Tag Archives: over the air TV

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
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.

Jun
2

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Cutting the Cord: What are you waiting for? Do it!

Shia Screenshot

Screenshot from Michael McNeff’s YouTube video

We know some of you out there have some reservations about saying goodbye to pay television. You write us and call us explaining how much happier you would be. Although we know more of you out there are receiving TV for free just based on our sales numbers, there are still a lot of Americans who hold out each year.

In case you lack the motivation, take a couple minutes and check out Shia LeBeouf’s advice. It may be the fuel you need to make the decision that leads to happiness and free TV.

For the real backstory on how this gloriousness came about, check out this Relevant article.

May
22

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

Toronto Star Covers the Dollars and Sense of Cord Cutting

Karim- Angela

Personal Finance Editor Adam Mayers helps his readers on their journey toward financial freedom, and, just a few days ago, that freedom included cutting the constraining pay television cord. Mayers has been a cord cutter for a few years now, and when he wanted to strengthen his over-the-air hardware, he found our good friend Karim Sunderani at saveandreplay. Sunderani urged Mayers to make a deeper investment in the quality of his antenna. And when he thought of quality, he thought of Antennas Direct.

Mayers quotes Sunderami:

“Spend a little more, but spend it once, not twice, or three times,” he [Sunderani] advised when we met at saveandreplay.com the Mississauga store he runs with his wife Grace. “How many times do you want to climb onto your roof?”

Mayers agreed to try out a DB8e Ultra Long Range Outdoor TV Antenna and report back the results he gets from the upgrade. We can’t wait to hear his review!

Read Mayers’ full article which includes four things to consider when you cut the cord HERE.

Mar
31

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

Breaking Up: Not So Hard to Do

Breakup with Cable final

Oh, a breakup. The end. It is tragedy upon tragedy. From Shakespeare to Taylor Swift, it is the inspiration for artful expression. The misery can sometimes be too much to bear.

But this letter is not one of those breakups. This breakup is quite the opposite. Our friend Saif experienced what so many people are these days, breaking up with his cable company. It is a wonderful, liberating feeling that will leave you thinking, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Saif was tired of the abuse. He had enough. Why was he being held a hostage from the cable company when he could simply cut the cord and free himself? That is exactly what he did! Here is his breakup letter with the cable company he shared on his blog.

Dear cable, it’s over..

We are never, ever, ever, getting back together. I have been held hostage by your love for decades. Paying for elaborate monthly bills to the tune of around 110 dollars a month. Sometimes more, when all I watch is sports and Game of Thrones.  You have duped me long enough. You don’t think anyone is going to figure out your games, but I have.

Those HD fees are a joke: ALL SIGNALS ARE IN HD NOW! We shouldn’t have to pay a subscription to be advertised to. We should have the right to leave if we are unhappy with the service and not be charged a penalty.

It is 2015 now. Roku is here with Hulu. Netflix is in the kitchen making cookies. Amazon Prime just dropped off a package with a movie, and Dish just pulled up with SlingTV to change the whole game.  They have ESPN in the car. I can have all of these guys in the house for less than HALF of what I was paying for cable. HBOGO is flying in late, but she will be here soon.

Some remedial math…

  • Cable is $110 a month x 12 months = $1320 (enough to fly to Australia)
  • Tech is: $8+8+8+20 x 12 months   = $ 528 (enough to not feel dirty)

That there is a savings of $792 to buy a new iPhone for yourself. Every year.

I get it though. Cable companies and many large corporations think consumers are stupid. That we will buy anything. That we won’t figure out what is really going on. They are wrong.

I want to show people what’s really going on. Like Neo freeing people from The Matrix, or Dorothy showing her buddies the man behind the Wizard of Oz.

Last year, Comcast and Direct TV alone hauled in over $70 Billion dollars of our money. It is truly is an obscene amount of money for TV. I am not paying mine anymore. Technology caught up, and they got too fat while all the little people like us got robbed. Not anymore. GOODBYE CABLE!…Never getting back together.

 

We’ve heard from countless customers their horror stories with the cable companies that led them to cut the cord. Now we want to hear from you! Send us your breakup stories and you might see yours featured on our next break up blog post.

 

The End via photopin (license)

Feb
20

Posted in Ask the Expert, Cut the Cord | Comments

The Man Cave Cinema Puts Antennas Direct to the Test

Man Cave Cinema Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might have heard our exciting news that we recently launched 4 models of our ClearStream antennas to Best Buy and FutureShop locations across Canada. Whoohoo, yay Canada!

Our fellow advocate of OTA technology, John Zanettos, of The Man Cave Cinema, posted a review video today talking about the ClearStream 2V and the ClearStream Juice. Here is a quick synopsis:

  1. The C2V is TOUGH! It will withstand anything snowpocalypse can possibly throw at it.
  2. Excellent signal. John was able to receive all the channels from Toronto and Buffalo, NY, as well as two channels from neighboring city, Hamilton that he was not receiving before using the C2V.
  3. With over 100 ft of cable, John decided to use the Juice to ensure he didn’t lose any signal. And indeed, he was able to “Juice” up his signal.
  4. The a**hole cable companies make you pay for HD signal. With an antenna, you receive HD television for FREE, the way it’s been since the 50’s. Well put, John.
  5. “This is a highly recommended Man Cave Cinema product.”

Aww, we’re blushing! Thanks, Man Cave Cinema, for the kind words.

See his review video in its entirety below, or on his website.

Feb
6

Posted in Antenna Update, Ask the Expert | Comments

How the ClearStream Juice Saved the Super Bowl

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The Super Bowl is an event people prepare for all year. You invite friends over, make some kick ass snacks and stock up on beer. Now imagine the panic that sets in when you’re OTA antenna does not get the channel needed for the game. This is exactly the scenario Marshal Rosenthal of Examiner.com experienced with his nephew this past Sunday. However, Marshal knew there was a solution to his dilemma. He knew he could juice up his signal with the ClearStream Juice! Check out his latest article to see how our ClearStream Juice was able to save the day.

http://www.examiner.com/review/get-juiced-up-with-the-clearstream-juice-uhf-vhf-preamplifier-system

Jan
19

Posted in Cut the Cord | Comments

Dump Cable- It’s the San Diego Way!

anchorman blog post 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:

KUSI News – San Diego, CA, Video Part 1

In the follow up “more info segment,” Bruce says that using an antenna is “like hitting the lottery!” Who doesn’t want to hit the lottery?! Watch the second part here: 

KUSI News – San Diego, CA, Video Part 2

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!

photo credit: buckofive via photopin cc

Jan
9

Posted in Ask the Expert | Comments Off on Antennas Direct Customer’s Guide to Cutting the Cord

Antennas Direct Customer’s Guide to Cutting the Cord

ClearStream 5 picture

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.

 

 

Nov
27

Posted in Antenna Update, Cut the Cord | Comments Off on Cord Cutting Christmas Sweepstakes Winner

Cord Cutting Christmas Sweepstakes Winner

Congratulations to Linda Levine, the winner of our Christmas Sweepstakes!

A huge thank you to all who entered our Christmas Sweepstakes this year! We saw massive interest from you budding cord cutters out there, filling our hearts with joy this holiday season.

While many of you may be disappointed not to take home the top prize, your 25% discount code received when entering is our way of saying thank you for helping us share our message: TV is Free!

We have been busy liberating people of their cable bills this week. In total we gave away over $150,000 worth of TV antennas as part of our TV Liberation tour in Toledo and Washington DC. You can find out more about the tour and where the bus is stopping next here.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Antennas Direct!

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