Don’t Have A TV Antenna Yet
If youre just getting started with free over-the-air TV, youll be in good company. Even many consumers who have switched to streaming video services, such as Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, or YouTube TV, use an antenna for local stations not included with their package. In fact, a quarter of all U.S. households with internet service now use a TV antenna to get free TV service, according to research firm Parks Associates, up from 15 percent in 2018.
Having the right antenna can help you get more of your local channels. Our test results cover 19 popular antennas, ranging in price from $10 to $80 were in the midst of testing another batch of antennas right now. Your reception will also depend heavily on your distance from broadcast towers, along with topographysuch as mountains or tall buildingsthat could interfere with signals. Amplified models can often help pull in more distant stations.
A final reminder if youre shopping for an antenna: Make sure it can receive both VHF and UHF frequencies. Some antennas provide good reception for only VHF or UHF channels but not both. But to get all the stations you can receive in your area, youll need an antenna that can receive both.
James K. Willcox
Watch Local Channels On Roku And Amazon Fire TV
Obviously, if you chose to use Hulu, YouTube TV, or other live TV streaming service to watch your local broadcast channels, you can download the app to your streaming device and watch local TV. However, if you decided to go with a TV antenna, we need to go into more detail.
If you have a Roku TV instead of the standalone Roku device, a TV Antenna Roku app reads input from the coaxial port on your Roku TV back. Connect your TV antenna to the port and turn on the TV Antenna app. You will have access to a program guide and all the channels your antenna receives. Amazon Fire Smart TVs have similar functionality.
If you dont have a Roku TV but a Roku device, you may still be able to use an antenna. However, you will need some additional hardware. Here are two solutions.
Tablo DVR This is a DVR for your TV antenna. Your antenna plugs into Tablo DVR, and the Tablo plugs into your home router. From there, you can use the Roku table app to manage the DVR, watch live TV, and set recordings. Read more in our review of DVRs for your TV Antenna.
HDHomeRun Connect Duo This device is not a DVR. It connects to your router via ethernet. You then connect a TV antenna to the HDHomeRun, and the TV signal is available on your home network through the HD HomeRun Roku app. This device is .
What Is The Best Long Range TV Antenna
Here are ten of the best long-range TV antennas on the market today:
- Channel Master CM-2020 Long Range Outdoor TV Antenna.
- Xtreme Signal Long Range Yagi Style VHF/UHF Long Range Outdoor HDTV Antenna
- 1byone Amplified Outdoor Digital HDTV Antenna.
- ANTOP UFO Amplified Long Range Omni-directional TV Antenna.
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Q: How Does The Material Of My Home Affect An Antennas Reception
A: When using an indoor TV antenna, building materials such as brick, metal siding, radiant barrier, or stucco can greatly reduce the incoming signal. Our indoor antennas are engineered to offer the best reception while taking those obstacles into account, which is why several of our antennas have consistently been featured in many “Best Indoor TV Antennas” publications throughout the years.
You may also need to elevate and/or move your antenna. Place your antenna as high up as possible, or near a window or wall facing the broadcast towers. If you have an attic antenna, try moving the antenna outdoors. If outdoors, make certain the antenna is not aimed at physical obstacles such as a roof, buildings, trees, or a hill.
Important: Remember to rescan for channels on your TV every time you move your antenna.
Call our Connection Crew, available 7 days a week, if you are having further difficulty receiving signals.
Free TV Channels By State
Local broadcasters transmit Free TV channels over-the-air in 210 major cities across the United States, these broadcasts are sent over the airwaves for free and are intended for customers who live within a designated market area otherwise known as a “DMA”. Most home and business locations within a DMA should be able to receive these free TV channels with a standard indoor or outdoor TV antenna depending on your distance from the broadcast location and any obstructions such as mountains, trees and buildings between your location and the broadcast tower location. To determine if your home or business is located within a DMA coverage area and has access to free local broadcast channels, select your home state from the list of states below. Then, select a city or zip code to discover a list of available antenna tv channels that are available in your area.
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TV Fool: A Deeper Look At Signal Strength
For those that want a bit more information than the FCC signal report, try this TV Fool Signal report. It gives us some numeric data on signal strength we can use to make rough calculations on whether we can receive a channel or not.
