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answerjill's avatar

I just bought a new TV. I am not getting any reception, but I don't want to get cable. Any ideas?

Asked by answerjill (6057points) December 27th, 2012

I am a little behind on technology. My last TV was from 1997. My new TV has LCD. Am I supposed to connect some sort of indoor antenna to it? Thanks.

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16 Answers

answerjill's avatar

Do I maybe need a HDTVi VHF/UHF HDTV Indoor Antenna?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Something like this should work.

Berserker's avatar

As far as I know (which is admittedly not a hell of a lot) on these types of TV’s, it’s not like cathodic TV’s where even without cable, some channels will come in. You won’t get anything but snow/black if you don’t have cable/satellite/antennas. Heck, even the last cathodic flat screen TV’s won’t pick anything up without the proper peripherals.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You can use the same old TV antenna you had on the roof for 40 years. You will need to plug it in though. Look for “Ant IN” and get that shaped adapter.
I am using a TV from the stone age but still get digital TV shows (about 12 channels) because i bought the $40 digital converter and a Roku. Your new TV has the digital converter built in. If you have wifi and want to get hundreds of channels buy a Roku for $50. You can also use it to watch NetFlix, Amazon, Hulu, Pandora.

pleiades's avatar

Haha welcome to 2012.

You need a digital converter box if you’re going to use rabbit ear antennae and even then the antennae need to be able to be plugged into the digital converter box.

CWOTUS's avatar

Get an X-Box and / or a Blu-Ray disc player and forget about local television programming. That stuff will rot your brain.

gasman's avatar

You can get an indoor antenna at Radio Shack. Note that labeling it HDTV is marketing hype that confuses the jobs of antenna and tuner. Ditto for “digital.” Antenna design is dictated by the carrier frequencies, which have never changed for broadcast tv. You can still use rabbit-ears for vhf channels 2–13 (including fm radio between ch. 6 & 7) and a bowtie or loop for uhf ch. 14–83. Shaping any physical element of these antennas to resemble a satellite dish is a marketing ploy appealing modern expectations. The one at Wal-Mart is a little less gimmicky. The newer exceptions are small flat panels like this RCA one.

The monumental change in broadcast TV in the US came in 2009, when everybody switched from analog to digital. For older tv sets without digital tuners, this means adding a converter box between antenna & tv. I used two $50 coupons from the government to purchase mine.

Nowadays “watching tv” usually means connection to a service provider like cable tv or satellite dish. A co-ax cable comes into your tv room & connects to equipment that, in turn, connects to your tv.

It’s becoming increasingly common to interface the tv to a computer rather than a tuner, watching content either stored as files or streamed over the internet by a service such as Netflix. There are special-purpose computers optimized for this purpose.

We are in the midst of “convergence” of home electronics. This process will continue for decades longer & nobody knows how it will all end up.

DigitalBlue's avatar

In case you’re interested in @LuckyGuy‘s suggestion, Roku is on sale and they have free shipping on all of their models right now. (I just bought a new one, thought I’d share the info.)

Jeruba's avatar

@answerjill, were you able to watch your old TV recently?

Nice to see you around. It’s been a while, I think.

answerjill's avatar

Thanks, Jeruba! You’re right – I haven’t been around as much lately. Yes, I was able to watch my old TV, but I had to use the digital converter box. With this new TV, I think the digital part must be built in. I just spoke to a tech support guy and he recommended I buy something like this:
I just ordered it and will let you know what happens…

answerjill's avatar

Thanks for all of the ideas, folks. I can’t attach an antenna to my building; I am just a renter in an apartment building.

answerjill's avatar

The Roku thing sounds interesting, but I think that I will go with a plain antenna for now. I am not a big tv-watcher – as you can probably tell by my not feeling a need to get a new tv until my old one from ‘97 finally gave out.

Brian1946's avatar

Please let us know when you get some reception and how you did it.


Brian- assistant to jca, the Update Lady. ;-)

Response moderated (Spam)
answerjill's avatar

UPDATE: The Terk antenna listed above seems to work. One downside is that it is kind of big and ugly, especially when you look at it near my small, sleek TV. Unfortunately, reception without cable, etc., is always a bit of a challenge, I think. I sometimes have to re-scan the channels and/or move the antennae.

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