Winegard's HDTV Tower Finder app helps cord-cutters find OTA TV

Cord-cutters are those people who want to free themselves from the high cost of cable or satellite TV by getting signals over the air (OTA) or with streaming content. While there are a lot of streaming solutions with or without a box like an Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV, getting TV signals from HDTV providers in your area requires an OTA antenna. That doesn't always guarantee  that you'll get a good signal from that broadcaster, which is why the free HDTV Tower Finder app from Winegard is a very useful tool for cord-cutters.

Launching the app provides a map with rings designating various distances around your location. Those distances -- 25, 40, 50, and 70 miles -- correspond to the capability of many OTA antennas that you can purchase. Each broadcast antenna is designated on the map with a rather crudely-drawn antenna icon, and tapping on that icon brings up a small dialog showing the station, its call sign, the channel it is on, and how far away from your location the antenna is.

Swiping up from the bottom of the display shows a channel list sorted by distance to the broadcast antenna. For some stations, it's possible to tap on a "View Shows" link to get an idea of what popular shows are available over the air.

But the most compelling feature of the app is an AR mode that shows the user where to point an OTA antenna for the best possible signal for a specific station. Pop the app into the AR mode, and you can see your surroundings with the station "towers" overlaid on the live image. In the AR mode image below, you can see the problem with where I live -- most of the towers are "below the horizon" as there's a hill to the north of my home.

 These two stations end up being "below the horizon" (behind a hill) from my location

These two stations end up being "below the horizon" (behind a hill) from my location

Still, for most people this app makes it very easy to find where local broadcast towers are and point their OTA antenna in the best possible direction for the stations they wish to watch. Winegard also makes a line of OTA antennas, so if you're considering cutting the cord it's worth taking a look at their hardware.


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