Everyone loves free—especially free TV.
With Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and so many other good shows on cable, it’s hard to remember that TV was once free TV. Heck, it’s hard to remember that it was once under $100 a month. However, so many people are opting to ditch that hefty monthly bill by cutting the cord with pay TV.
That said, just because you don’t want to pay doesn’t mean you have to go without any sort of regularly scheduled programming. Of course, there are tons of TV options available through low-cost streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus. But none of those options will give you Scandal and The Blacklist in real-time. Or local sports. Or even the evening news.
You don’t have to go without! If you are considering cutting the cord, the second thing you should consider is getting an antenna. An antenna can deliver over-the-air (OTA) TV absolutely free. And since the digital switch of 2009, many of those free TV channels can be had in near-HD quality.
If you aren’t willing to risk an injury for the Dancing With the Stars results show, you may not want to climb out onto your roof to install an antenna. Not to worry; there are several indoor antenna options—and they’ve come a long way since the old rabbit ears. Just know that before you buy anything, you should check a site like AntennaWeb.org or TV Fool to find the broadcasters in your area and where/how to position your antenna for the best results.
Think you can tune in and get yourself some free TV? Consider buying one of these indoor antennas…
Winegard FlatWave Amped
When it comes to indoor use, an amplified antenna can give your reception a little boost. This model boasts a 50-mile range and Clear Circuit technology. The latter allows you to get more clear channels and less that are pixelated, weird and just downright unwatchable. Just connect this antenna on your coax and use the supplied mini USB plug for a power source. The super-slim unit can score high-def UHF and VHF channels with a form factor that’s a mere 0.43mm thick. It also has black on one side and white on the other, so you can choose which best blends in with your existing décor.
For More Information: Winegard
Channel Master SMARTenna CM3000HD
This antenna isn’t just SMART, it’s also insanely flat. It doesn’t look like your typical antenna or install like one, since it comes with tabletop-friendly feet. However, it can be installed almost anywhere, which makes it a nice selection if you’re not sure whether you can make an indoor antenna actually work. The CM3000HD has an omnidirectional design that promises an indoor range of about 35 miles. If you need a little extra boost, stick it outside for a 50-mile reach. No amplification is needed. It also comes with a mounting bracket and a paintable chassis, in case you want it to blend better into your surroundings.
For More Information: Channel Master
RCA Air Ultra-Thin Antenna
Just because spring is in the air doesn’t mean you want to climb out on the roof. RCA has two new indoor antennas coming soon, under its “Air” lineup. Each omnidirectional option boasts the ability to pick up signals 360 degrees around your location via a double-sided/layered reception element and fractal antenna technology. Even better, each one also has SmartBoost amplification to make it easier to tune into free UHF and VHF frequencies. The ANT2100F is non-amplified with an MSRP of $69.99, with the ANT2150F amplified version (pictured) going for $20 more.
For More Information: RCA
Mohu Sky 60
The Sky 60 may be technically an outdoor antenna, but it works inside an attic, too—and works quite well, in fact. The above picture and the option to install it outside may conjure up images of a bulky eyesore, but this unit actually weighs in at just 3 pounds. It may be light, but it’s also powerful, promising to find uncompressed HD broadcasts within 60 miles of your house. It’s multidirectional, so you won’t need to twist and turn it. And it can deliver those freebies to multiple TVs in the house, too. Other features include a digital amplifier for better signals and the option to power the unit via USB or the included power cube. It also comes with a mounting kit and a 30-foot cord.
For More Information: Mohu