Categories
News

How to Make a DIY HDTV Antenna and Ditch Cable for Good

If you’re trying to save money and cut the cable, you might have found HDTV antennae are quite expensive. As not all channels are available online, accessing some over-the-air broadcasts (as opposed to cable or satellite) is useful.

But there’s the cost. You cut back on cable to save money. While the one-off spend might be affordable, a few moments of browsing Amazon proves that only a high-end device is fit for purpose.

The alternative, then, is to build a DIY HD antenna using a few shop-bought components.

How to Build a DIY TV Antenna for Your Atticante

In this demo video you can see a working DIY digital TV antenna constructed with just a few parts.

The process is straightforward. Using a piece of wood as a base, it requires a collection of household tools to receive TV signals from a nearby transmitter.

Wire coat hangers act as antenna whiskers, which are secured to the board with screws and washers and linked with wire. In the middle, the received signal (enhanced with some disposable barbecue grilles) is routed through a balun to the coaxial cable, and to your TV.

A digital TV antenna such as this is best mounted in your attic space, as it isn’t particularly weather proof. However, it can be adapted for outdoors use by adopting more rugged materials. To start, however, we recommend this wooden version.

Step 0: Tools & Hardware to Build a DIY HDTV Antenna

To begin, you’ll need to collect your tools. Make sure you have:

  • A power drill.
  • An electric screwdriver.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Pliers.
  • Ruler or tape measure.
  • Hacksaw or handheld mini rotary tool (e.g. Dremel).

As you can see, these are all standard tools that you should have access to already.

Construct your DIY antenna with screws and washers

The HDTV antenna is built from the following components. Note that all measurements in this project are in inches:

  • 22-inch section of 2×3 or 1×3 wood board.
  • Woodwork pencil.
  • 18 screws, no deeper than your choice of wood (1″ or 2″).
  • 18 washers that fit between the screws and the wire.
  • Thick wire for antenna “V” (coat hangers can be bought inexpensively in bulk on eBay).
  • Copper wire (I used six pieces of wire from an old PC power-supply unit).
  • Aluminum mesh grill trays as typically found in disposable BBQ kits.
  • 1x Balun—this is a small coaxial plug with adjustable screws for connecting wires (pictured below). You may have one lying around from an old analogue TV. If not, you can pick one up online or at a dollar store.
  • A length of coaxial cable to run from the antenna to your TV. Be sure to measure the length needed before installing the antenna.
Balun Converter Adapter Balun Converter Adapter Buy Now On Amazon $9.99

Step 1: Find Your Local Transmission Tower

Knowing where the nearest TV transmitter is will help you to correctly align your antenna.

You have different options for this. The simplest is to check your existing antenna and use the same alignment.

If you don’t have an aerial (perhaps you’ve been using satellite TV or cable until now) you can check your neighbor’s alignment.

Online resources can also help you with finding local transmitters:

Find a local transmitter by searching for your location and “local TV transmitter” if the answer isn’t listed above.

Step 2: Preparing the Wooden Base

Begin by preparing the wooden backing board:

  • Draw a 1-inch gap down the middle.
  • Starting 2 inches from the top, mark a line crossing that gap every 5.25 inches.
  • You should have eight points where the lines intersect.

Build your TV antenna with a wooden base

It should look something pretty similar to this.

Step 3: Cut the Coat Hangers

Next, cut eight lengths from the coat hangers, each 14 inches long.

Each wire length must be bent halfway, to create a V shape, the ends which must be three inches apart. The measurements are essential for the antennae to perform correctly, so don’t just randomly fold them in half.

Build your own TV antenna with old coathangers

Cutting can be performed by hacksaw if necessary, but a Dremel-style handheld mini power tool is a quicker option.

Step 4: Attach the V Wires to the Base

Next, drill eight guide holes for attaching the V wires, using a narrow bit. With the holes drilled, attach the V wires, using the screws and the washers.

Attach coathanger whiskers to your DIY TV antenna

It’s okay to use screws with bolts here, but be sure to use the washers to ensure contact with the wire.

Step 5: Catching the Waves

Turn the base over and screw each disposable grill tray to the back of the antenna, two screws each. These act as a reflector, collecting the signal for your antenna.

Use BBQ grilles as part of your HDTV antenna

Next, join the V sections together with wire. Criss-cross these on the top and bottom sections and run straight along the middle.

Attach wires to the whiskers of the antenna

Strip a segment of insulation from the two middle wires. This makes attaching the Balun simpler.

