Category: Ask the Expert

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Feb
12

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Antennas Direct Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

The average American spends $146. 84 on Valentine’s Day, up this year from last year’s average of $142.31. Now, the average cable bill is $120 a month. As a cord cutter, you are pocketing $120 a month that you can spend on your lucky loved one this Valentine’s Day.

Not sure what to get that special someone you’ve somehow convinced to be your Valentine? Here is our Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Men and Women. Take a look, you’ll thank us.

Traditional Route, for Women:
If you’re the traditional romantic type, here is how you could spend your cord cutter money on your lucky lady love.

Dozen Red Rosesroses: $49.99
Classic, beautiful and sure to please. Bonus points if you send them to her work for all her friends to see.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: $39
Fruit covered in chocolate? YAASSS.

Diamond Heart Necklace: $99
Like they say, you can never go wrong with diamonds. Never.

 

Romantic Date Night:

Dinner for 2: $100 at a nice restaurant
Come’ on, don’t skimp. Treat your Valentine sweetie to a nice meal. And tip that waiter, they deserve it!

 

For the Introvert:a-map-of-the-introverts-heart-wall-clocks

A Map of The Introvert’s Heart Wall Clock: $30
Perfect for the introvert in your life. Who needs to leave the house anyways? You have an antenna. Nothing says I love you like spending the evening snuggled up on the sofa watching your favorite broadcast TV show. Amiright? 

 

For the Tech Lover Nerd:

R2D2If your special friend is a tech lover, they will be thrilled to forgo the candy and card for any of these great gifts.

Roku 3: $99
For a cord cutter, you can’t go wrong with a streaming device to enhance you HDTV antenna experience.

R2-D2 Car Charger: $39.99
The Star Wars Nerd will LOVE this. Plus, they can’t use the excuse that their phone is dead when they forget to call…

Sweetheart Cord Taco: $12 each
Nothing says I love you like keeping your earbuds from tangling.

 

For the Jokester (Male or Female):
donkeyEveryone loves someone with a sense of humor. These are the best gifts to make your love laugh this Valentine’s Day.

Yoda One For Me (Star Wars Coffee Mug): $12
There is nothing cuter than Yoda. Try and tell us otherwise.

Donkey Slippers: $30
Funny, cute, and if your significant other can be an ass, these might be the perfect gift!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at Antennas Direct!

 

Feb
8

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Top 3 Things Cord Cutters Can Do to Save On Internet

cutcable

Guest post by Cut Cable Today founder, Chris Brantner

Few things feel as good in life as cutting the cord, turning in the cable box, and saving $1000+ per year. And with cable prices rising year after year, the savings just keep increasing.

However, even if you’re a cord cutter getting free HD television with an antenna, you still have to go back to the cable companies for one thing: internet service. As you’ve probably learned, internet service providers are going to do their best to earn back the money they lost when you cut off pay-TV service. They’ll hike your internet-only rates, and some companies will even impose data caps to charge you extra for all that streaming data you’re using.

But don’t worry, you can still save money when signing up for standalone internet from the ISPs. Here are my top 3 tips to help you get the costs down as low as possible.

#1 Compare Standalone Internet Promo Deals in Your Area

Depending on where you live, you probably have more than one internet service provider in your area. That being said, you need to compare standalone internet plans from all providers in your area. To help with this process, I’ve installed an ISP search on my site that will show you what’s available in your area. Click here to use it.

It’s pretty easy to find ISPs:

  1. Enter your Zip Code.
  2. Call each provider listed and ask for sales.
  3. Ask about their internet-only plans.
  4. Compare to other providers and choose the best deal.

Remember, they will likely offer promos for signing up. Make sure to ask what the price will go to once the promo rate runs out.

#2 Only Pay for the Speed You Need

You don’t necessarily need the fastest internet on the market. If you’re just looking to stream shows in standard definition, and maybe surf the web and send emails, then you can probably save by downgrading speed.

As a rule of thumb, you want about 5 Mbps per stream. So if you will have two people in your home streaming at once, then you’ll need 10 Mbps. Three streams, 15 Mbps, and so on.

If your streaming needs are great and you’re looking for the fastest internet service, then I recommend Verizon Fios if they’re available in your area. They’ve been rated by Netflix time and time again as the fastest ISP. They often run pretty solid promos for their standalone internet as well.

