Trying to determine if cutting cable for good is worth it can be a difficult choice. While cable is a costly monthly expense, many people have grown accustomed to the channels they know and love. Adding an outdoor television antenna can provide the best of both worlds. Not only will television antennas give you free monthly programming, but they can often provide a television lineup of 20-30 channels.

How a Television Antenna Works

Just like radio waves that are broadcast through the air, television audio and video originate as a wave. Both local stations and major networks transmit programming through waves. A television antenna works to capture the waves through the various internal wires and components. The waves are then turned into a digital audio and video feed, which is directed to your television. The end result is a clear and crisp picture viewed on the television.

What Channels Are Broadcast?

Really, every channel that exists is being broadcast, but your proximity to the network tower will determine what channels you are able to receive. In fact, using an antenna to receive television channels may allow you to see even more local programing compared to cable. Often, local channels provide several programs that network cable chooses not to air. Many channels even have sub-channels which air programing simultaneously. Traditional cable does not receive the sub-channels, but with a strong television antenna, you can receive this additional programming from your favorite local stations.

How Can You tell What Channels You Will Receive?

At a bare minimum, people will receive at least five of the major network broadcast channels. These include ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and PBS. More typically, though, in the Twin Cities metro area, people receive between 20 and 30 channels. These channels can include some of your favorite local and network channels. A great deal will depend on the size and quality of the antenna you select. Having an antenna with a broader range can help receive additional stations. It is not unheard of to capture up to 50 television stations, all completely free with an outdoor antenna. Our team can help give you a better idea of what channels you can expect within your location.


Switching to a cable alternative is a great way to save on a monthly cable bill. At Cable Alternatives, we are happy to help people choose and install the right television antenna to get the best possible reception and television channels. Many people even report having a more defined picture than with network television. If you are ready to make the switch, reach out to us today at 763-571-1037.