Got AT&T TV? Get an antenna!

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It’s finally time. You’ve made the commitment to AT&T TV and you’ve signed up. It’s exciting, I’ll admit. As soon as you sign up, you can load the app on your phone or tablet and be streaming instantly. When the self-install box comes, there are just a few steps left in order for you to enjoy a true live TV experience with nothing more than an internet connection.

There’s only one problem: you’ll be missing out on a surprising number oflocal broadcasts.

Locals on AT&T TV

AT&T TV has local channels in most markets. But, they really only have a few. Generally you’ll have access to the major networks and nothing else. For the first few weeks you’ll be so excited about your new service that you won’t notice that you’re missing out on a lot of local content.

Then, slowly, the realization will creep in and you’ll see what you’ve been missing. Maybe your city doesn’t have every network. Maybe you’re used to having some of the independent stations that are found on cable and satellite. The only problem is, you don’t want to pay more. That’s why you cut the cord, right?

Really, you need an antenna.

Even if you’re getting four local channels, that’s nothing compared to what you could be getting. Most markets have over 20 different program sources all available for free with an antenna, and in large markets like New York and Los Angeles, there are well over 100 different programs available for FREE every day. Getting only four of them seems like kind of a copout, right?

The good news is that you can watch local programming on your TV or even on your computer. Start with an antenna — shop for one or use our free, personalized recommendation service — and then decide for yourself what you need next.

All televisions sold today have a built-in TV tuner that connects to your antenna. There are a few monitors sold as “tunerless TVs” but they are rare. If your TV has a coaxial connection  on the back, you can connect an antenna to it. (It doesn’t have to be gold.)

If it doesn’t, you’ll need a converter box like this one. Even if you do have the ability to connect straight to the TV, you might want to use something like this because with the addition of a flash drive, it becomes a simple DVR allowing you to pause live TV and record programs on a timer.

Don’t be afraid of the cost.

At this point I wouldn’t blame you for feeling a little put off by the cost of all of these things. You’re probably considering AT&T TV in order to save money, and here I am telling you that you’ll need an antenna, and potentially some other accessories. But remember all the antenna stuff is a one-time purchase with no fees. Once you have it, it’s good forever (at least as long as it lasts… consumer electronics do eventually break) and there are no additional fees. Even spending $100 to get up and running will pay for itself in a month or two when you’re not paying a massive cable bill.

So, if AT&T TV seems like the way to go, I would absolutely recommend you trying it. It seems pretty cool, from the little bit I’ve used it. However, you’ll find yourself missing those local channels pretty quickly, and for those you’re going to want an antenna. Luckily, your friends at Solid Signal have you covered. Give us a call at 888-233-7563 and we’ll be happy to help you get what you need.

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.