You might be surprised to find out most millennials don't know they can get TV stations for free. Bring up the subject of "antennas" and "analog" and you'll see eyes glaze over. Meanwhile, they'll pay out the nose for Netflix, Hulu, and a range of other streaming services that might as well add up to a cable bill.
But for those of us who grew up during the golden age of television, we're very familiar with adjusting antennas and braving wind, storms, and interference for a good signal. Today's antennas, however, are far more advanced than in the past -- allowing you to pick up free over-the-air TV in a snap.
No matter which demographic you fall into, you'll probably want to know what stations you can grab with your antenna setup. Luckily, this handy website can show you all the channels on your local airwaves -- with detailed maps and signal strength to boot!
See what local channels are available with TVFool
TVFool is a useful coverage analysis tool that users your location data to show you the signal strength of channels in your area. Since you're picking up channels over the air, broadcasts from far away will have weaker signals, so knowing what's nearby will let you grab the best possible picture you can manage.
On the homepage, you'll see two primary options to view your local coverage. The first is Check Your Address for Free TV, which will allow you to enter your address and see the relative strength of nearby networks. The other option, See Which TV Stations You Can Get on a Map, lets you see the exact locations of broadcast towers in the area -- once again based on your address.
When you click on either option, you'll be taken to a form where you can enter your address. This calibrates the map to determine the closest broadcast locations.
Keep in mind, you may see an alert at the top of your browser that this website "isn't secure." While this is true (it's a basic http page, not encrypted,) TVFool addresses the issue and keeps you safe via the way that it handles your data.
As you can see above, it protects your privacy by not including exact addresses and coordinates in the final output. This obscures your true address while giving you accurate information.
Once you've put your address in Check Your Address, you'll be directed to a readout on the next page. This chart shows you all of the local stations, along with a color-coded guide at the bottom that tells you how strong the signal is for each channel. Some channels, by the way, may be duplicates -- so make sure you tune into the one with the stronger signal for a clearer picture.
On the maps page, you'll be taken to a Google Maps view of your city. Don't be alarmed if you don't see any stations at first. Scroll across the map by clicking and dragging until you see green dots like in the picture above. These are broadcast antennas, and if you click on a green dot, you'll find out which station it's running. You'll also see signal strength and other vital information.
If you're looking for the best way to find out your local channel lineup, TVFool has you covered. You won't be paying for the channels, but make sure your antenna is working properly before you embark.
Compared to multiple streaming networks at $8.00 per month or more, it's an absolute steal to watch over-the-air TV!