View and record local TV stations even if your monitor does not inlcude a TV tuner

Some of us may be disappointed to discover that the fancy new "TV" that we bought for a good price during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season cannot receive free television broadcasts over the air with an antenna. Many of the most popular cable or satellite TV channels are also broadcast channels that are available for free with an antenna. Those include the major networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, as well as CW, MeTV, ION, Grit, Comet, Bounce, ThisTV, Daystar, and many more.

Until recently all TVs could be connected to an antenna and receive free news and other programming from local TV stations. If it could not receive TV stations, it was just a monitor. Now anything with a screen might be advertised in the TV section and even be called a TV – especially if it is capable of streaming programs from the internet as in “Smart TV.”

If you happened to purchase one of the “TVs” that is missing a built in tuner or antenna input, you can purchase an external tuner that connects to an HDMI input on your “TV” for as little as $40 or $50. Some of those tuners can even record a few hours of TV shows for later viewing with the addition of a USB memory stick. The downside is that you will have another box connected to your TV / Monitor and another remote to keep up with.

If you like the idea of having one box and one remote that performs several different functions, you should consider the Stream+ by Channel Master - the first device I know of that integrates free over the air local TV viewing, streaming, and a DVR that can record weeks or months of TV broadcast shows from an antenna. I like it, but read my review to learn the pros and cons.

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