Digital TV antennas: How to watch sports and live events without cable or streaming

couple watching TV
Digital TV antennas can pull in TV channels for free. Morsa Images / Getty Images

Between paying for cable and paying for streaming services, it can get expensive to watch great content on your TV — especially if you want to watch live NFL football gameswatch the MLB playoffs or see other live events. But there’s a way around these costs: digital TV antennas. Like the television rabbit ears of your parents’ generation, these affordable indoor antennas will pull in over-the-air HDTV channels such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and PBS free of charge.

If you live on the first floor of an apartment complex, or otherwise live in a partially blocked-off area (those near mountains, for example), a digital TV antenna may not pick up a good signal — or any signal at all. But for many homes, a digital TV antenna is the first step in cutting the cable TV cord — a way to getting channels to watch without paying a monthly fee. Indoor TV antennas can also be used as a backup to watch TV if a storm knocks out your cable or satellite. 

Want to get started? Consider the digital TV antenna options ahead from Walmart, Lowe’s and Best Buy.

RCA flat multi-directional HDTV antenna

RCA Flat Multi-Directional HDTV Antenna
Walmart

This antenna is NextGen TV compatible for 4K ultra HDTV. It works up to 40 miles from a broadcast tower, and you can lay it flat, hang it or stand it up with its built-in easel stand.

RCA flat multi-directional HDTV antenna, $10


Camkey 2021 outdoor indoor digital TV antenna

Camkey 2021 Outdoor Indoor Digital TV Antenna
Walmart

This antenna has up to a 200-mile reception range and is waterproof, so it can be used both indoors and outdoors. 

Camkey 2021 outdoor/indoor digital TV antenna, $45 (reduced from $100)


Best Buy Essentials amplified ultra-thin film indoor HDTV antenna 

Best Buy essentials Amplified Ultra-Thin Film Indoor HDTV Antenna
Best Buy

This antenna has a range of up to 50 miles. It can be mounted on the wall or set on your TV stand. It has a two-sided black-and-white design, so you can choose which side blends in best with your wall or electronics. 

Best Buy Essentials amplified ultra-thin indoor HDTV antenna, $30 (reduced from $35)


Clear TV indoor amplifying and broadcasting antenna

Clear TV Indoor Amplifying & Broadcasting Antenna
Walmart

Reviewers recommend this uber-affordable antenna.

“I have an antenna on all my TVs and this one gets just as many channels as its more expensive sister,” reviewer Meg says. “I am thrilled.”

Clear TV indoor amplifying antenna, $13 (reduced from $15)


Core Innovations indoor TV antenna bar

Core Innovations Indoor TV Antenna Bar
Best Buy

This antenna bar allows you to access channels up to 80 miles away from a signal. It displays the current signal strength, helping you find the most ideal spot to place it.

Core Innovations indoor TV antenna bar, $80


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