We recently slashed our cable bill by over $500 annually (after figuring in our up-front investments to switch our plan). I’m still shocked at how much we saved, and even more shocked by how little we miss our old cable TV plan (read the full details here). Part of the plan involved mounting a TV antenna to maximize reception. You see, one non-negotiable part of this plan was to get great reception on the local TV stations. My husband watches local sports games and I need to stay current on Dr. Phil and the Bachelor. Just Kidding! I only really care about Ellen. Anyway. Below I’m sharing what we learned about how to get great reception at your home.
Choosing the Right Antenna
To avoid fussing around with the antenna, we went straight with a top-rated antenna called the Mohu Leaf. It’s an indoor mounting antenna with a very understated appearance. But after getting it up on the wall, it was clear that it wasn’t going to work for us. We only got two of the local channels. Neither were channels we really wanted anyway. Fail!</p><p>Thankfully, my smart husband carefully unpackaged the Mohu Leaf, so it was easy to repackage and return to Best Buy. We traded the Mohu Leaf for a more budget friendly Winegard Freevision Outdoor Antenna from Home Depot. The new antenna got mounted outside our home and connected to the existing cable line (installed by our previous cable provider). And boom! Perfect reception from all the local stations.
What We Learned
What was the difference between the two antennas? We think it was a combination of:
Our TV’s location inside the house. The TV is against an interior wall. If it were on an exterior wall or next to a window, the Mohu Leaf would work great. We know this because we even tried using an extra long cord to hook the Mohu Leaf up in our garage, and it worked fine. The big problem was it required drilling a hole through the walls to hide/run the cable, which wasn’t practical).
Our distance from the transmission point. This is referred to as the radius when you are shopping for antennas. What you need to know here is that antennas with a larger radius cost more. Don’t be like us: save yourself an extra trip to the store. Confirm your distance from the transmission tower before going to the store. We used www.tvfool.com.
Facing the antenna the right direction. We looked up the location of the local channel transmission tower online and faced our antenna towards that.
This is what the antenna set up looks like outside our house. It’s having a party out there with the utility meter and internet wiring. Woohoo! We’re still brainstorming ways to tastefully hide that situation. But with other outdoor priotiries this year (like our deck project), we probably won’t tackle it until next spring. If you have a clever disguise idea, send it my way! I’d love to hear it!