Category Archives: 3. TV Antennas

TV Antennas that deliver Free HD TV Over the Air

Comcast Subscribers Pay Up To $2.64 Billion a Year for Over-the-Air Channels They Could Get Free

When it comes to sneaky hidden fees, perhaps no cable company is more notorious than Comcast. By the time you pay the fees for regional sports, local TV channels,  HD, DVR rental, and other items, your bill could be way more than the advertised rate you thought you were getting when you signed up.

And of the numerous fees Comcast’s cable customers are subject to, none is more controversial than its “Broadcast TV Fee” that now costs up to $10 a month — all for the ability to watch local channels (e.g. NBC, FOX, CBS, and the like) that are available for free with an antenna.

Comcast’s Broadcast TV Fee was once the source of a class action lawsuit as complainants arguing the company misrepresents its fees and in some cases explicitly lies about them.

Many believe broadcast TV fees are just a way for cable companies to squeeze their customers for a little more money and to help maintain high revenues despite losing tens of thousands of customers every quarter to cord cutting. Those critics just may be on to something — we calculated that Comcast is pulling in as much as $2.64 billion a year from its Broadcast TV Fee.

Here’s how we calculated this jaw-dropping number.

According to Comcast’s 2018 Q3 report, the company now has 22,015,000 video customers subscribed to their cable TV service. We also know their Broadcast TV Fee is being raised to $10 a month in many markets. To put things into perspective, in 2016 Comcast charged $6.50 per month for broadcast channels, up from $1.50 per month in 2014. That’s an increase of 567% since 2014!

comcast broadcast tv fee

And as you can see in the screenshot below, local channels are included in every cable package Comcast offers, so it’s not a fee you can escape even if you are able to get the channels for free with your antenna:

Using these numbers, we can calculate that Comcast will bring in as much as $220,150,000 every month from the $10/month fee. Over the course of a full year, Comcast can rake in $2.64 billion by charging its customers for broadcast channels that most of them can get free over the air with an antenna.

 

What About Those Who Have No Antenna Reception At Their Home?

It’s worth pointing out the $2.64 billion figure assumes every Comcast subscriber could get their local channels for free if they had an antenna, but in all fairness, that’s probably not the case.

However, according to estimates from the antenna manufacturer Mohu, roughly 278 million, or 89%, of Americans live within range of broadcast TV towers, meaning the overwhelming number of people can get their locals for free without being charged by Comcast.

Even if you assume 11% of Comcast subscribers wouldn’t be able to get their local networks with an antenna, that’s still $2.35 billion each year the company is bringing in by charging customers for channels they can get free with an antenna.

Is it any wonder why Comcast is routinely voted the Most Hated Company in America?

5 Ways to Watch NFL Football without Cable TV

How to Watch Football Without Cable

NFL Online, OTA, & on Your Mobile Device

Did I say 5 Ways to Watch? Ohh sorry, I meant 13 Ways to Watch Football Without Cable. Sorry if you were expecting the bare minimum.

In an effort to capture the interest of Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers, the NFL has made watching football without a cable TV subscription easier than ever. With new ways to stream local and primetime games online and on your mobile device, 2018 is shaping up to be the best year ever to watch NFL without a cable subscription.

With a multitude of solutions including OTA Antennas, Amazon Prime, Yahoo Sports Mobile App, Twitch, NFL Mobile App, Fubo TV, Sling TV and several more; there is no longer a reason to pay the high price of cable TV. 


how to watch nfl without cable

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; the summer heat is slowly gaining, and NFL football has finally returned. For the cord cutting sports fan, it has never been easier to watch your favorite team without having to buy some expensive package from the cable companies.

To make sure you don’t miss a game this season, here’s how you can watch the NFL without cable.

But before we get into all the different ways to watch, I will briefly go over TV channel lineups, our NFL Streaming Matrix, weekly key match-ups,  and the Thursday Night Football schedule.

The Channels You Need to Watch NFL Games Without Cable

When building out your cord-cutting arsenal, the first thing you need to know is what channels NFL games air on in 2018. Once you know what channels you need access too, you can build out a package that plugs all the holes, providing you a complete solution.

