If you’re like most people, you’re probably on a tight budget and looking for ways to save money. Maybe you’ve considered cutting the cord and canceling cable, but couldn’t take the plunge because you’ll miss the local news – or your favorite sitcom.
I know exactly how you feel. It took me two years to finally give up cable. But I didn’t just sign up for Netflix and Amazon and call it a day. I still get to watch the news every evening and catch my favorite shows every week.
I get the best of both worlds without paying a small fortune each month. How do I do this, you ask? I have an indoor TV antenna for local channels.
A TV antenna is an antenna that picks up on local and broadcast channels that are free with your cable provider.
Antenna TV channels include all the networks you probably watch on a daily basis, like NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC and PBS. The exact channels you’ll receive will depend on your location and how close you are to a tower.
But most people can get the basic broadcast channels for free.
You can finally say good-bye to your monthly cable bill without feeling the guilt. After all, you’re not really missing much. Do you watch all 200+ channels you have right now? Probably not.
The best HD antenna will offer a number of benefits to you as a viewer, including:
How much do you spend each month on your cable subscription? I’m willing to bet it’s around $100. If not, it’s at least $50.
Do you truly feel the television programming you watch is worth $600 – $1,200+ a year?
With a TV antenna, you can save money by cutting your cable bill completely out of the picture. Imagine having an extra $50 to $100 or more per month. That’s as much as $1,200 a year in savings that you could put towards a vacation, your home, a new car, retirement or even your kid’s college fund.
Saving money is the biggest benefit to owning a TV antenna.
You may have canceled your cable subscription, but you haven’t canceled your TV entertainment.
With an antenna, you can still watch movies, TV shows and more.
Cutting the cord doesn’t mean living under a rock. A TV antenna will let you tune into local and national news networks, so you can stay on top of the news no matter where you are.
Depending on where you are, you may get several local and broadcast channels, which gives you more access to news from different networks and sources.
You’ve read through our TV antenna reviews , and you’re ready to buy. Before you take the dive, there are some things you should know beforehand.
The first step is to find out how many channels you’ll actually receive once your antenna is up and running.
Depending on your location, you may have access to dozens of channels, just a handful, or none at all.
There are several free online services that can help you figure out which channels are available. These sites simply ask your zip code, and will display all channels you can view with an indoor TV antenna.
In most cases, these services will tell you how far away you are from the nearest TV antenna tower in miles.
At the very least, you want to be able to get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW and PBS.
Before you get too excited about getting free TV, it’s important to point out that an antenna probably won’t give you access to premium channels, like HBO, Cinemax or similar channels.
Don’t let this dissuade you from getting an antenna – you’ll still be able to watch movies and a lot of your favorite shows without having to pay the premium price on cable.
Use the information on the channel and tower search to help you determine what type of antenna you need.
If there are towers in a single location, you can use either omni-directional or directional antennas to get a signal. If the tower is 50 miles or more away, a directional antenna is the better option.
If towers are in two locations but in the same general direction, a bay-style, multi-directional antenna is required.
If you have multiple towers in multiple locations, you will need an omni-directional antenna if the signal range is within 50 miles. If the range is greater than 50 miles, you’ll need a directional antenna with a remote-controlled rotator.
About 75% of broadcast stations in the U.S. use UHF frequencies, while about 2% broadcast over VHF. If you happen to be in an area that broadcasts over VHF, you will need to invest in a special outdoor antenna that can receive both low-VHF and UHF frequencies.
Most people won’t have to worry about this, but do check to make sure that your areas does not have a low-VHF signal.
If you purchase an indoor TV antenna that’s mounted, do not mount it until you check the signal. The goal is to make sure you’re happy with the signal’s strength before you permanently mount the antenna onto your wall.
If you mount the antenna in an area where the signal is weak, you’ll have put holes in your wall for no reason. The last thing you want is to install the antenna in ten different spots before you finally find the right location. Always check the signal before permanently installing an antenna.
These are the most important things to know before you buy an antenna. Installation is simple, and once you’ve got a strong signal, you can start enjoying your favorite shows for free.