Cord Cutting Guide: Antenna Information

A Free TV Gateway

When you hear the word TV antenna you probably think of the past. It doesn’t help that writers still constantly refer to rabbit ears when they bring them up. They talk about broadcast TV as though it were 1965 and televisions still sit on little carts or contained in huge heavy cabinets. But TVs have changed and so has broadcast technology. 

If you go to a store like Walmart or Best Buy and look for an antenna, you probably will not see a shelf full of dinky metal extendable wires attached to a small platform. You may find one or two, but the majority of what you will find are what is called omni directional antennas. They are typically rectangular about double the size of a legal pad, though there are models longer and thinner that resemble some kind of small glider. Those antennas do not pull in grainy signals. You do not have to get someone to stand next to them so that you can get the best picture, and they do not sit on top of the TV. 

What antennas do now that they didn’t from the 1950’s-the early 2000’s.

Antennas, when installed properly now pull in clear crisp 4k signals. Depending on where you live they do not give you access to 3-5 channels. They give you access to 30, 40,50 or more. And when the broadcast industry shifts to a new standard called ATSC 3.0 AKA Next Gen TV, they will allow users a lot more than that.

Understanding Different Types Of Antennas And Your Unique Needs

While there is some variety in shapes and sizes when it comes to antennas, there are truly two types. And they are the two types that have always existed. Indoor and outdoor. What kind of antenna you need depends on a ton of factors from how your home is built, to where it is and what the topography of your area is, along with how many trees there are, how far away you live from broadcast towers and a couple of other things. An outdoor, professionally mounted antenna is almost always going to give you the best performance. But lots of people live in places where an small plastic antenna tacked on to the wall behind their TV can do just as well. 

What kinds of channels are you talking about?

There are over the air channels for almost every genre that you find on cable, satellite or the various streaming services that are designed to replace them. What do we mean by that? There is a channel that specializes in comedy movies and sitcoms, there are channels that specialize in old westerns, There is a network for watching game shows, a 24 hour sports network, a network full of cooking and home improvement reality TV. No. These are not your traditional cable channels, but you can see the same type of programming, and in some cases the same shows. Plus of course the big networks like CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC. Plus, don’t sleep on the CW, which is coming up strong under new ownership. In 2022 the top 4 most watched TV networks in the US (by order)  were 1.ABC, 2.CBS, 3.NBC, 4.FOX.

But What about my favorite shows?

Seven of the top ten rated shows in the US were available over the air as well as 100% of the rest of the top 25. You have to go all the way to no 35 before even ESPN makes another appearance. 


What channels can I get where I live?

The answer to that is we don’t know. But you can click here to be taken to a page that will help you figure it out. Click the TV bellow to be taken to a tool to find out.