Don’t Fear the Antenna
I have a directional antenna. It’s a big, honking thing from Antennas Direct called the Clearstream 2 MAX that I happened to pick up a few years ago. Like any good cord cutter, I set up the antenna after reading my TVfool.com report to make sure I was getting the most possible channels. The problem I had was that while most of the channels I wanted were in one direction, 3 were almost exactly in the opposite direction, and they were biggies: CBS, PBS, and the CW. My solution to this problem was to try pointing the antenna north, right between the two major directions.
This worked for the most part. All my critical channels were available. And so I left my antenna totally untouched for a couple years. I happily enjoyed my setup. And if you are happy with your setup, setting and forgetting like this is fine.
There’s A Better Way
But for the cord cutter looking for a bargain, there is a better way. More and more companies have entered the business of broadcasting TV, with new, interesting, and unusual channels like Laff, Grit, and Heroes. These channels air movies, open our TVs up to sports we may never have seen before, and often give us a chance to really fill in our back catalog with hard to find content. And that means a good cord cutter needs to stay on top of her channel list or else she’s leaving content on the table.
We help you with this in part. Every HDHomeRun device regularly rescans the airwaves. This is important, because in the digital age TV channels can actually change their frequency without warning, making it seem as though they stopped existing. So we keep an eye on that.
But there’s a second thing that’s always worth doing. When you have a chance, visit tvfool.com again after a few months, and see if your report has changed. The only thing standing between you and many more channels could be something as simple as the direction your antenna is facing.
It Happened to Me
I say this, because this literally happened to me. My sister was visiting with her cat, and the cat, doing what cats do best, knocked the antenna over. I picked it up, but on a whim pointed it just a little bit to the right. And in doing so, I suddenly gained 10 more channels.
It was crazy. The next day, I noticed that it was taking a surprisingly long time to get from ABC to Fox. Only then did I actually bother looking at what had happened. All told, not counting Premium TV, I had something like 70 channels now. And sure, a lot of that is stuff that I’m never going to be interested in, but that’s why the Discover page is so great. It filters out all that dead weight and only shows the good stuff. For example, I’m about to record the original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three with Robert Shaw and Walter Mattheu, an action movie I’ve been meaning to watch for years, and it’s only possible because my sister’s cat knocked my antenna over!
So next time you pass by your antenna, why not try giving it a little nudge? See what happens. It could be awesome!
Categories: Letters from the Inside