HDTV for Free; it’s legal

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By GABRIEL SALDAÑA

 

When you’re broke, nothing can redeem your day like vegging out in front of a good TV show, especially nowadays with so many great series on air. But what happens when you’re so broke that cost cutting becomes a necessary evil and you find your cable service and Netflix on the chopping block?

 

If you own a flat-screen television, chances are you’re in luck. Pretty much all flat-screen TVs are built with what’s called an ATSC tuner/ATSC receiver, which means all you need to do to get a high definition signal from them is hook up any TV antenna. You can literally walk over to ‘beulita’s house, take the tin foil-wrapped rabbit ears from her obsolete analog TV and hook them up to your flat-screen. This will give you perfect HD signals from your local network stations for free over the air. Yes, your news, late night TV, and sit-com broadcasts will be shown in the perfect high definition you’d expect from your cable/satellite provider.

 

By doing this, you will also be able to access local channels that you can’t get from satellite or cable. These are channels that exist between the whole number channels you’re used to: 23, 4, 48, 5 etc. The ones you haven’t seen include channels like 5.3, 4.2 and 23.1; they’re only available via antenna.

 

Connecting and using:

There will be a male coaxial connector coming from your new antenna (see img. 1.)

(img. 1) A male coaxial cable end from a TV antenna

Screw that onto the antenna input on the back of your TV (see img. 2 and img. 3.)

(img. 2) The coaxial cable from the antenna will connect to the TV’s antenna input like the one shown here.

(img. 3) An amplified TV antenna is connected to the back of a flat-screen television.

Your setup should be ready. Select the antenna input with your remote control and go into your TV’s menu to program the channels. That will make sure the TV only surfs through channels that are giving off signals, making things a little easier on you. Now you’re ready enjoy free local HDTV (see img. 4.)

(img. 4) A flat-screen TV puts out a high definition signal while connected only to a pair of amplified rabbit-ear antennae.

 

Buying an antenna:

Buy any TV antenna. Some say on the box that they’re made specifically for HDTVs but don’t be fooled. These antennae are NO DIFFERENT and WILL NOT provide you a better signal than a regular ol’ rabbit-ear pair. I would, however, recommend spending a little more (maybe $25 total) to get an antenna with a signal amplifier inside. The amplifier won’t improve picture quality (it’s going to be HD no matter what), but it will make your antenna better able to pick up weaker signals.

 

There you have it; thanks for reading.

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