If the thought of paying your monthly cable bills makes you sick, there might be a better way. If you've never heard of over-the-air television, now's your chance to learn how this cable option will help you enjoy your favorite shows without having to pay cable companies.
Your local television stations are likely broadcasting high-definition programming that you can catch simply by being within range of a receiver. You can watch these local broadcasts without paying for them if you have a simple television antenna.
Don't worry if that sounds too good to be true. It's all true, and it's all perfectly legal. To start watching local programming, you just need a few simple resources. You can also get an OTA compatible DVR to archive shows you can't watch live, potentially eliminating one of the key reasons why people still use cable.
An antenna was once the only way to receive a television signal. Cable started to take a bite out of that segment, and soon, more customers were subscribing to their cable packages' reliable streams.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required that broadcasters migrate to a digital signal in 2009. Many people switched to cable, but some purchased optical receivers and the rabbit ears were a thing of the past.
Even if today's children have never heard of rabbit ears, we will still receive digital signal broadcasting if we are within range of television stations and have a digital receiver that complies with FCC regulations.
Owing to digital television, the majority of cord-cutters will get about 50 channels for free. The majority of newer televisions have internal components that enable them to work with digital signals. When you combine it with your favorite streaming services, you can build bundles that complement each other.
Also Read: Reasons to Keep Your Cable TV Service
As the most important part of the setup, you'll need to get your digital antenna. While you won't have a technician to install it for you, most people should find it to be a simple operation. Digital antennas range in price from $30 to $40, depending on where you live.
You'll also need a high-definition television. If you don't already have one, a digital converter box can be purchased to allow your television to read the digital signal from the antenna. You may also move to some of the newer televisions made after 2009 that are equipped to work together internally.
If you want the same level of independence as cable and other providers, you'll also need a digital DVR to record shows for you. These are also easy to come by and set up. After you've gathered all of your equipment, search for channels according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Analog antennae were ineffective before the modern age, resulting in fuzziness and poor reception. As a result of these impediments, cable became a common alternative. Unfortunately, most people's views of antenna reception are still rooted in the past.
A digital signal now travels far further and is much more dependable. If you live in a larger city, you should have no trouble getting reception and won't miss a thing. You don't have to give up DVR capabilities just because you don't have cable.
You will need to spend a little more on a long-range receiver if you aren't close to a broadcasting station. If you aren't near a major city center, unlike cable, where all but the most remote areas receive the same benefits packages, the cable can entail some wrangling.
You still don't have a channel selection with the antenna. There are about 50 channels to choose from, but not all of them would be of interest to you. There's still no way to upgrade to premium networks.
Channel guides are always overpriced, and there is little technical assistance if anything goes wrong. If this is something you believe you'll need, you'll need to account for these minor stumbling blocks in your operation.
Over-the-air television has a number of advantages over conventional cable and satellite television. The best part is that it's completely online. You can always watch any of your favorite shows without having to pay a monthly fee. Subscribers to satellite would also enjoy the fact that there are no contracts to sign.
When you subscribe to cable or add a satellite, you lose access to ultralocal programming, which many people miss out on. You should watch local news and events channels to stay up to date with what's going on.
OTA, too, makes use of basic appliances. There are no complicated boxes to shattered or installations to be made. There's no need to have a mechanic come to your home, and there's no need to repair any costly equipment if anything breaks.
Instead, you mount the antenna yourself and check for available channels on a regular basis. This is a straightforward procedure that allows you to watch television almost instantly. It's as simple as connecting the DVR to the television and setting it to record.
Here's how to address a couple of the most common OTA issues.
Why is my signal breaking up? – If you live by another antenna, the signals for the shows you want to watch can be drowned out by the overpowering signal from the one nearest to you. To increase the strength of your antenna, keep it away from metal objects and consider investing in an attenuator.
What am I doing wrong that I'm losing channels? – Missing channels are normally caused by wiring problems. Check to see if it is connected properly and safely. Perform a scanning feature on a regular basis to ensure that channels are being picked up correctly.
Why is there no signal on my television? – From your television's menu, select the appropriate input choice. Some people say antenna, but if that isn't the case, scroll down until you see the picture.
With the right tools and equipment, cutting the cord is a viable option. An antenna lets you take advantage of free broadcasting, saves you money over time, and is easy to use. If it's time to rethink your cable or satellite service and make the switch.
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