With the economy becoming increasingly unstable yet again, cable and satellite TV customers are becoming increasingly unhappy over their large entertainment bills. Our staff at Skyview Electronics are now constantly helping customers transition from expensive cable and satellite TV systems to either HDTV Antennas or internet TV options in order to lower their bills.
We get lots of questions when someone walks in the door.
- "How many channels will I get?"
- "What about specialty channels like CNN, Discover Channel, TSN, etc", "Are there kids channels?"
- "Can I install the antenna myself?"
- "How much does it cost to install an antenna?"
- "Do I need an antenna for each TV?"
- "Do I need a TV box for each TV?"
- "Do I need a rotor?".
How many Channels will I get with an HDTV Antenna?
The easiest way to estimate how many channels you will get is to go to this mapping tool by TV Fool put in your address to map where the towers are in your location. Once the map comes up, look below the map and add your approximate antenna height, and turn on the
Show lines pointing to each transmitter". This will show you exactly where the towers are. As an example at our store location in Brooklin, Ontario at a height of 35 feet we receive 32 Channels from The CN tower and Buffalo, with one antenna and no rotor. This is typical for the Durham region on a two storey building.
Below the map you'll see a list of both the analog and digital channels available to you. The background of each channel has a colour behind it and the colour corresponds to the signal strength of each channel. If you do not see the colour behind each channel listing, you may need to adjust your monitor brightness.
What about specialty channels like CNN, Discover Channel, TSN, etc
You cannot get cable specialty channels like CNN, Discovery, TSN or HGTV with a TV Antenna, but you may be able to watch shows from these channels through internet streaming boxes. There are many streaming boxes to choose from, so it's best to come into the store and discuss what programs you're looking for and we can suggest the best option for you.
Are there kids channels?
Childrens programming is available on many of the HDTV Antenna channels. Channels like TVO have a dedicated children's programming time with quality programming. If you're looking for specialty channels like Disney, Treehouse or any other channel like this you may want to come in and talk to us about internet streaming boxes.
How much does it cost to install an antenna?
This is always a tough question because there are so many variables. The best idea is to come in and talk to us, but before you do, here are some questions that we will be asking you!
- Do you have an existing antenna that needs to be re-connected and tested or are you purchasing a new antenna?
- Do you have an existing TV Antenna tower or will you need a pole or small mount installed?
- Do you have existing Cables from a satellite dish? (We can re-use these wires if you are no longer using your satellite dish)
- Are you using the cable lines for another service like internet? (Internet and HDTV cannot use the same cable lines simultaneously)
- How many TV's will you want to hook up in your house? (If you are hooking up more then 2 TV's you may need additional hardware)
- Do you have any large trees or buildings immediately to the south, south-west of your location?
Can I install the antenna myself?
Yes, as long as you are not afraid of heights because the higher you mount the antenna the better they work. If you purchase the antenna from us we will give you tips on how to get the maximum reception results. We also carry all the installation accessories you'll need to do a professional job.
Do I need an antenna for each TV?
One antenna will work on any number of TV's with a regular splitter, but beyond two splits you will want to add distribution amplifiers to maintain the signal quality to each cable run.
Do I need a TV box for each TV?
If you are watching regular antenna TV on a digital television, there is no need for a box at all. The TV antenna coaxial cable plugs directly into the TV and in your TV's settings you should change the TV from "cable" to "antenna". This will generally cause the TV to search through and find all the over the air channels available. All North American TV's built in the last 5 years are designed to automatically detect digital antenna signals. If you own a TV much older than this then a Digital to analog converter box ($75) will make it compatible.
Do I need a rotor?
Depending on your location the focal width of the antenna and how many channels you want . For example in our location in Brooklin we receive channels from Buffalo and the Toronto CN tower with a fixed antenna no problem. But if we also wanted to receive Rochester or Barrie we would need a rotor. We've found in our area (Durham) 90% of our customers do not require a rotor.
We hope this answers a lot of your questions.
The growing trend is showing that many of our customers are spending more time on the internet and less time watching traditional Satellite or Cable TV services. While paying $100/month for Satellite or Cable TV used to be the only option, many people are realizing that there are other less expensive alternatives for their entertainment today. There are many affordable options, and we have them all. Come in to Skyview today to find out how you too can save up to $1,000 per year.