Category: Ask the Expert

Q&A with the antenna experts now

Jan
13

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

How Cord Cutting Can Accomplish ALL of Your New Year’s Resolutions

Year after year we do it. We all make New Year’s Resolutions. We might not have any intentions of actually upholding these resolutions, but we make them.

Here are just a few of the top New Year’s resolutions:

  • Get healthy/lose weight/get fit
  • Learn new hobbies
  • Live life to the fullest
  • Spend less, save more

Those are all great and lovely, especially if you commit to them and they happen. But you know what? As a cord cutter, you can do all of those things, meaning you are more likely to follow through and be successful. Now before you click away like “of course, here you are pushing cord cutting yet again”, let us explain.

Let’s first tackle getting healthy, losing weight and getting fit. If you have a Roku, you’ve probably seen that you can download tons of apps and streaming channels. But did you know that there is a whole category of health and fitness? You can find hundreds of workout videos ranging from cardio, stretching, AB workouts, Yoga, Pilates, and so much more. And they’re free! You don’t have to spend tons of $$ on a monthly gym membership that, let’s face it, usually sits in your wallet collecting dust and never gets used. (We’ve all been there, so we’re not judging.)

They also have great cooking videos and recipes if you’re looking to eat a little healthier (we would say better, but come on, sometimes consuming a burger just needs to happen) in the New Year. Easy and very little research, that’s what we like!

Learning new hobbies is always a popular resolution. Maybe you’d like to get more flexible and become a Yogi. Looking to be less stressed and find ways to better manage stress? There are plenty of meditation channels. Want to wow your significant other with some new massage skills? Yup, there’s a channel for that. Tai Chi? There’s a channel for that as well. There’s something for everyone to check off that new body hobby.

And finally, spending less and saving more. This is often a goal for folks, even if it’s not a New Year’s Resolution. What’s the best part? All of these above resolutions can be accomplished for free.  Therefore, you ARE living life to the fullest. You have nothing holding you back, you have the money, security, and you’ll feel good and look great. In a study conducted by us, not at all scientifically, we found that cord cutters are on average, 97% more better looking, happier and more successful than non-cord cutters. And as a cord cutter, you are saving on average $100 a month with an HDTV Antenna. 2017 is going to be the year of the cord cutters. Mark our words. TV antennas are taking over.

Jan
12

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Cable Companies Rule the Most Hated Companies List

Normally when a company wins an award or earns a ranking on a list, it’s a good thing. Well, this is a list we look forward to each year, and not because we will ever see our name on the list, but because we get to see what we preach in writing.

CABLE COMPANIES ARE THE WORST! And we have proof!

We’ve said this for years; and 24/7 Wall Street conducted a survey and released their list this week, and not one, not two, but THREE cable/satellite companies made the list.

Congratulations to Comcast (1st place), Dish (8th place) and Charter (12th place) for this major award!

It won’t be a surprise to most Americans to see that these three companies made the list. We’ve all, at some point, experienced their abuse, the poor customer service, the lies, and the price hikes.

24/7 Wall Street reviewed a variety of metrics on customer service, employee satisfaction and financial performance to determine the rankings of these companies. If you took a poll of the calls we receive in our Antennas Direct call center from customers ready to cut the cord, we guarantee that 98.3% (very specific number) would say that the reason they are cutting the cord is because they can no longer take the cruelty of the cable company. Saving hundreds of dollars is just a super sweet bonus.

We wish Comcast, Dish and Charter best of luck this year and hope to see them on the list again for 2017!

Jan
10

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

How Cord Cutters Can Watch the NFL Playoffs

As the NFL Playoffs come around once more, the biggest question for some is how they can watch the games without cable. Luckily, due to the broadcast partners of the NFL, it’s really not that hard. You don’t need to use any expensive or elaborate services, all you need is an antenna.

Heading into the playoffs, the Cowboys and Patriots are both big favorites to pull off a Super Bowl victory. The Patriots will likely have an easier road in the AFC that has several injury plagued playoff teams. On the NFC side, the Cowboys will have an incredibly difficult path to a Super Bowl appearance. Teams like the Packers, Seahawks, Falcons, and even the Lions have all proved they can play and beat top-caliber teams.

How to Watch TV with an Antenna

The antenna will be your critical tool to watch the NFL playoffs live without cable. This is because it can pick up a majority of the channels broadcast postseason games, just like it did during the regular season. Channels like CBS and FOX are some of the main providers of NFL games all year long and in the playoffs NBC and ABC have broadcast rights as well.

