As prices rise on our entertainment options, using a digital antenna to get free TV is an appealing idea. Watching free over-the-air television via a digital antenna could potentially save a household a bundle of money each month.
But have you wondered if an over-the-air TV antenna would interfere with your existing wireless network?
Luckily, there is little chance of that, because Wi-Fi networks work on different frequencies than digital antennas.
Digital TV antennas go up to a frequency of 693.25 MHz, according to Into Tomorrow. Wi-Fi routers, on the other hand, operate on 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. That’s a huge gap between frequencies.
That said, it’s a good policy to keep your router away from your TV and other electronics, as well as metal. You’ll also want to make sure there isn’t anything physically blocking it on all sides. Barring that, you should have a good Wi-Fi signal.
What Channels Can I Receive?
The availability of channels via digital antenna will vary by your location. You can look up what you potentially would receive with a channel finder that searches by ZIP code. Just know that what you can receive where you are may vary from a city near you, but most likely, you’ll have access to a wide variety of TV shows and special events.
Placing your TV antenna high up as possible will help eliminate any signal blockage coming from physical objects like walls, trees and hillsides.
What You Need To Get Started
Here are our top picks for the equipment you’ll need to use antennas for TV reception.
If you live in an urban area or neighboring suburb:
$64.99 from Amazon
This well-reviewed indoor antenna is designed to receive frequencies from 50 miles or more away from broadcast towers. It easily grips smooth surfaces like walls or windows for optimal placement to pick up as many channels as possible.
Recommended antenna if you live in a far suburb or rural area:
$130.20 from Amazon
This powerful antenna has a range of 70-plus miles and can be installed inside, outside or in the attic. It has UHF and VHF multi-directional elements designed to deliver reception in remote areas.
Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR to record your favorite shows:
An OTA DVR device can record, pause, rewind and fast forward. Here are the products we recommend:
- Tablo DUAL 128GB Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR: Record up to 80 HD hours and stream up to two free broadcast channels from your HDTV antenna simultaneously.
- Tablo QUAD 1TB Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR: Record up to 700 hours and stream up to four free broadcast channels from their over-the-air HDTV antenna simultaneously.
If you have an external hard drive sitting at home collecting dust, consider these options as cheaper alternatives. Simply connect your antenna and portable hard drive to these Tablo DVR devices and you’re ready to go.
- Tablo DUAL Lite: Equipped with built-in Wifi, it lets you position the antenna and DVR for the best signal reception.
- Tablo QUAD: Record up to four OTA channels simultaneously. This model connects to your router rather than your TV, giving you the option to stream live TV to any device.
If you need to purchase a portable hard drive, we recommend USB-connected portable hard drives (USB 2.0 or 3.0, 1 TB to 8 TB in size). These are the ones we recommend: WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive and the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive.