Nearly all Smart TVs, whether made by LG, Samsung or Vizio, work with indoor or outdoor TV antennas.
Take a look behind your television, and find the port to plug in a TV antenna. A technician might have once used it to plug a cable box into your TV. That port, called the “F connector” or “F-type connector”, is also used to connect a TV antenna to a television.
Having that port also means your television has an ATSC tuner necessary for picking up digital over-the-air signals.
Table of Contents
- Hooking up a TV antenna to a Smart TV
- Can you use a TV antenna on a Smart TV to get local channels?
- Do I need a TV antenna with a smart TV?
- What type of antenna do I need for a Smart TV?
- What TV stations can a Smart TV get with an antenna?
Hooking up a TV antenna to a Smart TV
- Plug the coax line connected to your TV antenna into the television’s “F connector” port.
- Go to settings under the TV’s settings menu that controls inputs.
- Look for an “AirTV” or “Over-the-air” TV option, and choose “scan for channels”. This process will take five to 15 minutes.
Once the channel scan is complete, you should be able to start scrolling through the channel guide that works within your Smart TV menu.
Ideally, your TV antenna will be positioned where it’s facing your local broadcast towers.
I recommend using a free tool such as rabbitears.info to determine where local broadcast towers are in your area. Antennas Direct also has a free tool that maps out local broadcast towers around you, and recommends specific TV antennas.
Just remember that you need to live within range of local broadcast towers powered by your local TV stations to get any channels.
Can you use a TV antenna on a Smart TV to get local channels?
Yes. You need to live within the range of local broadcast towers to get over-the-air TV stations, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS.
You may even get sub-channels, and stations such as MeTV, GRIT and ionTV. The same is true for an older non-Smart TV.
Do I need a TV antenna with a smart TV?
Smart TVs are connected to the internet and provide a number of free streaming options. But if you want free over-the-air local channels then you need a TV antenna to watch them.
What type of antenna do I need for a Smart TV?
Smart TVs don’t require a specific kind of TV antenna. Picking the right TV antenna has more to do with your proximity to local broadcast towers.
Generally speaking, if you live 35 miles away or under from broadcast towers, an indoor TV antenna will likely work for you.
Broadcast towers that are between 35 and 55 miles away will require an outdoor TV antenna on your roof, or at the very least, in your attic.
What TV stations can a Smart TV get with an antenna?
Smart TVs with a digital tuner can potentially get the big four broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. A variety of other local networks are available for free. Local PBS affiliates and sub-channels, including MeTV, GRIT and ionTV broadcast over the air.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble