A couple of years ago I dropped cable and satellite TV and just watch Netflix and Hulu over my internet connection via a Nintendo Wii (Playstation and Xbox or more advanced DVD/Blu Ray players or Roku type devices work as well.
However, I also want to watch the London Olympics which start in 8 days on July 27, 2012.
Here are the details about getting NBC and other channels over the air in the USA.
1. Receive Digital Channels
To receive the digital signals that are broadcast now your TV needs to have an ATSC tuner. (Advanced Television Systems Committee)
* By July 1, 2005 all televisions with screen sizes over 36 inches (91 cm) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner
* By March 1, 2006 all televisions with screen sizes over 25 inches (64 cm) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner
* By March 1, 2007 all televisions regardless of screen size, and all interface devices that include a tuner (VCR, DVD player/recorder, DVR) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner.
If your desired TV does not have the ATSC DTV tuner then you either need to get DVD player that has one or get a digital to analog converter.
2. Go to TVFool and know whether you can get an NBC channel
TVfool.com lets you look up your house to see what channels you can get. The key for the London Olympics is can you get NBC, what is the strength of the signal and is the strongest NBC channel on VHF or UHF.
In my case it is on VHF. This means rabbit ears or one of the antennas that is better for VHF. There is a highly rated device called the leaf. I could position that antenna by a window and get 18 channels but that was all UHF and I could not get an NBC channel.
Range to the NBC tower is important and any interference which could make the signal weaker at your location. An antenna which should have longer VHF range seems to be needed at my location.
The amplified antennas are more for boosting the length of cable that can be used and some increase in signal quality. However, if the design of the antenna being boosted could not receive VHF then it is unlikely to get a signal with electrical boosting.
3. Use your TV menu and scan for channels
After you can tune in the digital channels with your antenna attached, then you go to your TV menu to scan for channels. Follow the instructions for your TV or tuner device.
Other tips, indoor antennas can usually work now but are generally not as good as one on your roof. It is usually better for the antenna to be higher in your house and by a window.
Enjoy watching the Olympics.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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