What do you need to get local TV channels: How to watch local channels without cable

What Do You Need To Get Local TV Channels?

In this article we explore the question “What do you need to get local TV channels?”. In today’s high-tech world there is a plethora of ways to pickup both local and abroad completely FREE TV. Of course, here at AntennaJunkies.com we are all about cord-cutting and antenna TV. HDTV Antenna’s are perhaps the best way to receive local television broadcasts in your area. Let’s take a look at some options you can consider!

There’s Never Been A Better Time Then Now!

So you’re ready to cut the cable cord and eliminate those monthly bills…great! Here at AntennaJunkies.com that’s exactly what we’re all about. There has never been a better time to stop paying cable and satellite subscriptions and make the leap to crystal clear HDTV.

The best part is, if you follow these recommendations, not only will you get crystal clear HDTV, you’ll get it completely FREE! Think of the money your are going to be saving each month…awesome right!


Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users’ online activities. If found streaming copyright content, you could get into serious legal trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend that you get the best VPN for streaming and hide your identity so that your entertainment doesn’t take a turn for the worst.

Here are the reasons why you must use a VPN all the time.

I personally use and recommend you use one of ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish or PureVPN. They are the fastest and most secure VPNs in the industry.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that there’s going to be no costs involved…of course there is. However, the cost is non-recurring, meaning, you make the initial capital investment once and then watch it pay for itself year-over-year!

What Do You Need To Get Local TV Channels?

Okay, let’s get right down to it. You’ve asked the question, “What do you need to get local TV channels?”, now it’s time to answer it. As I said above, the money you will need to invest upfront is going to be larger determined by how elaborate a setup you want.

What do I mean by “elaborate”? Well, you can install a “bare-bones” system that requires nothing more than an inexpensive HDTV antenna such as the 8 Element Bowtie HDTV Antenna on Amazon, and a good quality RG6 Coaxial Cable. This will allow you to connect your antenna directly into your television set and start watching crystal clear HDTV almost instantly.

The other option, and the one I recommend here on AntennaJunkies.com, is to install your antenna along with with a good network tuner such as the SiliconDust HDHomeRun EXTEND 2-Tuner Network Tuner. This way you can stream your antenna signals to any smart device or television set in your house.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these setups so you can make an informed decision on which way you want to go.

Choosing The Right HDTV Antenna

To adequately answer the question, “What do you need to get local TV channels?”, antenna selection is perhaps the most important choice! Regardless if you go “bare-bones” or with a more elaborate setup as described above, you are going to need to decide which antenna is going to best suit your needs.

You have two broad options to consider – Indoor or Outdoor Antenna, then we can narrow those options down even more until we find the right antenna for you. I always recommend wherever possible to go with an outdoor antenna, however, realizing this is not always an option, let’s check out some top rated indoor antennas as well.

Before we jump into antenna recommendations, you are going to want to do a little bit of homework to find out where you are located with respect to your television broadcast towers.

Luckily, we’ve developed a great resource page that will tell you everything you need to know about the over-the-air channels available in your area. In addition, the TV Station Locator Tool will provide you with a detailed map of the TV broadcast towers in your area. This is extremely valuable, as it will help with the alignment of your antenna.

Check out this short video below where I’ll show you everything you need to know to use the tool.

I also recommend TVFool.com as a tool.

Indoor Antenna Options:

While there are many indoor style antennas on the market. I’ve narrowed down to what I think are the best of the best. Of course, results are going to vary depending on your location, obstructions between you and the broadcast towers. However, I’ve personally had or have friends who have had good success with these three specifically.

  1. Mohu Curve 50 TV Antenna Amplified 50-Mile Range MH-110567 – this antenna boasts a 50 mile range, is elegant in design, and will allow you to receive crystal clear HD programming from your local broadcast stations.
  2. ClearStream ECLIPSE Amplified TV Antenna – another good performing indoor antenna. The Eclipse will provide a range of 50 miles or more, depending on you location, and won’t disappoint when it comes to reliable HDTV.
  3. Channel Master CM-4001HD FLATenna Ultra-thin Indoor TV Antenna – the cheapest of the three options, but no slouch when it comes to reliable HDTV reception. A classic flat-panel design, easy mounting, and a 35 mile range makes this little guy a great antenna.