The Balun is the interface to the TV. Think ahead and make sure it’s correctly positioned for connecting and reconnecting a coax cable in an enclosed space. Soldering the Balun will make the connection permanent, but if you’re unsure about this, take a look at our soldering starter guide first.

A completed DIY TV antenna

Congratulations, you’ve built a HDTV antenna using household parts!

Step 6: Receiving HDTV Images with Your DIY Antenna

You’ve built the antenna—now is the time to try it out!

Connect the device to a suitable HDTV, open the TV’s menu and start scanning for channels. As with any TV antenna, you’ll need to try out several positions to get the best results, so be patient.

It’s smart to get a gauge of the correct angle needed to receive pictures before you mount the antenna permanently. This can take quite a bit of trial and error depending on your environment. You might find that fixing the device to your outer wall is a better option than hiding it in the loft or fixing it to the ceiling.

I found that placing the antenna on a table and slowly positioning it in line with the existing roof antenna produced great results. It’s a case of whatever works for you and your surroundings.

Step 7: Mount Your DIY HDTV Antenna

The final step is to mount your DIY antenna. How you do this will depend on your location and the local signal strength.

For instance, if your home can receive a good, strong signal, you might place the antenna in your attic space. Standard reception, however, will probably require you to mount the antenna on a pole.

You Built a HDTV Antenna With Pocket Money

A brand new HTV antenna that you can mount will set you back at least $50. For under $10, or less if you have all the components, you can build your own.

As DIY builds go this one is straightforward enough for anyone to tackle. It might take a couple of hours to get right, but the results speak for themselves.

Looking for something simpler? Check our list of the best DIY HDTV antennas you can build.

Read the full article: How to Make a DIY HDTV Antenna and Ditch Cable for Good

Categories
News

The 8 Best Free Streaming News Channels to Watch Online

Traditionally, one of the biggest drawbacks of canceling cable TV has been the availability of news from other sources. Sure, if you pay for Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV, you’ll get some 24-hour news channels included in your package. However, it hasn’t always been easy to find free streaming news channels to watch.

Thankfully, the situation has changed in recent years. And there are now plenty of free news channels available to stream. Some are offered by global news conglomerates, while others are apps by niche news gatherers. So, with that in mind, here are the best free streaming news channels you can watch today.

1. NewsON

NewsON app

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast

NewsON is a news service based in the United States, and the app is only available within America’s borders. Its primary focus is on local news from around the country.

It currently offers more than 170 local stations from 113 American cities and towns, thus reaching 84 percent of the population.

Originally, seven of the largest American TV station owners backed the app (ABC Owned Television Stations, Cox Media Group, Hearst Television, Media General, plus Raycom Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, and Sinclair Broadcasting). Unfortunately, ABC pulled its channels from the service in January 2020.

You can choose the news categories that interest you, then enjoy a continuous feed of newscasts and clips that match your preferences. You can also watch live feeds of the 170 channels if you want a more traditional news experience.

2. Newsy

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast

Rather than acting as a middleman for existing network news channels, Newsy creates its own content. Its main topics of focus are world news, politics, science and health, entertainment, technology, business, and sports.

The company takes a short-form approach to news—you won’t find any long investigative pieces or in-depth analysis. It simply takes the biggest headlines for each day and breaks them down into digestible chunks of two to three minutes.

Once you’ve selected your favorite categories and locales, Newsy will keep lining up the short videos for you to watch. It gives you a “lean-back” TV watching experience that’s often sorely lacking in the world of cord-cutting.

Newsy also prides itself on a lack of bias that’s rare in the mainstream media. It aims to cover multiple sides of every story, thus giving you balanced and fair coverage. Only you can be the judge of whether the claims of impartiality are accurate.

3. Haystack TV

Available on: Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, LG TVs, and Samsung TVs

Haystack uses big data to provide a personalized free news channel. Yes, you can add your own preferences within the app, but the company has a more expansive algorithm that determines which videos it should show you.

The algorithm grabs thousands of user-generated data points every day and uses them to create real-time interest graphs. It breaks the graphs down by world, local, and interest-based content. The graphs are then correlated against your profile and the app will suggest breaking stories and topics it thinks you’ll be interested in.

If you’re willing to give the company access to your Facebook or Google account when you sign in, the recommendations become even better.

The topics and headlines can vary from the mainstream to the extremely niche, depending on how quirky your interests are. But ultimately, the result is a never-ending feed of news you’ll love. Most videos are between three and five minutes long.

