Author Topic: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)  (Read 1400 times)

steevven1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Florida
Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« on: February 08, 2020, 09:10:03 AM »
As a kid, I had a little handheld, battery-powered antenna TV with a 2" screen. I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. With the rise of the internet and the insane price of cable, I have been without live television for over a decade now, but it was recently brought to my attention that antenna TV still exists, and it's now digital and in HD.

Bought a cheap indoor flat antenna just to play around with it. Didn't work very well, and it was ugly inside the house.

We live in a condo that we rent out whenever we do long-term travel, so I thought...what if I install a really nice outdoor antenna in the attic or on the roof, wire it into the house to a dedicated coax outlet in the wall, and just make it a permanent fixture of the house? Then we can enjoy the free TV, and we can offer it as a selling point to tenants in the future ("x channels free HDTV included with rent").

We bought our antenna used, grabbed some coax cable and a wall plate from Lowe's, and the whole project ended up costing $80 total. Free TV forever, and the reception is great. If I owned more rental units, I would definitely do this in every single one of them. Tiny investment for a really nice amenity, especially for lower income tenants.

Wrote a little more about it here, including a link to the antenna we ended up getting (item 1 of 7 in the list): https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/cut-your-cable-and-streaming-bills/

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1178
  • FIREd at 36? Or maybe it was 42?
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 03:38:00 PM »
I also use a tv antenna and have been.for years. Just a cheap weird paper thingies that's about 4 inches by 6 inches I bought at the 99 Cents Only store for $5. I just plug it into the back and lay it on top the tv cabinet. Can't see it at all and it gets just as good reception as a more expensive antenna (tried some others). Because midway between LA and San Diego I get a lot of HD channels. For movies, and binge watching the entire series of tv shows like Game of Thrones, I just borrow free DVD from my library.

steevven1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Florida
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 06:08:17 PM »
I also use a tv antenna and have been.for years. Just a cheap weird paper thingies that's about 4 inches by 6 inches I bought at the 99 Cents Only store for $5. I just plug it into the back and lay it on top the tv cabinet. Can't see it at all and it gets just as good reception as a more expensive antenna (tried some others). Because midway between LA and San Diego I get a lot of HD channels. For movies, and binge watching the entire series of tv shows like Game of Thrones, I just borrow free DVD from my library.

We tried one like that and had terrible results, but we're in a much less densely populated area than you. To get all the channels in our local market, we absolutely needed the attic antenna. Most of the signals just weren't strong enough for a flat antenna indoors. Someone I know in NYC said the flat antenna works great for her too.

jim555

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2236
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 08:55:26 PM »
My cable company wants like $25 a month for OTA TV.  No thanks, my home made loops work just fine.

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1178
  • FIREd at 36? Or maybe it was 42?
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 09:38:33 AM »
I also use a tv antenna and have been.for years. Just a cheap weird paper thingies that's about 4 inches by 6 inches I bought at the 99 Cents Only store for $5. I just plug it into the back and lay it on top the tv cabinet. Can't see it at all and it gets just as good reception as a more expensive antenna (tried some others). Because midway between LA and San Diego I get a lot of HD channels. For movies, and binge watching the entire series of tv shows like Game of Thrones, I just borrow free DVD from my library.

We tried one like that and had terrible results, but we're in a much less densely populated area than you. To get all the channels in our local market, we absolutely needed the attic antenna. Most of the signals just weren't strong enough for a flat antenna indoors. Someone I know in NYC said the flat antenna works great for her too.
I agree that I'm probably able to get good reception because of location. The house came with one of those big rooftop antennas and the reception was about the same as the little flat antenna so I took the roof top one down. I haven't tried an attic one but after checking out your blog I might do that.

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
  • Location: High COL
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 12:11:28 PM »
I bought one of those plastic flat one and can get pretty good reception on it - I think it was about $25 for the antenna. I live in a hole - basically bottom of a steep river valley and my house has cinder block walls and I'm still able to get reception. I believe this type of antenna comes in larger sizes if you have particular challenges with signal reception. I taped mine to the wall behind my tv.

steevven1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Florida
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 12:27:00 PM »
I bought one of those plastic flat one and can get pretty good reception on it - I think it was about $25 for the antenna. I live in a hole - basically bottom of a steep river valley and my house has cinder block walls and I'm still able to get reception. I believe this type of antenna comes in larger sizes if you have particular challenges with signal reception. I taped mine to the wall behind my tv.

Did you check a site like antennaweb.org to see how many channels you should be receiving? You may be missing half the channels and just not know it. We were able to get several channels strongly with the indoor antenna, but we get EVERY available channel strongly now with the attic antenna.

Bobberth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 12:29:32 PM »
Tiny investment for a really nice amenity, especially for lower income tenants.


Are you new to landlording? Lower income tenants have ALL the cable packages. (only kinda being sarcastic)

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
  • Location: High COL
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 10:41:38 AM »
I bought one of those plastic flat one and can get pretty good reception on it - I think it was about $25 for the antenna. I live in a hole - basically bottom of a steep river valley and my house has cinder block walls and I'm still able to get reception. I believe this type of antenna comes in larger sizes if you have particular challenges with signal reception. I taped mine to the wall behind my tv.

Did you check a site like antennaweb.org to see how many channels you should be receiving? You may be missing half the channels and just not know it. We were able to get several channels strongly with the indoor antenna, but we get EVERY available channel strongly now with the attic antenna.

I did and I think I get all or most of them w/ the wall antenna. I barely ever watch any tv - so whatever I get I'm more than happy with.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1874
Re: Free TV for Tenants (at no cost to landlord)
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 02:55:06 PM »
You can also hack an old analog aerial antenna to pick up digital signals. Just use a coax cable instead of the old flat wire. If youíre as cheap as me, attach the coax cable by stripping it and twisting the outside layer around one knob and the inside core around the other. In theory a couple of clothes hangers would also do the job if isolated from each other, but why bother when analog antennas are regularly thrown away. Itís best to have a single continuous wire from antenna to TV, because each connector creates resistance.

This is also a way to reuse old Direct TV wiring. Just disconnect the unneeded branches in the wiring.