This section should answer all your questions regarding cutting the cord. If not please call us we will answer all your questions.
Q; Will my HOA allow me to install an antenna?
A: In 1996, The FCC affirmed the rights of homeowners to place antennas on property they own or control.
Review the FCC ruling here: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html.
Basically the law says that homeowner, apartment and condo association covenants cannot prevent you from installing antennas. It states “prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming.”
In short the law says you can install an antenna on your property no matter if your a condo, townhome or any other type of home association.
Q: Why are you rated Number #1 from Angie's List, Google and other websites?
A: Because we do not leave your home until your totally satisfied or there's no charge. Plus we are the only company that offers a full one year warranty on signal quality, materials and workmanship.
Q; Is over- the- air HDTV really superior to cable and satellite providers?
A: Yes, Cable and satellite providers have data limitations. Because of this, they must often resort to data compression or other techniques that compromise the image quality and don’t provide the full benefit of HD programming. Broadcast antennas are the only method for receiving HDTV in the resolution that the network intended it to be broadcast.
Q: Can I really receive free HDTV programing?
A: Yes, all you need is a new digital antenna capable of receiving digital UHF and VHF signals. Don't worry we will select the proper antenna for your situation.
Most of the Twin Cites population live within range of an OTA broadcast towers. The exception would be someone living in a very rural area. Although, it's possible to live within the range of a broadcast towers its still possible you may not get a HD reception. For example if you live near large buildings or have physical objects -- metal roof, large buildings, trees, large hills -- these objects may be blocking the signal getting to you. Again don't worry we will do a Free Signal Analysis for you.
Q: Are all TV stations transmitting in digital high definition?
A: No but if the broadcasting station is transmitting in HD you receive it in HD without any special boxes. However all full power broadcast TV stations are broadcasting in digital. There is no more analog from these stations. Prime time programming from the networks are usually in HD, some of the daytime programming is still in non-HD format.
Q: Is my TV compatible with the new Digital HD programing?
A: If you don't know the answer to this look at your owner's manual or call the manufacturer and ask them. If your TV has a square screen (Flat Screen) then most likely you have a compatible TV. Conversely if your TV is not rectangle and looks like it has a tube - then is is likely that you don't have a television capable of displaying digital or HD programming.
However even if you have an old analog TV with a converter box you still receive over 35+ channels for free but not in high definition. We sell converter boxes for older analog TV's but recommend you consider a new TV.
Q: How do I receive free HD Signals in the Twin City metro area?
A: In order to receive free digital and high definition signals you must meet all of the following conditions:
1.You live in an area that is capable of receiving over-the-air (OTA) broadcast signals. The Twin Cities qualify.
2.Your local broadcast stations (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, etc) transmit a HD digital signal. - Yes they all transmit digitally.
3.You either have a HDTV that has a built-in digital (ATSC) tuner or a HD-ready TV. Most of today's TV's are digital ready especially if you own a flat screen TV. But Check to make sure or we will help.
Q: What is the monthly cost?
A: Nothing..... its absolutely"Free ". There are no monthly cable or satellite fees. Plus there are no monthly box or DVR fees. There is only a one time fee for the antenna and installation. Then there is free HDTV for life.
Q: Can I still have DVR capability?
A: Yes, with our new digital recorders DVR capability is not only available but is subscription free. No more monthly charges. Also since it has Wi- Fi capability Movies-on-Demand and Web Applications are a click away.
Q: Can I still stream or add a streaming device?
A: Yes you can and we will install it for you absolutely free. Our installation will not affect your current streaming devices. We will install it free.
Q: What are the facts about "Cutting the Cord"?
A: What is cord cutting?...know all the facts.
Cord cutting simply means canceling your pay-TV service. Cord cutting has been a growing trend since 2009, when over-the-air broadcast signals switched from analog to digital. People began to realize that they could now get the vast majority of their favorite TV shows in beautiful HD using a simple television antenna rather than paying monthly fees to a TV provider.
