Tag Archives: antenna

Jul
20

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

Why the Antenna Is More Relevant Than Ever

Antennas Direct Clearstream 4 Digital TV Antenna

So you’re sick and tired of paying the cable companies a ridiculous amount of money for hundreds of channels, of which there are maybe twenty that you actually watch. You’ve heard about cutting the cord and how millions of people all over the country are serving ties with the cable companies and embracing their newfound freedom with various alternatives. But you just don’t get it. You have a Netflix account, but you can fathom kicking your cable subscription to the curb and relying solely on the Internet for entertainment. How will you get the local news? What about the big game on the weekend? The answer lies in an HD TV antenna.

Now before you roll your eyes in disgust at the mention of an archaic technology, give me the benefit of the doubt. First off, modern TV antennas are no longer giant eyesores that sit on top of your roof like some sort of metal creepy crawler. Second, today’s HD TV antennas are powerful, and are able to pull in a variety of channels all in uncompressed high definition quality. Best of all, you only need to shell out your hard earned cash once when you purchase your antenna and that’s it, no monthly bills, no hidden fees. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Read on to find out more.

Why Use a TV Antenna?

  • Streaming video over the Internet is becoming more and more commonplace. Services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are offering some of the best content available, but unfortunately these services are lacking in a major area…live local TV. While streaming services like Playstation Vue and SlingTV do offer some local live television options, the ability to stream these broadcasts is only available in limited areas.
  • Your ability to stream video online is dependent on your Internet speed. For an in-depth look at what kind of speeds are necessary for streaming video, head here. Generally speaking, most Internet streaming services require a speed of 5 Megabits per second to watch high definition video smoothly. For some people, this simply isn’t a reality, meaning that they have to put up with sub-par video quality, or a complete inability to stream altogether.
  • Digital television broadcasts that can be received by an HD TV antenna is in an uncompressed high definition format, meaning that the image quality is crisper and sharper to that of cable. While cable companies do indeed broadcast in high definition, the signal is often compressed, which results in a loss of quality.
  • HD TV Antennas, are able to pick up broadcasts from your local network affiliates, meaning that you’ll be able to enjoy high definition programming from networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, the CW and many more.
  • Cable and satellite television providers often only carry a fraction of the channels that are available in your local area. With an HD antenna you will be able to pick up these “hidden” channels, as most broadcast stations offer additional regional programming that cable and satellite exclude.
  • Antennas can weather the storm. Cable and satellite providers can be finicky, if storm clouds roll in and tumultuous weather compromises your cable or satellite reception, you’re totally cut off. So even if you can get news stations like CNN, you might not have them during inclement weather. With an antenna, you stand a better chance of staying informed.
  • A HD TV antenna is a one-time purchase. There are no monthly fees and absolutely no hidden costs. Over-the-air broadcast television is absolutely free and always will be.

Now that you’ve seen the light and have decided to get yourself an antenna to reap the benefits of free high definition broadcasts, you’ll need to determine which antenna is right for you. Now that you’ve got an antenna, you’ll need to know how to get the best possible reception to ensure that you’re pulling in the maximum amount of available channels in your area, all in glorious high definition.

cutcable

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

Jul
18

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

The Antennas Direct ClearStream 4 Is Named the Best TV Antenna

C4 on roof

We know that our antennas are superior and truly top of the line, we are our own biggest fans, but it’s always a great feeling when we see our name on the top of lists and pulling in amazing reviews. wiki.ezvid.com recently posted a video of the Top 10 Best TV Antennas of 2016, and of course, our ClearStream 4 (C4) came in at number 1!

C4

Here is what they had to say about the ClearStream 4:

“The premium Antennas Direct C4 offers incredible power and is highly efficient for its size, thanks to the patented tapered loop design. It is ideal for people living in rural areas with heavy foliage. It resists interference and offers ultra long range performance and includes all-weather mounting hardware.”

Not only that, but all of our antennas come with a lifetime warranty. Did a tornado rip your C4 off the roof? We’ll replace it. Did a raccoon decide to karate chop your ClearStream 2V? We’ll get you a new one. Whatever the case, we’ve got your back. That’s part of the reason that year after year we top lists as the top antenna manufacturer with the best customer service.

To see the full list and check out their thoughts on other TV antennas, be sure to watch the video below. Thanks to the genius folks over at ezvid for naming our C4 the best TV antenna, we appreciate you sharing your list and reviews with fellow cord cutters. People like you help to spread the news of just how awesome we really are! 🙂

Jul
15

Posted in Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

Millennials and Broadcast TV: It’s a Growing Thing

cord cutting

Millennials are cutting the cord in growing numbers, turning to broadcast TV and streaming services. It’s more than a trend; it’s becoming a part of their lifestyle. And we support this 100%.

GfK Ownership and Trend Report were released this week, and to say that we are excited with the results of the report would be an understatement. They found a sizeable increase in over-the-air TV households, providing yet more evidence that the general public is wising up, cutting the cord and saving boatloads of cash. Almost four in ten homes with an 18-34 year old resident rely on broadcast-only or internet-only alternatives. You know why? They are too smart to throw away their money. They see the value in cutting the cord, have taken the plunge, and have never looked back.