- Path This is a description of the signal path from the tower to the TV antenna. The height placement will affect the type of path the antenna can receive. This is the last column under the Signal heading of the report. Below you will find the values found in the columns and their definition.
- LOS This means Line of Sight. Basically, there is nothing in the way of the antenna and the tower.
- 1Edge When the signal leaves the tower, it is cut when it hits a hill, mountain, or other well-defined obstruction. When this happens, the obstacle acts as a secondary, albeit weaker, source of signal generation. A value of 1Edge in the Path column indicates the antenna is receiving the signal after being cut by this obstruction. The picture below demonstrates this concept.
- 2Edge This is the same concept as 1Edge, except the signal was cut twice before reaching the antenna. As you may have guessed, this results in a much weaker signal than 1Edge.
How To Watch Local Network Channels Without Cable
Published By Dennis Restauro
When it comes to watching TV, most TV shows people watch are on broadcast TV networks like CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, etc. TV shows on those networks are consistently in the Nielsen ratings top 10. This article explains in detail how to watch your local broadcast networks by streaming them live online or watching them live over the air with a TV antenna.
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Uhf Channels With A Good Signal
If there arent many hills and obstructions between your home and nearby TV towers, you should be okay with most Omni-Directional indoor antennas. $20 GE Ultra Edge TV antenna is designed to pull UHF channels in that signal range and should have done the trick. If not, your house may have thick walls or other factors interfering with reception. In this case, I would treat your TV signals as moderate instead of strong. Antennas like the Winegard Flatwave are also good options, but you will pay a bit more where a less expensive option can get the job done.
If there are only UHF channels in your area and good signal strength, then its hard to go wrong with an outdoor antenna. If you need to pull from towers in different directions, go with the affordable DB2e Bowtie Antenna.
Q: How Do I Scan For Channels
A: Scanning for channels is essential when it comes to TV antennas. Each television/converter box is different, so you may need to consult the owners manual provided with your TV/converter box, but generally, the guidelines remain consistent. Every time you hook up a new TV antenna or move the antenna you already have, you should scan for channels.
- Using the remote control for your device, find the Home or Settings menu.
- The Channel Scan tool may be found under Channels, Tuner, or something similar.
- Select Auto Scan, Channel Scan, Digital Channel Search, or something similar.
Youre done! Your device will search for all available digital OTA channels in just a few minutes, and youll be watching high-definition TV for free. Cord-cutters should rescan for channels periodically, as over-the-air TV providers are adding new stations all the time, thanks to the growing number of Americans who no longer pay for cable or satellite TV.
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Best Flat Antenna: Winegard Fl
At first glance, this square-shaped antenna looks like an ultra-thin mouse pad. Our reviewers appreciated that it was compact and versatile you can lie it flat next to your TV or hang it on a window or wall. A tip: If you plan to use the Command Strips this antenna comes with, be sure to identify the best place to hang the antenna first because its not easy to adjust the wall hangers once they adhere to a surface.
- The set-up is quick and easy, and the package comes with a pair of Command Strips and a 15-inch long cord that can be tucked behind a TV stand.
- Weighing less than a pound, this lightweight antenna is versatile and can easily be hung on a wall or window.
- With a price point under $30, its less expensive than other flat antennas on the market.
- The brand offers its own website that IDs available channels in your area, helping make the setup seamless.
- For one of our testers, the signal strength was weaker than the other antennas she tested in her basement.
- Setup is a breeze with this small and lightweight placemat-style antenna. One reviewer appreciated that it could be hung with push pins or Velcro.
- While the packaging came with materials to hang it up, this antenna is versatile and could also be discreetly placed on a media console to avoid visual clutter.
- Picked up several channels and the picture was mostly clear.
- Moderate price point.
Check How Many Channels You Should Be Able To Watch
Before you begin shopping for antennas, you can get a general overview of which channels youll be able to pick up based on your whereabouts.
To do this, go to the Federal Communication Commissions DTV Reception Maps. When you plug in your zip code, youll get a coverage menu that shows you which stations you should be able to view. Those labeled green have strong reception yellow has moderate reception orange has a weak reception and red is no signal.