Today, cord cutting is accelerating due to several factors such as the emergence of smart TV's, streaming devices and DVRs for TV antennas, which provides a very cable-like viewing experience. In addition the existence of streaming services like Sling TV provides access to the cable TV shows, sports, news and children programing for your viewing experience and for a lot less money than what you would typically spend with a cable or satellite service. An antenna system will cost you nothing after the initial installation cost. Add a streaming service like Sling TV and your only paying $19.95 a month.
There's a lot of misleading information out there. Know your facts. Consumers are inundated with inaccurate information when it comes to cutting the cord.
To be clear, cord cutting is not subscribing to a lot of different streaming services that would end up costing you nearly as much as the TV service that you already have. Cord cutting means you subscribe to only programing
you watch. No contracts and paying only for what you want. For example Sling TV is cancelable at any time.
A Few Common Myths About Cord Cutting
Myth: If I cut the cord I have to give up live TV.
Fact: You will have live TV, including all of the major broadcast networks, your local news and sports.
Myth: If I cut the cord I have to give up the DVR.
Fact; You can own your DVR. Some require monthly fees and contracts, some do not.
Myth: If I cut the cord I have to give up my Cable shows.
Fact: You can get all of your favorite Cable shows and pay only for what you want on demand from free and pay streaming services.
Myth: If I cut the cord I have to stream everything.
Fact: Absolutely not, 47 of the top 50 TV shows are available with a television antenna, no streaming required.
What are the key ingredients to cut the cord?
1. A new digital HD Antenna
If you've researched cord cutting you've likely found a lot of advice about what streaming services you should have. In actuality, a TV antenna is the most important part of any cord cutting solution and streaming services are secondary.
A TV antenna gives you live TV, the most-watched TV programs, your local news, and you don't have to stream the content from the Internet. The benefits are:
• Avoid data caps and overage fees
• Don't lose TV if the Internet goes out
• Amazing picture quality
2. A new over- the- air DVR (Optional but can be added at any time)
If you're already using a DVR you won't want to give it up, and if you're not currently using a DVR it would be worth your while to check it out. A DVR for antenna users provides the same capabilities as a Cable or Satellite DVR:
• Pause and record live TV
• Set timers to record shows and series
• Skip through commercials
• Record a show while watching another
There are several good DVR options available for TV antennas and we'll discuss them in more detail below.
3. A Streaming Service or device (Optional but can be added at any time))
You're going to get all of the TV shows from the major broadcast networks for free through your TV antenna. But what about your favorite Cable network shows? That's where streaming services come in. In addition to Cable network shows, streaming services provide access to tons of movies and documentaries, too.
You don't need a bunch of streaming services to be a cord cutter. Because you have a TV antenna, you'll likely use only a few. Sling TV with its AirTV streaming capability is currently the best option on the market.
Lets look at "Cable TV Shows"
Cable TV shows are available from streaming services in two distinct categories: Current and Past seasons.
Now you need to determine which current season Cable TV shows you can't live without. Current season means that you want to watch the episodes of the show as they air. They are shows on AMC, USA, HBO, Showtime, History, etc. For example, The Walking Dead, which airs on AMC, is a Cable network show. Mr. Robot, which airs on USA, is a Cable network show. Vikings, which airs on History, is a Cable network show.
Let's pretend that your list of current season Cable TV must-haves is:
• The Walking Dead
• Game of Thrones
• The Real Housewives of Atlanta
• Keeping Up With The Kardashians
• Mr. Robot
As a good rule of thumb, a season pass for a current Cable network show from a streaming service such as Vudu or Amazon costs about $25 for the HD version. The SD version costs less, about $17.
For our calculation purposes we will assume that you want to purchase the SD version.
7 Current Season Cable Shows x $17 = $175 Per Year
Now you have all of the broadcast network content from the TV antenna for free, and your favorite Cable shows for just $175 per year. Compare that with how much per year you are currently paying for TV service. For most people it's around $1,000 or more.
NOTE: When you buy a season pass for a TV show you are not renting it, you will own it and be able to watch all of the episodes again any time you want. Everything is stored in your Vudu or Amazon library, and the $175 per year is spread out depending on when your Cable shows start airing throughout the year. You don't pay for it all in one chunk.
Now lets look at "News" programing.
