17 votes

I Cut The Cord

Last week, after endless lies, promises never kept,we told Direct TV just where they could shove it. Now we are using a bat wing type antenna and rabbit ears..(both on 1 tv) and we will be getting Roku soon.So my main question is:For an apartment, where I can not have an outside antenna, what is the best one to get to pick up the strongest signal? The stations around me run between 25 to 60 miles away in distance. The set up I have in my living room, which faces north, shows 22 channels..only in early morning (2am-4am) and only if the sky is clear. Right now on this semi cloudy day, Im getting 13 channels.
So really..whats the best antenna with the strongest signal?

Also..going back and forth with DTV, they sent me an email stating my balance was $. That's it. No dollar amount. But, they sent me a bill for 108.00 in the mail.
We feel with everything they put us through, just in the past 6 months, they should call it a wash.
We paid for tech service to come out if we needed them.Funny..we made several calls, had 5 appointments set up, and no one showed. They have no record of the calls either.
We got a call stating our bill was 400.00 because we had been ordering movies from the tv. Funny again..we haven't had a phone line in 5 years, and we never order movies..(there free at the library) Again..no record of the call.
We where promised because of all the trouble, our 2nd year would be lowered to the price of the 1st year...No record of the call.
I myself spent at least 15 hours (more I believe) on the phone with them getting switched around, put on hold, told 20 different things, all lies, only to have to call back.
I have sent countless emails to the point, they refuse to deal with me now.
Can I use that $. to fight any charges they try and put against us? I just got my credit up and don't want it to go down..but I will if I have too.
I have also reported them to the FCC and BBB.
Any advice?

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Michael Nystrom's picture

How's the local channels going?

I'm finally thinking about getting an antenna myself.

He's the man.

Free to air might be an option

I looked into this a while ago. As long as you don't use it to connect to services I think it is legal. In other words you are not supposed to use a decrypting type box and dish to tie into dish network. It looked pretty fun to play with back in the day as you can tie into news networks not normally included in the U.S. or other jurisdictions.



In regards to the antenna.

In regards to the antenna. Roll your own. Stay away from the gimmicky antennas and the ones that plug in. Dipoles (rabbit ears) are not gain antennas but a gain antenna is what you need. This one is fairly simple to build;


antennas from instructables;

There are tons of other designs out there. My current antenna is the traditional yagi with the VHF section cut off. I don't watch much TV but it's nice to have access to the local radar, news and political debates.

Get one of these


"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

Why does anyone want a TV .....

Turned mine of 12 years ago, best choice I have ever made. Spend my extra time that would have been wasted on the tube exercising, reading, teaching myself extra skills and the law. There is nothing more fun then learning to write notices to secure one's rights and property from anyone (private/public), and see it enforced.

Hosea 4:6

Good going

No sense in using zio Rothschild false debt slave money to buy then watch a zio Roth LIAR BOX.

Its like making someone buy the shovel dig the grave and then lie down in it. No sense any more to have TV liar boxes.


I'd go in person to the company

And once the correct price is settled (in person), have the manager of the company sign the receipt "Paid In Full-his signature-date".

They'll look at you cross-eyed at first for asking the manager to sign his name to the receipt/paper bill, but also there shouldn't be any reasons for him not to....unless he's "in a meeting" or "not in the office"...then have the next head of the office sign.

Hey Dancer,

" ... Some times I get nervous when I see an open door ... "


' ... There is no message we're receiving ...'

is the discussion about how to reconnect
your system
to THEIR system?

ROKU and the internet is all you need.

Forget local TV. Just use the web.

Mirand Sharma

Forget ROKU

Just use the computer.


Check YouTube

I've seen some videos that show how to make antennas. I've never tried it, but they didn't look very difficult, or expensive, to make if you have a soldering iron, and might be worth trying.

There is no "best" antenna ...

because antennas are application and frequency specific. Every antenna design is a compromise to obtain decent reception on a spectrum of frequencies. You have to realize over the air is being broadcast from a physical location in a specific direction or omni directional at a specific elevation. You have to point your antenna at a specific tower to obtain maximal reception and to pick up a lot of channels requires picking up off several towers likely in different directions. An outdoor antenna is a compromise or people use motors to change the direction of the antenna. Indoor locations for antennas only make reception a lot worse.