Curious what speed of internet you currently have? You can run a speed test here.

#3 Purchase Your Own Modem

One way ISPs make money off of customers is by imposing modem rental fees. However, in some cases, you can avoid these by purchasing your own modem. This can save you as much as $10 per month. So you’ll likely see savings within the first year.

Keep in mind that the modem you buy must be compatible with your ISP. So you need to do some research first and see what your options are. Here’s a pretty good guide to purchasing your own modem by PC World. It even contains links to compatible modems for particular ISPs.

Put the Time and Money in Now, Save Later

Yes, there are a lot of moving parts to cord cutting, so you have to put in a bit of work up front. But it’s worth it. You’ll have to purchase a good antenna and streaming device. You’ll need to test out various streaming services like Sling TV (check out my review here), Hulu, and Netflix to see which best meets your needs. And you’ll have to spend some time nailing down the best ISP deals.

But once the pieces are in place, you’ll have a setup that meets your individual needs, and best of all, saves you money each and every month.

 

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

Feb
3

Posted in Antenna Update, Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

The New York Times Shares Their Cord Cutters Guide to the Super Bowl

New York Times resized

The New York Times, a news industry leader, has not only acknowledged the growth in cutting the cord, but researched the best alternatives to cable and satellite for the Super Bowl. They know their readers are smart and not throwing away their money to the cable companies! Brian X. Chen, the lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times, took a deeper look at options for watching the Super Bowl, including streaming and antennas. This dude is a tech genius, if you’re looking for advice on the latest tech gadget or trend, he is the guy to ask.

Brian tested out two antennas, the ClearStream Eclipse and the ClearStream 2V and had great success with both! He recommends the Eclipse for its strong signal and sleek design. He said it was easy to set up and was barely noticeable in the living room, which is ideal for a Super Bowl party. Brian received about 40 channels at his house, including CBS, so he is set for the Big Game on Sunday!

Now, for the second year, CBS will be streaming the Super Bowl on their website and through the CBS app. This is great news for cord cutters, but there can be drawbacks. If you don’t have the fastest internet, you might experience a good amount of buffering, which can be frustrating for your party guests. With an antenna, you get clear signal and the high-definition channels, like CBS, look even better than digital cable because the image you receive with an antenna is the raw video broadcast over-the-air, unlike compressed video sent over digital cable.

Our fearless leader said it best, “when you’re getting the raw video, it might be double or triple the quality of satellite or cable,” said Richard Schneider. “It’s a much more detailed picture than what you’d get through paid TV.”

Basically, what we hear Brian saying, is the best way to watch the Super Bowl is with an antenna. And we have to agree! See his full article HERE and if you need to pick up an antenna before the game Sunday, be sure to visit one of our retail partners.

Jan
28

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

According to Best Buy Expert, Cut the Cord with Antennas Direct

It’s no secret that at Antennas Direct, we’re a little bit nerdy. We are dorks at heart who love learning about the newest technology and staying on top of the trends. You should have seen Richard Schneider, Antennas Direct president, drooling over the drones at CES. For that reason, our nerdy hearts have always loved Best Buy, and we have a great relationship with the folks over there. After all, they were our first retail partner in the United States.

But it looks like the love is mutual! Fox 6 Now news in Milwaukee decided to dig deeper into the cord cutting trend and interviewed Fox Point Best Buy team lead, Chester Jackson, on his thoughts and suggestions for those people considering cutting the cable cord.

C4V_hero_WEB

The first thing Chester recommended when cutting the cord, is getting a TV antenna to watch over the air television. His antenna of choice? The Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V, of course. Chester said that the C4V is a great quality antenna and the best option when cutting the cord. Oh, Chester. We like you, a lot. You’re the man!

Are you ready to cut the cord but still have questions? Stop by your local Best Buy and ask for your “Chester”, or give us a call! Our wonderfully nerdy support team is ready to answer your questions and help you save close to $1000 a year. You’ll thank us, and Chester.

