Over-The-Air (OTA TV) Television refers to free high-definition television station broadcasts in your local area. The stations that are included in this category are the channels that you currently watch on cable or satellite to view local news and major network shows. Most of these channels are network affiliates of large national networks such as: ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. However, they are not limited to these networks and can include smaller independent stations. You can take advantage of these free channels with a Mohu antenna and an HD-ready television. If you do not have this kind of television, you can still receive the signals by using an HD converter box.
A Brief History of OTA and Cable
Prior to 2009, almost all of the local stations broadcasted analog signals. Analog television has been around since the 1940s, with the only major change being the addition of color. Whether it was the old indoor “rabbit ears” or a large rotatable roof antenna, people needed to use an antenna before cable came along. Watching OTA TV usually required adjusting the antenna for each channel in order to get good reception. The quality of reception varied greatly, and snowy, fuzzy pictures were often the norm.
As a solution to this issue, cable television was created. It was very popular for its convenience, performance, and affordability. Starting in the early 1970s, commercial, exclusive cable stations began to be carried by cable systems, with the first being HBO. Since then, the number of cable channels has exploded, along with the costs of cable. During this time, all television signals remained analog.
In 2009, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) mandated that all broadcast stations change over to digital, high-definition broadcasts. This was the culmination of more than two decades of development of the technology for HDTV. High resolution, clear pictures and high quality stereo audio make HDTV a significant improvement over the old analog OTA TV signals.
With the conversion to all digital HDTV broadcasts, the experience of watching Over-the-Air (OTA TV) is completely different than in days past. Gone are the snowy images or ghosting. Digital signals are usually either ‘there’ or not. If you can receive an OTA TV signal, the quality of the signal is either perfect, as good as, or better than what you receive over cable or satellite.
And Now to the Best Part: How you can save money.!
That’s where Mohu comes in…
Like many people, the engineers at Mohu felt that cable costs had become too high. The average cable bill in the US is over $80 a month and the annual price increase exceeds 5%. For many of us the cost outweighs the value and that’s why we created the Leaf indoor TV antenna, so you can save money. The Mohu Leaf is a high performing indoor TV antenna with a paper-thin, lightweight design. Compared side-by-side to other thin antennas the Mohu Leaf is disguisable unlike the obtrusive “rabbit ears.” It is so thin that it can be hung behind a picture, tapestry, or furniture item and there is no effect on the picture quality.
Do the math and save money. At $80 a month (and many spend much more), households are spending over $1000 a year or more for cable that includes many channels, most of which are never watched. The Mohu Leaf Antenna costs less than one month’s cable bill. If you use a Mohu Leaf® to save money, you can pocket $80 (or more) each month and still not miss your favorite major network shows.
But what if you have a favorite show only on cable, or you are really into your movie channels? With high speed internet and a monthly subscription to Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon on Demand you can still watch movies and OTA TV shows that you thought you could only get through cable. (Did we mention that these subscriptions usually run less than $10 a month?). Other specialty shows may stream episodes off of their own websites. By streaming through a set top box (such as a Boxee), you can watch these shows on your television at a time that is convenient for you, without the hassles of DVR.
Useful Examples of the Mohu Leaf®:
•Watching your local stations and pairing with a streaming device to view some of the shows that you will miss from cable (on average it is less than 1/8 of the cost!)
• For lesser used areas, paying for an additional cable outlet and installation is not cost effective. If your house has guest rooms or a workshop that isn’t wired for cable, you can use a Mohu Leaf to provide a television for viewing.
•Vacation homes, RV’s, laptops (with TV tuners) and tailgating.
Mohu is a subsidiary of GreenWave Scientific, a defense-oriented research and development company that creates and produces sophisticated antennas for the Navy and other DoD (Department of Defense) customers. The designers at GreenWave Scientific and Mohu have decades of experience designing and developing advanced products for the government as well as consumer products. Mohu’s technical staff has multiple advanced degrees in engineering, including several Ph.D’s. The technology behind the Mohu Leaf Antenna grew out of work performed for the U.S. military.
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This week's latest in cordcutting news and trends: New OTA stations, why it might be time to rescan your antenna, a look at Pay TV's sneaky hidden fees, Mohu's Independence Day sale and more.
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.