How to Get Local Channels Without Cable

By Ra Ryuken

Local channels can usually be received on very high frequency (VHF) or ultra high frequency (UHF) broadcasts with the use of an indoor or an outdoor antenna. An outdoor antenna will always get the clearest frequency for best picture, but an indoor antenna can receive VHF and UHF broadcasts as well. If the home location is surrounded by too much interference such as mountains, trees and other buildings or obstacles, the antenna will need to be placed somewhere that it can get reception. Recently, the Federal Communication Commission has changed analog broadcasts to digital so a converter box also will be needed to view local channels.

Things You'll Need

  • Outdoor or indoor antenna
  • Coaxial cable
  • Converter box

Step 1

Install an outdoor antenna with rotating maneuverability in the highest available location. The highest part of the roof is usually the best location. Tightly secure the antenna to the surface so it will not fall during fierce weather. An indoor antenna will require some location experimenting to find where the best reception indoors will be. The walls of the building will create signal interference.

Step 2

Unplug the television and any other electrical equipment associated with the television's entertainment center. This will avoid any shocks or set up interference.

Step 3

Connect the coaxial cable to the outdoor antenna and run the cable into the building where the television is stationed. Secure the coaxial cable to the outside of the building with wiring staples. The coaxial cable will already be attached to an indoor antenna.

Step 4

Insert the other end of the coaxial cable into the "Coaxial In" port of the digital-to-analog converter box. Use the coaxial cable that was included with the converter box to plug into the "Coaxial out" port.

Step 5

Plug the coaxial cable from the converter box into the "Coaxial In" port of the television.

Step 6

Return power to the entertainment center, including the new converter. There is a flip switch on the converter box with a three and four. Change the television channel to the channel designated on the box, either three or four. Use the converter box remote to run a channel sweep to find the local channels in the area.

Step 7

Adjust the antenna to get the best signal by rotating its direction. Outdoor antennas usually include a rotation device with an indoor controller. Indoor antennas need to be adjusted manually; they easily pick up interference such as people walking in the room.