I have mentioned earlier that my brother (Mr. G) moved into a new apartment shortly after his graduation. Last couple of weekends we were trying to help him set up his new den. G is single, but behaves as if he is married to the television…so it was one of the first things he wanted. We spent hours looking in major retail shops to find his “perfect match” and finally zeroed in on a decent sized flat screen TV (nothing fancy…no LCD, projection, plasma or any such stuff).
We took the new TV to G’s new apartment, switched it on and ran an auto-scan for available free channels. To our dismay, it detected only 3 (useless) channels with decent reception. At this point, G started contemplating on getting a cable connection (or a dish network) in a few days, which would have cost him a minimum of $40 a month. Meanwhile, we decided to drive down to Walmart and get this $9 gadget for the time being:
Yeah… that’s a cheap in-door antenna. We auto-scanned for channels again after plugging in the antenna and to our amazement, this time the TV picked up like 30+ channels, some of them with exceptional video and audio clarity. In fact this thing turned out to be so good, that G has decided not to subscribe to cable anytime soon.
I understand that results will vary with your geographic location and your proximity to “urban” areas…but $9 is not too bad for a trial (well this one was $9, but most antennas are priced between $7 to $20). Give it a shot, if it works, it will be worth it’s value in a few days.
Brands are not really important when you look for these; I have used RCA and Phillips in the past, on separate occasions, and both have worked very well. Update: Btw, these are marked as “HDTV Antenna” or “Off-air HDTV Capable” and other similar terms.