In order to use an antenna to get free HDTV, you need to find out your local channels and the signal strength, and then purchase an outdoor or indoor antenna capable of receiving these channels. You also need to have a TV capable of receiving over-the-air HDTV signals without an additional box.
The first step is to check local channels via the Federal Communications Commission digital TV transition website. Signal strength depends on the antenna being outside.
Enter the ZIP code or location on the FCC site. The map then calculates a list of TV channels available and their corresponding signal strength, The possibilities are strong, moderate, weak and no signal. Areas with strong signals may work with a simple indoor antenna. Moderate signals can accommodate a top-quality indoor antenna or an outdoor antenna. Weak signals require an outdoor antenna to work.
For strong signals, an indoor antenna is usually the only thing necessary,. Even old-style roof antennas can usually be used with new digital TVs; simply connect a cable. For strong TV signals, old-style rabbit ears are usually enough to bring in several channels. You also can try the new-style, amplified flat antennas. Once you have an antenna hooked up, have your TV scan for available channels.