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As families look to cost-cut given recent economic downturns, the conversation around “cutting the cord” and switching to free television has once again come into focus. For the uninitiated, when people say free television, they’re often referring to picking up no-cost broadcast signals that local stations pump out in their communities.
This type of television is called OTA or “Over The Air” and the purpose of this post is to teach you how to get Over The Air TV picked up by your TV sets. There are a few different ways you can go about bringing Over The Air signals into your home.
Here are your options and a key consideration
1. Purchase an Outdoor Antenna
For families that want to double down on their how to get Over The Air TV ambitions, there’s no better way to do that than by buying an outdoor antenna. Outdoor antennas are the large, metal structures you likely used to see frequently on people’s roofs.
As more TV users have switched to cable, roof antennas have progressively come down. That’s not to say though that you can’t still purchase one, run a cord from it to your TV and pick up long-range, clear OTA signals.
2. Opt for a Discreet Indoor Antenna
Since most people won’t want to sully their house’s appearance with an outdoor antenna, opting for the best indoor TV antennas has become a preference. Indoor antennas are small, they can hide at the back of your television sets and work extremely well despite their stature.
The disadvantage to indoor antennas, when compared to outdoor ones, is that they have a lower range (making it harder to pick up distant broadcast signals) and indoor interference can make picking up any signal at all difficult.
3. See If Your TV Has a Built-in Tuner
Some television sets have built-in OTA tuners. This is becoming increasingly rare but head over to your TV’s options menu and see if your set gives you that choice.
Frankly, even if it does, to maximize your OTA experience, we recommend pairing your set with a low-cost indoor antenna.
4. Subscribe to a Rebroadcasting Service
Some services pick up broadcast signals from across the country and let you stream those feeds via the internet for a monthly fee. That may sound similar to traditional cable (which you’re trying to move away from) but these rebroadcasting services are much cheaper.
The downside here is that you will need to have an active internet connection.
5. Your Area Will Determine Your Experience
As you work towards your OTA TV goals, understand that OTA signals are shot out from grounded towers/satellites at local TV stations. This makes it so your proximity to those signals will make or break your OTA experience.
The closer you live to a big city, the better signals you’ll get. The more isolated you are, the more you may have to look for an alternate TV option.
Now That You Know How to Get Over the Air TV, Give It a Try
Knowing how to get Over The Air TV unlocks a world of potential when it comes to getting free entertainment and news content. We hope that our guidance inspires you to give OTA a try and ultimately saves you money.
For more advice on the things that matter to you, explore additional content in our digital publication.