Follow the three easy steps below to receive free, over-the-air TV.
Step 1: Use the digital tuner.
You already have a digital tuner in your TV set if it was manufactured:
- After July 2005 and the screen is 36″ or larger
- After March 2006 and the screen is 25″ or larger
- After March 2007
If your TV set does not fit those criteria, you need one of the following:
- Digital converter box
- VCR with digital tuner
- DVD recorder with digital tuner
- DVR with digital tuner
Step 2: Plug your indoor or outdoor antenna into your TV set or digital tuner device. (For more information about what type of antenna you may need, go to antennaweb.org)
The coaxial cable can be plugged directly into your TV’s input jack if it has a built-in digital tuner.
Follow these instructions to connect your antenna to a digital converter box or a VCR, DVD recorder, or DVR with a digital tuner:
- Connect your antenna coaxial cable to the “Antenna In” jack on the back of your digital tuner box.
- Use a second coaxial cable to connect the “Out to TV” on the digital tuner box to the “Antenna In” on the back of the TV.
- Set the TV to Channel 3 or 4 as indicated on the back of your digital tuning device.
Step 3: Scan for channels.
All digital converter boxes and digital TVs are different in terms of scanning procedures. The following is a general guide, but the steps or the terminology may be different for your device:
- Press the “Menu” button on your converter box, converter box remote, TV, or TV remote
- Go to “Setup” or “Settings”
- Go to “Installation” or “System” or “Channels”
- Go to “Scan channels”, “Program channels”, “Autoscan”, “Autoprogram”, or “Autotuning”
- Press “Select” or “Enter” or “OK” to start the scan
- When the device says scanning is complete accept the channels found and close the menus
- Some devices may need to be re-scanned from time to time, when they lose a broadcast signal
Chicago Tribune Article: “Simple antenna can help kick costly cable TV habit”