4. YouTube

YouTube news categories

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Plex, most gaming consoles, and the web

You might be surprised to see YouTube on this list, but it more than deserves its place. The site’s auto-generated news channels are a rich source of free content.

Start by heading to the main News channel, where you’ll find seven further subcategories. They are Sports News, Entertainment News, Business News, Science and Technology News, World News, National News, and Health News.

Click on any of the topics that interest you, hover your mouse over the Top Stories icon, and click Play All. You’ll now be able to sit back and enjoy several hours’ worth of continuous content from the biggest providers in your country.

Best of all, there’s so much stuff on YouTube, you’ll never have to watch the same report twice. If you come back tomorrow, you’ll have an entirely updated set of videos to enjoy.

5. Plex

Plex news

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation, and selected smart TVs

Plex added news to its repertoire with the 2017 acquisition of the free streaming news channel, Watchup. The app is now fully integrated into Plex’s UI.

It means Plex can pull news stories from more than 190 different publishers, including CNN, Bloomberg, CBS Interactive, PBS, Euronews, FOX News, Sky News, and the Financial Times. As you watch the stories, you can add topics to your preference list, allowing the recommendations to become more personalized over time.

You can further personalize your content by selecting preferred locations, sources, and more. News on Plex is available for free, so you do not need a Plex Pass.

6. Sky News

Available on: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and the web

Sky News is one of the world’s largest distributors of free live news. It has apps available for all of the leading platforms, and you can tune in even if you live outside the UK. The content is a mix of rolling news and standalone news-themed shows.

The channel was frequently accused of bias in the 1990s and 2000s under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch and later, FOX. Today, it is owned by Comcast and is the current holder of the prestigious “Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year” in Britain.

If you don’t want to download the standalone app, you can stream Sky News for free on YouTube.

7. Bloomberg

Bloomberg TV

Available on: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, YouTube, Roku, and the web

If you want up-to-the-minute business and financial news, Bloomberg is hard to beat. It lacks the bias of FOX Business and the sensationalism of CNBC. It is also the only one of the “big three” that’s available to stream for free via the web.

The channel is split into three distinct sub-channels—Bloomberg (from the US), Bloomberg Europe (from London), and Bloomberg Asia (from Hong Kong)—which air at different times of the day.

Other channels called “Bloomberg” that are not one of the three mentioned above are only the Bloomberg name via a franchise agreement. Which means you may not be able to find live streams of them.

As well as the dedicated app and YouTube stream, you can also stream Bloomberg for free on some of the best streaming TV services.

8. Al Jazeera

Available on: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, YouTube, and the web

In the last decade, Al Jazeera has grown into one of the largest news organizations on the planet. It now boasts more than 80 bureaus around the world and has largely shed its reputation as being a mouthpiece for the Qatari government.

This free news channel is available in the US, UK, Canada, most of the EU, India, and parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

Which Free News Channels Do You Watch?

In this article, we’ve recommended the best streaming news channels that let you get your daily fix of current affairs. All of the options have pros and cons. The best one for you depends on the platform you’re using and whether you prefer watching content from global news conglomerates or indie producers.

Remember that you can get free news from sources other than TV, too. To learn more, check out our list of the best news apps available for free.

Read the full article: The 8 Best Free Streaming News Channels to Watch Online

Categories
News

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Which One Is Better?

The popularity of cord-cutting continues to gather pace. Collectively, cable TV companies are losing millions of subscribers every year, with no sign of that stopping.

If you have recently ditched your TV subscription, there’s a good chance you’re trying to decide between an Amazon Fire TV Stick and one of the many Roku devices.

Unlock the list of "Essential Amazon Fire Stick TV Channels" now!

This will sign you up to our newsletter

Enter your Email

In this article, we pit the Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku devices, determining which is best in order to help you decide.

A Complicated Comparison

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make a like-for-like comparison between all Amazon Fire TV devices and Roku devices.

Instead, we need to focus on two Amazon products: The Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K. On the Roku side, there are three devices that can be thought of as Fire TV Stick competitors: the Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Streaming Stick+.

NB: The Roku Ultra costs $100 and is more of an alternative to the Amazon Fire TV Cube, so we will not include it in this analysis of Fire Stick vs. Roku.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Cost

Before we get into the features and the technical specifications, let’s deal with the elephant in the room—the cost of the devices.

Amazon’s entry-level Fire TV Stick costs $40. The 4K model will set you back a further $10, coming in at $50.