All of the channels the antenna receives can be watched in high-definition sound and picture quality. It has been proven it’s even better than anything you’ll see   on cable.   Another thing to note is the reception you’ll receive with and HDTV  antenna. Check out the reception in your area here, but you should also know that you’ll receive better reception with a high-performance TV antenna. You can learn more about choosing the best antenna for your area here.

While the antenna will get you most of the games, it won’t deliver games on ESPN. For that, you’ll need a service like Sling TV or DIRECTV NOW. These would fill out your setup and help you watch every single game.

Stream the Games with an Antenna

Even though you have an antenna hooked up to your TV, there is still a way to stream it on your phone, computer, or tablet. This is possible through an over-the-air DVR like the Tablo within the US and Canada. .

Tablo works connecting it to your home network or anywhere you you have internet  and the TV antenna. This, in turn, allows it send whatever the TV antenna is receiving to the device of your choosing. It’s perfect for someone who wants to watch the game live, but can’t make it to their TV in time.

Another option for someone who can’t make it home in time for the game is using the DVR features. It’s possible to record any of the games received by your TV antenna to watch later at your convenience. This is really helpful during the playoffs when you have games on both Saturdays and Sundays.

Clearly you won’t have to jump through any hoops to watch these games without cable. So, get your high-performance HDTV antenna ready and enjoy watching all these great games!

Chris Brantner is the founder of CutCableToday.com, a resource for people who want to cut the cord and still get the TV they crave. Follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday and find him on Facebook here

Jan
9

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Big Game, Big Giveaway, and Big Sale!

The Big Game is here again! We wait for it all year, we anticipate the best commercials, purchase boat loads of beer, and invite friends over to watch the game. We want to help make your Big Game the best one yet. Therefore, we are having one of our most exciting giveaways yet.

We are giving away a 50 inch LED Smart Roku TV AND your choice of antenna! All you’ll need to make it the perfect game day experience is beer and snacks. With the money saved by cutting the cord, you can splurge on allllll the snacks and can put back the discount beer.

Be sure to enter our giveaway before January 30th! You can enter the giveaway HERE. And to sweeten the deal, you can use the coupon code SUPER25 for 25 percent off your purchase and you’ll receive an extra entry for the giveaway! Sounds pretty good, right?

Enjoy the Big Game with a BIG TV and even bigger savings. It’s the dream prize of cord cutters.

Dec
22

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Can I watch the 2016-2017 College Bowl Games with an Antenna?

The next few weeks are pure heaven for college football fans. They’ll be able to watch bowl game after bowl game after bowl game leading up to the playoffs and championship game.

Now, if you don’t have cable, odds are you have an HDTV antenna and are wondering if you can watch the games over the airwaves. Let’s take a look at what networks are broadcasting the games and how you can watch the games that are not being broadcasted locally.

Also note that you can check here for the complete college bowl schedule.

What Games Will Your Antenna Get You?

Admittedly, with an antenna, you won’t be able to watch  a ton of bowl games this season. However, there are definitely a handful of games spread across ABC, CBS, and FOX…all of which you can get with a high-performance antenna.

I’m from Houston, so you better believe I’ll be tuning into the Las Vegas Bowl tomorrow to see the Cougars play. Other games on network stations include:

  • The Foster Farms Bowl featuring Indiana vs Utah airing on FOX on December 28th
  • The Sun Bowl featuring Stanford vs North Carolina airing on CBS on December 30th
  • The Citrus Bowl featuring LSU vs Louisville airing on ABC on December 31st
  • The Outback Bowl featuring Florida vs Iowa airing on ABC on January 2nd

For more info on  choosing the right antenna for your location, you can click here.

You Will Need ESPN for Most of the Remaining Bowl Games

ESPN broadcasts a large number of the remaining bowl games. And while ESPN used to be a cable-only channel, these days you have a few options to get the channel without signing a cable contract.

The first way is with the new streaming service, DirecTV Now. The service just came out a week ago, and basically allows you to stream relatively skinny bundles of channels without signing a contract. You can read all about it in this DirecTV Now overview.

Next comes the least expensive option, Sling TV. For $20 per month, you can get a single stream of ESPN (and a bunch of other channels) on virtually any device. There’s a free 7-day trial available at sling.com.

Another option for streaming ESPN is PlayStation Vue. I won’t go into too much detail because it’s pretty similar to both Sling and DirecTV Now. The primary difference is that it has a completely functioning cloud DVR. You can get the details of the service in this review.