The study finds that 17% of US TV households now rely on broadcast-only, or OTA, reception, which is up from 15% in 2015. With the increase in our antenna sales, we can verify this data.

GfK infographic PNG

The NAB responded to the GfK report showing increase in broadcast-only homes with a great quote from NAB Executive Vice President of Communications, Dennis Wharton.

“The GfK survey demonstrates once again the enduring value of local and network broadcast television. It’s particularly noteworthy that millennials are now more reliant on broadcast TV than any age group. Clearly, the internet had had a major impact on how Americans receive program content, but GfK confirms that broadcast television remains remarkably resilient and growing in popularity.”

Dennis Wharton is a rock star cord cutting advocate and overall great guy, we are lucky to know him at Antennas Direct and have had his support over the years. Thanks to people like Dennis, the NAB and TVFreedom.org, the number of households cutting the cord continues to grow, which is music to our ears.

 

Jul
8

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

Walmart is here to help you cut the cord!

Cut the cord es edit

There is a new advocate for ditching your cable and cutting the cord: Walmart. The Walmart website now features a section that walks you through the steps of cord cutting. The site lists four steps to cord cutting; starting with cancelling your cable and switching to streaming and ending with making a one-time purchase of an TV antenna. Walmart has even included a savings calculator to show you just how much money you could be saving every month by cutting the cord.

Walmart’s page talks about how cable companies rope you in so easily by promising you access to all these channels when you only actually watch a dozen or so of them. The average savings from cutting the cord is around $80 every month and you still have total access to your favorite network channels.

Most importantly, you need a good TV antenna! An antenna is the only way to have access to local TV, and we’re not talking about those old rabbit ears you might be picturing. Nowadays antennas are sleek, modern..  A one-time purchase of a quality TV antenna gives you free access to local channels and all of your favorite shows.

Cutting the cord is becoming increasingly more popular and Walmart is here to help you along the way! Check out Walmart’s page on how to save money by cutting cable here. And thanks to Walmart for helping to save customers money, and sanity, from the cable company.

Jun
27

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

The Great Race 2016 Recap, Part 4

Cedar Rapids

After a few wrong turns and some gorgeous scenery, Richard and Noel made it to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the second to last stop on the Great Race! Check out how our NEW ClearStream Eclipse indoor TV antenna tested out on the side of the road in Cedar Rapids.

Richard says it best, “we are testing antennas across the country so you don’t have to.” And along the way, we are proving that regardless of your location, with Antennas Direct, it IS possible to cut the cord!

Final Stop: Moline, Illinois. Stay tuned!

To see all of Richard’s crazy antics (and getting lost) during the Great Race, check out antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour, InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream.

Jun
24

Posted in AD Bus Tour, Antenna Update, Ask the Expert, Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Great Race 2016 Recap, Part 3

Noel and Richard

After several long days of driving along the Lincoln Highway, Richard and Noel made it to their destinations and were able to enjoy some food, drinks and rest. But not before testing out the ClearStream Eclipse in each location!

In these two videos, they test out the reception in Elko, NV and Cheyenne, WY. Both locations aren’t exactly right on top of the towers, just more proof that you CAN cut the cord all across the United States. You can even watch TV by slapping the Eclipse to a cowboy boot in Cheyenne, WY! (We can’t make this stuff up, Richard ACTUALLY tested it out, as seen in the second video.)

Follow the Great Race and Richard’s crazy antics (and getting lost) at antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour, InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream.

 

Jun
23

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

Relief is Here for Antenna Users in the Bay Area

nbc bay area white

We’re excited to share that there is potential relief for some antenna users in the Bay area! And really, there is no better time.

KNTV, the NBC affiliate in  SF, has added their primary programming as a sub-channel on their UHF 49 Telemundo station (KSTS) from Mt Allison giving Bay area antenna users a second shot at their programming which, coincidentally, includes the Olympics that are scheduled to begin soon.

KNTV has often been a PITA for antenna users as one of the two VHF (channel 12) stations in the market.  One of their more pronounced problems was that they were located on Mt San Bruno which was several miles south of Sutro Tower and their signal was blocked by Mt Sutro for much of the immediate San Francisco proper making signal reception tough, especially for indoor users.

Early on after the digital transition, KGO recognized the problem with VHF and installed a 15 kW UHF 35 translator on Mt Allison that has done a decent job of covering the southern Bay area on over into the Redwood City/Palo Alto area, even back up towards the city of SF.  Now that NBC, owner of both KNTV and the Telemundo affiliate KSTS, has added the flagship NBC programming to KSTS, antenna users may be able to get adequate reception from all UHF transmissions without having to gamble on VHF.  UHF antenna owners in the city of San Francisco who couldn’t get a reliable VHF signal not have a second chance although will likely need to readjust the aim of their antenna, at a minimum.

Details:

TVs tuned into KSTS will now get virtual channel 11.3 (KNTV) in 720p in addition to the two Telemundo feeds on virtual channels 48.1 & 48.2.