The cheapest Roku model is the Roku Express. At $30, it’s more affordable than the Fire TV Stick. At the other end of the scale, the top Roku model (Ultra excluded) is the Roku Streaming Stick+, which costs $50.

So, for the sake of simplicity we’re going to pit the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K vs. the Roku Express ($30), the Roku Premiere ($40), and the Roku Streaming Stick+ ($50)

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Specifications

This is where things get confusing. Let’s try and make sense of all the different models on offer from the two companies.

First, the Amazon devices. The basic Fire TV Stick has a Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz processor, 8GB of internal memory, and support for Bluetooth 4.1. It plays videos in 720p or 1080p resolution at up to 60 frames-per-second (FPS).

The 4K model is a notable improvement. You’ll find a Quad-Core 1.7GHz processor, support for Bluetooth 5.0, and 2160p video resolution. The internal storage stays at 8GB and there’s 1.5GB of RAM.

The Roku Express only supports 1080p resolution. The other Roku options support 4K.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Controls

All Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices ship with a dedicated remote control.

Both Amazon controllers support Alexa. If you want to control your Roku with your voice, you will need to buy a Streaming Stick+.

Roku and Amazon have both developed an accompanying remote control smartphone app.

And remember, if you have an Amazon Echo speaker, you can sync it with your Fire TV Stick and use it to control your content.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Interface

Image result for amazon fire tv home screen

Visually, the Amazon platform is more modern and feels more polished. However, critics have argued that it pushes Amazon’s own content too aggressively.

It’s a valid viewpoint. You’ll only see one row of your own apps at the top of the screen.

The rest of the homescreen is taken up by content from Amazon Prime Video. Even if you don’t subscribe to the service, you will still see it.

Roku’s interface is more customizable. All of your channels are displayed in a scrollable list and you can create shortcuts for your most-used channels. If you install third-party add-ons, you can even place your channels into groups for easier navigation.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: TV Shows and Movies

If you’re looking for a provider-agnostic device, Roku offers the best streaming sticks on the market. They’re not only better than Amazon Fire TV sticks; they’re also better than Android TV, Apple TV, and Chromecasts.

You’ll find apps for just about every on-demand video and music streaming app, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Spotify, and TuneIn Radio. Roku also offers its own ad-supported streaming channel providing access to a large number of free movies and TV shows.

Roku also offers a vast library of private channels. You need to enter a code in the Roku web portal to install them on your device. Be warned—many of the private channels reside in a gray area of legality.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick run a highly modified version of Android. Which means you can sideload any app as long as you have its APK file. There are several safe and secure APK download sites you can use. Just remember that most Google Play Store apps are not designed for Fire Sticks, meaning you will also need to install a mouse app.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Web Browsing

Only the Amazon products let you easily surf the web. Two Fire TV browsers are available—Amazon’s own Silk Browser and Firefox. You can control them both easily using the Fire TV remote. We’ve compared Silk and Firefox to find the best browser for the Amazon Fire TV Stick if you’d like to learn more.

There are web browsers that work on Roku devices, but they are not suitable for regular browsing.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Gaming

roku games store

Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV Sticks both offer games on their platform.

However, hardcore gamers might find Fire TV devices are more suitable for their needs. Generally speaking, Roku games are a bit “cutesy”. Sure, they’ll keep you entertained for half an hour, but they don’t offer longevity.

The games on Amazon’s devices are beefier. You’ll find titles such as Minecraft, Badland, and Star Wars.

Of course, if the ability to game on your streaming device is high on your list of priorities, neither a Roku or a Fire TV Stick can hold a candle to the Nvidia Shield. You can stream titles from your PC using Nvidia GameStream, download a host of local games from Nvidia and Google Play, and install emulators for classic consoles.

We have written about the best games on Amazon Fire TV and the best games on Roku if you’d like more information before making a purchase.

Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Screen Mirroring

Roku devices have Miracast technology built-in. If you’re not aware, Miracast is like a wireless version of an HDMI cable. Most Android and Windows devices are Miracast-compatible. Apple devices are not.

Some older Amazon Fire TV models also support screen mirroring. Oddly, it’s not available on the Amazon Fire Stick or Fire Stick 4K.

Roku vs. Fire TV Stick: Which Is Best?

It’s really difficult to choose a clear winner between the Roku and Fire Stick. Much depends on how you plan to use your device, which gadgets you already own, and which streaming service you subscribe to.