Thursday Night Football

TNF airs on a few different channels, depending on the week (NFL Network, FOX, & Amazon Prime (press release). Check out a complete Thursday Night Football TV schedule below. >> 2018 TNF Schedule

In 2017 Amazon Prime streamed 11 TNF games, and in 2016 Twitter streamed 10 games. Neither the NFL or Amazon has announced the streaming rights for the 2018 Thursday Night Football, but some have reported that the first game will Week 4, Sept. 27: Vikings at Rams.

Sunday Football

Sunday Football airs on NBC, CBS, and FOX. Plus you have the NFL RedZone Channel, which offers nonstop coverage of every red zone drive in real time. >> 2018 NFL Schedule

Monday Night Football

MNF airs exclusively on ESPN >> 2018 MNF Schedule

Continue reading 5 Ways to Watch NFL Football without Cable TV

Watch 2017 NBA Finals Without Cable – 1st Round

Watch 2017 NBA Playoffs without Cable

How to Watch 2017 NBA Finals Online & with an Antenna

Do you love the NBA but hate cable television? Would you like to know how to watch the NBA playoffs without cable? Then stick around, because that’s exactly what we’re going to be discussing today.

Isn’t it funny how time catches up on you? It only seems like yesterday that the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA championships. But nearly a year later, here we are again eagerly awaiting the start of the 2017 NBA playoffs.

Like most sport events these days, it’s incredibly easy to tune in to the NBA playoffs without a costly cable subscription. That is, as long as you know where to go, and what to do.

To begin lets take a look at the channels you’ll need to catch all the action.  The NBA playoffs will air on these six channels: ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, TNT, and NBA TV.


Check out HOW TO WATCH NBA ONLINE & WITHOUT CABLE (Dec. 2017)


Now lets take a look at the different tools and platforms you can use to access these channels over the coming weeks. Continue reading Watch 2017 NBA Finals Without Cable – 1st Round

What is Mohu AirWave?

What is AirWave

A Wireless Antenna With Video Streaming Integration

One frustration you do hear from cord cutters who rely an over-the-air (OTA) antenna, is that there’s not a smooth way to integrate that OTA signal with your streaming services. Sure, you can switch between input settings on your television; but then you have to find the remote, select the correct setting, and then somewhere along the way you just sort of lose that feeling of having an all-in-one entertainment experience.

But luckily for us, Mohu has come up with a simple solution. It’s called the AirWave, and it just might be the answer to your cord cutting prayers.

Let’s take a look at what we know: Continue reading What is Mohu AirWave?

3 Ways to Watch Super Bowl 51 without Cable

How to Watch Super Bowl Online and Over-the-Air

It’s that wonderful time of year again where chicken wing prices begin to soar, frogs start singing about beer, and some of the best athletes in the world gather to square off in the biggest football game of the year.

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, and boy is it going to be a great one!

This year the Super Bowl is turning the big 51, and given the two teams that are battling it out, we should expect some of the best football we’ve seen in decades.  Facing off will be the New England Patriots vs the Atlanta Falcons

Now, if you prefer to spend your hard earned money on something other than an astronomically high cable bill, you might be wondering how you can watch the Super Bowl without a cable subscription. In years past, the Super Bowl has been a bit difficult to access; offering up only a few cable TV alternatives to viewers. But this year, I am happy to report, it’s never been easier.

This year’s Super Bowl broadcast honors goes to FOX; who have gone out of their way to make this game available to everyone. You will be able to catch Super Bowl 51 on your local FOX affiliate on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2016 at 2:50 PM PT.

Now here’s how you can watch Super Bowl 51 without cable: Continue reading 3 Ways to Watch Super Bowl 51 without Cable

Indoor or Outdoor Antenna?

2 Steps to Buying the Right Type of Antenna for your Household
OTA TV Broadcast Tower

If you’re just getting started as a cord cutter, or you’re thinking about becoming one, you are probably wondering about the type of equipment you need. For the most part, picking out a streaming box is a relatively simple task; but deciding which antenna to buy is a bit more difficult. The one question I hear most from my readers is: “Should I buy an indoor or outdoor antenna?”

It’s a difficult question for some, and for many more it stops them dead in their tracks. But with a little foreknowledge, picking out the right OTA antenna can be a lot easier than you may think; and today I’ll show you how.

