We currently live in a digital era of smart TVs and smart phones. Because of this, we now have the ability to stream our Over-the-Air (OTA) Digital Antenna TV signals to any “smart” device in our home. Since the only real difference between a WiFi signal and a TV signal is that they transmit a slightly higher (Giga-hertz vs. Mega-hertz) signal frequency than TV antennas, you get more bandwidth and it provides a better watching experience by connecting a TV antenna to WiFi.
By leveraging this capability, you eliminate the need for using different accessories like distribution amplifiers and cable splitters. However, this connection requires another specialized device called an external network tuner to be connected to your wireless router.
By connecting your TV antenna to your WiFi router you’ll see significant improvement in signal strength and versatility. But how can you connect your TV antenna to WiFi? What are some of the best Network Tuners out there? Will using a WiFi TV antenna discover additional channels?
For answers to such questions and to learn more about network tuners, continue reading.
Can You Connect A TV Antenna to Your WiFi Router?
Yes, but not directly. To complete the connection, you need to attach a network tuner device to your wireless router using the supplied ethernet cable and then connect the TV antenna to the antenna port at the back of your network tuner. But why go through all the hassle?
There are several benefits of connecting your digital TV antenna to your WiFi router, key among them is eliminating your cable or satellite subscription fees because you can stream channels for free. You could also watch your favorite TV shows on your smartphone, laptop, iPad, tablet or any “smart” device in your home.
This also eliminates the need to install splitters to connect multiple TVs, but also eliminates the need for long RG6 cable runs. Meaning, you can locate your external network tuner as close to your TV antenna as possible, and then run a Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet cable from your network tuner to your Wifi router.
What Is An External Network Tuner?
Since 2009, all OTA broadcasts in the United States have been digital. Therefore, to watch OTA broadcasts, your TV must have a digital tuner installed. If your TV pre-dates 2009, then we recommend you check out our article that goes over external tuners that will convert the digital TV signal to analog. The tuner may be external or built into your Television or set-top box.
The tuner helps you tune in your OTA channel of preference, separating the channel’s signal from all other channel data. External network tuners are devices that allow you to connect the coaxial cables of your digital TV antenna to the tuner, then from the tuner to connect to your WiFi router. Once this has been accomplished and setup, you will be able to stream your digital TV antenna over your home network to any smart device.
How to Connect TV Antenna to WiFi Router?
After installing your TV antenna, whether outdoors or indoors, follow these steps to connect your antenna to WiFi.
- Purchase an Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) network tuner device. This is the standard for all digital transmission worldwide, including the US.
- Plug the TV antenna’s coax cable into your external network tuner’s F-Connector located on the back of the device. Depending on the tuner you purchase and how many tuner connections are present, you may be able to connect multiple TV antennas pointing in different directions.
- The external tuner is then plugged into your WiFi router using an ethernet cable supplied when you purchased the router.
- That is it. You’ve connected your TV antenna to your WiFi router.
- Now use the configuration software interface that accompanied your network tuner to perform a channel scan. If you have multiple channels connected to your network tuner, your device will be able to merge them into one seamless stream.
- Once the setup is complete you will be able to stream your digital antenna TV signal to any smart device in your home using the network tuner’s app that is typically available through the Google Playstore or Apple iStore.
What Are The 3 Best Network Tuners?
As discussed above, you need a network tuner connected to a WiFi router for your WiFi TV antenna to work. There are several things you need to consider before purchasing a tuner.
First, the accessories. Does the tuner come prepackaged with a storage devices? How many streams can it support simultaneously? How large is the unit? Does the tuner comes with a storage mechanism to record antenna TV? How large is it? All these are necessary for any excellent network tuner.
However, there are technological aspects like platform support that you should also be aware of. You don’t want to purchase a network tuner that only connects to your smartphone. A good tuner should connect to a wide range of devices and platforms, ensuring a better streaming experience.
So, what are the best tuners in the market? Below we will review the 3 best network tuners on the market.
#1. Silicondust HDHomeRun Scribe 4K
SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun line of network-connected TV tuners has the fundamental features necessary for streaming live TV from the antenna to your Television and all the networked devices at your home.
Below are the main features of the Silicondust HDHomeRun Scribe 4K network tuner. It allows you to view the OTA programs through your home’s router Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection, saving you from paying extra cable subscriptions.
Number of tuners
The Silicondust HDHomeRun Scribe 4K has four tuners. This allows you to record and watch more than one show. The number of tuners you need often depends on your viewing habits and how large your household is.
