Category: Industry Update

Latest news and updates from the Broadcast Television and Antenna industry

Jun
13

Posted in Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

Antennas Direct Named Among Fastest-Growing Companies in St. Louis AGAIN!

FastestGrowingCompanies2016StLouis

Year after year, we find ourselves on fastest growing lists. When we first started developing our antennas 13 years ago, we received emails and letters, on an almost daily basis, telling us that antennas were a thing of the past and we would be out of business by the end of the year. Look at us now!  Our antennas are flying off the shelves at Walmart, Best Buy, RadioShack, and BJ’s Wholesale Club at a rate that doubles our sales every nine months. And we don’t even put big $$ behind marketing. The reason for our success is the amazing products we create. We never settle for okay. We continue to design and engineer the world’s most powerful TV antennas that receive stellar merit and awards. Cord cutting continues to grow, and we are reaping the benefits of people ditching pay-TV.

So we were honored to be named among the fastest growing companies by the St. Louis Business Journal. We owe so much to our team, our customers, and to all the amazing people out there who have believed in us over the years. Thanks to you, we are ranked 40th on the Business Journal’s Fastest Growing List, with a 48% growth over the past year.

Richard Schneider High Resolution

Our head honcho Richard Schneider says it best:

“Our customers are the smartest people on Earth. They realize that the cable companies are gouging them and taking more and more of their hard earned money each month. Who is that fair to? No one! Cord cutting continues to grow thanks to new technology, streaming devices and services that offer customers more content than they could ever need, and at a fraction of the cost. Combined with one of our award winning antennas to receive FREE over-the-air television, you have everything you need, and are saving on average $1000 a year.”

And a special thanks to the St. Louis Business Journal for their continued support over the past decade.

Read the full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/print-edition/2016/06/10/cover-story-fastest-growing-companies-2016-st.html

Jun
9

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

ATSC 3.0, in Layman’s Terms

ATSC 3.0 better

A few weeks ago we shared the ATSC 3.0 video and a brief description about WHAT it is, but really, it’s a bunch of detailed, techie, nerd talk. What does it really mean for you, in layman’s terms?

Here are the main points on the ATSC 3.0 transition:

  • 4K Ultra HD Video!
  • High dynamic range high definition
  • 1 +4 surround sound and immersive audio
  • Way more multicasting! There will be over 100 sub-channels per main channel (the system has much more efficient compression), which means potentially hundreds of over the air channels per market
  • More reliable and robust transmissions won’t be prone to interference (this means no more break ups!)
  • Indoor reception will be MUCH easier with an antenna
  • Interactive, the view can control the viewing experience and will allow two way communications with the broadcaster, choose viewing angle on sports, etc.
  • Targeted advertising, this will be great for businesses to sell their products to particular demographics.
  • Metadata- more detailed show info, actor bios, all the fun background info you might be interested in knowing, but don’t want to spend time looking up!
  • Immersive and VR experience

Ultimately, there is a lot of buzz with the transition, but it will be a lengthy process. There are currently no broadcasters transmitting in 3.0 and they won’t be until probably 2018 at the earliest. It will all depend on when station decides to make the switch and even then, the consumer will need a device with a 3.0 tuner chip set.

For the most part, broadcasters will continue to transmitting signal in both 1.0 and 3.0. Once 3.0 TV’s hit the market, there will be a lot of people who will be able to access these features IF the broadcast station is transmitting in 3.0. It will be an interesting transition because there is not a harsh turn off deadline for 1.0, it’s not like there will be one day where all of a sudden there will no longer be 1.0 and everyone will be broadcasting in 3.0. That won’t be happening! Basically, it’s consumer adoption for 3.0 and how people decide they want their content delivered to them. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, and we will be sure to keep you updated!

Jun
1

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

The Antennas Direct Antenna Selector is Here to Save the Day!

antenna selector

“But I don’t know what kind of antenna to get.”

“How far am I from the towers?”

“Indoor or outdoor, which is better for my location?”

“What stations should I get in my area?”

These are all questions we hear on a daily basis. And we get it, it can be tricky trying to determine what antenna to get and take that step to cut the cord. We know how frustrating it can be to purchase something and bring it home, only to realize it won’t work for you! So to help ease that pain and streamline the process, we have developed an antenna selector!

