A Bygone Era Returns: What is Over-The-Air TV?

Over-the-air television might seem like a thing of the past to younger generations across the globe. In reality, however, it is one of the most exciting pieces of technology making a comeback today. We're living in a technologically revolutionary era, much as was the case during the industrial revolution of the early twentieth century. The tech revolution is ushering in significant changes to the way we live. How we entertain ourselves at home is no exception.

Let's discuss what is over-the-air TV and examine its inevitable return to prominence.

The Past, Present, and Future of Over-The-Air TV

In short, over-the-air TV is television that uses an antenna to broadcast local television channels.

TV Fads

Your parents surely remember the days before cable television. In fact, they were likely asked by their parents more than once to stand up and shift the antenna for better reception. Cable television became a sensation in the 1970s and '80s. It reigned supreme in households until the birth of streaming services at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Today, the cord-cutting revolution is in full swing as we see another seismic change in entertainment services. Meanwhile, an old, familiar giant awakes.

OTA Television

Over-the-air, or OTA, television never really went away, it merely continued adapting to the times while receiving minimal coverage. Today, antenna television offers something that few other services do – an upfront, one-time cost for a variety of shows year-round. Antennas have become as sophisticated as anything else on the market today, and their range is impressive. When supplemented by various accessories like streaming devices and DVRs, they can beat out the competition.

The Next Big Thing

OTA is poised to be the next big thing as the cost of subscriptions increases for live television shows and sporting events. While streaming sites may be more accessible, live television has hefty fees. The average monthly subscription to a single streaming service with live local channels, for instance, can cost you upwards of $50 a month. That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. OTA offers an opportunity to make a one-time purchase of an antenna. You can install it indoors or outdoors and receive your channels at home anytime. An antenna will pay for itself in a month or two if switching from cable or satellite.

Industry Leaders

Companies like Channel Master have championed over-the-air television for 70 years. They are proud to see the attention this ever-evolving form of entertainment is starting to receive once again. Devices such as their SMARTenna+ and their Stream+, for example, offer viewers countless hours of programming with recording capability for a single charge. This often exceeds the quality and response of streaming services. There is a full circle effect taking place today, and OTA is making a comeback in the world of cord-cutting.

The Future of TV

Many are wondering where this technological boom will take us. At the moment, it appears to offer solutions as well as create new issues or repeat processes. Live television subscriptions, despite their “lite” packages, are already beginning to suffer from the undoing of cable television. Their high prices and unnecessary channels will soon see them fall out of favor. That's why OTA is a smart investment. If you are wondering what is over-the-air TV, it is the sustainable past, present, and future of live television!