Local TV - NO Streaming
We have divided our hardware section on to two pages. This page includes hardware to add a television antenna to your TV with the thought you will not be using internet streaming. Should you wish to add an internet streaming service later, you will need to ensure your television set is a "Smart TV", a TV set that is internet ready. If the TV set is internet ready, and you do wish to connect with streaming TV services, proceed with the steps on the "With Streaming" page. If the TV is not internet ready, you will need to purchase a Smart TV or a Smart DVD player to add to your current system.
Internet is not required for antenna TV viewing. If you don't currently have an internet connection the Over-The-Air (OTA) television antenna provides the least expensive way to watch television.
Television sets should be digital televisions manufactured after 2009 that do not require a signal converter box on the back of the TV to receive the antenna signals. You will need to purchase several more items if you want additional features such as a DVD player. However, remember, these costs are one-time expenses. There is no monthly fee with OTA (Over-The-Air) television.
LOCAL ANTENNA TV - One TV set. No streaming. DVR recorder and DVD player options
No streaming or additional equipment. Only three items are required if your location is near a large metropolitan area in the US, and you only wish to watch live TV: TV, antenna, and mounting hardware.
1.) A TV antenna with a stand or mounting pole and hardware.
2.) Digital TV set. Preferably newer than 2009*. TV must have a TV antenna input. Must be a TV, not a computer monitor.
An HDMI connection might be desired for future upgrades.
3 .) Coax cable meeting minimum specs of RG 6
.) Coax cable meeting minimum specs of RG 6with connectors to connect the antenna to your TV set
* = TV sets manufactured from 2009 are built with the proper electronics to decipher and produce the ASTC 1 digital pictures without a converter box connected to the TV set.
If you only have one television set, and you do not have a DVR recorder or DVD player, the above three items could be the only hardware you will need. Visit our TV Overview page to view details on how to find your local TV station towers and more.
LOCAL ANTENNA TV - Multiple TV sets. No streaming. DVR recorder and DVD player options
1.)TV antenna and mounting hardware.
2.) Digital TV sets. Preferably newer than 2009**
Each TV must have at least:
One TV antenna input
A HDMI input port is required for each DVR or DVD to be connected.
3.) Coax cable meeting minimum specs of RG 6
One long RG 6 or better coax cable to reach from antenna to closest TV set
RG 6 coax cables long enough to connect to each additional TV set from first TV set
A coax cable signal splitter connector with enough outputs for each TV set
4.) If system has two or more TV sets, an amplifier may be required to adjust for longer cables, connections, and weaker distributed signals.
* = TV sets manufactured from 2009 are built with the proper electronics to decipher and produce the ASTC 1 digital pictures without a converter box connected to the TV set. These sets include at least one HDMI input and an antenna input.
** = Year 2017 and newer television sets have more options and features
for OTA viewing, including a built-in TV program grid for that day's
programs. These sets include multiple HDMI inputs and an antenna
input. Some DVR and DVD systems will require the TV to have at least one
HDMI input to receive the pre-recorded program.
These sets include multiple HDMI inputs and an antenna input. Some DVR and DVD systems will require the TV to have at least one HDMI input to receive the pre-recorded program.
Optional additional devices:
5.) DVR (Digital Video Recorder).
A DVR will need connections to both your antenna and to at least one TV set. If you have more than one TV set, do you want to be able to play recordings on any of the television sets or just the "living room" TV?
Connecting to one TV set is easy, as you only need to connect the DVR to the back of one TV set. And then connect the DVR input to the antenna cox cable. Connecting to multiple TV sets requires each TV to be a newer TV with multiple HDMI inputs, and preferably a Smart TV with an internet input.
If you want all television sets to have access to the DVR you will have to run cables from the DVR to each TV, or use a specialized product like Silicon Dust's product " Home Run" if you have a router in your home. The router does not have to be connected to the internet. This system would use the router just to send your TV signals to TV sets throughout your home.
Each TV set would need to be a "Smart TV" with an internet input port.
Silicon Dust (Home Run DVR), and another company producing the TABLO OTA DVR offer systems that send recordings through your intranet router (local in-house connections only) and plays on each TV through the set's internet connection. I'm not promoting these two companies, there are other OTA recorders out there that may also offer you the features and options you are looking for. I'm just letting you know it can become complicated as the system grows throughout the home.
Internet = connects your device to devices worldwide. Intranet = connects your device to devices around your home.
An advantage to Over-The-Air (OTA) Recorders, is that they have built in program grids such as you might be familiar with on cable TV. You use these grids to see what programs are currently on or will be showing over the next few days and to tag the programs you wish to record.
Review DVR products carefully. Some charge a monthly or yearly fee for their
TV grid service after an initial free trial. Without the
subscription to the TV guides, you can only, easily, record programs
within the next twenty-four hours.
Without the subscription to the TV guides, you can only, easily, record programs within the next twenty-four hours.
6.) DVD Player.
If purchasing a new DVD player, choose a Blu-Ray DVD player that plays
both regular and Blu-Ray DVD and CD disks. Blu-Ray disks have enhanced
video and audio, but often cost more than a regular DVD movie. A
player that also can play your music CD disks or your home-made photo
albums might be convenient. Of course 2019 brought an even newer
DVD format of Ultra Blu-Ray movies than can only be shown on Ultra
Blu-Ray DVD players. The increased resolution and enhanced display of
the Ultra Blu-Ray programs normally can only be seen on larger and newer
HDR 4K TV sets.