All else being equal, we’d recommend either the Amazon Fire Stick 4K or the Roku Streaming Stick+. And remember, you could even buy a Chromecast or Android TV.

We have pitted the Chromecast vs. Roku and the Android TV vs. Amazon Fire TV if you want to learn more.

Read the full article: Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku: Which One Is Better?

Categories
News

Become an Overnight Netflix Pro: 50+ Tips and Tricks You Should Know

Whether you’re thinking about getting Netflix or you’ve been a subscriber for years, we have all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get the most entertainment for your dollar.

Netflix remains the king of online streaming services despite all the competition that has cropped up over the years. It’s easy to use, has a large library of original and licensed content, and can be watched from pretty much any internet-connected device—not to mention that Netflix now supports offline viewing via downloads!

Don’t have a Netflix account yet? Not sure if it’s worth getting in your situation? It’s true, Netflix isn’t right for everyone. That’s why we recommend reading these important articles before you dive in with a free 30-day trial of Netflix:

New to Netflix? Get Started With the Basics

Guy pointing remote at Netflix on TV

Everyone knows that Netflix is an online streaming service for movies and TV series, but it’s understandable if you have questions beyond that. Here are a few articles that’ll help you get better acquainted with what Netflix offers:

Essential Netflix Tips and Tricks

Once you start using Netflix for the first time, there are a few things tweaks you’ll want to make to improve the viewing experience:

Do you watch Netflix on a smartphone, tablet, or TV? Check out these tips:

Advanced Netflix Tips and Tricks

After you’ve been using Netflix for a few months, you’ll want to take things even further with some tips and tricks that will impress your friends and family.

For example, if you want to watch Netflix content that isn’t available in your country:

Netflix also has “secret codes” that you can use to discover tons of content that may not be immediately discoverable through the usual menus:

Problems With Netflix? Common Issues and Fixes

fix-netflix

Sometimes you may run into problems when trying to watch Netflix. These issues could stem from the device or app you’re on, the internet connection you’re using, etc. Check out our articles on how to get Netflix working again:

What to Watch on Netflix: Our Recommendations

There’s a lot of stuff to watch on Netflix, if only you know where to look. Our team at MakeUseOf has watched hundreds of combined hours of Netflix content, and we’ll point you to all the best stuff to watch so you don’t waste any time:

Documentary

Drama

Comedy

Animated

Seasonal

Read the full article: Become an Overnight Netflix Pro: 50+ Tips and Tricks You Should Know

Categories
News

6 Ways to Build Your Own DIY HDTV Antenna for Cheap

You’ve heard it’s possible to build your own HDTV antenna to receive digital terrestrial (DVB-T) signals. It sounds like a good idea, and a big saving. You’re planning on cutting the cord, and this sounds ideal. But is it possible?

Yes, it is! Here are six ways you can build your own HDTV antenna using household items.

Reasons to Build a DIY HDTV Antenna

So, why might you opt for a DIY antenna for your digital TV reception? Couldn’t you just buy one of the best TV antennas? Use cable or satellite instead?

Well, several reasons spring to mind:

  • Over the air TV is cheaper than cable, and you want to cut the cord (but first consider these cord-cutting pitfalls).
  • You can’t afford a factory-built antenna.
  • Your antenna has blown down in a storm and you need a replacement fast.
  • You just like making your own gear.

Whatever is motivating you to build your own HDTV antenna, you have several options. Each of these follows a slightly different design, and they can all be constructed using household items.

It doesn’t matter how low your budget is. If you want to receive digital TV signals over the air, these four antenna builds are ideal.

Once you’re done, you should be able to receive the usual OTA TV channels. If you’re “cutting the cord” you should pair these free TV channels up with a low-cost media streamer, such as an Amazon Fire TV Stick or a Raspberry Pi running Kodi.

1. A Homemade TV Antenna From a Paperclip

Amazingly, it’s possible to receive pictures over the air with just a paperclip as a DIY TV antenna!

This will depend on signal strength, distance to the transmitter, and weather conditions, but

With favorable signal strength, transmitter distance, and weather conditions, you could be watching TV using a piece of common stationery!

As explained in the video, all that you need to do is unfold the paperclip into an L shape. Plug the shorter end into a coaxial cable, which is then connected to your TV.

Admittedly, that’s the easy bit. For this to work, you need a long cable to achieve roof-height elevation. In the video, YouTuber LaneVids hangs his cable in the attic, and takes the viewer down to his main TV. The picture is clear, if occasionally jerky—but this homemade TV antenna is only a few inches long!

