Antenna TV: the parent’s best friend

It’s tough enough to be a parent. You have to try to protect your kids at every turn while trying not to appear paranoid. Controlling what your kids watch is certainly tougher than it ever was, too. There are so many choices and so much content, even on basic cable, that’s just not suitable for young kids.

There’s another option

You can start with setting your TV’s parental controls. While every TV is different, most of the procedure doesn’t change. It generally starts with pressing MENU on the remote and looking for words like “parental” or or “ratings.” But in many families, the kids are more tech-savvy than the parents. There are ways around parental controls in many cases and so your children are back to watching old episodes of Game of Thrones when you’re not around.

What if you could guarantee that your kids wouldn’t see nudity or profanity on TV? What if you knew that there wouldn’t even be a lot of violence until after bedtime? It seems impossible, even with today’s technology, right? Actually the answer is simple… just cut the cable and give the kids an antenna! You can find the best selection, and all the advice you could want, by shopping at Solid Signal.

Yes, it’s actually free TV and it’s actually safe for kids.

Broadcast television is free. It always has been. You’ve been duped into paying for it by the cable companies. Broadcast television is free because broadcasters use the public airwaves. Long ago, the government mandated those airwaves had to be used for the public good. That’s why you will always be able to get free broadcasts as long as you are within about 60-75 miles of a major city. Not only that, TV broadcast technology has gotten better since you were a kid. So have antennas. You probably don’t need that big antenna on the roof like your dad put up. If you still have an old antenna on your roof, though, it’s probably perfectly good for today’s TV.

Unlike cable and satellite content, broadcast content is subject to rules about broadcasting indecent programming. (Yes it’s true, sometimes something will, ahem, “slip” out in the Super Bowl, but that’s rare.) Broadcast stations must serve the public by providing family-friendly programming. You can argue whether so-called trash TV is serving anyone, but at least all the profanity is bleeped out.

Not only that, but if you’re paying for a cable box for your kid, you can cut that cost too and pay for the antenna in a month or two!

How to scan for channels: the basics

When you get that antenna, connect it to the “OFF-AIR” or “ANTENNA” input on the back and use the TV remote to scan for off-air channels. (It’s different on every TV but it usually starts by pressing the MENU button and looking for something like “antenna setup.”) Within minutes you’ll have dozens of family-friendly programs available. If the kids want to watch something that’s only on cable or satellite they will have to leave their bedrooms so you can monitor their viewing. Sounds like a miracle, right? It’s just modern technology that actually works for you for a change

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.