A Great TV Antenna for City Living
I cut my cable cord a long time ago. Most of what I watch nowadays comes from either physical media or streaming services. While these are great, I still want to have access to the Over the Air channels.
This has been a real issue. I live in the city. I cannot put an antenna on my roof. So my solution was to get a flat antenna. With it, I was able to get about 10 channels, 12 when the weather was good. It was fine, but I was missing out on 2 of the major networks and all of the retro digital channels available in my area. There had to be a better solution.
I tried a larger flat antenna and was able to squeeze two more channels out of it. I was impressed, but not wowed.
I am lucky enough to have access to the outside world via a window and wondered how I could take advantage of that. My thinking was, if the antenna was outside, it would get better reception. I tested this theory by just dropping the flat antenna out the window and scanning for more stations. I picked up 4 more channels. Not bad.
Still, this was pretty anemic. In a perfect world, I would be able to get an impressive 74 tv stations on my TV. You can check what stations are available in your area using this tool from Channel Master.
I decided at this point that I would get some sort of outside antenna. Because of my current living arrangement, it would need to be very compact. After a bunch of online searching and review reading, I decided on the Channel Master STEALTHtenna.
HD Antennas are not a real thing
If you jump into the world of Antennas, one thing you will notice is everyone labeling their antennas as HD. No such animal exists. Signals are broadcast in HD and TVs can receive those HD signals, but you do not need any sort of special antenna to receive those signals. If your home is equipped with an antenna that was installed 40 years ago, it will work just the same as a modern antenna that has been branded as HD. These labels are just marketing.
It came in less than a week and I used some existing coaxial cable to hook it up and would use a UBolt to attach it to an area outside. Before I put it outside, I just put it behind the TV and scanned for channels. To my surprise, even inside, I was able to get 24 channels, including the major networks I had been missing out on.
I then put it outside and hit scan and wow! 54 channels.
I was thrilled, but I had a problem. The coaxial wire running through the window was too thick for me to close the window fully and I cannot drill through any wall to run the wire outside.
After a bit of time searching online, I discovered this wonderful product, the Ghost Wire Flat RG6 Coax Jumper Cable. It would allow me to run the wire out the window and close it completely. It came a few days later and I am happy to report it worked perfectly. I picked up a second Ubolt and mounted the antenna solidly. Reception has been perfect, even on stormy days.
This solution might not be for everyone who lives in the city. You might not have access to a window or a place to mount your antenna. I will say that even indoors my STEALTHtenna worked much better than my Leaf antenna, although it is not quite as hidable.
If you do have access to a window or even better some outside space and you want to get some Over the Air television, you might want to try this solution. Here are the products I found useful:
Coaxial Cable (make sure to measure what you will need and you will need two lengths if using the Ghost Wire).
Cable Clips (to keep things organized inside)
UBolts (you can find these at your local hardware store for less and depending on your space, you might just be able to use the mounting hardware that comes with the STEALTHtenna.)
If you are interested in upgrading your indoor or outdoor antenna, you should check out what Channel Master has to offer. If you want to learn a lot more about antennas and Over the Air TV, I suggest you check out the Antenna Man YouTube Channel.