Outdoor Antenna Options:

For outdoor antenna options, the landscape is full of options. I’ve done a complete review of what I think are the Best Outdoor Antenna’s on the market right now. Depending on what your needs are, there’s no one-size fits all solution. However, below are three options you won’t be disappointed with. They combine budget, with quality and range.

  1. RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna – this little antenna is packed full of power, which is why it usually gets my #1 spot. Not only will it deliver crystal clear HDTV within a 60 mile range, but it does so a at price point that can’t be beat.
  2. 8 Element Bowtie Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna – if range is what you need then look no further than this superior quality HDTV antenna. The only reason it is not #1 is because it is considerably more expensive than the RCA Yagi antenna above. Otherwise, this guy would be my clear winner. It will pull HDTV signal from 70 miles away with ease.
  3. ClearStream 4 Outdoor HDTV Antenna – rounding out my #3 spot is this ClearStream 4 antenna. It’s stylish design is an eye-pleaser and it certainly delivers in quality. It’s patented design and 70 mile range makes it an easy choice to pull in your HDTV antenna signals.

The Importance Of Coax Cable!

I see a lot of people cheap out when it comes to installing high quality RG6 coax cable for their antenna feeds. Signal degradation is the nemesis of a reliable HDTV antenna signal. In answering the question “What do you need to get local TV channels?”, we can’t exclude the basics! I recommend Mediabridge Broadband Coaxial Cable for your installation needs at it is a high quality quad-shielded cable to minimize signal loss.

Remember, try to keep your cable runs as straight and as short as possible in order to maximize your signal strength at your tuner. Signal loss is expressed in decibels (dB) and is a direct function of cable length and frequency. For a 100 foot length of coax cable you can expect to lose the following dB’s at the given frequency:

Channel 2 (approx. 60 MHz) …………… 1.5 dB/100’

Channel 13 (approx. 216 MHz)  ………. 3.0 dB/100’

Channel 24 (approx. 536 MHz) ……….. 4.5 dB/100’

Channel 51 (approx. 698 MHz) .…..….  5.6 dB/100’

To Network Or Not To Network…That Is The Question!

I eluded to this at the beginning of this article, and I have to tell you that having the ability to stream your FREE HDTV antenna signals to any television or smart device in your house is nothing short of amazing! It has to be synonymous with getting those handcuffs taken off once your hands have been shackled behind your back for any length of time. Okay maybe a bad example – and no I’ve never actually had handcuffs on!

But in all honesty, if I’m going to do you any service in answering the question, the question “What do you need to get local TV channels?”, then I strongly encourage you to consider investing in a networkable ATSC Tuner box. There are a couple of different manufacturers on the market and I’ve tried most of them. That said without a doubt my personal favorite is the SiliconDust HDHomeRun EXTEND 2-Tuner Network Tuner.

This tuner box is a dual tuner, meaning it will take in one antenna signal and split that signal into two different streams. This will allow two different devices to be watch two different channels off of one antenna simultaneously. Awesome I know!

In fact, SiliconDust has just recently released a quad-tuner, meaning you’ll be able to stream to four different devices and be able to watch four different channels from one antenna signal at the same time. Now, I personally have not tried this box, but knowing SiliconDust’s reputation for quality, I’m confident in telling you that it is most definitely a worthy addition to their tuner family. You can buy the Quatro 4-Tuner Live TV on Amazon right now!

If you do decide to pick up the Quatro, leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. I’m seriously considering buying one for the fun of it, but with just three of us in the house I haven’t been able to pull the trigger…yet! Of course, we don’t do a lot of DVR’ing, if we did then this 4-tuner box would be an absolute must!

Final Words…

Well I hope we’ve answered the question, “What do you need to get local TV channels?”. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some of my other articles today:

And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my Top 10 Antenna Picks for this year and leave me a comment!