Probably Dumb Question About TV Tuners

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Hrothgar, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Hrothgar macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    New York
    I've been trying to figure out whether a TV tuner for my MAC would help me cut cable.
    Most seem to require an active cable connection. So, all it adds is the ability to watch tv on my computer/iPad, instead of my tv.

    Some have antennas that will grab free braodcast tv -- but is that limited to stuff like NBC, ABC, etc? How do I find out what channels are available without a cable subscription?

  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Go to and enter your address, it will tell you what channels you can receive. It will also tell you what kind of antenna you would need, where to point it (if directional,) etc.

    By and large, you would be limited to the "big three" networks ABC, CBS, NBC, plus Fox (local affiliate Fox, that airs The Simpsons, not Fox News,) a local PBS station, and probably an independent or two.

    You can also visit the "List of local TV stations in..." Wikipedia page for your local area: (Add your state on the end.) It appears you're in New York, so yours would be

    Digital broadcasting allows multiple signals per "channel," usually written as x.y (such as 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 10.1, 10.2.) Many local broadcast channels will put their main network on the x.1, and have some other station (the "reruns of classic TV shows" MeTV network, for example,) on the x.2 or more. My local PBS does "main programming" on the .1, "extra programming" on .2, and a simulcast of their radio station on .3 (with the weather forecast as the visual.)

    There is the EyeTV/SiliconDust HDHomeRun tuning device that you connect to an antenna and to your network, and lets you watch live broadcast TV on up to two devices at a time. (Mac, iOS, Apple TV, etc.) That's what I have, and it works great. (Although I only use it for Mac and iOS.)
  3. Hrothgar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    New York
    Thank you. I guess a tv tuner won't help me dump cable. But I do need to try to find a digital antenna.
  4. AL2TEACH macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2007
    Denver, CO.
    I have a Mohu Leaf, indoor antenna. For me, very good and can move from the tv a considerable distance.
    Aso an Apple TV 4(with Sling tv) and Roku 4(with Sling tv). All for almost price of one month of cable tv. Going to cancel the cable tv tomorrow.
  5. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    I have MohuLeaf -> HDHomeRun -> AppleTV -> Channels app and it is pretty f'in sweet.
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I just got this same setup. Except I have RadioShack branded amplified antenna I picked during their going out of business sale. I also got a used HD Homerun Plus (which is now called Extend). I wanted the h264 encoded streaming, I don't know why, I just did.

    The Channels app is so good. I had no idea it was able to totally control the settings of the HD Homerun, and install firmware updates and all. It's super slick.

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