If you are interested in obtaining a good result I will give you some suggestions. Most cable companies are now operating 1Ghz networks and have upgraded most of their signal meters in the past few years. Most signal meters used by technicians used to be one way but because of broadband and voip all the new meters can test reverse. That means there a lot of older meters floating around cheap. A one way meter is all you need to test for signal. I am not going to say all old meters will work but like a WaveTek 1400ish with the optional antenna is what is needed.

You don't need a specialized meter, it just makes it easier to identify good signal location/direction because it is a portable unit. For instance most digital converter boxes have a built in signal meter in the part of the menu where you scan for channels. With a little creative thinking, an extension cord for power, and a very small TV, one could take the digital converter connected to an antenna and a small tv right up on the roof while locating optimal signal to figure out which direction to point an antenna. I am not up on the smart phone market ... maybe there are adapters nowadays to use a smart phone as a tv?

Build one of these:


They are super easy and super cheap to build. I have used this design before and improved upon it. I built two of them and ran them in parallel using a combiner and attached them to a long pvp pipe for height. The reason I used two is because most of the local channels are coming from cities in two different directions and I could aim one in each direction.

You can also add a standard cable signal amplifier which adds about +7db - +15db depending on how many ports the amplifier has. Since I used two antennas in series they are combined with a two way splitter/combiner which knocks 3.5db off the combined signal.

The thing about this particular antenna design is that you can try a vertical or horizontal orientation. Building one of these and taking the time to hook it up to a digital converter/tv and getting in a spot just above the roof line where you can see how orientation and direction affect signal will give you a lot of insight on what type of antenna to buy although you probably will not buy one if your own homemade antenna works great.

Finally, you say that you can not have outside access because you are in an apartment. You do realize the whole reason DTV can put a dish somewhere is because the present legal system infringes upon the rights of apartment owners and stipulates they have to allow for satellite dishes. Why would you think there is an exception for any other kind of tv antenna? There isn't. You had a satellite dish installed which means there is a cable running from your apartment to a dish somewhere. You could pop the dish off which only requires loosening a couple bolts leaving the mounting bracket the dish is sitting on in place. Attach your antenna to the dish mounting bracket and use the cable that is already there ...

For that matter you could simply purchase the antenna bracket specifically made for dishes, install it to the existing dish, and then mount any antenna to it using the existing cable that is already installed.

Forget about screwing with indoor antennas and put one outside. Indoor antennas are just blind luck if they work well.

One of the top answers EVER

One of the top answers EVER on the DP!

I cut the cord years ago.

Here are some quick hints to help others cut their cords.

First you will want an antenna? I don't use mine much but, it's one of those things that needs to just work. Back in the day TV signals in the air were analog signals that would fade in and out causing white noise. Today TV signals are Digital. Which means you will either get a signal or not. Before you get started locate the broadcasting towers in your location and stations available. "antennaweb.org" Now you will need an antenna. In my experience a single mono pole is all that's needed. I use 3.5 feet of coax cable with the shielding removed and the bare copper exposed and hidden behind the TV. Amplified antennas should be avoided till last resort.

Do you have a broadband connection? Then you can grab your content from the internet. Amazon and Netflix are cool but, I prefer sites like icefilms and 1channel. The easiest solutions for all of these is: XBMC xbmc-hub.com and/or Plex Media Server plex.tv with the "Plex Unsupported App Store"

The Roku+Plex is a really nice combination for multiple reasons but, the OUYA is a one device wonder with XBMC installed.

Now that you have cut the cord and are saving big $$$ maybe it's time for a dedicated HTPC? The Intel NUC makes for a small and versatile device that fit's perfectly with a big screen TV. Think Linux with XBMC, Plex and MiniTube. :) Now you can watch what you want, when you want.

Chromecast is another really sweet device @ $35 for Youtube but, it's still too limited for a primary device. I rarely use mine at home.

I've tried 3 in the past -

The "Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna"($64) has a supposed reach of 50 miles and it was the best one in my opinion. It received several signals that the others couldn't. My main worry is that due to it being an amplified antenna, it needed to stay plugged into an outlet. So once that/if wiring/plug fails, your left with what amounts to this following one...

