how to get free cable tv with antenna

How To Get Free Cable TV with Antenna?

In this article I’ll reveal how you can get FREE cable TV with nothing more than an over-the-air antenna and an internet connection. If you’re tired of paying those monthly cable or satellite bills, then this article is for you!

First off, full disclaimer, this article is not going to tell you how to get actual “Cable TV” by using an antenna. Of course, “Cable TV”, in the traditional sense of the term is by-and-large a proprietary network. However, what this article will explain is how you can get many of the “cable TV” type channels using nothing more than an relatively inexpensive over-the-air HDTV Antenna readily available on Amazon and an internet connection.

Many of the channels your cable TV provider is sending you are channels that are readily available right now in crystal clear HD quality buzzing all over the air waves. Major networks like FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and CTV are all broadcasting in 720p and up over the air. In fact, your cable television provider is doing exactly this. They are positioning their own receiving towers (antennas) to pick up these signals, compressing them, and then redistributing to you via your cable connection.

So if you want to know how to cut out the middle man and start enjoying uncompressed HDTV for FREE, then keep reading and I’ll walk you through everything you are going to need to know in order to get FREE cable TV with nothing more than an antenna and an internet connection.

Choosing the right antenna for you…

The first and most important item you are going to need is an HDTV antenna. I’ve done many reviews here on AntennaJunkies.com that you can read once your done here, including my Top 10 Antenna Picks for 2019. In this article I’ll get right down to it and provide you with a short-list of the best of the best on the market right now and weigh things like: cost, quality, and range.

For me right now there are three antennas on the market that stand-out in terms of cost, quality and range. They are:

  1. 8 Element Bowtie Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna – 70 Mile Range
  2. Channel Master CM-4228HD High VHF, UHF and HDTV Antenna
  3. ClearStream 4 Outdoor HDTV Antenna

If your specific location is one where you can install an outdoor antenna (highly recommended), then the 3 picks I listed above will not disappoint and they are all readily available on Amazon!

Of course, not everyone has the luxury of installing an outdoor antenna because of their location, living conditions or other. For example, you live in a condominium complex and installing an outdoor antenna on your balcony is not permitted by the condo corporation. If this situation is applicable to you, don’t worry. Indoor antennas have come a long way in recent year in terms of cost, quality, range, style, and reliability.

If an indoor antenna is your only option, then let me recommend my top 3 indoor antennas to get you receiving exquisite and uncompressed HDTV almost instantly!

  1. Mohu Curve 50 TV Antenna Amplified 50-Mile Range MH-110567
  2. ClearStream ECLIPSE Amplified TV Antenna
  3. Channel Master CM-4001HD FLATenna Ultra-thin Indoor TV Antenna 

These without question are among the best indoor antenna variety available on the market right now and they won’t hurt your wallet!

Time to install your antenna…coax anyone?

This is an essential aspect of the antenna installation, however, one that is often overlooked in many that I’ve seen over the years. Remember, you want to install quality components every step of the way when installing your antenna system. This means DON’T SKIMP ON THE CABLING.

In fact, I think cabling is so important that I actually wrote an entire article on it that you can check out here: Best Coax Cable for HDTV. In this article I get into the nitty gritty details of why buying a quality coax cable such as Mediabridge Broadband Coaxial Cable is so important. In the article I discuss topics such as signal loss at various frequencies, splitter losses, insertion losses…etc…etc…these factors must be considered if you want to ensure you don’t diminish your incoming antenna signal. Give it a read, it will be worth the 5 minutes to do so!

The importance of grounding…

This is particularly important for those of you planning to install an outdoor antenna. Again, I’ve dedicated an entire article on antenna grounding that I highly recommend you read. Since I’ve already put together a detailed article you can follow above, I will leave it at this, if you are installing an outdoor antenna, GROUND IT and read my article: How To Properly Ground Your Antenna!

To network tune…or not to network tune…that is the question?

If you’ve read any of my articles here on AntennaJunkies.com relating to antenna setups, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of network tuner hardware. The reason I love these devices is simple, they’re small, low power, allow you to stream to any smart device in your home, can be ideally situated to keep your antenna coax cable runs as short as possible, and eliminates the need to install things like splitters which will diminish your incoming antenna signal quality.