There are plenty of options to get your fill of bowl games here in the next few weeks. Enjoy and may your favorite team win!

Chris Brantner is the founder of CutCableToday.com, a resource for people who want to cut the cord and still get the TV they crave. Follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday and find him on Facebook here

Dec
20

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

The ClearStream Eclipse Makes the Slate Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are upon us, but it’s not too late to pick up that perfect gift! Slate has your back and did all the hard work for you. The staff and writers at Slate all pulled together their best gift pick for the year and you can flip through all 55 items HERE. But of course, John Swansburg had the best pick by choosing our ClearStream Eclipse Indoor HDTV Antenna!

“Is there a greater gift than freedom from the tyranny of the cable monopolies?” John, John, John. You are our kind of fella. With the Eclipse you will save thousands of dollars a month, receive a remarkably clear picture and pick up the best signal with no tools required! The Eclipse features Sure Grip that will “grip” to any smooth surface, no screws, no tape, and no assembly. We all know the struggles of holiday gifts that feature “some assembly necessary”.  Not with the Eclipse!

“No more cable bill, no more cable company, so much joy.” Who wouldn’t want that for the holidays?

Thanks to John Swansburg and to Slate for including our ClearStream Eclipse in your Holiday Gift Guide! We have to agree that it would make the perfect gift. And it’s not too late, you can pick up the Eclipse online or at your local Best Buy, just in time to wrap it up and place it under the tree.

Dec
16

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Top Ways to Watch Basketball without Cable

Basketball season is one of the best times of the year in my opinion. With it, come great games to watch every night, highlight reel plays, buzzer beaters, and so much more. There’s truly nothing like watching a close basketball game as it comes down to the final minutes. Every single play can change the outcome of the game.

Previously, the biggest reason not to cut the cord was the inability to watch their favorite sports like basketball, hockey, football, or baseball without having cable. But it’s getting easier. Some sports organizations, such as the NFL, make most of their games available on local TV stations.

Others, like the NBA, make it a bit more difficult. With basketball season in full force, let’s take a look at the top ways to watch basketball without cable.

Sling TV: A subscription streaming service offered by Dish Network as a full cable alternative. The service starts at either $20 or $25 per month and gets you more than 30 cable channels to live stream. There are multiple channels you can expect to find on at least one of the starting packages to watch basketball games. These include ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, FS1, NBCSN, FOX Sports regional networks. Plus, you can add-in channels like the SEC Network or Pac 12 Network if you’re favorite teams happen to be in these conferences.

PlayStation Vue: This service from Sony is set up incredibly similar to Sling TV. It costs $29.99 per month to start and lets you stream live cable channels, over 50 at the lowest subscription level. All of the above channels on Sling TV can be found on PlayStation Vue and there are even premium packages that will include more channels with a focus on delivering local sports networks. This will be great for watching either NBA or college basketball games.

NBA League Pass: If you live away from the city your favorite team plays in, then all you need in life is NBA League Pass. You can watch every single game in the NBA every night through league pass. The one downside, and it’s a big one, is that any channel broadcast in your local market will be blacked out.  This means you can’t watch any of your team’s games with NBA League Pass. The service costs $120 per year to watch your favorite team or $199 per year to watch the entire league’s games.

CBS All Access: This one will be great for NCAA basketball fans. CBS broadcasts a ton of games each year and also owns a bunch of the March Madness broadcast rights. Nearly every weekend, CBS broadcasts a feature game and CBS All Access will likely let you watch these games live. The streaming portion is still being rolled out throughout the U.S., but it is in the majority of markets at the moment. CBS All Access only costs $5.99 per month to start or you can pay $9.99 per month and watch without commercials. For more info on the service, check out this CBS All Access review.

Antenna: Another way to watch either NBA or college basketball games is through a digital antenna. The antenna lets you watch channels like NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX on your TV. It picks up over-the-air broadcasts from these networks and streams it right onto your TV in HD. The NBA will have featured games on ABC nearly every week. And, as we mentioned above CBS will be a great place for watching college basketball games. The best aspect of the antenna is it’s free to watch and the only cost is the initial investment of purchasing the antenna.

As you can tell, there’s tons of options for watching either NBA or college basketball without cable. Remember, the best setup might be combining a couple of your choices together instead of relying on just one of them. The best part about cutting cable is you actually have options, while saving a bunch of money!