Jan
26

Posted in Antenna Update, Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse Named the Best Indoor HDTV Antenna

01-indoor-hdtv-antenna-clearstream-eclipse-630

There are a lot of antennas on the market; however, we do believe that we are the best. And after hours of testing, The Wirecutter can back us on this claim. Those pros at The Wirecutter tested over 10 models of indoor antennas in two different locations (one suburban and one urban) and compiled data ranging from signal strength, assembly, aesthetics and quality of the TV signal. After all of their diligent research, the ClearStream Eclipse reigned supreme!

According to The Wirecutter, the Eclipse matched or outperformed larger models in pulling in broadcast signals, required basically no assembly, and was easy to hide. It looks like they’re big fans of the Eclipse’s SureGrip technology!

“We feel confident that the Antennas Direct Eclipse is the antenna that will satisfy most users’ broadcast TV needs.”

We can’t ask for a stronger testimonial than that!

A big thank you to The Wirecutter team, especially Grant Clauser, for naming our ClearStream Eclipse the best indoor TV antenna. Click HERE to see the full list.

Dec
22

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Cord Cutters Conundrum: Which TV Antenna Is Right For Me?

TV antenna selection is more than simply imputing a zip code on a website, that’s why we have created this guide to help ease the process. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution. To correctly select a TV antenna, we need some basic information about your location, then follow some important installation notes. Let’s begin.

Locate your digital television transmitters

It is important to know where your local broadcast towers are located, as there are many factors that may potentially impede your signal. TV antennas are a line of sight technology, which means getting the clearest view of your towers will bring in the strongest signal.

Learning how far away from the broadcast transmitters you are will help you decide how powerful the TV antenna will need to be. However local obstructions, installation hardware and antenna positioning are important factors in antenna selection.

This said, it is generally preferable to install your antenna as high as possible, pointed in the direction of the broadcast towers, and outdoors with as few obstructions as possible.

direction

Using the Antenna Point tool, enter your street address and zip code to get detailed map listing distance, and direction of your local transmitters. Here you can see if the towers are located as a cluster in 1 location – like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles – or if you will require a multi-directional antenna to receive signals from many locations.

VHF or UHF

While the majority of channels in North America are broadcast on the UHF, there may be some in your area broadcast on the VHF. This means a VHF kit may be required with your TV antenna. If the VHF channel is broadcast on a lower frequency (RF Channel 2-6) you will need a specific outdoor antenna that can receive these Lo-VHF channels. Lo-VHF is very rare but they are still out there!

Topography

The topography (or lay of the land) between your address and the transmitters may vary greatly. Obstructions such as trees, buildings or mountains may degrade or block the signal traveling to your location. Use the satellite view with the interactive map in your analysis to determine the local topography for your antenna installation. Should you encounter many obstructions, an outdoor TV antenna mounted as high as possible is usually advisable.

obstruction

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Outdoor installation is best, but Antennas Direct antennas can also be installed indoors or in attics. (50% strength/range is lost indoors).

Simple, direct connections and installations are best. The more junctions in the installation, the higher the signal loss.

Each time the signal is split (to go to another TV) signal strength is reduced, so a low-noise amplifier may be needed to help compensate for the signal reduction.

Install the antenna where signal is “present”. Move the antenna to different locations until signals are found. Many times one end of the roof or room has better signal characteristics than the others.

Ask for help
If you are not sure which TV antenna is right for you we have a dedicated team of installation experts that will gladly assist with selection, or recommend a local installer to help you get set up.

Call: 1-877-825-5572                         Chat: Live Chat                              Mail: info@antennasdirect.com

 

Read More: A Cord Cutter Tells All: 6 Steps to TV Freedom

 

 

Dec
4

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Denver Eclipse Love from AskDaveTaylor.com

Denver eclipse

We have to admit, we love Denver. The city, the people, the atmosphere. It’s a cool place and we always have a great time when we visit. We recently got back from our latest #ADBusTour, where we had a giveaway stop in Denver at the Pepsi Center.

Our #ADBusTour stop inspired Denver native Steve Oatney, a self proclaimed online help and customer tech support guru for AskDaveTaylor.com, to test out and review our ClearStream Eclipse antenna. Dave admits that he had this preconceived notion in his head that modern-day, over the air television was dead. We are thrilled that we managed to change his mind!

“Initial set-up was a snap. The company’s tagline “Slap it. Plug it. Scan it. Watch it” is truly appropriate.”