Like all HDHomeRun network tuner series, Silicondust HDHomeRun Scribe 4K has an optional DVR capability. With this tuner, you can record over 150hrs live broadcast shows onto the SCRIBE QUATRO directly using the tuner’s free application and DVR service.
View on Many Platforms and Devices
You can access this platform from PCs, phones, tablets, and surface running windows 10 operating system and Apple including iPads, computers, and iPhones to Android devices including smart media boxes, phones, and tablets. Plex plugins might also be used for third-party applications.
ATSC 1.0 content can be compatible with Apple TV, Android Fire TV, Xbox One, iOS Roku, Windows 10, LG, and Mac devices.
ATSC 3.0 content can be compatible with Apple TV 4K, Xbox One, most Windows 10 devices, LG TVs 2019+, most Fire TV/Android devices, and select Mac/ iPad/iPhone devices.
Silicondust HDHomeRun Scribe 4K features an inbuilt 1TB hard drive for storing the recorded TV broadcast shows.
- It saves you from paying extra money for cable subscriptions.
- Allows you to record and watch TV simultaneously on multiple devices in your home for up to 150 hours and store it in a 1TB hard drive.
- Plugs into your home router and makes use of your wired or wireless network, creating an excellent multi-user, multi-room recording, and viewing experience.
- The Network tuner streams to the DLNA compatible gadgets on your network.
- Impeccable video, audio, and image quality.
- Because the product’s electrical plugins are designed to be used in the united states, they might not be used in other countries since the voltage and outlets are different internationally.
- Some users claim the product doesn’t have an intuitive interface, meaning that the interfaces with some cable providers don’t work.
- Its instruction manual can be pretty confusing, meaning that you’ll have to read it thoroughly for some time before you fully understand it.
#2. SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K ATSC 3.0
This is the next generational HDHomeRun Flex 4K network tuner. Get free-to-air TV through an antenna that allows you to send HD content anywhere in your home over a wired ethernet connection or over the WiFi from your existing home router. This means no more use of expensive cable box rental fees cable subscriptions.
Number of Tuners
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K features 4 tuners. Having several tuners on a single unit allows you to record and watch more than one TV show simultaneously on various devices (up to 4) on your wired or wireless network. Your viewing habits and your household’s size determine the number of tuners that you’ll use.
Similar to other lines of the HDHomeRun network tuner, SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K has an optional DVR capability. The recording is achieved by connecting an external USB hard drive. However, it requires a paid TV guide for the DVR record. You can record and watch 4K HDR and 1080P resolution.
Multi-Device and Multi-Platform Access
This Platform can be accessed through various platforms from PCs, tablets, phones, and surface running windows 10 operating system and Apple including iPads, computers, and iPhones to Android devices including smart media boxes, phones, and tablets.
ATSC 3.0 content can be compatible with Apple TV 4K, Xbox One, most Windows 10/11 devices, LG TVs 2019+, most Fire TV/Android devices, and select Mac/ iPad/iPhone devices. Plex plugins might also be used for third-party applications. ATSC 1.0 content can be compatible with Apple TV, Android FireTV, Xbox One, iOS, Windows 10/11, LG, and Mac devices.
The other features include:
- A 64/256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) unencrypted digital cable TV.
- A 100 BASE-TX high-speed network, and
- SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K ATSC streams to devices that are DLNA compatible within your network.
- It allows you to cut your cable and save on monthly fees.
- Plugs into your home router and makes use of your wired or wireless network, creating an excellent multi-user, multi-room recording, and viewing experience.
- You can simultaneously record several devices.
- It is portable, meaning you can access it from a wide range of devices to your advantage.
- The Network tuner has a perfectly working software application with an excellent user interface.
- Impeccable audio, video, and image quality.
- Easy to get up and running
- It is limited on some Cable services like Roku
- Separately sold with the storage device and LTE filter
#3. Tablo Quad HDMI Digital Video Recorder
Discover, watch, record, pause, rewind, and Livestream OTA HDTV programs using this network tuner from your antenna to any networked device anywhere and anytime without the commitment or expenses of satellite or cable companies.
Tablo Quad’s optional guide data services enable advanced recording features that allow you to manage and schedule recordings by just clicking a button. Using an optional premium service subscription, you can automatically skip the commercials.
Includes a Dual-Band AC Wi-Fi
Being the only OTA DVR having WiFi built in, the Tablo QUAD allows t you to position the TV antenna and DVR for the best reception of OTA TV signals. However, you need a TV antenna that is separately sold.