Chris Brantner is the founder of CutCableToday.com, a resource for people who want to cut the cord and still get the TV they crave. Follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday and find him on Facebook here

Dec
15

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

CNET Names the ClearStream Eclipse the BEST Indoor TV Antenna

We’ve always been big fans of CNET. If you’re in the market for a new tech or consumer electronic and need some advice, we’re certain you’ll be able to find an honest and true review from CNET. CNET reached out to us in July saying that they wanted to pull together a selection of indoor antennas to test out and see how they performed in different locations. Sometimes it can be a little nerve wrecking to put your product out there with others and hear the feedback; it’s like putting your child out on the line and being told what people think.

They went through some intense and very in-depth testing and just this morning posted the results of their testing. We knew we had the best HDTV antenna and felt confident it would outperform the competitors.

And guess what? It did.

Ty Pendlebury at CNET tested out the RCA Indoor HDTV antenna, Channel Master Flatenna, Mohu ReLeaf, RCA SLVR, Channel Master Smartenna, and our ClearStream Eclipse.

They chose the Eclipse as the Best Overall Indoor Antenna!
*cue cheering from the Antennas Direct office and cord cutting world*

Ty loved the design of the Eclipse. He enjoyed that it was reversible and could blend in to your home decor with its unique design. He also loved that it came with Sure Grip, meaning he didn’t have to tape the antenna to the window or wall, or try and find a way to adhere it to a surface. Masking tape is not very effective at holding up antennas for any length of time, but you’ll find the Eclipse clinging to your window or wall relentlessly.

Ty found that he received  75 channels in Manhattan and 47 channels in Long Island  with the strongest reception received with the Eclipse. He was able to pull channels from the city as well as improved the strength of the channels it received in the suburbs.

This was a big win for us over at Antennas Direct and we were thrilled with the results! Thanks to Ty and CNET for taking the time to test out indoor antennas and choosing our Eclipse the best in all the land. We think you’re pretty awesome.

 

Dec
12

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Dear Santa, Please Bring Me Christmas…

Our dear friend Sam sent us his letter for Santa. It seems like things are tough this year, and he’ll have to choose between having gifts or his parents paying for cable. Now that doesn’t seem fair, right?

Dear Santa,

 I’ve been a very good boy this year.  I know you usually take care of a present or two for me, and my parents fork over the rest.  This year they say I won’t be getting presents because our cable bill is so expensive.

I’m sure you know how sad this makes me.  I’ve been trying to think of a way to help my mom and dad. This is why I am writing to you. 

The other day I went over to my friend Susie’s house. Her mom bought them this crazy thing called an ANTENNA! She can watch cartoons, TV shows and movies, all for free.

She’ll probably be getting lots of Christmas presents this year. I’ll be lucky to get a piece of rope, or maybe a nice cardboard box.

Do I really have to choose between watching TV and getting Christmas presents? I thought this was America.

So Santa, make my Christmas great this year, and please bring my family a TV Antenna, so they can get back to spending their money on me, and not the (bleep-bleep) cable company.

Your friend,

Sam

If you’re in the same boat as Sam’s parents, we can help. Cut the cord, save over $100 a month by installing an antenna and be able to give your kids their dream Christmas. At Antennas Direct, we’re all about making dreams come true.

Dec
6

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Gadgeteer Reviews the Newly Reengineered ClearStream Eclipse

eclipse-gadgeteer

As many of you know, several months ago we released our ClearStream Eclipse Sure Grip HDTV Antenna with some exciting updates, including an enhanced 50 mile range, reversible black and white double-sided design and  advanced performance to receive more channels. We’ve been hearing some great feedback, and were excited to see a review this morning from the Gadgeteer!

When we first launched the ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna over two years ago, the Gadgeteer tried one out and they were excited with their results! They liked the design of the Eclipse, the ease of installation and were able to receive many local channels they weren’t able to pull in before with a competitor’s model. However, we took our original Eclipse and turned it up a notch. We decided to send the Gadgeteer one of our reengineered Eclipses to see how well it performed in comparison to the original, over 2 years ago.

eclipse-gadgeteer-2

Differences:

The original Eclipse had a 35 mile range. It worked well in their living room, but it struggled to get some of the local channels.

The reengineered ClearStream Eclipse has a 50+ mile range and a slightly new edge to its design, including a reversible white and black double-sided design. After some experimenting to find the best location, Kathleen was able to pick up all of her local stations. In the past they’ve had trouble tuning into ABC and NBC, so it was exciting to be able to receive those stations with the reengineered Eclipse.

Thanks to Kathleen Chapman and the Gadgeteer for taking the time to review our ClearStream Eclipse! We listen to feedback from our clients, fans and industry leaders to help us continue to improve performance for consumers.

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