After installing the Eclipse, which he details the ease of the simple set up in his blog, he discovered a whole new world of television that he didn’t even realize was available, and all for free! He has over 40 high definition channels that look and sound amazing.

Eclipse

 

“Great picture, great sound, and no recurring costs…I’m in, lock, stock and barrel.”

Ladies and gentlemen, we did not ask him to say these kind words. The high quality antenna and ease of installation speaks for itself. To see Steve’s full review, be sure to check it out HERE.

Dec
3

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Cord Cutters Guide to Holiday TV and Movies

Now that we’ve entered December, the holiday season is well underway! A common misconception people have when they cut the cord is that they have to give up the holiday TV shows, movies and specials they have grown to love over the years. We’re here to tell you this is not the case! In fact, between the holiday specials shown on broadcast television and streaming on Netflix, you have more than enough shows to make it through the entire month! We went through and pulled a few of our favorite holiday shows for cord cutters.

Broadcast Television

WizDecember 3:
The Wiz Live!
NBC at 8:00pm
For the third year, NBC is launching a live TV musical special for the holidays. It all started with The Sound of Music in 2013, followed by Peter Pan last year, this year they will continue the musical tradition with The Wiz. Co-produced by Cirque de Soleil, this Broadway musical will take you on a journey down the yellow brick road, but with a unique spin to the original Wizard of Oz.

 

wonderful lifeDecember 5 and December 24:
It’s A Wonderful Life
NBC at 8:00pm (also on December 24 at 8:00pm)
One of the most popular films ever made, this Christmas classic is heartwarming and the perfect movie to put you in the holiday spirit.


December 13:
The Flight Before Christmas
CBS at 9:00pm
Based on the story of a young reindeer who suffers from vertigo, but wants to become a part of Santa’s team, he takes lessons from a Finnish family of aerialist squirrels. This goofy, animated movie is great for kids of all ages.

i love lucy

 

December 23:
I Love Lucy Christmas
CBS at 8:00pm
CBS is ringing in the holidays with the I Love Lucy Christmas Special, which consists of a new one-hour special featuring two back-to-back colorized classic episodes of the popular show.

 


December 24:
It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
ABC at 8:00pm
2015 is the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and to celebrate ABC is throwing a holiday special, hosted by Kristen Bell and featuring special guests Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison, Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men, Pentatonix, David Benoit and the All-American Boys Chorus.

 

charlie brownA Charlie Brown Christmas
ABC at 9:00pm
Following the holiday special is the classic animated cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Whoopi Goldberg hosts a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie.


December 28:
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown
ABC at 8:00pm
The holidays continue as Charlie Brown rings in the new year in classic Charlie Brown fashion.  Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and the gang come together for a fun evening full of surprises.

 

Best Netflix Holiday Movies:
white christmas

White Christmas (1954)
This holiday classic is must this time of year. You can’t go wrong with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
If you’re looking for the perfect family holiday movie, look no further than this animated musical. It’s a movie that you and your kids will love!

A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
Available starting on December 4, Bill Murray hosts a Netflix holiday special, putting his unique spin on a holiday variety show. With an all-star cast including Chris Rock, Rashida Jones, George Clooney and Amy Poehler, this film is sure to please, and amuse.

 

For a full list of the holiday broadcast TV shows, be sure to click HERE. With all the money you cord cutters are saving, we’re sure you will have a VERY enjoyable holiday season!

Nov
25

Posted in Antenna Update, Ask the Expert | Comments

Indoor vs. Outdoor TV Antennas

Are you looking for an easy solution to cut the cord and say good-bye to monthly cable bills? Perhaps you are interested in adding a TV to a second location and you can’t stomach feeding the cable monster more dollars. A TV antenna is the quick and easy solution to FREE TV, but which antenna is right for you? Here we explore the benefits of both indoor and outdoor TV antennas.

 

Indoor TV Antennas

An indoor TV antenna may be the best solution if you live near the TV broadcast towers. They are also an excellent solution for people living in cities or apartments where mounting an outdoor antenna is simply not an option. They are small, powerful, and can be discreetly placed in any room.

