We hate to say “you get what you pay for,” but in the TV world these days, that’s pretty much the case.
It may come as a surprise, but many of the TVs sold these days aren’t technically “TVs” at all. There are a growing number of TVs that actually don’t have a tuner built-in, making them effectively big computer monitors. This can be a problem when you decide it’s time to “cut the cord” and cancel cable. If there’s no antenna jack, where are you going to connect an antenna?
So how did we get to a place where a TV isn’t really a TV anymore? It’s all about price. When a big box store wants to sell you a TV at a rock bottom price – even one that looks the exactly the same as a comparable model sold elsewhere at a higher price – the manufacturers have to do something to get the price down. That often means cutting corners – leaving out features and connectivity that consumers have come to expect, whether that’s cutting down the number of HDMI jacks to leaving TV tuners out altogether. Unfortunately, some people never realize their TV isn’t antenna-ready until they get to the point of hooking up an antenna.
So what do you do if you want local channels and have a TV without a built-in tuner?
Well, you could buy a new, quality TV, but we realize this may not always be a feasible option for everyone. Some stores sell third-party accessories that essentially add tuner functionality back into your TV – an unfortunate byproduct of the general trend of low-quality TVs flooding the market. We don’t sell these things, because they really aren’t all that good, and they’re a pretty clunky solution to the problem. Why tie up an HDMI input and add another remote into the mix?
There are “over the top” (OTT) streaming services like DirecTV Now and Hulu that offer local channels as part of their streaming packages, but as of the time of this writing, only a handful of the many local broadcast channels are part of any of these services. There’s also the monthly cost to consider – something that may not fit with the plans of those looking to cut the cord and ditch those monthly cable bills. And just like cable, there’s no guarantee that the channels you want will always be available on your chosen service. Contracts may expire and channels may go away at any time.
Instead, you may want to consider getting something like the TiVo Roamio OTA DVR. Not only are you adding a tuner to your television (four in fact), you are also getting the best digital video recorder on the market. If you’re coming from cable, you may miss the ability to record your favorite shows, so a TiVo could be a natural fit. Even better, the TiVo OTA doesn’t have any monthly subscription costs. Just buy the box and you’re ready to go! You also get a really simple remote control with voice control and streaming features built-in. It’s a really elegant, full-featured solution to the missing tuner problem.
It pays to buy from the experts
All this goes to show that, when it comes time to buy a TV, it really pays to shop at a reputable store that specializes in TVs and home electronics. Stores like Suess Electronics work directly with customers to find a TV that’s best for their situation. It also helps that we sell TVs from the best names in the industry, and we cherry pick only the best models. There are a lot of brands that big box stores carry that we don’t, and for good reason. We sell at the lowest possible price, but we do not cut corners! We think that’s the only way to go, and our customers do too!
Illustration credit: Vecteezy