By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eight million people are expected to cut the cord in 2018, according to research firm eMarketer, in part because of advanced streaming services, and in part because of high monthly bills. Yet another growing alternative to cable and satellite is as old as television itself: over-the-air antennas.

Tom McGlynn runs Mr. Free HDTV Man, one of several TV antenna installation companies in the Twin Cities. He says he’s getting so many requests, he can’t keep up.

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He and his four-man team recently decided they will have to start turning potential customers down and raise their installation price. Today, their service costs between $350-$450 with access to at least 26 channels in the metro area.

His team first does an assessment on a home to get a sense of its reception. The physical antenna could vary in size and location, but usually gets installed on the roof or in the attic. He guarantees it works—rain or shine—on all kinds of homes, condos or apartment buildings.

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“We’ve done thousands of installations so far,” said McGlynn. “We’ve never been stumped once.”

The channels come in at high definition from Shoreview’s towers, and reaches a roughly 100 mile radius.

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“Our demographics are from the millennials who traditionally streamed, now they want to add local television, all the way up to the seniors and the cord cutters and in between,” said McGlynn.

Christiane Cordero