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  Local TV using an antenna - With Streaming

 

We have divided this hardware section on to multiple pages. This page includes hardware to add a television antenna to your TV along with internet TV program streaming and the options to add a DVR recorder and DVD player.

 

You will need to ensure your television set is a "Smart TV", a TV set that is internet ready. 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.

 

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. TV sets manufactured after 2017 have additional features for OTA viewers.

 

If you wish to try Over-The-Air TV with a local antenna, but not add streaming, view the Without Streaming page on our site.

LOCAL ANTENNA TV - One or Multiple TV sets. With internet Streaming

1.)   TV antenna and mounting hardware.

2.)   Internet service connection modem (From internet provider)

3.)   One wireless router with at least four ports *

4.)   A Streaming Stick from Roku or Amazon Fire for each TV set

5.)   TV sets. Preferably newer than 2017 **

Each TV must have at least:

TV Antenna input

One internet (Ethernet) input

Minimum of two HDMI inputs

6.)   One  Ethernet patch cable from internet source box to router

7.)   One Ethernet cable from router to TV set ***

8.)   Coax cable meeting minimum specs of RG 6

Cable lengths:

One (1) 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

9.)   If system has two or more TV sets, an amplifier may be required to adjust for longer cables, connections, and weaker distributed signals.

 

* = Preferably a router labeled "AC" 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 days 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 internet (Wi-Fi) comes in to save the day.

 

The issue with wireless signals is that they are slower than a wired connection. Sometimes, considerably slower. Many TV picture drop-out and pixilation issues may be corrected just by extending a wired internet cable from the router's 1 gig port directly to the TV set.  If you have to 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 quite faster.  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.

 

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LOCAL ANTENNA TV - One or Multiple TV sets. With internet Streaming and additional devices

1.)   TV antenna and mounting hardware.

2.)   Internet service connection modem (From internet provider)

3.)   One wireless router* with at least four LAN ports (Local Area Network)

4.)   TV sets. Preferably newer than 2017 **

Each TV must have at least:

TV antenna input

One internet (Ethernet) input

Minimum of four HDMI inputs

5.)   One  Ethernet patch cable from internet source box to router

6.)   One Ethernet cable from router to TV set

7.)   Coax cable meeting minimum specs of RG 6

Cable lengths:

One (1) 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

8.)   If system has two or more TV sets, an amplifier may be required to adjust for longer cables, connections, and weaker distributed signals.

 

Additional devices:

 

   9.)   If adding cable TV system will also need the converter box and one HDMI cable from cable box to one TV

10.)   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?

 

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".

 

The Home Run DVR system sends the recordings through your intranet router (local in-house internet connections) and plays on each TV through the sets internet connection. I'm not promoting Home Run, 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.

 

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 OTA DVR products carefully. Some charge a monthly, yearly or lifetime fee for their TV grid service after your trial period when you purchase their DVR hardware. A DVR purchase can end up with monthly subscription payments to use their TV guide to auto-setup the recording of programs.

 

11.)   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. DVD players that play up to 4K video recordings will soon be arriving on store shelves.

Purchase with the knowledge you can return the Blu-Ray DVD player as there are some Blu-Ray players display play Blue-Ray movies nicely, but offer a poor video display on regular DVD recordings.

 

We also have the same issue with the DVD as we do with the DVR. Which TV do you want your program to 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 spare HDMI port, you can purchase a HDMI switch box where you plug several HDMI devices into the box and then plug the box into your TV set's HDMI port. Another option is to ensure your DVD player choice has a coax cable output that will will plug into your TV where the antenna connection normally resides, though this connection usually doesn't offer the picture quality of an HDMI connection.

 

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 DVD will require a HDMI cable to connect the DVD player to the TV set.

 

 

* = Preferably a router labeled "AC" 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 days 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 internet comes in to save the day.

 

The issue with wireless signals is that they are slower than a wired connection. Sometimes, considerably slower. I have solved several TV picture drop-outs and pixilation issue friends have had just by extending a wired internet cable from the router's 1 gig port directly to the TV set.  If you have to 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 quite faster.

 

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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 an 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 of 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.

 

Start simple.

 

Don't 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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