Traditional dipole indoor antennas – or rabbit ears – don’t quite cut it today as they are tuned for VHF stations, while the majority of signals are now transmitted by UHF.antennas-direct-eclipse-clearstream

When installing an indoor antenna there will be building materials – brick, wood, stucco, or metal – impeding or interfering with your digital signal. Even household appliances – fridges, computers, and phones – can affect your signal. To overcome the signal loss, we recommend repositioning the antenna in a number of locations within the room – preferably near a window facing the direction of your local broadcast towers – to find the best position for a strong clear signal.

Recommended: Clearstream Eclipse Indoor TV Antenna 

 

Outdoor TV Antennas

Where installation is possible, an outdoor TV antenna will offer the best opportunity for receiving TV signals. Outdoor TV antennas are traditionally mounted on a rooftop and have a better line of site to the broadcast towers, with fewer obstructions – trees, buildings, walls, or roofing materials – and they have a distinct advantage over indoor and attic antennas.Antennas Direct Clearstream 4 Digital TV Antenna

If you live a far distance from the broadcast towers, a long
range outdoor antenna is the best option for receiving the available signals. Outdoor antennas can also be mounted onto the sides of one’s house, decks, or on a tripod from the ground if roof access is not available. Remember, test your antennas position by scanning for the available channels before drilling any holes!
If you are having difficulty with your set-up, ask your neighbors if they too experience problems receiving channels. If they have similar issues with a particular channel then reach out to us here in the office and we will raise the issue with the local broadcaster.

Recommended: Clearstream 2V Indoor/Outdoor TV Antenna 

 

Attic TV Antennas 

For best performance, we typically recommend the placement of your TV antenna at the highest point possible and with a clear line of site to the broadcast towers. Of course, many people still Clearstream 2V Attic Mountchoose to install their TV antenna in the attic for aesthetic reasons or to comply with neighborhood guidelines.

Keep in mind it’s possible to lose some signal strength from an attic installation due to building materials. With an attic installation, the effective range of most antennas is lowered by 30% to 50% (10-15 miles), so consider getting a more powerful antenna or a preamp to compensate for this loss. Additionally, it is always preferable to mount the antenna to a mast or crossbeam and avoid letting the antenna touch the floor.

Recommended: Clearstream 4 Outdoor TV Antenna 

 

 

Be sure to visit antennapoint.com to locate your local broadcast towers serving your area. This will help you determine where your towers are located and which way to aim your antenna. If you are not sure which TV antenna is right for you, we have a dedicated team of installation experts that will gladly assist with your antenna selection.

Call: 1-877-825-5572                       Chat: Live Chat                            Mail: Contact Us for More Information

 

Read More: A Cord Cutter Tells All: 6 Steps to TV Freedom

Oct
21

Posted in Ask the Expert | Comments

The Takeaway Interviews Richard Schneider on Exponential Growth of Antennas

Richard Schneider High Resolution

Yesterday, our new Broadcast TV Liberation Tour road-tripping president, Richard Schneider, was interviewed on PRI’s The Takeaway about the booming growth of digital TV antennas. He was able to frame the importance of over-the-air television and its role in the lives of all TV lovers – across ages and demographics.

“Over-the-air broadcast is the new basic cable,” says Schneider during the interview with John Hockenberry. “We’re giving the people the opportunity to liberate themselves from their unhealthy relationships with their cable providers.”

The beginning of the segment posted in-full below focuses on the FCC and their bid to auction off portions of the broadcast spectrum now used by your local TV affiliate. The spectrum would be then auctioned off to cellular network providers. To justify this sale, Stuart Benjamin cites fabricated statistics in an effort to make broadcast TV sound irrelevant.

However, his perception, and that of the FCC, of the US market for broadcast TV is not based on any form of reality. We know this for two reasons:

1. The market for digital TV antennas is exploding.
2. Reality is where we live.

We think that if just one of the FCC’s executives would come with us on our Broadcast TV Liberation Bus Tour, they would change their tune about the demand for broadcast TV.

Let them see with their own eyes the huddled thousands. Let them shake the hands of grateful, teary-eyed, hard-working people from the Midwest. Let them see the Asian Americans in San Francisco who now have a free window to their local community with in-language news and programming.

We offer an open invitation to any FCC executive to join us as we cross the country and liberate TV viewers. We have plenty of room on this bandwagon.

 

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