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If you haven’t taken the leap to watching over-the-air TV with an antenna, you’re missing out on a fortune in free programming. Cable and satellite providers don’t offer every channel that a station broadcasts, so you’re in for a surprise when you install an antenna and see channels you didn’t even know existed. For every main channel, there are 1-4 sub-channels with additional content. You might be missing out on channels that carry classic TV, movies, and favorites you didn’t know existed.
If you live near a major urban television market, you can access local network broadcasts from ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, and Telemundo for free. Every sports game, sitcom, drama, movie, cooking show, and kids’ show on a local broadcast network is available free with an antenna. See what channels you can receive at your house by entering your street address at NoCable. Your free report will show a list of stations, antenna recommendations, and directional tips.
You won’t just receive the major broadcast channels; you’ll also discover better picture and sound quality when the signal isn’t compressed by your pay TV provider. Antennas also work during bad weather, keeping you connected to important updates in emergency weather situations, because the stronger OTA frequency is less likely to be interrupted than cable or satellite service.
Once you have an antenna, you’ll never again worry that contract negotiations between your cable provider and local network channel will interrupt your ability to watch sports, news, or favorite show. If the network and the provider can’t agree on a contract, the channel will still be available with an HD antenna.
Watch classic episodes of Benson, Father Knows Best, Hazel, and more on Antenna TV. Owned by Tribune Broadcasting, it’s available over-the-air to 87% of the US market. Headquartered in Chicago, this station has been around since 2011. “TV How It Was Meant to Be!”
Catch up on episodes of All in the Family, Bret Maverick, Good Times, and Hondo on Sony’s digital multicast television network. Broadcasting from Culver City, CA since 2014, the network reaches about 78% of the nationwide market over the air.
Founded in 2012 in NYC, the network airs classic television series from the 1950s to the 2000s. Enjoy throwback episodes of Adam-12, Columbo, The Bionic Woman, and the A-Team on this NBCUniversal/Comcast offering that covers about 62% of the US. “The Easiest Decision You'll Make All Day.”
Classic film, modern movies, and great television shows are on tap at this joint venture of Tribune Broadcasting and MGM. Broadcasting from Chicago since 2008, you can catch Rat Patrol, The Avengers, Sea Hunt and more on the free-to-air network. “This is Your Movie Network; It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This.”
My Network TV
Broadcasting since 2006 in New York City, Fox’s network syndicate shows The Good Wife, Dateline, Law & Order Criminal Intent, CSI Miami and American Ninja Warrior, among others.
Find all of your favorites like Scandal, Moesha, Living Single, and the Bernie Mac show on Bounce TV. Owned by Katz Broadcasting, the network was founded in Atlanta in 2011. “You Belong Here.”
Catch up on classics like Alf, the Beverly Hillbillies, Big Valley, Green Acres, Taxi, and more. MeTV is a Chicago-based broadcast television network that is owned by Weigel Broadcasting and distributed by MGM since 2010. “Memorable entertainment television, that's memorable, that's me.”
Qubo is the nation's only 24/7 over-the-air network for children showing kid’s favorites like Babar, Zula Patrol, Dive Olly Dive, Stella and Sam, ToddWorld, and Turbo Dogs. Part of the ion television broadcast family.
A combined venture of Sinclair Broadcast Group and MGM, Comet is an American digital broadcast television network that covers 72% of viewers nationwide. Showing the best of science fiction titles since 2015 like Andromeda, The Outer Limits, Stargate SG-1, Babylon 5, and others. “Space Out”
TV antennas are sometimes known as HD antennas because they access the high-quality sound and picture of the over-the-air HD signal. The effective range is up to 85 miles for most HDTV antenna models. A quality HD antenna starts about $30 and increases in price as you add features like longer range or easy concealment.
There are one-directional and multidirectional types, and devices designed for specific frequency ranges. Outdoor antennas are intended for the rooftop because they can overcome geographical challenges.
Once plugged in, HD antennas automatically search for the strongest signal available. Anything that is between the antenna and the broadcast tower, like buildings or trees, can decrease the signal strength. Check the signal strength displayed on your TV and move the antenna until you find the optimal location.
It might take more than one attempt to find the right antenna, so purchase yours from a reputable retailer. Use the free tool on NoCable.org to get a recommendation and purchase a name-brand model from a reliable, trusted manufacturer that offers service and support. Purchase from a retailer that has clear return policies and good customer reviews.
If you haven’t cut the cord yet, join the ranks of cord cutters for a great experience with a much lower cost than cable. More channels than you knew about are out there, waiting for you to find them. Free TV awaits once you have an antenna.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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