of price points.

The bad news is that it’s a bit of a crapshoot. The basic rule of thumb for antennas is that bigger is better and that more range is better than not. Get the biggest and best you can within your budget. For what it’s worth, I’ve been using the ClearStream Fusion for years outdoors without issue. And it’s almost a no-brainer at a $50 sales price.

For an indoor antenna, try something that’ll stick to the window, if possible.

Once you’ve got your antenna mounted wherever it is you’re going to mount it, it’s time to hook everything up. That’s also relatively straightforward.

Step 1: Connect one end of the coax cable to the antenna.

Step 2: Connect the other end of the antenna to the amplifier, which was likely included with the antenna.

Step 3: Connect the amplifier to the television or tuner box.

Tips For Installing An Antenna

Antennas Direct 91XG review: Another roof

Given the complexity of installing a roof antenna we’re going to stick with internal antennas for this article. Here’s what you need:

Most modern indoor antennas are flat and designed to be installed high on a window, preferably facing in the direction of a broadcast antenna. How do you determine which way that is?

In addition to selling its namesakes, Antennas Direct is also an excellent cord-cutting resource and offers maps based on your location, as well as the direction of the nearest antennas. Keep your compass or handy!

Antennas Direct offers a map showing where your nearest broadcast towers are.

Some antennas include adhesive strips for mounting but if yours doesn’t, you’ll need masking tape or poster putty. Try not to use duct tape, as it can mark your walls or windows.

Install the antenna as high as you can because neighboring houses and buildings can block TV signals. Experiment with placement — if a window doesn’t work, try a wall as it may give you better reception. Try to keep the antenna away from magnetic metals such as security bars and radiators if possible.

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Make An Antenna If You Dont Have One

It is easy to get digital broadcast signals and watch different channels even if you dont have an antenna. An Antenna is typically used to receive a signal. You can get it by doing one task which is searching zip code into Station Finder to make sure which channels are available to watch. There are some signals of yellow and green signals that indicate you to be available in this area. Red signals mean there is a broadcast TV channel in your area. You need to do some tasks when you dont have an antenna

  • A digital TV
  • A length of Coax Cable
  • An improvised Antenna

How to set these three components

First of all, you need to take the length of coax cable and set this backside of the TV where you can screw it into the cable or antenna area input.

Keep the other side of the coax cable dangling for now?

Now its time to switch on the TV and go to the setup menu where you can get an option of cable/antenna option. Then you can get an option to scan channels

The other side of the coax cable needs to be touched with a coax cable pin while scanning is in the process. It may be the process of 10-20 minutes to get channels after scanning with this handmade system. You will see some channels are available after the scan is completed.

TV Shows From Fox And Nbc Through Hulu

If you just want local channels to watch a favorite show on FOX or NBC, Hulu on-demand is a cheap alternative to a TV antenna. At $5.99 per month, you get some coverage of the latest comedies, dramas and reality TV shows.

Hulu is also an inexpensive way to catch up on past seasons from cable channels such as A& E, History and Science Channel.

Also Check: How To Stream On Tcl Roku TV

TV Shows From Cbs On Paramount+

Paramount+ streams a live local CBS channel in most markets across the U.S. First launched as CBS All Access, this streaming service now has a growing library of movies, and shows from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel.

A subscription costs $4.99 per month, and you can look over shows and movies now on the service. Subscribers to the Premium Plan get a local CBS station and 4K HDR streaming for $9.99 per month. Paramount Plus has a free 7-day trial.

Cutting The Cord Tips On How To Watch Free TV Using An Antenna Or Streaming Service

Installing a TV antenna to your Samsung TV

QUAD CITIES – So you think youre ready to cut costs by cutting the cord?

Many people are leaving traditional cable or satellite TV services and making the switch to live streaming TV programming over the internet. But breaking up can be hard to do.

First, you should compare the cost of internet and streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus or YouTube TV. If you subscribe to more than one service to get all your favorite channels, you could end up paying more. The other thing to consider is how will you watch your local TV channels? The answer to that is easy, AND its free!

We enlisted help from an expert, Lee Zeglin, owner of Zeglins TV & Appliance in Moline. He says by law, every TV comes complete with an antenna. The only exception is if it is called something other than a television.

They call themselves monitors or home theater TVs where they dont have a tuner in them, but every TV should have a coaxial point where you can screw in the antenna to them. If its classified as a TV, it has to have that feature, said Zeglin.

In other words, the only thing you need to get free local channels is an antenna. Plug it into the same place where you would plug in a cable or satellite service. It may take some adjustment to get all the channels, depending on where you live and where you place the antenna.

Most roofs in a house take about 30-percent of signal strength away, by just having it inside. So you want it closest to outside as possible, he added.

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