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Do You Need A Special Antenna For Over-The-Air TV?

TV Antenna

Joanne in Savannah, Tennessee listens to Into Tomorrow on SuperTalk Mississippi and want to be able to watch TV again, she asked:

On July 17, you went into something about antennas for regular TV. I need the information on that antenna desperately. I’m going on 4 years with no TV here. I need to know about the antenna to get NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and those stations

TV with rabbit ears
Rabbit ears will do!

Joanne, any antenna will do… you don’t need anything special to get over the air channels. Having said that, if it’s been so many years and you’re  desperate for TV we suspect you may have tried that already.

Do you have a digital tuner?

Your problem may be with the tuner, not the antenna. By now everyone has switched over to digital signals, if you still have an old TV with an analog tuner, it may simply be unable read them.

If that’s the case, you still just need and regular old rabbit ears type of antenna, but you also need a digital tuner.

These digital converter tuner boxes are rarer than they used to be, since all TVs can natively tune to digital channels, but you can still find them online and at electronics stores.

Assuming you don’t live in a super isolated place, that should help you tune into your local TV channels for free.

If you check Amazon.com and search for “HDTV antenna,” you will see that they come in two basic varieties. The unamplified antennas have a 35 mile range and the amplified ones will pick up HDTV signals from up to 50 miles away. They vary in price from $25 to around $50. There were even models designed to go outside on a motorized mount so you can easily aim them at the TV stations, but most are the simple square panels designed for indoor use.

A digital TV converter such as the ProScan PAT 102-B will set you back around $35, also at Amazon.com, and it will take the digital HDTV signals and convert them into analog for your older TV set. Mediasonic sells some units for around the same price that include PVR functions for recording your programming.

Do note that a $35 digital TV converter box that includes PVR functions won’t include a hard drive for that price. They require that you connect your own external USB hard drive or other USB storage device. We can’t vouch for how well that works, but we certainly wanted you to be aware of the options.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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