These are all strong advantages why I think no cord-cutter setup is complete without installing one of these network tuners. Again if you’ve been reading any of my articles on my website you’ll know I’m a huge fan of SiliconDust’s line of HDHomerun Devices. I recommend choosing one of the following HDHomeRun’s depending on how many tuner’s you’re interested in having (the advantage of multiple tuners is being able to “serve-up” your antenna signal to multiple simultaneous devices at the same time…sweet!).

The other beauty of these devices is now on your smart devices (TV’s, Android boxes, cell phones, laptops, Macbooks, PCs) you will have a fully integrated and feature rich guide capable of recording your antenna signal to your network attached storage device. In addition to this, SiliconDust has just launched their fee-for-service internet streaming channels. This will give you actual “Cable TV” channels and seamlessly integrate them with your antenna channels…pretty cool. For information on their Premium TV offering, check out my article after you are done here.

What else is needed to get free cable TV with antenna?

Well I think I’ve equipped you with enough information to get your antenna setup going. Of course, if you have any other questions, tour the website a bit for some other great articles on how to install your new antenna or feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

Now it’s time to talk about the various streaming services available that will be a perfect complement to your new HDTV antenna setup. I’m going to focus on legitimate internet streaming services for this article, however, I have covered the not-so-legitimate ones here on AntennaJunkies.com as well. If you’re interested in reading more about these not-so-legitimate services, then let me recommend the following articles for you to take a look at when you’re done here:

These are all great articles that will tell you everything you need to know to get up and running with an IPTV service provider of the not-so-legitimate variety!

Okay, now back to the legitimate and unfortunately paid type internet streaming providers. No cord-cutter setup would be complete without Netflix. Netflix has quickly become the internet’s giant when it comes to streaming content. At around 10 bucks per month you will have endless movies and kids content (for you Dad’s…and Mom’s out there!) to enjoy for hours on end.

Okay but what about Live Sports?

The elusive live sports question. I’m glad you asked…well, I guess I asked. How, without a cable or satellite subscription do you get live sports? Well the good news is, it’s totally possible!

You’re antenna signal will be capable of pulling in the live local sports happening in your area…completely FREE! Remember, your HDTV antenna setup should be able to pull in all the major television networks such as NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC to name a few. Most, if not all of these major networks will broadcast popular sports such as NFL, NHL, NBA and Golf.

Unfortunately, that’s where it will end. If you want the cable equivalent of premium sports network channels such as ESPN and Premier Soccer, unfortunately, you’re going to have to shell out a few bucks a month to do it.

Fortunately, I have two solutions that will do the trick if you absolutely cannot do without your sports fix and they won’t break the bank. I actually did a complete article that pits the two services I recommend below head-to-head against each other…a must read here.

Sling TV

The first legitimate streaming service that I recommend that will serve-up a multitude of sports offerings is Sling TV. Sling has multiple sports packages depending on your budget and sports needs.

sling tv vs fubo tv

For example, a Sling Orange subscription will give you sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. Couple this with their Sports Extra addon package and you’ll have access to additional sports channels, including college sports channels like ESPNU, NBA TV, SEC Network and the PAC 12 Network.

Interested in a free trial? Sling is offering a free 7 day trial to all AntennaJunkies.com readers that will give you unrestricted access to the package(s) of your choosing completely free for 7 days.

Hulu

Hulu is another big player in this arena. With the ability to watch live TV and sports online (Hulu.com on Mac or PC) and on Apple iOS, Apple TV (4th gen), Android, Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire tablets, Fire TV & Fire Stick, Roku, LG TV and Samsung TV (select models), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox 360. The possibilities are limitless!

Upgrade to the Hulu + Live TV Plan and watch Live and On Demand TV from 60+ top channels including sports and news. Plus, stream full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, current episodes, premium Hulu Originals, and more.

Fubo TV

The other legitimate streaming service that I recommend is Fubo TV.

Fubo TV is largely touting itself as a “sports-centric” internet streaming service. A fuboTV Premium package will give you access to channels like:

  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • Pac 12 Networks
  • Big 10 Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • NBA TV
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Fox Sports 2
  • Big 10 Network
  • NBC Golf
  • Fox Desportes
  • Eleven Sports
  • Olympic Channel
  • Fox Soccer Plus
  • 10 different BeIN sports channels

However, I do recommend you check their list of channels for your specific area and location. You can get a complete channel list for your area here.

Additional Reading

Well there you have it, my guide on how to get free cable TV with an antenna! If you enjoyed reading this article and want to check out some more great articles right here on AntennaJunkies.com, check out these articles next: