That goofy television antenna ad for “free over the air TV” is a reminder to all that radio and television transmissions remain FREE and easily received by anyone with proper equipment. Anyone who owns a CC Crane radio knows the broadcast waves are alive with an eclectic mix of programming. Anyone lucky enough to own an RCA T1 cellphone or a “Chinaphone” knows you can listen to true FM radio and watch TV (albeit analog TV) right on your smartphone – no “app” required!

Over-the-air is alive: the City University of New York’s television operation has just added a digital broadcast signal. The signal, transmitted from atop an office building in Times Square, covers about 35 miles, far enough to reach White Plains in Westchester County; Levittown on Long Island; Greenwich, Conn.; and Edison, N.J. If you still have an old analog tv, check it for transmissions:

WESTCHESTER: (North Tarrytown) and NEW YORK CITY: (Manhattan) Channel 6

HUDSON VALLEY: Channel 42

ALBANY: The strongest analog TV signal is on Channel 15: look also for 38

Think outside the box! If the back of your old VCR or DVD player has a connector labeled something like ANT OUT, RF OUT, or TO TV, you’re ready to broadcast! Connect a rabbit ear or other antenna to such a connector and playing a tape or DVD. Connect another antenna to your TV and tune it to the same channel (3 or 4) as the player. The signal won’t travel far, but you can imagine the possibilities if you add a little amplification: here’s a litte tutorial, and here’s a downloadable PDF to assist you.

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