Putting an antenna up is a great spring project

Who doesn’t want more TV for free? Now that the snow has melted, it’s time to look at all those projects you talked about all winter. Some of them, like cleaning the dead squirrel out of the gutter, aren’t any fun, but some of them might actually make your home entertainment experience better!

I’m talking about putting up an outdoor antenna. Outdoor antennas are generally much more powerful than indoor ones and therefore you may be able to get channels you didn’t get before. The easiest way to start is with our free antenna selector service. Click here and fill out the form and you’ll get a free personalized antenna recommendation created by a real person who looked at all your information and selected the best antenna for you and your area.

You’ll want to have an antenna and some way to mount it to a roof, eave or chimney, plus cable to get into your home and some way to ground it (folks, this is mandatory. Don’t forget this part.) Once you have everything just go on up there and do it.

It doesn’t need to be a terribly complicated process. Most antennas have a wide “beam” meaning you just need to aim them in the general direction of the broadcast towers and they will work. Running the cable to your TV isn’t terribly hard and from there all you need to do is scan for channels. That’s different on every TV but just look for it in “Antenna Setup” or something like that on the TV side. In some cases, the antenna can also be connected to a satellite DVR so you can record programs, or you can add a standalone DVR to record off-air programs and cut the cord with no additional fees.

Adding an antenna to your home system pays for itself because you’ll probably get dozens of channels that aren’t available on cable or satellite, and this may help you get control of a cable bill that’s gotten out of control recently. You could cut the cord completely, rely on Netflix, Hulu or other services, and still have access to your local news and programs for free. It’s a win-win.

Of course, please try to use as much care as you can when you’re up on that roof — don’t do it if it’s storming or even if it looks like it could storm. Wear grippy shoes, and if you have work boots that’s even better. Bring a friend to hold the ladder, too. It’s a really good idea and afterwards you can settle down and watch all that new TV content together.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.