Over-the-Air TV in the US and CA: Quality and choice better than ever


Today’s TV antennas are NOT your grandparents’ rabbit ears. (Pictured: Mohu Leaf 30)

Antennas have come a long way from a clothes hanger over your old TV. The channels you can receive with your antenna have also come a long way in both quality and variety. As of June 2015, there are 119 national over-the-air TV networks covering the United States and Canada. (Not counting all the small regional networks.) With the move to digital broadcasting, more channels than ever are available over the air. No longer do you receive just 4 or 5 channels like your grandfather did. Many people receive over 40+ channels.


A quick survey of the Cord Cutters News Facebook fans and /r/cordcutters subreddit shows the average cord cutter is receiving about 48 channels for FREE over the air with their antenna.


So what can you expect? Let’s look at a few of the larger cities in the United States and Canada and count the main channels—not the sub channels, like MeTV, etc. (We used TVfool.com as our source for these numbers, and we only counted channels reportedly picked up by an indoor antenna.)


New York, NY: 30
Los Angeles, CA: 37
Chicago, IL: 29
Houston, TX: 30
Philadelphia, PA: 18
Montreal, Quebec: 9
Toronto, Ontario: 10


(Expect to find 1-3 sub channels, like MeTV or ION Television, for every main channel, like Fox or ABC.)


So other than the big four networks ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, here is a taste of some of the non-major networks you could expect to find for FREE with an antenna, and the percentage of area they cover in the United States.



Of course that’s just a sampling, so feel free to explore the full list of networks available over-the-air in the US.


Cord cutters in Canada can enjoy a variety of both English-language and French-language broadcast networks as well as even some of the US broadcast networks, depending on your location. A sampling of the Canadian broadcast networks include:



So if you have been holding back on canceling cable and getting an antenna because you are afraid there won’t be anything to watch, have no fear. On top of all the great subscription services, like Netflix, there is a whole world of great free shows and movies at your fingertips with an antenna.


Luke Bouma is the owner of CordCutterNews.com and is a dedicated cord cutter. Cord Cutter News gives you some of the best reviews and news about cutting the cord. You can find them on Twitter @CordCuttersNews or on their Facebook Page.

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