So you’re looking for a TV antenna that picks up cable channels. Well, to start with you’ve come to the right place! Here at AntennaJunkies.com we’re all about HDTV antennas, IPTV streaming and cord-cutting in general.
If you’re just finding our website for the first time, then welcome! If you’re a regular reader or newsletter subscriber, then welcome back!
Okay, so you’re looking for an answer to find a TV antenna that picks up cable channels, right? The truth is, there is no such thing as a TV antenna that picks up cable channels…in the literal sense anyway.
Cable TV is an interconnected network that has exclusive rights to specialty channels such as ESPN, HBO, Showcase and other “premium” type channels such as these.
It also has redistribution rights of any digital broadcast being sent over-the-air.
That said, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to pickup these same “cable-like” over-the-air television broadcast channels such as, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and many others.
With a fairly inexpensive HDTV Antenna mounted either inside or outside, you too can have a TV antenna that picks up cable channels…awesome right!
How to cut the cable cord today!
Now is a perfect time to join the millions of people who have cut the cable cord from monthly cable and satellite subscriptions.
The industry lost 1.2 million paid cable and satellite subscribers in the 1st quarter of 2019 after loosing a whopping 3.2 million subscribers in 2018.
We have many articles here on the site that will provide you with all the information necessary to cut the cable cord.
In fact, we’ve recently developed a TV Station Locator Tool page that will give you all the over-the-air digital TV channels available in your area.
Simply enter your zip code (don’t worry it’s completely safe) and you will get a list of all the channels available completely free over-the-air.
I’ve created a short YouTube video below that walks you through how to use the TV Station Locator Tool and interpret the results.
You’re now one step closer to installing a TV antenna that picks up cable channels. Let’s take a look at what hardware you’ll need to get started.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Antenna
This is likely the first thing you are going to need to decide on, whether to go with an indoor antenna or an outdoor antenna.
While indoor antennas are great when there really isn’t an option to install an outdoor antenna, I always recommend an outdoor antenna when feasible.
When to opt for an indoor antenna?
Like I said above, installing an outdoor antenna is always my recommended method, however, I realize that it may not always be an option depending on your particular situation.
This may be for several reasons, some of which could include the following:
- You live in a building or condo that doesn’t permit outdoor antennas.
- You live very close to a broadcast tower (50 miles or less) and an indoor antenna will do the trick.
- Cosmetically you don’t want an outdoor antenna mounted to your roof or house.
- Installing an outdoor antenna would be too difficult or costly.
If any, or all of these apply to you, then an indoor antenna may be a good option. The truth is, indoor antenna technology has come a long way from the “rabbit-ears” of old.
Today’s indoor antennas have impressive ranges and are extremely stylish in design. Making them a great choice when the conditions are right for them.
Recommended Indoor Antennas
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best indoor antennas here on the site. If you’re in the market for an indoor antenna, we recommend you check out the article.
One of our top performers for both price and quality is the XFTree HDTV antenna. You will not be disappointed with this antenna if you’re in a location where an outdoor antenna just isn’t an option.
- Affordable amplified indoor antenna with advanced Smart Boost technology to optimize the best signal transmission.
- Superb distance reception, can receive from 130+miles range.
- Protection against interference with other signals to maximize signal reception
- Extra-long 17ft coax cable for extra versatility
- Simple finger switch to select an appropriate mode to find more channels
- Black classic and trendy design to match your decoration
Pros and Cons
- A relatively affordable option that offers an amplified signal booster
- Impressive reception range, can receive from 130+ miles
- Slim design with a black color tone can complement most home decors
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to install
- 17-feet coaxial cable for more versatility in placements
- Our tests showed some noise (interference) on long-range setting
When to opt for an outdoor antenna?
As I said above, I recommend that if at all possible you opt for an outdoor antenna. An outdoor antenna mounted at sufficient height will in almost all cases yield the best result.
While indoor antenna technology has certainly improved, there are still the barriers of walls, wood, bricks, metal and all kinds of other obstructions that will tend to diminish your incoming antenna signal when mounting an antenna indoors.
All of the obstructions mentioned above (with the exception of naturally occurring obstructions such as trees, hills, valleys and surrounding buildings) will be eliminated when you go with an outdoor antenna. I’m often asked “How high should you mount an antenna”?
Well to answer this and other common questions I’ve written several articles that address them.
I do encourage you to give them a read after you’re done here, especially if you’re opting for the outdoor antenna variety. Below is a short list of some of these extremely informative articles:
- How High Should You Mount A TV Antenna
- How To Properly Ground A TV Antenna
- What Is The Best TV Antenna Signal Booster
- Best Coaxial Cable For HDTV
- Best RG6 Connectors
The articles above are just a handful to get you started, there are many more here on the site for your to explore.
Recommended Outdoor Antennas
Like the indoor variety, there are many outdoor antennas on the market today.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best outdoor antennas here on the site. If you’re in the market for an outdoor antenna, we recommend you check out the article.
If you don’t have time to review the full outdoor antenna review article, then let us quickly recommend for you one of our top picks from AntennasDirect.
- 8-Element Bowtie design for picking up TV signals from 70 miles of range
- Flexible brackets design- Receives signals from towers in different directions
- High gain of 17.4dBi
- Easy to install; Compact in size
- Reflector avoids any sort of multipath interference
- Lifetime warranty on parts
Touted as the most powerful 8-Element Bowtie Antenna on the market it is capable of picking up HDTV signal from towers 70 miles away. This makes receiving UHF frequency ranges, 470 MHz to 698 MHz, US Channels 14 – 69 a breeze.
It is one of the easiest antennas to mount if you follow our detailed guide below and the provided instructions.
It is a very flexible product so you can install it indoors or outdoors, depending on your needs, however, for best results it is highly recommended that you install this antenna outdoors.
Check out this YouTube video from Antennas Direct highlighting the features and installation of this impressive antenna.
Both Indoor and Outdoor TV antennas are becoming more popular as the antenna technology makes it easier to access channels miles away from the transmitting towers.
Besides being relatively inexpensive, they are also easy to set up and maintain.