How Can You Watch TV Without Cable or Internet?

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Without cable or Internet service, it is possible to watch TV with satellite service or by picking up local broadcasts with a digital antenna. The two major satellite providers in the United States are Dish Network and DirecTV.

Satellite television service requires the installation of a small dish, usually on or near the roof of a home. New wiring also has to be run to each television that will use the service. In the United States, some dishes may need to face south to establish line of sight, as the television satellites orbit over the equator. Obstructions like tall trees and buildings can also interfere with line of sight. The cost and channel selection are comparable to that of cable television packages.

Most areas of the United States also have freely available broadcast stations that are supported by advertising, or by donations and memberships in the case of PBS stations. As of 2009, television stations are broadcast digitally and require a digital antenna; older analog antennas will not work. Some examples of major broadcast networks that have affiliates in most areas are ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and the CW. It is also possible to pick up some basic broadcast channels with a satellite dish without subscribing to satellite service.