Cordcutters have never had it easier. A great selection of antennas and over the air (OTA) resources are available to help you watch all your favorite TV shows without paying for satellite or cable. Digital television means you have access to free HD programming from an ever-growing list of broadcasters. All you really need is an antenna. Once you’ve assembled the necessary hardware consult the web to learn how and where to find the stations you want to watch.
In general antennas fall under indoor or outdoor. While some antennas are marketed as indoor/outdoor, that just basically means they’re outdoor units that are small enough to bring inside or stuff into an attic. Flat antennas are very popular, easy to hang and work best when positioned near a window. Online tools (keep reading) can help you determine what style of indoor antenna is best suited for your location.
If stations are many miles away or blocked by obstructions you’ll need an outdoor antenna. Even if you local stations are within 25 miles an outdoor antenna may enhance your reception. It’s odd, but digital TV is prone to disruption by radio frequency (RF) interference, high winds or heavy rain.
An outdoor antenna will provide the best reception. Getting above the interfering furniture, structures and trees allows better reception and more channels. But if running cables to your roof isn’t an option, consider an attic-mounted antenna. Assuming you have an attic.
Attics can pull in a signal over local obstructions yet shield the antenna from weather. Most outdoor antennas can be mounted in an attic, just be aware they won’t work as well as roof-mounted.
Online tools can show you what to expect from your new antenna- regardless of where you mount it. My favorite is TV Fool. Enter you zip code- or be more specific for a more detailed report- and table showing channels ion your area will appear. The list includes transmission strength, distance to the transmitter and a directional chart to help your aim.
An important part of this report includes the band— like VHF or UHF. This is important. Most digital channels are UHF, but many still transmit on high-band VHF. If you find your favorite station is using VHF you may need to add an additional element to your antenna.