TVs tuned to KNTV’s channel 12 signal will also receive Telemundo’s primary channel as virtual channel 48.3 in addition to 11.1 & 11.2 (NBC & Cozi TV).

TVs that pick up BOTH signals successfully will get all 6 virtual channels with NBS and TEL each being duplicated.

Calculated coverage map of KSTS:

AD Map

Jun
22

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

The Great Race 2016 Recap, Part 2

Richard Reno

Our fearless leader has made his way from San Francisco to Reno, Nevada. Not only is he not in last place, but the car is doing great, and the antennas are doing even better!

See how the ClearStream Eclipse tested in Sacramento and Reno in our latest recap. Even standing in the parking lot of a casino, we had EXCELLENT reception! Up next… Elko, NV and Evanston, WY. Be sure to stay tuned to see how the Eclipse does in each location, and for an update on the Schneider’s progress on the Great Race.

Follow the Great Race and Richard’s crazy antics at antennasdirect.com/66ADBusTour, InstagramTwitter and Facebook and live streaming on UStream.

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
23

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

5 Ways to Get Better Antenna Reception

Television has come a long way since the days of rabbit ear antennas on top of TV boxes weighing over one hundred pounds. Now, you can get a TV so flat you are afraid a stiff breeze might break it, and a little box can get you hundreds of channels. That little box obviously comes with a cost, and that cost seems to be going up at a never-ending rate (yep, I’m talking about cable). In turn, people have come back to antennas as a viable option and a key asset for anyone looking to cut cable.

EclipsewAmp_

The antennas of today are much more advanced. Antennas Directs ClearStream series of HDTV antennas are perfect for cord-cutters looking for advanced solutions. Antennas today are often designed with sleek, inconspicuous profiles, and the reception ranges have grown vastly from the earlier versions. Check out the ClearStream Eclipse. It’s the ultra-thin antenna that grips to any smooth surface. The range of content you receive can include award-winning TV shows, live sporting events, educational programming, and even broadcasts in foreign languages. For example, in my guide for the Indy 500 I mentioned the antenna as one of the easiest and cheapest options to watch the race without cable.

The worst thing that could happen to you is you do all your research, purchase your antenna, set it up, and find out the reception you are receiving is poor. It isn’t always as easy as turning on your TV and checking for the reception… sometimes it just cuts out. We just highlighted how to watch the French Open with an antenna and imagine watching the final match and having your reception get blurry then cut out right near the last points.  That would be devastating, so you should take all the steps ahead of time to improve your antenna’s reception and make sure you’re all set. Below are some of our top tips to improve the reception for your antenna.

1) Direct your Antenna Correctly

Unfortunately, for many of the antennas on the market it is not as simple as throwing it near a window and getting perfect reception. Many antennas need to be directed towards a certain point where the broadcast signal originates. This could be a relatively easy and quick fix to improve your reception.

All you need to do is use sites like AntennaWeb, TVFool, or the Digital TV Map from the FCC. You simply put in your details and it will tell you which channels you will likely receive and provide you with a map displaying where the broadcast signal is coming from in relation to your location. Based on this map, you should adjust your antenna to point the correct direction. If you are aimed in the correct direction you could even increase your chances on picking up subchannels.

2) Move your Antenna’s Placement

If the direction is not the solution it may be the actual placement of your antenna. The marketability of many current antennas is the sleek design allowing you to place it around your house without it being an eyesore. Maybe you thought it would be best to hide it behind the TV, but it would probably perform better if it was in a less blocked off area. The idea is to get it as close to the broadcast signal as possible, so if the broadcast tower is to your East the best place to likely put it would be near an external wall on the East side of your house. Or, if this still results in poor reception you can always try moving it to a higher location.

3) Reduce Interference

Moving the antenna will reduce the amount of physical interference involved, but it will not account for any sort of electronic interference. The interference can be caused by Wi-Fi routers or any other device communicating wireless. If you have devices that may be interfering, you can test if these are the problem by turning them off and checking your antenna’s reception. The best solution is to move any potentially interfering devices away from your TV and antenna as far as possible.

4) Consider Replacing your Cable

Like many products, antennas arrive in the packaging with the additional equipment needed for it to function. The cable most antennas give you is a generic one, often an RG59. This is what connects what your antenna receives to what you watch on your TV, so it is critical to have a high-quality cable. I recommend replacing the RG59 with a thicker cable, such as the RG6. It has more capability to deliver a better signal between the two devices. Learn more about the difference between the two types of cables here.

5) Amplifier

An amplifier would be the last recommendation to get better reception on your antenna. A majority of antennas have amplifiers built in to improve the signal, but if yours does not you can add a compatible one with the hopes of spreading out your reception range. Amplifiers can be hit or miss, because they not only amplify the broadcast signal from network stations but amplify other signals as well. This could add to your interference and ultimately result in just as poor of reception as you had in the first place. It is why we recommend an amplifier as a last chance option if you have tried everything else with little or no improvement.

There you have it—5 ways to get better reception for your antenna. Here’s to better free tv!

cutcable

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

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