An over-the-air antenna can provide you with dozens of free channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Ion, PBS and Me-TV. However, an antenna will not bring in premium channels like ESPN and Hallmark. Don’t worry! These channels can easily be supplemented with a low-cost streaming service like Philo or Sling TV. Suppose.tv is a great website to figure out which streaming service is best to keep the channels you want depending on what you watch most.

Streaming services work in conjunction with an antenna. Certain smart TVs will have access to some streaming service apps but not always. If you own a smart TV and can’t download the streaming service app you want, you can always use an Amazon Firestick or Roku connected to the TV.

Supplementing your local channels with an antenna and pairing it with a low-cost streaming service will almost always be cheaper than paying for cable and satellite streaming services. In addition to the lower monthly cost, most streaming services can be viewed on multiple TV sets at the same time without the monthly fee of a cable box.

Getting started

Watching free, over-the-air TV with an antenna is simpler than you may think. In many cases, you can take an antenna out of the box, connect the cable to your TV, run a channel scan and voila! You have dozens of local channels to surf.

The number of channels you can access and how clearly they come in is based on a number of factors, including your distance from the point of broadcast towers, the type of antenna you have and where it’s located in your home.

Not sure what kind of antenna you need? Take our simple quiz to help narrow down the options. You can also find a general list of recommended antennas here.

Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR device to record your favorite shows.

Did you know you can use an antenna similarly to how you watch cable? Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

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