Let’s get started!


First we’re going to briefly examine the differences between indoor and outdoor antennas.

INDOOR ANTENNAS

Indoor antennas are typically smaller and less powerful than their outdoor cousins; with a range of about 30-50 miles. Companies like Mohu and Channel Master have been able to transform the design of the old rabbit ears of yesteryear, into sleek and inexpensive devices that resemble paper thin pieces of plastic more than a traditional antenna.

Typically an indoor antenna costs somewhere between $30 and $60. To see a list of some of the more popular indoor antennas, read “ANTENNAS, SPLITTERS, AMPLIFIERS & DVRs“. As for placement, many people hang these antennas on their walls or put them in a windowsill. 

OUTDOOR ANTENNAS

On the flip side, Outdoor Antennas are usually placed on top of roofs or garages, and are much larger and more powerful than the indoor antennas. They also cost more; usually priced somewhere north of $100. Outdoor antennas typically have a range between 60 and 100 miles; depending on the surrounding area. 

At this point, you’re probably wondering why anyone would not just go with an outdoor antenna, since it’s the most powerful right(?) Well, the problem is that for many, their home is not best suited for an outdoor antenna or it is simply not needed due to close proximity to a local TV tower. 

Deciding on an Indoor or Outdoor Antenna

  1. The first thing you need to do is evaluate your living situation. If you’re in an apartment building or have a Home Owners Association with strict rules, then odds are an indoor antenna is your only option. 
  2. The next thing you need to do is figure out how close you live to a broadcast tower.  TVFool.com and AntennaWeb both offer a free TV Signal Analysis where you can enter your address and see what direction your OTA signals are coming from, and how far away they are. If you’re less than 30 miles away from a broadcast tower, then an indoor antenna could be all you need.
    • Now if you live out in rural area, or you’re just too far from an OTA broadcast tower (30+ miles), then an outdoor antenna is your best bet.When looking up your address you may notice that that you’re getting signals from multiple directions; and if this is the case you should consider buying an omni-directional antenna

*** Like with Indoor Antennas, we have a page dedicated to the more popular Outdoor Antenna models with brief descriptions of each. Click here to learn more. 

Buying an OTA Antenna

Deciding on an OTA Antenna is easy, as long as you know what to look for. Just make sure you are aware of your living restrictions, and your proximity to a broadcast station. If you keep those two things in mind, picking the right antenna will be a breeze.

Are you having trouble picking out an OTA antenna? Sound off in the comments below, send me a tweet or e-mail and I’ll be able to help you out!

Sling TV new “Multi-Stream” Package

Streaming to multiple devices is no longer an issue with Sling TV’s Multi-Stream package

Sling TV Multi-Stream

One of my favorite online streaming services has to be Sling TV (click here for a free trial).  If you are new to the service, make sure you read our Sling TV review.

As a cord cutting sports fan, I have really appreciated being able to live stream ESPN and sporting events like March Madness without cable. But one thing about Sling TV that’s always bothered me has been the fact that I could only stream it on one device as a time; but that’s about to change.

Earlier this month, Sling TV unveiled a brand new streaming “default” package, appropriately named “Multi-Stream”. There are a few key differences between the Multi and Single stream packages, so let’s do a quick rundown on the changes

*** To learn about last month’s changes to Sling TV’s offering, check out “Whats New With Sling TV“.

First, let’s start with what you’ll get. Continue reading Sling TV new “Multi-Stream” Package

Cord Cutting Needs to be Part of your Retirement Plan

How Retirees are Cutting Cable, While Keeping the Shows they Love

Cord Cutting for Retirement

As you start to reach retirement age, one of the things you start thinking about is reducing needless expenses. Whether it’s turning down the thermostat or switching to generic brand cereal, there’s always something that can be done. Most recently, more and more people at retirement age have been looking at ditching cable and seeking out a cable TV alternative; and it’s easy to see why.

Cable television is one of the most expensive forms of entertainment in the United State; costing consumers roughly $1000-$1500 a year. Cord cutters on the other hand spend much less than the average cable consumer; sometimes spending as low as $100 a year. How do they do it? Here’s how: Continue reading Cord Cutting Needs to be Part of your Retirement Plan