2020 is here and many cord cutters tell me a streaming service is all they need for cord cutting. So, why do I recommend an antenna for all cord cutters? (Or at least most that can pick up OTA signals?) The NASCAR Daytona 500 is a perfect example of why. Just the other day when the race was delayed many cord cutters found themselves unable to stream it in some markets. Yet if they had an antenna, they could have easily watched the race on FOX without issue.
Now if you have followed this site for some time, you will know I often push this idea. But with millions of new readers, it is important to go over this one more time as increasingly cord cutters are overlooking this free way to watch their favorite shows and events.
The good news is major local affiliates are now available through live TV streaming services such as YouTube TV, Hulu, and AT&T TV NOW; however, even if you receive your major locals such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC you should really still get an antenna.
Why is an antenna so important with your cord cutting setup? Here are my top five reasons why everyone should have an antenna.
#1 More Channels
Often when people think of OTA TV they think of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC; however, there is so much more available. PBS, ION, and The CW are probably the other networks most cord cutters know, but there are even more. Just this year several new OTA TV stations launched including stations from CBS.
Recently the CEO behind the Tablo DVR said the average Tablo DVR user gets more than 40 locals. Many of these are great channels such as MeTV, Antenna TV, Comet TV, Escape, and Laff, which air quality content from the past and current shows all 100% free.
#2 No Blackouts & No Outages
Streaming is still a fairly new technology, and it often struggles with blackouts and outages. The good news is every week these are become fewer; however, just like cable TV 30 years ago contracts and technology are still catching up. (And live TV streaming is already seeing a huge step forward in stability and reliability.)
OTA TV is older than cable TV and is a great way to know you will never miss that game or worry about outages.
#3 No Delay
Did you know that even cable TV is delayed a few seconds behind over-the-air TV? Streaming can average 30 seconds behind.
There are numerous factors that go into the delay in streaming. Your Internet and device speed will affect how long it takes for you to load the stream. There is also a built-in delay for the signal to go from your local station to your provider and back down to you. Typically, that is just 30 seconds, but some cord cutters on slow devices and connections can see a longer delay.
OTA TV is the best way to make sure you see the game live without delay.
#4 Picture Quality
Not all HD is the same, and even cable TV compresses HD TV. While it is still technically HD, you will be shocked at how good OTA TV looks compared to cable and streaming.
So, if you want high quality HD images, OTA is the way to go.
#5 OTA 3.0
This month the FCC is voting on the new OTA standard that will offer 4K video and better coverage of OTA TV. The good news is all current antennas will work with the 3.0 standard. Although we are still a few years away from most Americans having 4K OTA TV, it’s on its way and there is no time like now to get started.
There you go. Five reasons why an antenna is a must for cord cutters. Make sure to check out AntennaWeb.org to find out how many locals you can get with the different types of antennas.
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