Get free TV programming with an antenna

If you’re strapped for cash or just looking for some ways to cut back on your bills, there may be an opportunity to save some by switching to an antenna for your TV programming.

Antennas were a lot more commonplace before cable, satellite and internet streaming became commonplace. Broadcasters across the country still provide a FREE over the air signal, which enables you to receive network programming at no cost.

To receive this programming, you’ll need to purchase an antenna. These devices come in big and small sizes. Some are small enough to sit on the entertainment center in your living room while others are large enough to be mounted to your roof.

The type of antenna you’ll want to buy comes down to a few factors:

Cost: Indoor antennas are relatively inexpensive; it’s possible you could find one for as little as $10-15. If you visit a thrift store, you may be able to find one cheaper. Rooftop antennas will set you back a little more and will likely cost around $75 or more.

Location: The closer you live to the TV stations’ transmitter towers, the easier it will be to pull in channels. If you live close to the towers, you may be able to get by with a smaller indoor antenna. If you live far away, you may need a rooftop antenna or a high-gain indoor antenna.

Indoor TV Antenna 

Rooftop TV antenna.

Another factor will be the type of housing you’re living in. If you live in an apartment, installing your own rooftop antenna is not a likely option. The benefit to an apartment though is height – if you live on an upper floor with a clear line of sight out your window, you will likely be able to pull in more channels than someone who is living on the ground floor.

Once you’ve decided on antenna, it’s simply a matter of connecting it to your television and scanning for new channels. You can access your TV’s channel scan function within the Menu. You may need to make adjustments to the antenna (moving it around the room) if it did not pick up the channels you expected. In addition, you may need to move it to other places to get the best consistent picture on the screen.

A great resource to learn more about different types of antennas and free over-the-air channels in your area is