Installing a TV antenna and watching free over-the-air TV is a straightforward process that almost any home DIY type of person can do.
A few things are needed to start watching over-the-air TV signals.
Below are the items needed and the steps to start watching free over-the-air TV channels.
Steps To Install a TV Antenna and Watch Free Over the Air TV Channels
- TV with a Digital TV Tuner
- TV Antenna
- Coax Cable
- Antenna Installation
- Scan for TV Signals from the Menu
This is usually not much of a problem as most TVs made in the last ten years likely have a built-in digital TV tuner.
Some new TVs don’t come with a built-in TV tuner and need an external unit to pick up the channels.
If your TV doesn’t have a built-in TV tuner, there are many external ATSC signal converter boxes available.
These can range in price from low-cost units to high-end, long-range antennas.
The type of antenna needed will depend on the location you live in.
For example, a home in a city will be closer to broadcast towers than someone living in the countryside.
If you live in a big city, you likely can get an indoor antenna and with small adjustments able to watch OTA TV.
If you live outside a city you likely will need an outdoor antenna mounted on the roof or pole to receive the TV signals.
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Small inside antennas don’t require long lengths of cable and can be simply plugged into a TV.
Long-range antennas are usually mounted on a high place, such as a roof which will require coax cable to be run.
The cable usually used is RG6 which has been around for many years.
For example, a long-range big external antenna will mount on a roof or a pole and run coax cable into a home located where the TV is.
There are also small indoor antennas that sit close to a TV and plug-in. Of course, a small antenna will not pick up a signal from far away.
Indoor antennas are low-cost and usually work well, especially if you live in a city.
Most all cities have TV towers that boost and rebroadcast TV signals.
The location in the TV menu system varies from TV to TV, but as long as it has a built-in tuner, it will be there somewhere.
Scanning for TV stations will pull in any signal found and save it to the TV memory.
It is common to pick up 30-50 channels or more once a scan is complete.
Installing a digital HDTV antenna is easy to do and will depend on the distance you are located from the TV broadcast towers.
Those who live within a city will be much close to TV towers and likely will simply need a low-cost indoor antenna.
Those who live outside a city will likely need a larger outdoor unit that can pick up a signal from farther away. Also, the terrain can affect transmissions.
After an antenna is plugged into a TV, scanning for channels from the menu system will pull in and display movies and TV shows to watch.