The "Winegard Company FL-5000 FlatWave HDTV Indoor Digital Flat Antenna - Made in USA" ($35) is the one I chose. It has a supposed reach of 35 miles and have had it for close to a year without any problems.

There are also several ones out there for under such as "HomeWorx HDTV Digital Flat Antenna UHF / VHF" ($10) which work, but quality wise, are flimsy and tend to fail after a while. I used to have one, and while I was satisfied with the signal, sure enough the wire came loose.

You can search for these on amazon.

Note: Your signal reception also depends a lot if you're signal is being blocked by tall buildings or mountains. Good luck.

You are absolutely allowed to have a satellite dish at an


It's the law.


"The rule is cited as 47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000 and has been in effect since October 14, 1996. It prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to- home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal."...

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

Umm... not exactly... be careful!

At an apartment building, you can put one on the area that you are renting or leasing, but not on any outer areas that are not under your "exclusive use". If a tenant has no patio or balcony that they are leasing, then the dish would have to be inside the unit. We had many tenants who had to pay for damages to our buildings after listening to the satelite company salesman tell them excitedly and arrogantly that by law, they could install a dish on OUR roof or OUR wall.

"The rule applies to viewers who place video antennas on property that they own and that is within their exclusive use or control, including condominium owners and cooperative owners who have an area where they have exclusive use, such as a balcony or patio, in which to install the antenna. The rule applies to townhomes and manufactured homes, as well as to single family homes.

The rule allows local governments, community associations and landlords to enforce restrictions that do not impair, as well as restrictions needed for safety or historic preservation. In addition, under some circumstances, the availability of a central or common antenna can be used by a community association or landlord to restrict the installation of individual antennas. In addition, the rule does not apply to common areas that are owned by a landlord, a community association, or jointly by condominium or cooperative owners. Therefore, restrictions on antennas installed in common areas are enforceable"

Thomas Jefferson: “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Viva La Revolucion!


I lived in an apartment in Salem, Mass. where Nathaniel Hawthorne lived for a few years and it was written into my lease that satellite dishes weren't allowed because it would ruin the historic look of the building. Pfff, whatever. I find it hard to believe that Hawthorne never chilled in his living room, watching the Crime network on DirecTV.



best antenna

2 meter...

After that, you might try 12 meter. ;)

Yeah, just don't waste your

Yeah, just don't waste your time with and 11 meter, lol.

I just installed with great

I just installed with great results:


Comcast encrypted their basic local signal -- over air HD is superior, and this low profile indoor antenna was a simple quick solution. Return it if it doesn't work:)

I "cut the cord" 15 years ago.

I haven't watched TV (besides DVD's) since before 1999. Don't miss it at all.

I'm now getting ready to ditch Hollwood by not spending my money and time watching movies.

I would ask you to consider life without TV. My life is infinitely better. I think it's preventative medicine to contracting any NWO brainwashing viruses.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

I cut the cell phone contract too

Several companies offer prepaid sim cards and allow you to bring your own device. It offers much greater freedom and flexibility. I only pay for what I use and save about $70 per month. You can get a VOIP account and make calls over WIFI on a smart phone for almost zero cost. Big cell phone companies screw their customers.

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

-C. S. Lewis

Just kill your television

I killed my television over ten years ago and never looked back. Television writes neurological experience in your mind and has subconscious effects that are beyond your control and takes away valuable time from learning law, history, art, literature and culture. Kill your television and never look back. Your life will improve and awareness expand beyond anything you ever experienced with television.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

Personal access to the

Personal access to the InterNet is as bad as personal access to television. Both mediums tend to isolate and waste the energy of their participants. Radio leaves the person free to accomplish other tasks. I remember my life prior to personal access to the InterNet and I'm looking forward to returning to that life within 6 months. I won't miss the spying, manipulation, cost, or slight inconvenience one bit. I can easily stay informed via both shortwave and local radio. If I require access to the InterNet, I'll use public WiFi or deal with companies via the US postal service. Otherwise, I'll conduct business locally as it should be and strive NOT to promote Snoopville, aka the InterNet.

Isn't that the truth.

I cut the chord over 4 years ago. Funny thing is when I now look at TV's playing in other places, I cringe at the child like reporting, the dumbed down news, the 30 sound bytes and all those commercials.

Disconnected and proud of it...