What’s the most valuable possession you have at home? Maybe it’s your car, laptop, piano, or mobile phone. It will vary from one person to the other, but one particular property is irreplaceable, and you can’t live without it, and that is the TV. Where else are you going to watch your favorite movies, series, and talk shows, and forget yourself in the worlds created by innovative geniuses? But how exactly should you go about that TV? Do you subscribe to cable channels, or just regular free ones? In this article, we’re going to discuss if getting OTA for your TV is worth it or not, and what the advantages of doing so are.
What is OTA?
OTA stands for over the air TV, and it’s basically how you can watch regular channels on TV using an antenna, which will pick up signals coming from broadcast towers to give you access to a whole lot of different channels. While you mostly need an antenna to access OTA TV, you could also get a little more options if you get your hands on an OTA box, which will make your experience even better than cable TV.
What are the advantages of getting OTA?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t get limited content by subscribing to OTA TV. In fact, you’ll most likely have access to much of the content that you would if you have a cable subscription that costs you hundreds of dollars throughout the year. In other words, all your favorite TV channels and networks broadcast on OTA TV, so you’re basically getting the same options for much less money!
Image Source: Unsplash.com
Believe it or not, you not only get the same main options with OTA TV as you would with cable, but you also get better quality. How exactly is that possible? In a nutshell, cable comes with a lot of channels, thousands to be exact, while OTA TV comes with much less than that. This massive difference in channel intensity affects the quality of cable TV, and at the end of the day, you end up with resolutions that aren’t exactly the best out there –– which is a bit frustrating considering how much money you pay. OTA on the other hand doesn’t have that problem, and there’s no need to compress the video quality as much as cable, which massively compresses the files to accommodate for the large number of channels.
Then there’s how OTA and cable transmit their channels. For OTA TV, it’s a basic radio transmission that you pick up with your receiver. You might think that radio signals can get lost on the way, but that’s where antennas come in, and you’ll hardly notice any signal loss when you get one. Cable on the other hand doesn’t transmit local radio waves, but rather it’s the TV networks that broadcast their shows to a local cable company in your area via satellite. You can just imagine the amount of signal loss that comes as a result of the signals traveling all across town in cables. Sure, the quality isn’t awful, but there are definitely better options out there, namely, OTA.
Simple to use
One of the biggest advantages of OTA TV is the fact that it’s simple to operate and install, and it doesn’t take an expert to do it. More importantly, you can easily diagnose problems and work them out with your antennas. After conducting a bit of research, https://longrangesignal.com claims that there are very simple ways through which you can improve your reception. You’ll just need to figure out what’s affecting the antenna signal, and after that, you can easily find your way around the problem. Cable on the other hand, involves satellites and a very complicated process, so there’s a slim chance you can actually fix issues yourself.
Another great feature about OTA is how it comes with a variety of options that can just change your entire viewing experience in ways you never thought possible. For instance, did you know that with an OTA box, you can actually stream channels on your phone? It might seem too good to be true, but it is. Several OTA boxes come with applications that you can download on your phone to enjoy streaming your favorite channels, which is great because you can do it from anywhere, not necessarily your home.
If that option doesn’t convince you that OTA is worth it, then maybe the fact that it will feature 4k TV pretty soon –– before cable –– will. How is that even possible? As mentioned earlier the problem with cable is the fact that it comes with too many channels, consuming too great of a bandwidth to offer 4k. OTA on the other hand does not have that problem, and as a result, it will be able to broadcast with quality four times that of cable pretty soon in the future.
It’s even possible for you to watch all your favorite streaming apps through OTA, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others. You don’t need specific devices like Apple TV or Chromecast; your OTA TV can just as easily replace them all.
Last but not least, you get the option of finding new channels all the time by using a signal amplifier, which could also help you improve the quality of your signal if it’s a bit distorted or fluctuating.
Cons of OTA
The cons of OTA aren’t much, but they are there. For starters, the OTA box is a bit pricey, going well over $250 in most cases. There’s also the fact that you don’t guarantee that you’ll get all your favorite channels in your location, because not all are broadcast internationally and you might not get a few. Some channels might even be just exclusive for cable, so you won’t get those either if you use OTA TV.
Final verdict? The OTA is definitely worth it, and the quality of the videos and a variety of channels alone make for a great option to have on your TV. It does have a few cons, but the decision is yours if these are enough to sway you from getting it.
More on this topic: Is Broadcast TV Reign Coming To An End?