Your antenna has you covered for local news - morning, afternoon and evening editions from your local broadcast stations, live. You will also get the live daily national news shows from the major broadcast networks including Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News and CBS Evening News. Your TV antenna also provides any special live news broadcasts such as the State of the Union and breaking news.
Your cable news shows, in their live TV format, are not available from a TV antenna. However all of the majors, including Fox News, CNN and Bloomberg, have free streaming apps that include video clips of daily news broadcasts, access to regular news shows on demand, and some live streaming options.
What about "Sports"?
Until recently we come to the one thing that was a challenge for cord cutters, depending on what sports and teams you want to watch. Sports programming is by far the most expensive content on TV. For the average U.S. pay-TV subscriber, about 50% of your monthly programming cost is due to the sports content that is carried on the various cable network channels in your TV package.
Due to the out-of-control costs of sports programming, many sports have disappeared from broadcast TV to find new homes on Cable network channels and Cable-only regional sports networks, meaning you can't watch them without a pay-TV subscription.
Happily, the NFL has remained committed to airing local market and national games on free broadcast TV networks, so your TV antenna is going to provide ample football coverage! You'll get Sunday games, Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. The only thing missing is Monday Night Football, which is only available on ESPN. There's now a great solution for cord cutters to get ESPN at a low cost and we'll explain more in the Streaming Services section below.
When it comes to MLB, NBA, NHL, Golf, NASCAR and College Sports, they are not as easy to come by. Each will air some national programming on broadcast TV throughout the year and you'll get those from your TV antenna. However, if you regularly follow these sports on Cable network channels and don't want to give that up, your options as a cord cutter are somewhat limited and sometimes costly. We will explore some options in the Streaming Services section below IMPORTANT: Fox North and ESPN 1 and 2 now on Sling TV. if you watch Regional Sports Networks, such as Altitude, SportsNet, Pac-12, Big 10 or Mid Atlantic Sports Network you should think twice about cutting the cord. However we are very lucky in the Twin Cities as Sling TV for $19.95 month with no contract now has Fox North, ESPN 1 and ESPN 2. That means you can watch all your Twins,Timberwolves and Wild games.
Which Streaming Services Should I Use?
You don't need a lot of streaming services to satisfy your TV needs. Most cord cutters use two, sometimes three services and there are specific benefits to each one. We recommend the following services because they provide the most value to cord cutters and they are readily available nationwide. Here are the main services you will likely want and why:
* NetFlix is a must-have, folks. For a very reasonable price you get access to a huge library of movies, TV shows, documentaries and award-winning original content.
With the exception of original content, Netflix does not provide access to new-release movies or current TV shows, they are about a season behind. Netflix also has access to 4K (or UltraHD) content for many of its programs, if you happen to have a 4K-capable TV.
This is all available for about $8 per month, depending on your needs. No contract, cancel at any time.
* Amazon Prime is your option for getting current season Cable shows and new-release movies. If you are not a Prime member, Vudu offers this without a subscription. However, Prime members also get access to a large library of movies, TV shows (including past HBO seasons) and award-winning original content.
There are many other reasons to consider being an Amazon Prime member, including free two-day shipping, a vast free music library, free books from the Kindle library, and unlimited digital photo storage. Yes, unlimited!
$99 per year, paid once per year. View content for free with your subscription, rent or purchase TV and movies.
For cord cutters who are not Amazon Prime members, Vudu is a fantastic service for getting your current season Cable shows and new-release movies. In addition, Vudu has frequent sales for all kinds of movies. At very little cost you will find yourself with a great movie library filled with all of your favorites.
Added bonus: Vudu lets you upload your DVDs to your Vudu library for a small fee. You won't need a DVD player any more and your movies are safe, secure and accessible from anywhere, on any device, from Vudu's cloud. No subscription fee, pay only for what you watch.
* Sling TV
Lucky for us in the Twin Cities Sling TV now has Fox North so you can watch all your Twin, Timberwolves and Wild games.
