If you don’t watch a lot of TV, paying for cable can seem pointless. You may also forgo subscribing to a streaming service, or only view your streaming channels a few times a week.
But even if you’re not a big TV watcher, you likely want some television options. To accommodate your particular viewing needs, you might begin the search for an antenna.
Although an antenna gives you access to local programs, you may soon discover that some antennas aren’t the most reliable, nor do they always provide the best picture. And unfortunately, frustrations over poor picture quality can have you second guessing the decision to cut cable.
Before you consider going back and reconnecting the cord, figure out ways to improve your experience with an antenna. Bear in mind that many things can interfere with your reception, like your distance from a broadcast tower, as well as the number of trees on your property.
The reality is, you can’t always control factors that affect the strength of your signal, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
1. Choose the best location for your antenna.
In this day and age, there’s no need to connect an antenna to each TV in your house. With advances in technology, you can now purchase a single whole-house indoor and/or outdoor antenna, which provides reception to all your televisions.
An outdoor antenna attached to your home can provide the strongest signal, but these antennas aren’t the most attractive, so you might want to opt for an indoor antenna. While these are easier to install, the walls in your home can block the signal, resulting in reduced strength. The weaker the signal, the more problems you’ll have with picture quality.
If possible, position an indoor antenna in a central location with the least amount of walls blocking the signal. If you have a two-story house, place a whole house antenna on the second floor for better reception. If this doesn’t work, you might need to move the antenna outdoors.
2. Where is the nearest broadcast tower?
Knowing the location of the nearest broadcast tower can also improve the picture quality of your television. Once you know the location of the tower, you’ll want to position the antenna near a wall or TV that’s closest to this direction.
If you purchase an outdoor antenna and the nearest broadcast tower is somewhere behind your house, the back roof of your home is probably the best place for the antenna. And if you’re installing the antenna inside your home, you’ll want to position it somewhere along the backside of your house for the best signal.
3. You get what you pay for.
If you’re looking to save money, or if you simply prefer not spending a lot on TV, it’s tempting to buy an inexpensive TV antenna. Just know, you get what you pay for! TV antennas have improved greatly over the past decade, but this doesn’t mean that every single antenna provides a high-quality picture.
You can find antennas as low as $30 and up to a couple hundred dollars. A cheap antenna will certainly agree with your budget, but you might later regret the purchase. If you want the best picture without cable, invest in a quality antenna.
Yes, a TV antenna might seem old school, but many people are pleasantly surprised by the picture quality and the number of channels they’re able to pick up with newer models. So if you’re tired of cable and looking for a cheaper way to enjoy TV, an antenna might be the easiest solution.