5 Minute Hacks: DIY HDTV Antenna

So you’ve picked up an HDTV (or tuner) and you’re wondering what to plug into that RF connector? You head down to the local electronics store, only to be faced with a $30+ price tag for an indoor antenna? Isn’t it just a piece of metal?

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Well, yeah. Of course it is. So why don’t you bend your own piece of metal and save 30 bucks? Here’s what you’ll need.

  1. Wire cutters
  2. An RF cable

Here’s what you do:

  1. Use the wire cutters to expose 10-20″ of cable.
  2. Plug one end into your HDTV
  3. (optional) clip the other end off the cable, and wrap into an attractive loop.

And that’s that! The pictured antenna pulls in all of the local OTA channels in my area, and matches performance of the 20″ square antenna attached to my network tuner. Bonus, I didn’t have to drive to the store or spend any money. It took about 5 minutes. Good times.