This afternoon, the Toronto Sun wrote the best article you will read today, called “Cutting the cord: 4 reasons to consider using an HD antenna.” Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct, laid down his broadcast television knowledge. Now, we can think of 100 reasons why it’s time for you to cut the cord, but here are the 4 The Toronto Sun narrowed down:
Better Picture Quality
Discover New Channels
More Time to Live Your Real Life
Thanks to Sean Fitzgerald and the Toronto Sun for taking the time to interview Richard and help spread awareness of cutting the cord. It’s exciting to see a large influx of people ready to take that next step and end their relationship with pay TV. If you’re interested in reading more, you can find the article in its entirety HERE.
Today, you may have opened up your mailbox only to see that dreaded monthly cable bill again. They want an additional $7.00 per month for those required cable boxes for each of your TVs. That’s another $28 per month on top of the hundreds that you are paying. Are you fed up yet?
Here’s some advice: Crumple up that bill and take a few steps toward free, high definition TV. I’ve recently cut the cord, and I’m enjoying the cord cutting life. Out of my experience, here are the 6 Steps to Achieving TV Freedom.
Step 1: Evaluate what you watch
Ask yourself what TV channels you actually watch. What are your favorite “can’t miss” weekly TV series, sports, news and weather programs. Get out a pen and paper and write it down. If you are like most TV couch potatoes like me, you might realize that you have been watching the major broadcast TV networks as much as 90% of the time. I’m talking about your local TV stations that are affiliates of the ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS networks.
A word about broadcast television
Please allow me to introduce you, or re-introduce you, to the unnoticed world of free, over-the-air broadcast TV channels. You know those five great networks I just mentioned? They were the very first TV channels and programming broadcast over 65 years ago. They were free then and they are free now.
February 2009 marked a huge change and an even bigger free bonus for folks who enjoy free, over-the-air, broadcast TV. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) mandated the end of analog TV signals and required all TV stations to upgrade to the new digital television transmissions. Not only are today’s digital signals from your local TV stations’ stronger than ever, they are also absolutely gorgeous in sound and picture quality. Better than what you get with cable because they have to compress the signals to deliver them.
The biggest bonus of all regarding free digital TV watching….a lot of the TV stations in your city broadcast additional programming called subchannels. For example, in my town channel 18.1 is our ABC network and local news. The subchannel of 18.2 is the CW network and 18.3 is THiS network.
Step 2. Check your television
That new flat screen HDTV you just bought? It contains a state-of-the art HD digital tuner. You paid for it, you should use it to receive free broadcast TV. Have you notice the channel up & down arrows on the remote for your new HDTV? You haven’t been able to use those buttons because your cable or satellite company has their own remote. To use the HDTV’s tuner and remote, you’ll need to buy an antenna for local TV viewing – a one-time purchase that will be your own property with no monthly bill!
Step 3. Find your local TV stations
Go to antennaweb.org or antennapoint.com. This will be your guide in finding where all your local TV towers are relative to where your house is located. You will next need to put in your zip code and address. This will assist you in selecting the right antenna for your home. You can also see (before you spend a dime) how many available channels you will be able to receive.
Tom’s antenna set up at Thomas Video Studios in Eau Claire, WI
Step 4. Call or click Antennas Direct
Antennas Direct is the best company in the business. They are an American company with a superior product and world class call center. They will assist you in selecting the correct antenna for your home – all for a total investment of less than one month of cable TV. And then you’re done. No more cable TV expenses again. All of Antennas Direct antennas come with a lifetime warranty and is much more attractive than that old cable box or satellite dishes hanging on the side of your house! Go online to www.antennasdirect.com or shop at your local Walmart, Best Buy or Lowe’s.
Step 5. Install your antenna
On a nice day with only a few hand tools and a drill, you can enjoy just an hour or two with your son or a friend installing the antenna. You can also re-purpose the existing cable wiring for your TV antenna. First, locate where your coax cables join together. That’s where you’ll find the cable splitter that splits the cable to all TVs in your house. First, unscrew the incoming cable from the splitter and replace this with the cable you ran from the antenna on your rooftop. That’s it! If you have an outdoor antenna and you would prefer to hire an installer, Antennas Direct has some contacts for you as well.
Step 6. Channel scan your TV and adjust the antenna
Using your remote, go to your TV’s menu and look for the “auto channel” programming mode.This will allow your HDTV’s built-in tuner to scan the airwaves for all the available TV channels. You may have to rotate the antenna slightly to receive all the available channels, but that’s pretty typical with any antenna. One last thing to do before you sit down on the couch with a cold one. Pick up the phone and call the cable TV company to say “Goodbye!”
