How Do I Get Digital Channels With Just an Antenna?

By Jack Gorman

Cable's expensive. So is DirecTV, Dish Network and any other type of television that you have to pay for, at least in comparison to getting your television channels for free. Despite the digital transition in 2009, you can still get free over-the-air channels direct to your television set, and the good news is they're better than ever because now they are all digital.

Step 1

Determine if your television has a digital channel tuner. If you purchased your television new in the United States after May 25, 2007, your television by law has to have a digital channel tuner. If your television is older, look on the TV for markings that say "Digital Tuner", "DTV", "ATSC" or "HDTV" (all HDTVs have digital tuners in them). If you find no such markings, check your television's manual. If you do not have a digital tuner, you will need to purchase a digital converter box.

Step 2

Install your digital antenna. The antenna has a wire attached to it; the wire has a round screw end on it. Connect the antenna to the cylindrical metal port on the back of your television.

Step 3

Set your television to scan for channels. This is usually done by accessing your television's main menu, then using a "Scan for Channels" function. Check your television manual if you need more information.