What do you need to do?

Step 1:

Visit our Antenna Selector HERE.

Step 2:

Type in your zipcode. The selector will determine the best antennas for your location, both indoor and outdoor, depending on your needs.

antenna selector 2

Step 3:

Sit back and admire the list of available channels. You’ll be amazed how many stations you’ll be able to get, all for free!

Step 4:

Add the antenna of your choosing to your cart! It’s that simple. No more guessing what would work best for you.

That’s it! We’ve made the process so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t cut the cord sooner! Don’t hesitate to give our Connection Crew a call to ask them any questions you might have. And by ANY questions, we mean it! Not only are our products the best in the industry, but so is our service!

May
11

Posted in Ask the Expert, Industry Update | Comments

ATSC 3.0- What do you need to know?

Richard White House

There’s been a lot of buzz recently around the new ATSC standard and what it will mean for you. Our talented nerd group at Antennas Direct are currently in Washington, D.C. to learn more about ATSC 3.0. To give you a quick background, a portion of the spectrum is used for wireless, so the new ATSC 3.0 standard is the biggest thing to happen since the digital transition. And that is HUGE! Moral of the story, over the air television is going to just keep getting better, and that is what we like to hear!

ATSC 3.0 better

Here are a few key points on ATSC 3.0:

  • Television broadcasters are leading the way with the new system that will merge the capabilities of OTA broadcasting with the internet.
  • Broadcasters are evolving to meet the needs of today’s viewers and advertisers. They have YOU in mind.
  • This next generation broadcast platform merges the best capabilities of over the air and broadband feeling. The result is a convergence of the most popular method of watching live events with the variety of programming available online.
  • Next generation transmission system that can deliver 4K Ultra HD images with high dynamic range plus interactive features and multichannel immersive audio.
  • ATSC 3.0 is the world’s first broadcast standard built on an internet protocol backbone. This offers the advantage of both broadcast and broadband, designed to integrate with internet delivered content, ATSC 3.0 will present viewers with more streams, more choices, more channels and more flexibility.
  • Adaptable for single frequency network transmission systems that can overcome the physical challenges to deliver TV deep inside buildings and on the go. The result is better indoor reception and wide coverage for mobile devices.

ATSC 3.0 is flexible, adaptable and focused on the future, today.

Overall, this is great news for viewers, making it easier for them to watch the live, over the air content they love, when they want it and where they want it.

Following is the full video released today to learn more about ATSC 3.0.

Jan
22

Posted in Cable be evil, Industry Update | Comments

Don’t Become a Cable Company, Netflix

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It was just a few months ago that we wrote our blog “Netflix and Chill Just Got More Expensive”. And since that blog, it looks like Netflix has decided to raise their prices YET AGAIN. Now, we understand the occasional slight price increase, but twice within a 3 month period? You’re starting to sound a little greedy, Netflix.

According to Esquire, those Netflix customers who have been “grandfathered” in to the $7.99 a month rate, will soon be expected to pay $9.99 a month for the same plan. There is a way around it, if you really want to pinch pennies. Here’s the catch: you can keep paying $7.99 a month, but you will lose your high-definition streaming capabilities.

In total, the price bump comes out to nearly $25 a year. Not horrible, but it definitely adds up over time. With cable continuing to raise their prices, we hope that Netflix isn’t taking a note from their playbook. Fair warning, Netflix, it hasn’t worked out very well for the cable companies to gouge prices and abuse their customers. We hope you’re careful and aren’t planning anymore “announcements” anytime soon. Unless we like them of course ;).

 

photo credit: Flipping Money Bankroll Girls February 08, 20119 via photopin (license)

Aug
14

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

Eight Straight Years on the Inc. 5000? We Are Not Surprised

SONY DSC

We hate to be bragadocious. It isn’t like us. But when the annual Inc. 5000 List came out a few days ago, we were not at all surprised to find our names on the list of America’s fastest growing companies. We were not surprised because this was the eighth straight year. Eight times.

At the same time we have experienced sustained growth, cable companies continue to lose subscribers. Now, we are not economists. We are not statisticians, and some of us barely passed math. But to this huddled group of antenna nerds, this looks like a trend – one that we have seen coming since we were founded 12 years ago.

