How to watch your favorite TV shows for free

There are a lot of options to watch television these days with cable, satellite and all of the streaming services available. It can be easy to forget that ABC13 and other stations are always being broadcast right to your home.

Remember the old days of using set-top rabbit ear antennas to tune in? You may be surprised to hear those antennas are making a big comeback.

As viewers cut the cable cord and turn to streaming services, remember that your favorite network programming and local news, weather and traffic from ABC13 can still be had for free.

RELATED: What you need to know before you cut the cord
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What to know before cutting the cord

"They sort of fit in perfectly. We found that driving antenna use are broadband homes who have streaming services. One out of every five broadband homes right now is using an antenna," said Jim Willcox of Consumer Reports.

Willcox says with the revival of the antenna, some users find the over air signals even clearer than cable.

"Often the signal you're getting from an antenna looks better than a paid TV service because they're less compressed," said Willcox.

While the traditional rabbit ear models are still available, others don't look like antennas at all.

Willcox suggests getting one that picks up both UHF and VHF signals. He says spring for an amplified version which can help boost reception.

For antennas, much like real estate, it's all about location.

"If you play around with the position and location of the antenna, sometimes that will help. We found if you can put it near a window sometimes you see an improvement in the picture quality. The other thing is to elevate it. Sometimes people put an indoor antenna in their attic," said Willcox.

Willcox says the higher the antenna the better.

Consumer Reports also suggests making sure you buy the antenna somewhere with a good return policy. It may take a try or two to find the model that works for you.

When you're away from your television, you can also stream live ABC13 news and programming on our free app for your smartphone or tablet.
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