4 Things Cable Companies Don’t Want You To Know About TV Antennas

cutting cable for good

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You have just moved into your new house and one of the first things on the list is to call the cable installation guy/girl.  Generally, the cable installer won’t tell you to get a TV antenna.  Here are 4 very important things cable companies won’t tell you about TV antennas.

TV Antenna

TV Signal vs Cable Signal

Here are some different antenna options

A TV antenna will give you a superior signal.

Cable and satellite companies carry so many channels, they compress the signal.  A compressed signal produces more noise.  More noise directly impacts the picture quality you receive on your HD screen. 

However, an antenna provides a better-quality picture transmitted over the air.  If you have an antenna and cable system at home, you can test this yourself. 

Compare the picture quality of the networks like CBS or ABC by switching between cable and your antenna.  You will see better quality with with the picture from your antenna.


Your satellite picture quality can be affected by weather.  When the weather goes bad or there is extensive cloud cover, you may lose your satellite signal.  However, that is unlikely with a good TV antenna.

Cable Channels vs TV Channels

The cable companies won’t tell you, in many instances, you will receive channels with an antenna that are not available via cable or satellite providers.  This varies by location.

Some of the channels you pay for with your satellite or cable bill are free with an antenna.  For instance, all the networks like CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS are all free channels your cable provider charges you. They won’t tell you this.

TV Advertising vs Cable Advertising

The cable companies won’t tell you there are less ads with your free TV antenna. In the beginning, one of the biggest advantages to switching to cable TV was no intrusive advertising.  But as cable TV started to grow in popularity, so did advertising. 

Listen to this short Marketplace interview about the increased advertising on cable, which surpasses free over-the-air TV.  Advertisers are interrupting your viewing pleasure with more ads, which isn’t cool. 

Amazon Prime VideoApple TVAT&T TVCuriosity StreamDisney+ESPN+Fubo TVHBO MaxHulu+Live TVKlowdTVNetflixParamount+
PeacockPhiloPluto TVRokuShowtimeSling TVStarzTubiTVisionVidgoYouTube TV
Some of the popular streaming services and networks


In conclusion, cable companies are really socking it to us. 

We pay for some channels, we can receive free. 

An antenna picture is better than cable. 

Weather can adversely affect satellite picture quality. 

We pay on average $100/month for cable/satellite. However, increased advertising is interrupting our viewing pleasure. In fact, some cable companies are proposing consumers pay an additional premium if they don’t want ads.

If you have an antenna, congratulations on your smart decision.  If you don’t, consider getting one. 

Leon Thomas  

Do you have cable?  Are you happy with it?  If you have a TV antenna, are you happy with it?  If you don’t have an antenna, would you get one? 

Additional Resources

Read the The Cheapest Way To Get One America News: 3 Best Options

Read How to Watch TV Without Cable or Satellite here

Buy an HDTV long range antenna here


This Post Has 7 Comments

    1. Leon

      Thank you

  1. work

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  2. Paul Klinge

    We have been using an antenna all our lives. I am 66. We raised 7 children. Best to limit TV and go out and play. I watch a lot of PBS. My wife watches local news and weather, plus some great shows on channel 28 and 48. We are getting tired of the hateful news people on ABC, NBC and CBS, so we will be adding Sling so that we can get Fox News. Your articles are a big help.

    1. Leon

      Thank you

  3. Dianne

    Good morning,
    I watched your video and was impressed with you and how you presented things. I am not very computer literate and often get very confused with all the new tech equipment. I do have Roku TV and wondered if I have a “good quality” outdoor antenna, will I need to still have internet for Sling TV? Can you look at the channels we prefer and recommend what is best for us please? Fox News is definately #1, we like wholesome movies so Hallmark, some Lifetime movies, loved White Collar so anything that falls into that category, and recording so that we can watch later would be great. Also which antenna would be best. Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Leon

      If you get an outdoor antenna, you will still need the internet for Sling TV or your Roku device. You can access Sling TV on Roku. For the channels you indicated, Sling Blue with the Lifestyle add on will give you Fox News, Hallmark and Lifetime. Sling TV gives you the ability to record up to 10 hours. If you want more than 10 hours, you can upgrade. We will be covering antennas on a future post so stay tuned. Thanks for reading.

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