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Cutting the Cable TV Cord.
Posted by Denny Duplessis

Switching from Cable TV or Satellite service to a TV antenna. Over the air TV viewing is absolutely free.

It's called "cutting the cord". The reasons for cutting the cord are many. 

  • Cost of pay TV service is simply not worth it anymore.
  • HD picture quality is better using a TV antenna. 
  • Over the air service is more reliable. 
  • Local information provided during disaster outages.
  • TV channels that aren't available on the pay service.

Most cord cutters that contact me are somewhat confused.
Many have never experienced free to air TV service. If they have it was during the old analog days before broadcast TV signals were digital/HD.  Either way your trying to find answers so you can make a decision.

Some myths created in marketing departments.

  • Myth: Special antennas are required to receive digital/HD and 4K TV signals.

Not true. Digital TV signals are broadcast using the same VHF and UHF TV signals. No different than the old analog TV signals.

  • Myth: TV antennas can be smaller now. They can be located indoors, out of site and work just as well as a properly designed outdoor TV antenna..

This couldn't be further from the truth. A quality TV signal is a must for the enjoyment of digital over the air TV viewing. You won't get quality with any indoor antenna or an antenna stuck to your window.  What you will get, is interruptions in the audio and video signals called, "pixellation" or no signal at all caused by low quality TV signal.

  • Myth: Outdoor TV antennas with new technology can receive reliable TV signals from 150 or more miles away.

Plain and simple, the FCC limits the distance a TV signal will travel. They do this by limiting the output power and the broadcast antenna height of the TV station. Extreme measures requiring your antenna elevation above ground level must be taken to receive a quality TV signal further than 60 to 80 miles. Uninterrupted 24/7 TV reception at a distance of 60 to 80 miles will require a large and well designed outdoor TV antenna installed above your roof.  

Frequent questions.

  • Can I use the same coax cable for the antenna that I use for Cable TV or Satellite service? 

Yes, as long as the pay service is terminated and the coax cable will be dedicated to over the air broadcast service. 

  • Can I keep my Internet service provided by the Cable company? 

Yes, and it's pretty simple to do. Find the signal splitter (divider) that divides the incoming signal to various locations in your home. One of these cables coming off one of the signal splitter outputs is connected to your Internet router. Find this router cable and remove it from the output port of the signal splitter. Remove the incoming Cable service cable from the input of the signal splitter. Connect the incoming Cable service cable directly to the router cable leading to the router using a barrel connector >. This will provide a dedicated Internet feed directly from the current service to the router bypassing the remainder of the cabling. The remainder of the coax cabling can now be used for over the air TV service. 

  • How many channels will I receive with a TV antenna?

The number of channels received will vary depending upon your physical location. Many areas offer 75+ different channels free to air. The number of channels offered free to air has increased substantially since the digital transition in 2009. Free to air isn't your Grandpa's TV anymore. 

  • Can my HOA or any community rules prevent me from installing a TV antenna on my roof?

No way!  In 1996 the FCC adopted a ruling that states, you have a right to install a TV antenna on your roof for the purpose of free to air TV reception. This ruling overrides any rules your local organization may have about roof top antennas. There are few exceptions such as historical communities etc. View the FCC ruling here >

More fact based information can be found at Product and knowledge support >