Of course 2019 brought an even newer DVD format of Ultra Blu-Ray movies than can only be shown on Ultra Blu-Ray DVD players. The increased resolution and enhanced display of the Ultra Blu-Ray programs normally can only be seen on larger and newer HDR 4K TV sets.
Purchase with the knowledge you can return the Blu-Ray DVD (or Ultra- DVD) player as there are some Blu-Ray players that display Blue-Ray movies nicely, but some brands offer a poor video display of regular DVD programs.
We also have the same issue with the DVD as we do with the DVR. Which TV your program will display on? At least we have cheaper options.
The first option is simple:
Carry the DVD player to the TV you want to watch the movie on and plug it in to the television's spare HDMI port. Enjoy. Unlike the DVR, the DVD player doesn't have other connections to the antenna or internet, so it more easily becomes portable.
If your TV does not have a HDMI port, ensure your DVD player choice has a coax cable output that will plug into your TV where the antenna connection normally resides.
Our second option:
Purchase an inexpensive DVD player for each TV. DVD player prices can start at thirty US dollars. Though you might consider quality an issue. You might want at least one good DVD player on the household family TV set.
By the way:
If you have a TV that does not provide an internet input, you can purchase "SMART DVD" players that can access the internet for the connected TV.
As does the DVR, the Smart DVD will require a HDMI cable to connect the DVD player to the TV set.
* = Preferably a router labeled "AC" or "AD" and has four or more LAN ports rated at 1 GIG (1000 megabits per second) to accommodate more than one TV set streaming programs at the same time, and for future 2K and 4K video streaming). A "N" rated router would be second best.
** = Year 2017 and newer television sets have more options and features for OTA viewing, including a built-in TV program grid for that day's programs.
*** = Many of today's television sets have both wired and wireless internet capability. Sometimes it just isn't convenient (or practical) to run an internet cable from one side of the house to the other side for a signal. This is when wireless intranet comes in to save the day.
Internet = connects your device to devices worldwide. Intranet = connects your device to devices around your home.
The issue with wireless signals is that they are slower than a wired
connection. Sometimes, considerably slower. You
can often solve a TV screen pixilation (dropout) issue by extending a
wired internet cable from the router's 1 gig port directly to the TV
set. If you must use a wireless connection for the TV set, use
the 5 GHz frequency band of a dual signal router. The 5 GHz signal does
not travel as far as the 2.4 GHz signal, but the speed is much faster.
both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz signals if the router is labeled "Dual". A router
labeled "Three" or "TRI" is a signal path where both the router and the
TV are "AC" rated, and are communicating wirelessly. 2.4 and 5 Ghz
is the frequency used, not the speed of the signal.
Routers have both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz signals if the router is labeled "Dual". A router labeled "Three" or "TRI" is a signal path where both the router and the TV are "AC" rated, and are communicating wirelessly. 2.4 and 5 Ghz is the frequency used, not the speed of the signal.
OTHER ITEMS TO NOTE:
If you decide you are not ready to leave cable, and if the antenna doesn't bother you, leave the OTA system connected. You never know when cable is going to go off. You will be able to switch over to OTA with a touch of a button on your TV remote to watch local TV until cable comes back on. I suppose you could also go outside for a walk.
The electronic TV guide in your television set only works with OTA signals, not with cable or satellite TV programs. You might not have seen the guide. Check the TV instruction manual to get an idea of features in your television's TV guide. The newer your television and the better quality of television for the brand you purchased will provide a better electronic TV guide.
To add more than one television to your antenna, a coax splitter and enough coax cable to reach the other TV will be required. It is possible, depending how long the coax is between the televisions, the system may need a pre-amplifier and amplifier to produce enough signal strength to power the TV screens in multiple televisions around your home. This may cost about $50, but again, it is a one-time cost.
It is important to use a pre-amplifier at the antenna rather than on the TV end of the coax cable. This way you amplify the TV signal at the strongest point in your system, and not amplify noise picked up along the cable with a weaker signal.
Above we show the minimum required HDMI ports on your television set. It is important for you to review all the input and output ports on a TV you consider purchasing. You may wish to add more devices over time, and you may want an extra audio out, or optical audio out for a sound bar for the TV. Another HDMI for Chromecast to display your smartphone screen onto your large TV screen, or other digital source.
You now have the information you need to add Over-The-Air antenna television channels to your TV.
Do not buy any extras until you see the channels you receive and whether you like the TV channel choices for your area.
Before spending the first penny, visit our TV Overview page, scroll down, click a link, input your street address, and view the channels and networks you should receive at your home with a good TV antenna.
If your neighborhood association allows it, the best place for the antenna is up on the roof. Second best in is the attic. Third best is outdoors on a pole in the back yard. TV antennas inside your home really have a difficult time with TV towers more than just a few miles away.
If the antenna must be indoors, place the antenna as close to a window on the TV Tower side of the house. Fortunately, TV antennas today are smaller than the large TV antennas of yesteryear.
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