Is free TV worth what you pay for it?

By now, you probably know that most people can hook up an antenna and get dozens of channels in crystal-clear HD picture and sound. You probably also know that once you hook up that antenna, you’re done paying the cable company, period. That sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

But are all those free channels worth what you’re paying? Or is it just a load of stuff you don’t want to watch?

Here’s the good news: all ten of the top-rated shows on TV are available with an antenna in most areas. They’re all on broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, and that means that with nothing more than an antenna you can be watching the stuff that everyone out there is paying to see. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what Nielsen has to say. Every single show you’ll find listed at this link is on broadcast TV and fully available for free with an antenna.

It doesn’t stop there. Most areas have about double the number of local channels available with an antenna as are available with cable or satellite. You’re missing out on shows that toy remember from your youth… as networks like MeTV, AntennaTV, ThisTV and Buzzr! bring the past back to life. You’ll find channels that carry local sports, news feeds, and educational programming that isn’t carried on cable at all. If your area has a large non-English-speaking population, you’ll very likely find a lot of channels dedicated to serving that population.

No matter how you slice it, free TV is a great value. The quality is as good or better than cable or satellite, it’s not affected by rain or snow (except in really, really extreme conditions) and you’re never going to have your free TV reception ruined because your neighbor digs in the wrong spot.

So is free TV worth what you pay for it? Absolutely, no questions asked there. The only question that remains is why you’re not already shopping for an antenna at Solid Signal so that you can get in on the action!

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.