Tag Archives: antenna

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

May
17

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Announcing the Antennas Direct Dads and Grads Giveaway

dads and grads

For many folks, especially our kiddos, this is a favorite time of year. The school year is over, summer vacations planned, a break from the homework, and for dads, a day to celebrate you for being a pretty awesome dude.

To celebrate both those special father’s and lucky graduates, we are hosting a Dads and Grads giveaway!

Our Dads and Grads giveaway will run May 17th-June 13th. Simply fill out the form HERE and you are entered to win! One entry per person, please.

Giveaway Prize:

  • 55″ LED Smart HDTV Roku TV- You want a great TV to watch all your FREE OTA and streaming shows.
  • ClearStream Eclipse antenna- Simply slap on a window or wall, plug into your TV, scan for channels and you’ll be watching glorious, crystal clear TV.

Whether you’re having a laid back, backyard BBQ to celebrate these special humans or a blown out party, you’ll be their favorite human if they unwrap these gifts. And what better way to thank your dad or husband for being a kicka** human then winning him the ultimate Father’s Day present? And same goes to you graduates. The winner of this prize pack would have the hottest pad for entertaining, hands down.

Here’s to you, dads and grads! We raise a beer to you, congratulations on raising children who don’t totally suck and managing to not sleep through all your classes. We know it was a challenge, and we applaud you!

May
5

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

Mark Barros Shares His Cord Cutting Tips and How to Kick Your Cable Company to the Curb

HD Geek Review

We get it, taking the plunge and cutting the cord isn’t always an easy decision. First comes convincing your family. Then deciding what equipment you will need, what HD antenna, what streaming services, etc. And then… you dive into the deep end. You call your satellite or cable provider and give them the bad news. It’s time to end your relationship, and no, it’s not you, it’s all them. Tears might be shed, but everyone will move on, you on the better end of the deal with a boat load of money.

MArk BarrosNow comes the time to install your antenna. We have shared countless tips on how to choose the right antenna, how to find your towers, aim the antenna, and scan for channels, but it’s always nice to see a video from a real-life cord cutter who gives their tips and tricks. And that’s where Mark Barros comes into the picture. Mark cut the cord using an Antennas Direct DB4 years ago, and has never looked back. He’s our kind of guy. A cord cutting superhero.

If you’re looking for tips on how to install your outdoor antenna, look no further than this video from Mark. He talks us through how he installed his DB4 including some tricks that will make the install process even easier for you.

Now, to some key points and tips Mark shared in his video:

  • With an antenna, you will receive broadcast signals for FREE in high definition
  • Install Tip: When mounting the antenna, the higher the better to reach signals further away
  • In his location, Mark receives 35 channels, more than enough for his viewing pleasure
  • For help choosing an antenna and installation tips, call the friendly folks over at Antennas Direct

When it comes to the overall summary of Mark’s thoughts on cutting the cord and his experience as a cord cutter, he said “best of all, this solution eliminates any monthly bill I have to pay and the quality of the signal I receive is fantastic.” That sounds like a pretty happy Antennas Direct customer. We like happy customers.

We will leave you with these brilliant words from Mark himself.

“Rid yourself of the tyranny of the cable industry once and for all.”

Apr
11

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Can I Watch Major League Baseball with an Antenna?

glove

Its springtime, which means not only are flowers blooming, but bats are cracking, and the 2016 MLB season is underway. And for many of us, that means trying to figure out how to get as much baseball coverage as possible without signing an expensive cable contract we can’t get rid of.

Luckily, it’s 2016 and cord cutting options keep getting better and better. There are plenty of streaming services that offer MLB coverage, but the real question here is…what can we get for free with our antenna? After all, free TV is the best TV! That being said, let’s take a closer look.

What Networks Have Deals with the MLB?

As of 2016, MLB rights are shared among ESPN, TBS, and FOX network families. The bad news is that two of those are cable networks. But the good news is that assuming you have the right antenna for your location, you can get FOX for free in uncompressed HD. I’d recommend you run a report and see what channels are specifically available in your area.

What MLB Coverage is Available on FOX?

FOX coverage is split between the FOX broadcast network and FOX Sports 1, their premium cable sports network. Here’s a look at what you can get with your antenna on FOX:

  • FOX will air 12 games on Saturday afternoons throughout the season
  • The 2016 All Star Game will be on over-the-air
  • FOX gets an alternating Division Championship game each year
  • The World Series will be on live over-the-air

When Does FOX Saturday Afternoon Coverage Begin?

On May 21, FOX will begin airing 7:15 PM games. This will continue up to the All Star game on July 12. After that, coverage will pause until September 10th, where it will pick back up for two weeks. Currently, that’s as far as the schedule goes out on MLB.com.

Are There Other Ways to Watch the MLB without Cable?

As I mentioned before, there are different streaming services that offer different levels of MLB coverage. You could go with MLB.TV for example, although in-market blackouts will keep you from seeing your home team.

Other streaming services worth looking into for national broadcasts are Sling TV and PlayStation Vue (the only way to get Fox Sports 1 without cable). Both of these services offer ESPN and ESPN2 (very useful with the NFL Draft coming up as well), as well as TBS. So you’ll get most of the non-FOX national coverage through them.

What’s All This Blackout Talk?

The MLB blackout policy has been under quite a bit of fire as of late. But it still stands for cord cutters. So what exactly does it consist of? Well, if you look at the MLB’s FAQ, it’s nearly impossible to understand. But Nathaniel Grow over at The Hardball Times did a pretty good job explaining it when he said it “prevents subscribers of either the MLB.tv or MLB Extra Innings services from viewing, in real time, the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game of the week, the subscriber’s regional Fox Saturday broadcast, or – most importantly – any game involving the subscriber’s designated ‘home’ team.”

