A way to get CBS after all

If you live in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles or one of the other cities where Time Warner has dropped the local CBS station, there may be a free work-around.

Because over-the-air TV still exists. And, if you have a flat-screen TV, it likely has a TV tuner built in. If it does have its own tuner, you can bypass cable and watch old-fashioned over-the-air TV.

Look on the back of the screen and see if there is a cable-like connection for an antenna, such as the one above. It will probably say “ANT” or have a little antenna symbol.  A cool hack: all you need for an antenna is a 4-5″ length of wire sticking out of the middle of the connector. I usually use a twist-tie that’s stripped at one end. Just shove the exposed end of the twist-tie in the little hole in the middle of the connector, use your remote to navigate the menu to over-the-air TV, and go through a SCAN or hunt down the actual channel. In Los Angeles, for example. KCBS/2 is actually on Channel 43 these days. So if you need to tune it manually, that’s the channel you’ll find it on. (For what it’s worth, KNBC is on 36, KABC is on 7, KTTV is on 11, KCOP is on 13, KTLA is on 31, KCET is on 28.) Usually the SCAN function won’t tell you what the real channel is, but rather how each is identified. But they all do it differently. Still, it’s do-able.

If you have line-of-sight to the transmitter, you’re in luck. In New York, that’s the Empire State Building. In Los Angeles, it’s Mount Wilson. In Dallas, it’s the tower farm by Cedar Hill State Park. If you don’t have line-of-sight, it might still work.

Let me know how it goes.


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3 Responses to A way to get CBS after all

  1. Andre says:

    This Sarcasm is strong in this one…

  2. You mean people actually pay to watch the networks? OTA + some internet channels (Google has made every TV with an HDMI input smart with Chromecast) and you don’t really need anything else.

    Watching TV via cable? That’s like looking at the newspaper classifieds.

  3. Doc Searls says:

    If what you want is CBS (or NBC or ABC or PBS), Google doesn’t have it, and OTA is likely not to work here in New York if you can’t see the Empire State Building. This is why Aereo has a market.

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