Antenna scams | What the Tech?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — The number of cordcutters is growing as nearly 10 million homes are now expected to pay for streaming, instead of cable, this year.
Antenna companies are cashing in but some promise more than what they can actually offer.
Many antenna makers advertise claims, such as “330-mile range,” “4K,” and “tuning in cable and pay-TV channels.”
First of all, TV antennas can not tune in to channels hundreds of miles away. Reception requires line-of-sight between the antenna and the broadcast tower. The curvature of the earth prevents the signal from traveling hundreds of miles away.
Indoor antennas can tune in stations from 30-40 miles away. Outdoor antennas can receive signals 70-90 miles away if there are no mountains in the way.
Secondly, antennas won’t get channels in 4K, as stations don’t broadcast a 4K signal – at least not yet. When they do, any antenna can tune them in.
Thirdly, you won’t get cable channels, no matter what the box says.
Some TV markets have ATSC 3.0, which means smart TVs and antennas will receive more channels, but not live cable channels like ESPN or HBO.
While most antennas work as an antenna should, be skeptical. For example, a $30-40 antenna will often work just as well as a $160 antenna with claims of a 900-mile range and cable channels.
The U.S. government is also cracking down on antenna companies and false advertising. The FCC fined one company $30 million for advertising false claims.