Don’t lose your local channels!

It’s literally, your right to get free TV.

I mean, it’s not in the Constitution but it’s pretty darn close. The FCC is charged with a lot of things but one of them is making sure that you can receive free radio and TV broadcasts without interference. Seriously, all the other stuff they do like regulate your microwave oven is just to make sure that nothing is interfering with your radio and TV.

And yet, you don’t have a right to demand that your cable or satellite company carry those local channels. That’s the free market at work. The cable company has a right to negotiate with local channels, so that they find a fair price for carriage. When that doesn’t happen, the channel is blacked out on cable or satellite. That means you can’t watch it but…

if you can’t watch it, what about that fundamental right to TV? Is this some sort of conspiracy?

Absolutely not. You have a fundamental right to put an antenna up and get those local channels. About 95% of Americans live in an area served by free, over-the-air TV and for most people, a mid-sized antenna will pull in tons of channels. This sort of antenna is small enough that it can be used inside or put on a patio or private area if you’re in an apartment. In fact, your condo board or apartment complex can’t stop you from putting up a small antenna on your patio or in any private space.

When you hook up an antenna and scan for channels, you’ll realize that the cable company has been cheating you. You’ll probably find dozens of channels that you’ve never seen before, from movies and game shows to talk, educational and religious programming that might be just up your alley. Some areas have over 100 channels of free television even though the cable company only carries a few. There’s a lot of great stuff out there!

The best part of getting an antenna is “sticking it to the man.” Watching TV over an antenna not only gives you the best quality but it’s totally free, forever and ever. You’re paying the cable company “how much” so you can watch your locals most of the time? Why bother? You can get an antenna that brings in all the top channels and more, and save $1200 a year by canceling cable.

Even if you’re not getting rid of the cable company, you’ll be protected against channel blackouts, which happen because the cable company and the local channel can’t agree on payment terms. It’s getting more and more common.

When you’re ready to stick it to cable and preserve your protected right to get local channels, shop for a TV antenna from SolidSignal!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.