You can connect your Tablo QUAD directly to your WiFi router rather than your TV to allow you to browse, live stream, or record antenna TV to any networked device anywhere and at any time. You need to have an active optional table guide data subscription sold separately to stream out of your home.
Multi-Platform and Multi-Device Compatible
You can enjoy your preferred network TV channels through Tablo QUAD Application on your Android and iOS mobile devices or smart TVs running: Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, Android TV Operating Systems, and computers.
Other devices include gaming devices like NVIDIA Shield TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and other streaming media.
All the basic live TV playback and recording are supported subscription free. However, advanced features like out-of-home streaming and automatic commercial skip require that you have a subscription.
Keep the DVR By Canceling The Cable
You can watch, pause, and even record 4 live OTA channels simultaneously. However, you need a USB hard drive that is sold separately. You can also browse the upcoming shows, manage and schedule recordings, rewind and fast forward recordings, or skip commercials.
Tablo QUAD OTA DVRs need a robust WiFi network and strong OTA signal from the TV antenna for optimal performance.
- It saves you from paying extra for cable subscriptions.
- Allows you to record and watch TV simultaneously on multiple devices in your home.
- Cheaper compared to Silicondust HDHomeRun Scribe 4K.
- Its services are available on various platforms ensuring versatility and portability.
- Provides a high picture quality.
- Easy to control and use.
- Most essentials, including the storage device and some subscriptions, aren’t sold together with the unit.
- Audio quality feels quite uneven and sturdy.
- It isn’t capable of delivering the ultimate watching or viewing experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Record Local Antenna TV Channels?
Yes, you can record your Local antenna TV channels. However, you need additional devices or tools like VCRs or a network tuner with storage. However, using a network tuner featuring a DVR and a storage mechanism like a hard drive or an SSD. There are many DVR network tuners, including those discussed above. To record your local antenna TV channels:
- Connect your Over-The-Air (OTA) DVR tuner between the wireless TV antenna and the TV.
- Scan for the OTA channels on your DVR network tuner.
- If set up the storage if your tuner doesn’t have one. Ensure that the storage device has enough space to record the entire TV show.
- Set up the TV show you want to record in the menu option.
- The DVR tuner will record and save the TV show so that you can watch it at any time.
How To Watch TV Antenna An Smartphone?
Watching Antenna TV channels is now easier than ever before with network tuners. First, connect the antenna to the coax cable on the network tuner. Then connect the network tuner to your router using the supplied ethernet cable to create a wireless TV antenna after connecting the network tuner to the power outlet.
With that, the wireless network can be accessed by any networked device at your home. To watch TV antenna channels on your smartphone, you just need to download the tuner’s companion application and select from the displayed channels.
If your smartphone device has a Nexus Player or an NVIDIA SHIELD TV, you do not need to install the companion app to watch the channels. You can watch everything on a pre-installed live channels application.
- Open your live channels application on your smartphone.
- The app will prompt you to “set up your sources”.
- Select Network TV Tuner while connected to the WiFi antenna TV on the listed sources.
- Give the application permission to access your current location.
- That is it. You can choose from the listed channels and watch from your smartphone.
How Many TVs Can I Connect to a Network Tuner?
The number of TVs or simultaneous streams that can be connected to a network tuner depends on the number of tuners in the unit. For instance, a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV: 2/4 Tuners HDFX-4K has 4 tuners, meaning it can support as many TVs.
Can I Watch And Record Different Channels?
Yes, if you use a network tuner with two or more tuners, you can watch on one tuner to record the show or program and the other to watch. However, if you have only one tuner, this isn’t possible. That is why it is advised that you choose a unit with as many tuners as possible.
Do Tablo TV Tuners Come With An App?
Yes, Tablo TV tuners have a companion application that you can download from Google Play App Store. You can use the application to view the channels.
Do HDHomeRun Tuners Come With An App?
Yes, HDHomeRun Tuners are shipped with a companion application. The HDHomeRun application is the main method of accessing live TV from this tuner, watching and setting recordings from the HDHomeRun DVR subscriptions. The app is available in iOS, Xbox One, Mac OS, Fire TV, Android, and Windows.
With many people cutting their cables, the use of and demand for network tuners has skyrocketed. They are beneficial as they eliminate some of the cable subscription costs and infrastructural expenses, including the cost of splitters and cabling.
Tuners create a WiFi TV antenna, allowing the devices at your home to connect to your home network and access the Antenna TV channels. However, you should purchase quality tuners like Tablo QUAD Network Tuners or the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Network Tuners.
Take your cord-cutting experience to the next level by leveraging one of these network tuners today.