Here is the simple math:

  • Antennas Direct, now a Hall of Fame Inc. 5000 member, saw a 52 percent rise in sales over the past three years. This short list of fastest growing companies includes Planet Fitness and Otter Products.
  • More than a half million Americans severed ties with their cable and satellite TV companies in the second quarter of this year, according to Variety.

You get it right? Television viewers are ready for a change. They are ready to wrest control of their digital freedom. And the key is an antenna – preferably a f*cking great one that has been tested and retested in the lab of Antennas Direct. That unlocks the best entertaining shows, documentaries, local news, weather and sports in full high definition. It’s simple. (Oh, and we have a product that makes cutting the cord even easier).

If you need further proof of the growing demand for free, over-the-air broadcast television, check out the happy cord cutters on our TV Liberation Tour page. And if you want us to come to your town, let your voice be heard.

To our team, our partners and to you, the cord cutting crazies who supported us before cord cutting was a term, we are eternally grateful. We are planning on releasing a list of even awesomer antennas fit for the future of television. Stay tuned.

Jul
23

Posted in Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

King of Sports Shaken Up Over Cord Cutting

chess

Ten years ago, when we would talk to people about cord cutting, we would get strange looks. (We don’t want to guess what people thought we were talking about.) But today, there is no doubt. Television lovers have spoken, and the growing cacophony of voices has rattled even the hallowed, throne of the Cable King of Sports – ESPN.

While they thought they were once immune to reality, ESPN is losing subscribers left and right. Simply, more families are tired of overpaying for content they could easily replace with a TV antenna and streaming service.

According to a recent story by NPR, “ESPN has lost 7 percent of its subscription base since its peak of about 100 million homes in 2011. And the trend is accelerating: 3.2 million subscribers have left since May 2014.”

Sports fans are notoriously smart about new ways to watch their favorite programming. It’s part of what helped to make a sports channel on cable so successful in the first place. And, if you mistreat them, they will find a way to get what they want.

Check out the full story HERE.

Watch out, ESPN. There is a new king of sports. And instead of a cable channel, the king is every household that knows the glory of over-the-air, broadcast television.

 

photo credit: Meeting of the Kings via photopin (license)

Apr
24

Posted in Cable be evil, Industry Update | Comments

Comcast Dumps Time Warner…And They Made Such a Cute Couple

Antennas Direct Comcast

On Friday, it became official. Comcast rolled out the old “it’s not you it’s me” with Time Warner. The cable giant announced that it was no longer going to go through with the merger deal and left Time Warner standing at the monopoly alter.

It’s sad to see something like this happen to such a perfect pair. They both were among the top of the Worst Companies in America list. Both had the same philosophy of customer service including little pet names. And both companies received a pre-wedding cake present from none other than Antennas Direct (check out the delivery here and here).

But, in the end, it didn’t work out. We hope they will remain friends and still agree to at least swap customers.

Honestly, we know that this is better for the American consumer. The joining of these two companies would have created a Cable Voltron, customer service would get even worse and broadcasters’ abilities to negotiate for fair retransmission of their content would have been compromised. So this break up is a good thing.

Still, there was this small part of us that would have loved to see just how astoundingly dismal they could make the customer experience. The worse they become, the more people feel compelled to cut the cord and receive free, over-the-air television with a digital TV antenna.

We wish them both the best. And, just for the record, we are not choosing sides. This too shall pass. Luckily, we wont have any trouble returning your antenna wedding present.

Apr
23

Posted in Antenna Update, Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

We Saw the Future of Broadcast TV at the NAB Show. (And the Future is Bright.)

N15_ShowFloor_General_2

Last week, 100,000 broadcast radio and television industry shapers from 150 countries gathered in Las Vegas for the 2015 NAB Show, the world’s largest electronic media show. Perennially, the event has been the host of the latest technology surrounding broadcast media and journalism attracting brands such as CBS, Apple, HP, Samsung and, of course, Antennas Direct.

More than just passively attending, we love being a part of the show and learning about the future of television from some of the best minds in broadcast. Here are some of our biggest takeaways.

    1. There’s (still) no better journalism than broadcast news.

“Broadcasters are more relevant, vital and trusted than ever,” said Gordon Smith, president of the NAB who also challenged show-goers to imagine a world without free over-the-air television. “In times of emergency, while other media may crash and fail, local television is there to connect the community.”

