Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Gadgets & Tech
  3. Tech Gear

Free TV from a twenty dollar antenna

See also

HDTV Indoor / Outdoor Antenna w/ Low Noise Amplifier


As mentioned last month, there’s a handful of alternatives to cable or satellite television, with one of them being an HDTV antenna. Modern devices like the HDTV Indoor/Outdoor Antenna (#7976) from Monoprice tend to be small, and when properly installed, are capable of pulling a surprising number of channels. It should be noted that numerous factors can have an impact on this type of television reception including, but not limited to, antenna placement, distance from transmitters, and weather.

More Photos

The HDTV Indoor/Outdoor Antenna (#7976) from Monoprice is a small, but surprisingly powerful little device that actually does what it is supposed to do. This, of course, shouldn’t come as a surprise since that is the way Monoprice rolls, but for some reason I was feeling rather dubious about this whole thing. I’ve gotten comfortable with the ease (though not the price) of cable. I particularly enjoy the portability of streaming video. This free stuff that is floating around out there 24 hours per day is grand, but it does take some work.

Though the installation of the antenna is quite straightforward, it does require installation in the right place for maximum efficacy. Depending on how far the signal has to travel (my house is 38 miles from the transmitters) before it is picked up by the antenna makes a big difference in this regard. Moving the antenna 12 inches from one spot to the next can mean the difference between getting eight channels (the maximum for my house) perfectly clearly, or no channels at all. Thankfully, the 7976 antenna comes with a variety of mounting hardware that really makes experimenting with various mounting locations fairly easy. I moved the antenna six times before I settled on its final spot.

If you want to experiment with cutting the cable or ditching the dish, dropping $21 on this powerful amplified antenna is not a bad way to go, especially when you consider how expensive those other services are. Do not expect, however, to get the hundreds of channels you never watch anyway. No antenna can make that happen. For more information about this or any of the fine products from Monoprice, click here. For more information about which and how many over-the-air channels are available in your area, click here. For more information on making the necessary connections, click here.

**Full disclosure: This antenna was provided at no cost for editorial consideration.