Heres a look at the map for my Denver suburb, which shows I should be able to pick up a lot of channels:
The FCC doesnt make recommendations for which antenna you should use based on your location. Its reception calculations are based on an assumed outdoor antenna placed 30 feet above the ground.
There are some non-governmental sites that provide station information based on your location and antenna type. These are useful for those who arent interested in or able to install an outdoor antenna and would rather use a smaller indoor antenna next to their TV. I recommend you consult all of these to get a solid overview of what should be accessible to you with your antenna.
This site allows you to plug in your address or zip code and it will display a color-coded list of channels that are available in your area. The colors translate to the type of antenna you may need to access certain channels. Its worth cross-referencing this with the others.
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Installing An Indoor Antenna
Unlike when we reviewed indoor antennas in 2016, most contemporary antennas include some form of adhesive to attach them to your wall or window. If for some reason they lack this option you could try packing tape or poster putty instead.
When you install it, you will definitely need to experiment with the placement. A wall may actually be better than a window, depending on the orientation of your living area. Also, if possible keep the antenna away from magnetic metals such as security bars or the like since they can interfere with your signal strength.
If you buy a model with a short, captive lead like the 1byOne, be aware that you may need to buy a male-female extension lead, and more coaxial cable, to get it to reach your equipment.
Finally, if you live in a poor coverage area, with weak signals, an indoor antenna may not be for you. We tried using the antennas at a location in the Hudson Valley and none of them worked at all, even the signal-boosting Smartenna. That’s why it’s best to test the signal strength waters with a cheap antenna first, instead of spending a hundred bucks on something that might not work in your location due to a lack of a broadcast tower.
What Local Channels Can You Get
The local channels available in your area depend on where in the country you stand. The digital signals youll see on your TV will have a DTV logo.
Logos with a hyphen and hash marks are stations broadcasting from the tower closest to you, while logos with no hyphens or hashes are stations from towers nearer your city or county.
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How Can I Get More Channels With My Antenna
How To Get More Channels with Your Indoor Antenna
Watch TV For Free: How To Set Up An Over
Streaming TV is getting more expensive every day, especially for local channels. Antennas start at $10 and OTA programming is free.
Over-the-air TV has been around for years, and it’s built right into your TV — all you need is an antenna. Local channels broadcast in your area provide sports, news and TV shows from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS and more with excellent HD image quality. It’s no wonder that OTA is one of the first stops for anyone looking to cut the cord or supplement their streaming diet.
The best part is the price: absolutely free. Unlike cable or live TV streaming services, antenna broadcasts don’t require you to pay any ongoing fees, and if you live in an area with decent reception you can get OTA TV with an indoor antenna for less than $20 all told. In other parts of the country you may need to spend more on an outdoor antenna.
Antenna TV is simple to get set up. Here’s where to start.
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Q: I Keep Seeing The Term Cord
A: Cord-cutting is a term used when you have made the choice to cancel your cable or satellite service in favor of using a TV antenna and an internet-based service using an OTT streaming device, such as an Amazon Fire TV, Roku Player, or Apple TV. Learn more about how to cut the cord here!
Streaming Services With Local Channels
If you dont want to use an antenna, there are several ways to stream your local network channels. The best options to stream local ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS are Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV. They both offer a way to live stream major broadcast networks in nearly every market in the US. Other options to watch local channels are DIRECTV Stream and FuboTV. However, they dont cover as many markets. Lastly, Paramount+, Sling TV, and Vidgo stream some of the big 4 local broadcast networks in some parts of the country.
We break down the local channel offers of each of these services in the sections below.
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How Can I Boost My Antenna Signal
Here are some tips for boosting a digital TV signal:
Q: What Does 4k Ready Mean
A: Also known as Ultra HD, 4K is the image resolution 3840 x 2160 pixels on your television screen, allowing for clearer, more defined pictures. With this screen resolution, you will see more detail and texture than you ever imagined possible. When the new ATSC 3.0 standard launches, the FCC will be using the current spectrum available today for broadcast TV. Our antennas are compatible with all the new features this standard has to offer, including content broadcast in 4K.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Cable And Still Watch TV
You have two options: Watch live network TV with an indoor antenna. Watch live cable TV with a live streaming service . Heres the non-techy guide to ditching your cable or satellite and still watch your favorite television shows and live sporting events: