If you are going to cut the cord, I highly recommend that you get an indoor, digital HD antenna. An antenna will give you access (for free) to broadcast channels. These channels are referred to as OTA (Over The Air) channels.
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You are going to want an antenna
If you want to watch local news, weather and sports, you are going to want an antenna. This is especially true if you aren’t going to subscribe to a Live TV Streaming Service (more on that later). We use our antenna to watch WGN in Chicago. There are certain local channels that aren’t available on streaming services, WGN is one of them.
Note: If you live in Chicago, you no longer need access to WGN to watch Cubs games. Check out How to Watch Cubs on the Marquee Network
This isn’t an old monstrosity that needs to be mounted on your roof. The new antennas are small and mounted on the wall or window inside your house. It plugs into your TV with an HDMI port. In most cases, you will need one antenna for each TV. We only have an antenna on our main TV in the living room. Our other 2 TVs are not connected to an antenna.
An antenna is only for live TV. There is no pausing, no OnDemand options and no DVR. It’s old school TV. But it does broadcast in HD!
And actually, the picture you get from antenna is higher quality than from your cable provider!
Use this website to figure out what channels you can get in your area and what strength antenna you need.
- 50 mile radius
The ClearStream Eclipse can be easily mounted on a wall or window. It has 2 sides, one white and one is black. You can face either side out. You can also paint it! Yes, you can paint the antenna and have it match the color of your wall!
Although there are many station towers in Chicago and the surrounding area, we recommend an antenna with a 50 mile radius. This is because CBS has notoriously low signal strength. In order to get a clear picture from CBS, you will need a stronger antenna.
You can get cheaper antenna with a smaller radius, but you may not be able to get CBS. If watching CBS is important to you, look for an antenna with a 50 mile radius.
In the Chicago area, most towers are located in Chicago. To get the very best reception, you should try to mount your antenna on the wall or window closest to the city.
Really, no DVR?
Ok, so before I said that there was no DVRing or pausing OTA channels. That is true if you just have an antenna. However, there are several higher tech options if you’d like the ability to record off your antenna. Tablo, Tivo and AirTV are 3 brands to look into if you want to DVR OTA channels.
(If you have experience using one of these higher tech options, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below, or email email@example.com)
Otherwise, it’s time to move on to Streaming Devices.