We have some truly amazing customers. We love hearing from our Antennas Direct clients with their feedback on their latest purchase. Patrick recently sent us a video of him reviewing his C2V antenna, and we were so excited with his feedback that we had to share it with all of you.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Cutting the Cord Starts with an Antenna: Antennas Direct Featured on KUSI San Diego
The good people of San Diego woke this morning to the gospel of free broadcast television. In this below segment on KUSI, The Muscleman of Television, Bruce Pechman, points out that cutting the cord starts with an antenna from Antennas Direct. Check it out:
In addition to the never-ending sunshine, we know that Southern California will now bask in the glow of free, over-the-air television. Many thanks to Bruce and to KUSI News for their attention to cord-cutting – no longer a trend, but a reality. Stay classy, San Diego!
Have you ever struggled with installing a TV antenna and wish you had something to help you make the process a little easier? We had a customer who felt exactly this way, so he created an excellent install video where he takes you along each step of mounting, installing and running a channel scan with his Antennas Direct ClearStream 5 and DB8e antennas. His video does a great job showing how easy the install process really is and the excellent picture quality, even when splitting the signal between multiple televisions. Check out the video and big thanks to Robert for taking the time to share his video! Feel free to film your own install or review videos and share them with us on Twitter or Facebook, we would love to hear your thoughts.
Treat your family and cut the cord with Antennas Direct this Christmas.
This Thanksgiving, our band of pilgrims at Antennas Direct has a lot for which to be grateful. More and more American families are cutting the cord, and business is booming. So great is our gratitude that we have decided to reward our now ever-growing band of cord cutters with an early Christmas gift!
We are giving away one Cord Cutter Starter kit, complete with Smart TV, Digital TV Antenna and Home Theater Sound System. No catch, we just felt thankful.
That’s not all, all our entrants you will receive a 25% discount for our online store. This is one per entrant and is redeemable until Thanksgiving.
Cord cutting as a trend is exploding. According to the National Association of Broadcasters, there are over 59.7 million viewers broadcast TV-reliant as of last year. Here at Antennas Direct, we have seen an increase of 60% in unit sales. That’s record growth for us – a company on the Inc. 5000 for many years.
But maybe you are afraid to take the leap. All the cool kids seem to be doing it, but you’re not sure you can live the liberated life. You’re not alone. Our customer feedback suggests that ‘poor signal strength in an area’ and ‘lack of understanding antennas’ are the main reasons people are still paying for cable and satellite. But, in over 70% of the cases brought to our attention, these reasons prove to be untrue.
Selecting the right antenna may be a daunting task, with so many products and variations to choose from. That is why we put together this handy infographic to highlight the most important factors to consider when determining which antenna is right for you.
Remember, your neighbors’ antenna may not receive all the available channels in your area; however it does not mean you won’t! We have an extensive database from over 10 years of direct one-to-one discussions with you the customer. If there is a signal, we will get it for you.
To be certain you select the best possible antenna for your home, call your antenna expert now. We have been liberating TV since 2003, with over 5 million antennas in happy homes across America, you can rely on us.
All of our antennas come with a 90-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty!
For some time, Aereo has cast itself as a star in its own underdog drama. It wanted to be the proverbial David. The fatal error Aereo made was thinking the American people were too stupid to see through their little myth. All along, there have been loopholes in this story:
The technology is not real. It boils down to this: you cannot break the laws of physics with antenna technology or by calling them “microantennas.” As much as we would like to, you just cannot. It’s that simple.
There is nothing innovative about stealing. If you are going to charge money to rebroadcast something, then the creator of the content should get a cut. It is called copyright, and it exists to protect innovations – not harm them.
It was charging people for free content. Over-the-air is free. Not a subscription. You can receive it in full HD with an antenna. Millions of Americans have realized this and millions more will follow.
Aereo is not actually a company. It has not actually sustained itself and made money. It took large amounts of cash and blew them on legal fees. For the millions they have invested in lawyers, Antennas Direct could have supplied scores of Americans with the ability to start watching television right now for free.
Aereo investors say they have no plan B. And we are so grateful for their arrogance, poor planning and illegal business model. We invite you to join us today in dancing on Aereo’s grave. Three cheers for free TV!
Netflix announced yesterday that they are raising the price of their most popular streaming service (the two-screen plan) by $1 a month to $9.99 for new customers. Now don’t panic, if you’re an existing customer you are grandfathered in to the old price of $8.99 for a limited time. Netflix claims that the increase is […]
At Antennas Direct, we like to run with winners. Coming off of their Super Bowl win, the New England Patriots (and particularly Tom Brady) are winners this season – beating the Steelers, the Bills and even Roger Goodell. But the real winners? Those are the Patriots fans at Rainy Day Magazine. They recently searched high […]
This afternoon, the Toronto Sun wrote the best article you will read today, called “Cutting the cord: 4 reasons to consider using an HD antenna.” Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct, laid down his broadcast television knowledge. Now, we can think of 100 reasons why it’s time for you to cut the cord, but here […]