Great deals on big TCL TVs, getting the right outdoor antenna to cut the cord (Week 4, 2024)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 4, 2024

Big deals on big TCL TVs: Through February 11th TCL is running the best large TV deals I have ever seen. The gigantic 98-inch S Class is reduced from $4,999 to $1,999 and the high-end Q Class 85-inch Q6 is only $899, which is a standout value for a premium picture quality 85-inch TV and perhaps a more usable size for most consumers than a 98-inch set. Other offers are available on smaller TCL TVs as well, but I highly encourage you to go as big as you can, even 98 inches big. You won’t regret it later.

Q. Who makes a good tv antenna? I want to cut the cord, no more cable TV for me! I have a one-story house and can use an outdoor antenna if necessary.

-M.O., Santa Clara, CA

A. An outdoor antenna is definitely the way to go, and Channel Master and Winegard are my go-tos for outdoor antennas. But first, we need to determine what type and size antenna you need.

Cord cutters can visit and to see what channels can be received in their area. Using ZIP 95051 for Santa Clara shows that with a medium-sized directional antenna you can get 181 channels from 41 stations broadcasting near you. This is because with digital television a single station can transmit multiple channels. These extra channels are frequently vintage programming channels such as Comet, MeTV, and BZZR (all of which I find very fun!) So you may get your major network affiliate on channel 11.1 while 11.2, 11.3, and 11.4 would all have completely different programming, yielding four channels from the transmitting station.

The Channel Master ULTRAtenna 60 directional antenna has a 180-degree field of view. Using two stacked ULTRAtenna 60 antennas ($99 each) with a JOINtenna OTA combiner ($29) yields 360 degrees of coverage without a rotator and will likely get you most, if not all of those 181 channels. I am a strong proponent of hiring an experienced antenna installer to do the job, especially when cutting the cord since you will be depending on the antenna a great deal.