Cord Cutting for Beginners: Can an Antenna Pick up Cable Channels?

Antenna Pick up Cable Channels

So you’re thinking about cutting the cord and just buying a digital antenna. Can an antenna pick up cable channels, though? Here’s what you need to know.

With cable television prices rising rapidly in the past year, many customers are looking for alternatives to watch their favorite shows while saving money. One solution many people are turning to is digital antennas.

These devices are much more affordable than cable or satellite options and offer much of the same programs.

But what do you do if your favorite shows or sports programs come with your cable plan? Can an antenna pick up cable channels?

In this article, we’ll answer this question and more so you can find out whether cord-cutting is a good solution for you. Let’s get started!

What is an Antenna and How Does the Technology Work?

An antenna is a collection of metal wires that can pick up signals from a broadcast tower. So do you need to pay for the channels you access with an antenna?


Since they come from a broadcast tower that is regulated by the FCC, it means that the station and anything it airs belongs to the public. As such, anyone with an antenna can access these types of programs.

However, it’s important to realize that your location will play a factor in the quality of the signal. Still, almost everyone is at least able to pick up the compressed signals of the five most popular channels.

Can an Antenna Pick Up Cable Channels?

An antenna will be able to pick up some of the popular broadcast channels as long as they’re on over-the-air, or OTA, networks. This means that you can access popular channels like FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, and many more.

However, certain channels, like ESPN, HBO, and BET, can only be accessed (at least legally) through paid services. So, if you want to access this type of content you will either need to pay for it separately (using some type of digital subscription) or subscribe to a cable plan that includes them.

What Type of Television Antenna Should I Get?

There are two types of television antennas: indoor and outdoor models. The right type of antenna for you depends on where you live. Most of the time we recommend going with an outdoor model.

When mounted on a sufficient rooftop, these products can usually produce the clearest signal possible.

However, if you live in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow outdoor antennas or your residence is within fifty miles of a broadcast tower, then you should opt for an indoor antenna.

If you have trouble getting a clear signal from your digital television antenna, then we recommend that you visit this website and contact a professional for help.

Is Cord Cutting the Right Move for Me?

We hope this article helped you answer the question: Can an antenna pick up cable channels?

If you don’t mind limiting your selection to the available OTA networks in your area, then canceling your cable service can be a great way to save money without losing the major programs you love. If you’re ready to free yourself from your cable contract, then cut your cord today!