Why moving is the perfect time to switch to free over-the-air TV

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Young couple carrying big tv in their new apartment.

Many of us have contemplated cutting down their monthly bills by switching to free over-the-air television. However, several factors might be keeping you from making the leap.

Perhaps you haven’t gotten around to buying an antenna — or installing it. Maybe you don’t want to rearrange your living room to get the best reception. Perhaps you have tried canceling your subscription to a pay-TV or streaming service only to be talked into keeping it by a well-trained customer service representative. Or, maybe you’ve just never gotten around to it.

If you are in the process of moving to a new home, this could be the ideal time to try free OTA TV once and for all.

Making A Fresh Start

Whether going across the country or down the road, relocating is all about getting a fresh start. You will have to cancel services at your current address anyway. Instead of transferring your accounts, just let them know you are moving and need it to be stopped on a specific date.

You can then let the company know that you don’t want to start service at your new home right away. Then, if you try OTA TV at your next place and don’t enjoy it, you can always sign back up for a subscription-based service later. However, there’s a good chance that you won’t look back once you make the switch and realize how much your antenna has to offer, especially if you’re in one of the ever-growing markets that offer NextGen TV.

What You Need To Switch To OTA TV

All you need to start watching TV for free is an antenna. Depending on your needs and location, there are many affordable options for indoor, outdoor and attic antennas. If you aren’t sure what you need, take our short quiz to find out which antenna is best for you.

Switching to OTA doesn’t mean you have to give up features like recording or pausing live TV. Tablo offers a range of DVRs for over-the-air TV, giving you the freedom to watch your favorite shows and movies on your own time.

Ready to make a fresh start in your new home with free OTA TV? Here are our top picks for the equipment you’ll need.

Recommended antenna if you live in an urban area or nearby suburb:

Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse Amplified TV Antenna

$64.99 from Amazon

This highly-rated indoor antenna is designed to receive frequencies 50+ miles 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: 

Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V TV Antenna

$130.20 from Amazon

This powerful antenna has a range of 70+ 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:

Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

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.

Moving Is the Perfect Time For Antenna Setup

Before your move, you can determine if you will need an outdoor antenna or whether an indoor antenna will be sufficient. Using the DTV Reception Maps provided by the Federal Communication Commission and other free online tools makes it simple to discover what channels are available at your new address and what type of antenna you will likely require to access all of them.

If you are going to use an indoor antenna, location is critical. Before setting up your TV and all of your furniture, you can find out where an antenna will get the best reception, which is typically near a window. Then, you can arrange the rest of your furnishings without worry.

You will likely carve out time to meet other service providers as you move in. This can make it a convenient time to hire a professional installer if you need an outdoor antenna installed and would rather not do it yourself.

Cut Costs In Your New Home

On average, moving can cost anywhere from approximately $1,000 to nearly $5,000. And that doesn’t include other expenses such as transfer fees, cleaning supplies, utility setup and additional costs commonly associated with a move.

The average cable package costs $217 per month, which is a whopping $2,604 every year. Initially, streaming subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu seemed like they would be cheaper options (averaging $5 to $18 a month). But now, the average household has eight streaming subscriptions, which could add up to $1,728 every year!

The one-time investment you’ll make to set up OTA TV is very budget-friendly when compared to the over $40,000 you’d potentially spend on cable and streaming over the next 10 years!

If you are worried that there won’t be enough to watch, you will be pleasantly surprised. Over-the-air TV antennas can pick up dozens of live stations, depending on where you live. This means that you can enjoy everything from the local news and weather to the biggest live events and sports to movies, sitcoms and so much more.

So, if you are planning to move to a different place soon, consider making the move to OTA TV, at least as a trial. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of quality high-definition TV in the comfort of your new home without any monthly bills.

Getting Started With OTA

The best antennas recommended by experts in the industry to get the most out of your OTA experience.