Get Basic Local Tv Channels Without Cable Service

You can receive over-the-air local TV channels without cable service.

Receiving over-the-air television broadcasts now requires a digital converter box to transform the digital signals into information an older analog TV can understand. Cable service is not necessary to access basic local channels, although an antenna with a converter box is needed for analog sets. In urban areas, an indoor antenna with a built-in amplifier to boost the signal may be sufficient to pull in local channels. In rural areas, a cable connected to an outdoor antenna may be necessary. Connecting the cables to the TV and antenna takes only a few minutes.


1. Connect a coaxial cable to the “RF OUT” jack on the antenna. The coupler fits over the threaded jack and tightens clockwise. Be careful to insert the steel pin inside the coupler straight into the jack.

2. Attach the other end of the cable to the “IN” jack on the converter box and tighten the coupler by hand.

3. Connect a second coaxial cable to the “RF OUT” jack on the converter box and attach the other end of this cable to the “RF IN” coaxial jack on the back of the TV.

4. Plug the antenna (if amplified) and the digital converter box into a power outlet and switch on the television.

5. Press the channel buttons on the TV or remote control to scroll through the available programming and determine which basic local channels are available within viewing range. On TVs with a programmable channel feature, press the “Menu” button and select “Auto Tuner Setup,” which will prompt the TV to scan the strongest available channels and store them in memory.

6. Adjust the antenna poles for improved reception. On antennas with built-in RF amplifiers, turn the control knob to boost the signal on a specific channel for better picture and sound.