HOW IS THIS HARD: You can’t get channels that you don’t get.

In this panel antenna, the X's should be closer to the towers than the horizontal bars.

The other day I was talking to a very nice lady who was pretty frustrated. She had been promised dozens of channels and after buying an antenna she only got three. Where were all the channels she wanted, and she really thought the company that sold it to her was pulling a fast one.

I did a little bit of research, and the thing is that this lady lived in the middle of nowhere. I don’t want to say where — that wouldn’t be fair — but she was about 50 miles from the nearest small city and that city only had three broadcast locations. The nearest city large enough to have a full set of network channels was 130 miles away. That’s too far for even the most sensitive antenna to pick up anything useful.

It took a lot more discussion to explain that an antenna isn’t going to pick up signals that just don’t exist. This very nice and kind person simply didn’t understand that the small city near her just didn’t have tons of channels to offer her.

The whole story really illustrates how important it is to take advantage of our free antenna recommendation service. If this lady had asked, she would have been told that no antenna regardless of size was going to bring her any more than the three channels she got with the antenna she had. Our team would have looked at her location and gotten aiming information for all the available broadcast towers, then used that information to come up with a recommendation. In this case we probably would have recommended that she consider cable or satellite if she wanted more than three channels.

I think personally that a lot of people avoid our antenna recommendation service because they think it’s just a way for Solid Signal to trick you into spending more on an antenna than you want to. Nothing could be further from the truth. We want you to have a great experience with your antenna and that means getting the right product at the right price. There are dozens of TV antennas out there designed for everyone from the urban apartment dweller to the rural farmer. We have antennas that take up literally no space — they hang flat on the wall — and we have the largest antenna you can get for the home market. Of course we also have a large selection of antennas in the middle, each designed to help with a specific need, whether that’s an outdoor antenna that meets condo board rules or a tiny antenna that never needs aiming.

So, before you go ahead and make that purchase, you really owe it to yourself to ask the experts, for free. Let us figure out what’s going to work in your specific situation and you’ll end up with the best result the first time! And, if you’re only going to get three channels, we’ll tell you.

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 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.