Sling TV is live Cable TV without a contract. Yes, you read that correctly. Sling TV is a small bundle of the most popular Cable channels, including Fox North or ESPN, TNT, TBS, History, AMC, A&E, Food Network, HGTV, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, CNN and more. For sports lovers in particular, the combination of your TV antenna with Fox north, ESPN, TNT and TBS from Sling TV is going to get you a lot of great NFL, MLB and NBA content. Sling TV has additional add-on packages and a big On Demand library, too. There's no contract, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out!
Best of all Sling has its own voice activated streaming device for only $139.00 that includes NETFLIX, over- the- air- tv and Google Apps all in one device.
Sling is only $19.95 per month. No contract, cancel at any time.
You probably noticed that we did not include Hulu in the options above, even though it's one of the most common streaming services mentioned when people give advice about cord cutting. So why would we leave it out of our recommendations? Here's our reasoning:
The majority of Hulu content, and indeed the content upon which the service was founded, is current seasons of broadcast TV shows. With Hulu you can view current episodes of broadcast TV shows, with commercials, the day after they air. TV antenna users already have access to this content live, on the day that it airs, can record it on a DVR, skip commercials and don't have to use up data to stream it. Also, the non-broadcast content on Hulu, except for originals, can usually be found on Amazon or Vudu.
While we recognize that Hulu is evolving as a service, at this time we don't feel that it provides much added value to TV antenna users. For cord cutters who for some reason cannot use a TV antenna or don't have access to one, Hulu, at either $8 or $12 per month depending on whether you want a lot of TV commercials in your content or just a few (you can't skip them), Hulu would be a great service to have.
About Stand-Alone Streaming Services
The services that we have recommended above are what we call aggregate services, meaning they provide content from many different sources and are going to provide cord cutters with the best value. There are lots of what we call stand-alone streaming services, media companies who charge a monthly fee for you to access JUST their content, and more are popping up every day.
CBS has a service called CBS All Access. It's $6 per month. Antenna users are going to get the same CBS content for free from their TV antenna, in amazing HD quality and without using up data.
HBO Now, for $180 per year ($15 per month) is great if you watch a lot of HBO. But if you watch only a handful of HBO shows you're going to save money by getting that content from either Vudu or Amazon. The same goes for Showtime.
It will be up to you to determine if any of the stand-alone streaming services are worth your money. There are a lot of choices out there. Are you an anime lover? There's an all-anime service called Crunchyroll for $7 per month! We couldn't possibly list all of the choices here, but you will have fun discovering what's available.
Where do you find all of these options so you can learn more about them? Through a streaming device that we're going to talk about in the next section.
What Devices Do I Need?
1. Over-the-air Digital HDTV Antenna
This is hands-down the most important part of your cord cutting solution. If you've never used a TV antenna you're going to be amazed at the value you will discover. Depending on where you live, people will have different requirements for TV antennas. About $349
2. DVR to record (Optional)
You will be getting live TV from all of the major broadcast networks through your TV antenna. This includes 47 of the top 50 TV shows! If you are currently using a DVR from your pay-TV provider and have become accustomed to being able to pause and rewind live TV, record your favorite shows to watch later and skip commercials, you will want a DVR for your TV antenna.
The DVR+ works like a Cable DVR, you just hook it up to your TV. The On-Screen guide will automatically scan for your antenna channels and complete the installation for you.
You can choose to supply your own USB hard drive, any size, or have a 1TB internal hard drive that provides up to 160 hrs of HD recording.
DVR+ also includes extras such as streaming services in the channel guide like VuDu for movies, Sling TV, Pandora for music and YouTude plus 30 free live Internet channels like WGN.
No Fee, Includes Guide, Connects Directly to TV. About $399
3. Streaming Media Player or Smart TV to stream (Optional)
A smart tv does it all but most people don't have smart TV's yet. So the answer is a streaming device. A streaming media player is a device that connects to your TV and provides access to streaming services. We recommend the the Sling AIRTV streaming device because they provide the simplest user experience and the most value for cord cutters. Plus they have program guides, NETFLIX, Over-the-air TV and Google Apps included.
Roku provides access to more streaming services than you'll know what to do with. Some are subscription services you pay for and some are free.
We recommend the the Sling AirTV over Roku Stick because of its simplicity. Both devices are very good and plug directly into an HDMI port on your TV and provides everything you need.