Press & Media FAQs
What are some basic facts about Channel Master?
Channel Master is a 65-year-old company, the nation's oldest antenna manufacturer. We've been making TV antennas and related products for over-the-air television and radio broadcast reception since 1949. We are headquartered just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and maintain 100% in-house customer-facing operations including call center, tech support, customer service, e-commerce, shipping and receiving.
What are some common misconceptions about antennas and broadcast TV that consumers should be aware of?
All antennas are now "HD" antennas because the over-the-air broadcast signals are digital not because there is something special about the antenna that makes it "HD". The HD or Digital terms applied to antennas were mostly for the purpose of creating awareness that OTA broadcasts are now digital and it had nothing to do with the antenna itself. For example, it is not uncommon to buy an older home and discover a TV antenna mounted in the attic. That older antenna is going to pick up the same pristine digital broadcast signals as its newer equivalent today, although the newer equivalent may be smaller and sleeker.
When selecting a TV antenna, the main thing the consumer needs to consider is range. All consumer TV antennas pick up UHF and VHF signals, which is all you need. What matters is how far away you are from the broadcast towers. A quick search on a site such as www.antennaweb.org will solve that question for you in a jiffy, then you just select an antenna that provides the range that you need. You can also use Channel Master's online Antenna Selection Guide to help you select the antenna that fits your needs.
If you're using an older analog TV, you're still going to need a converter box connected between your TV and the antenna, no matter what antenna you buy.
Is there really a significant amount of broadcast TV programming consumers can expect to get from an over-the-air antenna?
Today, in most major U.S. markets, a great number of broadcast channels, in addition to ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and The CW, are available for free. These networks represent the majority of television programming watched by consumers in North America. OTA broadcast also includes channels carrying non-English language programming that are not always offered through pay TV providers. With an antenna, consumers have access to all OTA programming available in their area, not just the programming that providers and manufacturers choose to offer.
What about industry reports that say TV antenna use is dying off?
Nothing could be further from the truth. We see the reports and we see the articles written about them. But ask any antenna manufacturer if TV antenna use is dying off and they will tell you what a great year they've had as antenna sales nation-wide continue to sky-rocket.
Both consumers and the media should be wary of published reports about Over-The-Air (OTA) television that use carefully-worded statistical categories with the intention of skewing data. For example, one famously-published recent report that received national attention claimed that "OTA-Only" households in America were at an all-time low and continuing to drop. Well, of course they are, because those households are now pairing OTA reception with Internet-based streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and VUDU, which means they are no longer in the OTA-Only category.
By wording the category this way, the publishers were able to make it seem as though people were no longer utilizing live broadcast television, when in fact the use of live broadcast television has grown considerably. It's a good idea to be mindful of the intentions of the group that is publishing the report.
What is TV Freedom?
TV Freedom is what we call our solution that includes a television antenna and a subscription-free DVR with Internet access. It specifically refers to freedom from the traditional pay-TV bundle, and the ability to have quality television in your home without being tied to long-term contracts.
For those consumers who choose to seek alternatives to traditional pay-TV services, or cut the cord, as the industry now refers to it, we know from experience that you will need three main ingredients to replace the experience of your current cable or satellite service:
One thing that we stress when advising cord-cutters about their alternatives, is to make a television antenna your first purchase. You may be able to stream a vast amount of entertaining content that will more than fill up your TV-watching time, but you do not want to give up live TV. Live television brings us together locally as communities and it also brings us together as a nation. No matter how many tech-savvy advisers come to the table to claim that all TV will one day be on-demand only, we know that live TV is here to stay and you will want to have access to it.
How does Channel Master's TV Freedom solution compare to the competition, and why would a consumer choose Channel Master?
There are currently several options available to consumers who want to use a television antenna to receive the bulk of their content and also have a DVR.
All of the solutions above are alternatives to traditional pay-TV services that will appeal to consumers based on differing preferences. TabloTV and SimpleTV are more focused on viewing TV on mobile devices. Channel Master and TiVo are more focused on the traditional viewing experience of a cable or satellite television service on a TV screen. TiVo requires a subscription fee and contract and Channel Master does not.
Unlike the other solutions presented above, the Channel Master DVR works with or without an Internet connection. For our customers who do not connect the DVR+ to the Internet, they are able to pause and record live TV with two days of PSIP programming data provided in the channel guide. For our customer who connect DVR+ to the Internet, they are able to pause and record live TV with 14 days of programming data provided by Rovi, as well as access streaming services from directly within their channel guide.
Channel Master's software engineering teams are the best in the industry, with many years of successful DVR and Video Delivery deployment experience serving millions of users worldwide. They are committed to continuing development of the DVR+ platform with many more exciting features to come.