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How to Get the Best Free HDTV Reception

Illustration for article titled How to Get the Best Free HDTV Reception

If you upgraded to HDTV over the holidays, you should consider dumping cable for totally free broadcast HD. AntennaWeb will show you which antennas pick up the most channels at your address.


The site's totally free, and all you have to do is punch in your address and whether or not you've got tall buildings or giant plants nearby. It'll then give you a list of stations, how far they're broadcasting from your place, what kind of antenna will pick up the best reception for each one, and even where to point your antenna. It's free (along with the channels), so definitely give it a whirl and consider kicking your cable company in ass, like I'd very much like to do to mine right now. [Antenna Web via Lifehacker]

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AntennaWeb is very shady as far as what stations you'll get. It doesn't seem to take into account a lot of things that matter a lot in real-world environments.

Like, for example, in Chicago, CBS 2 HD is on VHF channel 3. Because of Chicago's skyline, the signal is getting bounced off of a lot of things before it even makes it into the suburbs. There are people 10 miles out of Chicago where AntennaWeb says "you should be able to pick it up with bunny ears!" but it simply isn't true because of all of the signal degradation near the source.

That being said, AntennaWeb does give you some valuable info about what stations are where and how you need to point your antennas. Just saying that the "what antenna you need" portion should be packaged with a block of salt.