Want to watch the NBA Finals but you ditched that expensive cable TV subscription? Don’t fret – chances are you can watch the game at home, in un-compressed HDTV. Because the games are being broadcast on ABC, they will be available for free OTA (over the air).
Here’s how to do it.
- Get an HDTV. Chances are you already have this.
- Have an HDTV OTA tuner. Chances are your HDTV has this built in. If not, you can buy a tuner (see the list below).
- Get an HDTV antenna. These are small, sleek little numbers that can be bought for as little as $5.99 (see the list below). Connect it to your TV’s coaxial input and move to step three. Don’t worry – these things don’t require power and they pick up the free HDTV OTA signals major networks are required by law to send out.
- Hit the “INPUT” or “TV/VIDEO” button on your TV remote until it goes to “TV” or “Tuner”.
- Hit the “CHANNEL UP/DOWN” button to get it to start searching for channels. This may take a while as it scans, and you might need to move the antenna around to get a good signal – try moving it near a window, for instance.
- Find ABC.
- Invite friends over for the game. Tell them to bring beer.
- Enjoy free, un-compressed, high-def NBA action.
- Thank us on Monday.
HDTV Antennas You Can Buy Right Now
- Amazon: If you still have time, you can order one from Amazon. This Pictek Indoor HDTV Antenna can be had on Prime for $13.89, delivered before the game.
- Monoprice.com: This online super-discounter carries a good one for $5.99, but you may not receive it in time for Game 2.
- Local electronics store: Head to your local Best Buy and grab the Insignia antenna for $12.99.
HDTV Tuners You Can Buy Right Now
Chances are great that your TV has a tuner built in, but if it doesn’t (or if you have an older-school tube TV), you can pick up a tuner for your TV, computer monitor, or even game console.
- If you have an HDTV, grab an HDTV receiver like the Mediasonic Homeworx from Amazon or the Insignia Digital TV Converter from Best Buy. This plugs in like a cable box and picks up over-the-air signals. Note that these don’t come with antennas, so see above for that.
- If you want to watch the game on your computer, grab the AVerMedia AVerTV Volar Hybrid ($49.90 on Amazon with same-day delivery). This little thing will even allow you to record the game and rewind.
- If you have an Xbox One, you can use the Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner ($44.99 on Amazon with same-day delivery). This integrates into your Xbox One and even allows you to pause and stream TV around your home. It even includes a portable antenna.