It’s worth adding here that in some (albeit rare) cases, the paperclip may not even be required. Again, this depends on weather conditions, but some users have reported digital TV signals being received with only a cable.

While it must be pointed in the right direction, this might be all you need to receive a HDTV signal.

2. Card and Foil DIY TV Antenna

A slightly more elaborate option, this version of the DIY HDTV antenna should set you back less than $5. With over a million views, we reckon quite a few people are using this DIY TV antenna.

This build requires:

  • 4 x pieces of cardboard or foamcore board (two at 8 x 11 inches, two at 8 x 8 inches)
  • 1 x sheet of aluminum foil
  • This printable template

You’ll also need some PVA glue, a stapler, and some hot glue.

When you’re done, you should have a lightweight, box-like antenna ready to receive TV shows.

(While the $5 total is probably the bare minimum. If you already have most of the materials, you shouldn’t need to spend more than $10.)

3. “Fractal” Homemade Antenna

A visually stunning antenna for HDTV reception, this DIY build is probably the most aesthetically pleasing version of this project.

It requires:

  • Sheet of aluminum foil
  • 1 x balun converter
  • 2 x short wires
  • 1 x sheet of clear, flexible plastic

The build requires two printed copies of the template, each glued to a sheet of foil and cut out. In turn these should be glued to each side of the plastic sheet, making sure to line them up.

With the wires stapled or glued to the “legs” of the fractal design, connect the balun to the antenna. and your usual coaxial cable plugged in.

Head to Hackaday to get the template and full steps for this build.

4. The Coat Hanger DIY TV Antenna

Finally, here’s one of our own HDTV antenna projects. Although bigger and uglier than the other projects, this DIY antenna is also the most durable. I built this in 2015 and it still works.

The key components of this build are:

  • A short length of 3×1 wood
  • 8 x metal coat hangers
  • 2 x disposable barbecue grills
  • 18 x screws and 18 x matching washers
  • Some wire

It’s worth noting that this version of the antenna is more complicated than the others.

As befits a project that is bigger and sturdier, this will take longer to put together than the other builds. However, once tested and mounted, you will be able to receive reliable over the air digital TV.

In the video above, I’m testing it downstairs and the signal is good enough. However, since moving it to the roof space, the results are perfect.

Read our HDTV antenna tutorial for the full instructions.

5. Big Bertha: DIY Antenna for Long Distance Reception

Built back in 2009, as of 2018 this homemade digital TV antenna remained in use. Hardy and constructed for longevity, “Big Bertha” is also huge.

The reason for this is that it is designed to receive HDTV signals broadcast over longer distances. While the other builds on this list are ideal for city and suburban use, Big Bertha is for the countryside.

Essentially, Big Bertha is the coat hanger TV antenna, doubled up, and mounted on an aluminum post. The finished build is huge, while the results are impressive.

Learn hoe to make this homemade TV antenna by following the detailed Instructables guide.

6. DIY Super Long Range TV Antenna

If Big Bertha isn’t enough for you to watch TV in remote rural areas, try this.

Described as a “Super Long Range Axial/Helical “Rural” Antenna,” it is genuinely huge. Via the video above you can check the concept and evolution of this DIY TV antenna project. Although a longer video, the highlights are compiled at the beginning.

A long piece of wood, plenty of wire, and a round BBQ grille come in very useful for this project.

While detailed plans for this remarkable build are not available, you can gather enough information from the video to build your own.

DIY HDTV Antennas Made Easy and Cheap

Although we’ve listed them here in order of difficulty, each of these homemade antenna projects is a comparatively simple build. Once made, you’ll need to spend some time fine-tuning; make sure you know where the nearest transmitter is.

As long as the antenna is correctly lined up (and at the best elevation), good TV pictures should be received.

We’ve shown you how to build six DIY antenna projects:

  1. An antenna using just a paperclip
  2. The card and foil antenna
  3. A fractal antenna
  4. The coat hanger antenna
  5. Big Bertha
  6. A super long-range DIY TV antenna

Remember, these antennas are designed for use with digital television. If you’re aiming to receive analog signals, you’ll need a different solution.

Also, if your TV doesn’t have a digital decoder built in, you’ll need to get hold of one. The coaxial cable from the antenna should be connected to this.

If you’re new to DIY technology hacks, try some basic DIY fixes first to prepare yourself before proceeding.

Read the full article: 6 Ways to Build Your Own DIY HDTV Antenna for Cheap