Finally, it’s time for some football. With the 2016 NFL season getting started, millions of fans will be following their home teams closely, hoping to root them all the way to the big game. Unfortunately for many, that means paying for an expensive cable contract to catch all the action. After all, you’ve got to have NFL Sunday Ticket, RedZone, and all that right?
Well, no. See, sure there are all sorts of ways to watch every NFL game, and you could pay out the wazoo to do so. But if you’re the average NFL fan who bleeds home team colors, you don’t need all that. The fact is, you can cut the cord and watch your favorite team all season long. All you need is a good antenna with a good signal. Even your team’s Monday Night Football game will be simulcast on a local network. Not only that, you’ll receive a bunch of other games all day Sunday and many Thursday Night Football games as well.
Let’s take a look at exactly how to make it happen.
Step 1: Run an antenna report.
Find out exactly what channels are available in your area and how far away the broadcast towers are by running an antenna report. TVFool.com is a great resource for antenna reports. To watch your home team play, you might as well assume you need the big four stations (FOX, CBS, NBC, and ABC). If you have trouble reading your antenna report, this subreddit is pretty good about helping people out.
Step 2: Find an antenna that is rated for what you need.
Are the broadcast signals close by? Great, then any antenna will likely do. However, if you find that NBC is 40 miles away, you should go ahead and get an antenna that is rated for 50 miles. Any further and you may need to upgrade to a rooftop antenna. Mohu’s antenna site has some great tools for helping you match up with the right antenna.
Step 3: Install your antenna.
Installing your antenna isn’t very difficult, but there are a few tricks worth knowing. Mainly, try and get the antenna in a spot with as few obstructions as possible. A window is ideal. Secondly, remember, the higher, the better. You might even consider putting the antenna in the attic for the ideal reception.
Step 4: Scan for channels.
Once your antenna is all hooked up, it’s time to scan for channels. You do this by going into your TV settings using your remote. If all goes according to plan, you’ll see the four big networks pop up, and you’ll know you’re ready for football. If not, it’s time to move the antenna around before trying to scan again.
Step 5: Check your team’s TV schedule and plan accordingly.
Remember, when you’re using an antenna, you won’t have an onscreen guide like with cable. So you need to check your team’s schedule online and plan accordingly. Of course, you could get an over-the-air DVR, which will record games and create an onscreen TV guide for you.
What If an Antenna Won’t Work in My Location?
Some people live in areas where they can’t get a good antenna signal, such as in apartments or condos. If that’s the case, your best bet is NFL Game Pass. You can see every game on Game Pass, except there’s a catch – they don’t air until after the games are over. However, they do offer live radio audio.
But the likelihood is, with the right antenna, you’ll be able to enjoy cheering on your home team this NFL season. Here’s to all those early season Super Bowl aspirations!