Learn how to receive free digital HD channels without cable or satellite TV service — no cable box needed!
Getting HD channels without a cable box is fairly simple if you have the right equipment and decent reception in your home or office. To get HD channels, you simply need an antenna and TV with digital tuner. Most HDTVs these days have built-in digital tuners, so you may not need a DTV converter like pictured below. You just plug-in your antenna via coaxial cable into the back of you TV and start scanning for channels. Keep in mind, your input channel on the TV must be set to antenna, or otherwise named input channel that can receive antenna signals. Once the input is selected, your TV should ask you to automatically scan for channels.
If you are using an older analog tube TV, rear-projection, or flat panel monitor without a built-in digital tuner you’ll need a DTV (Digital TV) converter to translate the digital signals for your television. (See example DTV converter.) This box usually costs about $30-$40 and doesn’t require a monthly service fee like a cable provider. You can find a list of available DTV Converters and Antennas at Amazon. The DTV converter will let you watch both standard and high-definition (HD) programming from local networks.
Once your antenna is hooked up to the back of your TV or converter box, you can start scanning for available networks. If you’re not having much luck try repositioning your antenna and scan again. Obstacles, weather, and distance from broadcast facilities can all play a factor in the quality (and quantity) if the digital signals you can receive.
View more articles about over-the-air digital reception, DTV, and getting free HD channels under our DTV category.