OTA stands for over the air, and means that anyone with an OTA antenna and a good signal can watch their favorite TV shows and live sports in a crystal-clear HD quality from networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and more.
Local channel availability varies based upon geography.
Each major TV network sends its signal to affiliate stations across the country. These local stations then broadcast the network feed over the air via radio waves, which are picked up by OTA antennas in people's homes.
Every home and every antenna are different—there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Having the proper antenna in the proper location is critical for getting the best signal strength possible.
The biggest antenna decisions you'll need to make are (1) Indoor vs. Outdoor and (2) Directional vs. Omnidirectional antennas. Check out our antenna signal tips below for more help.
Find out what channels you can watch over the air:
Watching local channels requires an AirTV™ Player, AirTV Adapter and OTA antenna, each sold separately. Local channel signals vary based on geography.
AirTV is the only major streaming platform that integrates local HD programming with shows and movies from popular apps like Sling TV® and Netflix.
Just add an AirTV Adapter and an OTA antenna to your AirTV Player for a simplified entertainment experience—no more monthly cable bills and no more interrupting your entertainment to switch inputs and juggle multiple remotes.
In general, outdoor antennas are stronger and can reach farther than indoor antennas. So if you expect weaker signals based on your location and surrounding environment, go with an outdoor antenna. Indoor antennas, however, are generally cheaper and easier to install.
You'll want an omnidirectional antenna if you have a lot of network signals coming to your home from different directions. An omnidirectional antenna is easier to place, and you don't need to adjust it to watch certain channels. If the channels you want to watch are coming to your home from one direction, then a directional antenna might be the way to go. Also, a directional antenna generally receives signals from farther distances.
The general rule for digital antennas is the higher, the better. Structures such as floors, cabinets and walls can impact the signal, so placing your antenna high in a window is ideal, as long as it's free from exterior obstructions (trees, buildings, billboards, and so on).
Try a longer coax cable than you think you need. You don't want to just leave the coax lying about, but if you can make a semi-loose coil between the antenna and your TV, it can help a lot, especially with normally weak or finicky channels.
Many manufacturers sell these at a premium, and ideally an amplified antenna means you can pick up channels that are farther away while closer channels come in more clearly.
Our professional partners at DISH can take care of all your installation needs.