However, since that article, the MLB faced a lawsuit that caused them to change things up a bit, as noted in this USA Today article. In a nutshell, the changes no longer prohibit in-market streaming for MLB.TV… if you subscribe to your local regional sports network.

In other words, you still need cable to use the “cable-less” service. Big help.

Questions About Watching MLB without Cable?

The options aren’t perfect, but they’re getting better year over year. Have questions? Leave a comment below for answers!

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

Apr
1

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Ding dong the Witch is dead, but since you have an antenna, you’re not!

wizard of oz

Spring is a truly wonderful season. Daylight savings is finally here, the temperatures begin to rise, and beautiful flowers are blooming all around us. But along with all that beauty and positivity come spring storms (and allergies). Depending on your location, these storms can be pretty vicious.

Picture this: a massive storm is headed your way. Your family is sitting around the TV tracking the weather, and all of a sudden the cable cuts out. Gone! With no warning at all, your contact to the outside world and to your safety is gone. Don’t let this happen to you.

By now you may be asking yourself, what’s the solution? Well, it’s simple. Drop cable or satellite and get a TV antenna. An antenna can weather the storm and keep you informed. Local programming offers information on incremental weather, current events, and other emergency notifications. Even more, television is where you turn to for local news and regional programming that connects everyone to their communities, regions, and the world. It is a pillar of our democracy that keeps us informed and challenges the way we think about the world (yes, we just got really deep and serious. It does happen on occasion).

Mark Twain once said, “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” Don’t take a chance when it comes to your family and safety, or you might be saying, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…”

Let’s get down to it. You need a TV antenna. We have TV antennas.  Nothing would bring us more joy than to help keep your pockets full of cash from canceling your pay TV provider. Visit antennasdirect.com or give our customer service team a call toll-free in the U.S. at 1-877-825-5572. We’re available 7 days a week just for you!

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.

Dec
30

Posted in Cable be evil, Cut the Cord | Comments

New Year, New Cable Price Increase (Yet Again)

middle finger

As a belated holiday gift to their customers, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Dish and AT&T (just to name a few) have announced they will all be raising their cable rates in the New Year. What a wonderful gift…Not! Happy freakin’ New Year to you.

The continued cable hikes have averaged 5.9 percent a year since 1995. And it doesn’t look like there will be an end in sight. Is that how these companies reward their few remaining customers, by raising their rates yet again? We welcome you, new cord cutters, and we are here to help make the transition as seamless, and a downright enjoyable experience. Saying “adios, mother f*****!” has never felt this good.

According to a Pew Research Center survey released last week, about 71 percent of cord cutters say the reason they kicked Pay-TV to the curb was because of the cost. And another 64 percent say they canceled because they can get the content they desire with a TV antenna or through a streaming service.

For that, we are extremely grateful. Thank you Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and the like, for your continued poor service and greedy ways. With this latest price increase, you have sparked an even larger interest in cutting the cord. We don’t need to spend any money on advertising or promoting cord-cutting when the pay-TV companies continue to insult the intelligence of their customers.

Ready to dump the abusive, money hungry cable companies and join the world of FREE TV? Contact us if you have any questions, we look forward to you joining our cord cutting community!

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

 

photo credit: “have a good day” finger: san francisco (2014) via photopin (license)

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.

Nov
2

Posted in AD Bus Tour | Comments

#ADBusTour Liberates Over 400 at the National Weather Festival

015

Surrounded by storm chasing helicopters, vehicles and the latest weather coverage technology, the Broadcast TV Liberation Tour rolled into the National Weather Festival on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. With hundreds awaiting free access to their favorite television, Antennas Direct, in partnership with TVFreedom.org and News 9 liberated over 400 festival attendees with a ClearStream 2V antenna – granting them the most reliable connection to up-to-the-moment weather coverage.

And, in a market like Central Oklahoma, that kind of connection can be the difference between life and death. That is not hyperbole. There is a reason the local broadcasting meteorologists like David Payne at News 9 are heralded as venerable rock stars. And, with a TV antenna, those local viewers don’t ever have to worry about outages due to inclement weather.

IMG_2661

As the hundreds received antennas during the festival, the team of the Broadcast TV Liberation Tour heard comments about the reliability of antenna technology. And, long after the last antenna was given away, we remained on hand to answer the biggest questions that TV viewers had about antennas.

Capture

Will this work no matter what the weather does?
Yes.

What is the monthly fee for getting the signal over-the-air?
There is no monthly fee.

How many channels can we get with one of your antennas?
In this parking lot with the antenna pointed in the wrong direction, we are receiving over 50 channels.

What if I put it outside and something falls on the antenna?
The antennas come with a lifetime guarantee. Just let us know what happened, and we’ll send you a new one.

The total value of the giveaway in Norman was over $40,000 worth of antennas. However, the potential annual savings to local households was close to $600,000 if they cancel their subscription to cable or satellite television. That is money going back into their budget as opposed to lining the pockets of cable CEOs.

Like many of the stops on the latest leg of the tour, we saw the overwhelming demand for local broadcast television. We are still astounded at the emotional connection people make to their local broadcasters and the best entertainment the world has known. Broadcast television is the most reliable window into the world for a growing number of Americans.

If you would like to see the bus in your city, take a moment to check out our Bus Tour landing page and request a bus stop!

Capture 2

Same Day Shipping on Most Orders | Partners | Links
© Antennas Direct, 2016 | 16388 Westwoods Business Park, Ellisville, MO 63021 | 877-825-5572