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Broadcasters also continue to innovate how they deliver content to the community. Bart Feder, senior vice president of Tribune Media, pointed out that his stations are facing greater realities about how media is consumed, and they are taking steps to meet the demand.

“The reality is that people turn on Facebook before they turn on their TV,” said Feder. “We are the second screen in the two-screen household. The onus is on us to call the audience back. We need authenticity and a way to give the news greater context and meaning.”

    1. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is a fan of free, broadcast TV.

While it may come as a shock to some in the industry, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is a big fan of over-the-air television. In his opening remarks on the second day of the NAB Show, Wheeler recounted the story of installing an indoor, flat panel digital antenna in his daughter’s home. He said she was floored when she realized she could get her favorite shows in high definition for free.

“Broadcast is an important part of our lives. And over-the-air provides our uniquely diverse communities with a shared experience,” he said. “With the high cost of cable bundles, consumers are perusing alternatives. One alternative they are perusing is broadcast TV. The number of households relying on over-the-air exclusively went up last year. We also see a growing number of people cutting the cord and pairing an over-the-air antenna with OTT services.”

N15_FCCKeynote_Wheeler

    1. The broadcast incentive auction is happening in 2016 (after five years of talking).

For several years, the FCC has been working on a plan to auction a portion of the broadcast spectrum to wireless providers. And, though it has been a long time in the making, there appears to be an end in sight. By Spring of 2016, television broadcasters will have the option to offer their spectrum for the auction. This means they may have to do a “repacking” of their broadcast. Wheeler says this is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for broadcasters and the auction will yield the greatest value for their spectrum.

What does this mean to fans of broadcast television from a viewer perspective? That remains to be seen. There are still some unanswered questions for the FCC and pending lawsuits. However, there is a potential for more broadcasters engaging in “channel sharing” and switching to a VHF frequency.

What is known is this auction is yet another business decision broadcasters need to make within the next several months to better meet the shifting demands of media consumption.

    1. We have seen the future. And it was from a drone camera.

On perhaps a lighter note, the future of broadcast television will involve drones. The NAB Show featured an entire display and several vendors allowed engineers to try out the drone capabilities. As the technology stands, the drone will not replace the traffic helicopter, but it can add a degree of storytelling enhancement to broadcast news.

The FAA has yet to create a final list of rules regarding the safe use of drones and the companies who are licensed to pilot them are very few. However, with the fast scalability of the technology, most industry experts predict the drone coverage and usage will be an integrated part of storytelling by the next NAB Show.

    1. Future for broadcasters includes deep investments in IT.

A broadcaster’s programming used to be simpler. You would create video for television consumption and this would be your single outlet. However, broadcasters now distribute content to websites, social media, Roku players, and mobile apps. And currently most internal workflows do not allow this to be managed in an efficient way.

However, Disney Corporation, which encompasses ABC, ESPN and seemingly most of the known world, has switched to an IP (Internet Protocol) format for their content. Currently, they are transitioning to a real-time distribute digital video to 150 different outlets. You can see the full panel discussion here.

Broadcasters face a lot of challenges to both their bottom line and their business models in the next year. And despite all of it, they are steadfast in their desire to provide free, over-the-air, high-definition television. Stay tuned as we create new ways to make more consumers aware of the choices they have to receive the best entertainment and news without a hefty cable bill.

Apr
10

Posted in Antenna Update, Cut the Cord, Industry Update | Comments

Ryze-Up Magazine Names ClearStream 2V Best Antenna

AD Ryze picture

Naturally we think that our products are pretty amazing, but it’s always great when we hear it from other people. Larry Cornwell of Ryze-Up Magazine recently reviewed the ClearStream 2V and we were ecstatic with his feedback. Here is a brief summary of his review.

  • “I have been testing the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V unit and it has been brilliant!”
  • The set up and installation is easy, the signals are strong and the pictures have been clear during the day, night and bad weather.
  • “The ClearStream 2V is one of the best, if not the best antenna on the market…clearly.”

Thank you Larry for the kind words. Be sure to check out Ryze-Up Magazine to read the review in it’s entirety. If you are interested in learning more about the ClearStream 2V or picking one up, simply click HERE.

 

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