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.

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.

“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.

“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

Comments (37)
  1. tradergordo says:

    I put an antenna on my roof in1999 when HDTV was just starting – highly recommend.

    1. Corbin Miller says:

      Hmmm haven’t watched any broadcast TV in 15 years and oddly life doesn’t seem worse…. in fact it seems a Hell of a lot better…

  2. In June COX Cable raised my cable bill $50.00 which made it over $200.00 a month for basic and expanded (no premium channels) plus internet. Cancelled the television, kept the internet, put up an antenna and took out a subscription to NETFLIX. Best decision I ever made, no news channels no high blood pressure, I do get the English version of over the air broadcast of France 24, their version of CNN plus enough programs to satisfy me.

    1. Peter Stephens says:

      I did the same. Cox Suxs!

  3. Ken Turner says:

    The bigger antennas do better- not the 40.00 antennas that say they’ll go up to 100 miles. Trust me.

  4. Where I live I got about 100 channels using a digital antenna I got for about $10. No reason to get ripped off and pay for cable.

    1. the same antenna put up in the 1950s is a ‘digital’ antenna as long as the transmitters are in the same place. Antennas haven’t changed a bit.

  5. Ed Smith says:

    I cut the cord when Cox Communications raised my prices to $230 a month. I had cable for exactly 25 years to the day (1992 to 2017). In 25 years my cable bill rose to 10 times its original amount ($23 to $230). After I dropped cable I started using an automatic antenna I’d had connected two TVs for the past 15 years as a backup to cable. I picked up Sling TV. When I ended cable service, the only thing that changed was the cable bill went away.

    1. Dell Ferguson says:

      How do yous get internet?

  6. Stehr Va says:

    I am in the process of cutting all cords but internet. I am also considering filing an anti-trust law suit against Comcast as it hass at least 3 of the 4 teams in my area, refuses to give me prices on different packages and instead talks in circles bringing me back to high prices to get anything when I know others in my area are getting same thing for so much less. It is a racket. Once I cut (have to wait till football season is over or the old man will freak) everything goes and I will stream or use sling tv. as I live wait out in middle of nowhere and won’t get signals.

  7. Charles Siminareo says:

    You guys are/were paying $200 pluss a month for cable TV – (only) ?!!??
    I thought I was paying top dollar @$187/mo for all three, CableTV, Internet & phone.!.
    My CableTV (HD) gets hundreds of channels although its basic.. lot of waste there. I only scan through about 15 favorites. Internet is 100Mbps and phone is landline. Guess I can’t complain.

  8. Joe David says:

    wow, $350 to $450 to install a tv antenna…TOTAL RIP OFF!…PEOPLE, YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELVES!

  9. Donald Whitlock says:

    We live in a rural county 60 miles from a city w/tv. In 2013 we cut the $69/month DISH and mounted a large antenna with rotor on a 50 foot guy wired pole. We don’t miss pay tv.

  10. Vinny NastyDwarf says:

    More and more people (at least the ones with some tech knowledge) have booted cable tv to the side. Their prices are ridiculous, keep going up and want to charge for every box, modem etc. I pay for internet, bought my own modem, stream my tv and will never look back.

  11. Carl Mayo says:

    i left cable years ago. i got tired of paying for channels i didn’t watch.

  12. Mark Davis says:

    Comcast technology continues to change and with that change prices for service increase. Comcast has a retention department which attempts to give you a better package of services for less. In the newest package Netflix is included along with high speed internet. I agree with
    many on this thread find the best package for your budget. Nevertheless internet will cost you at least one third of the package from Comcast.

  13. The problem with high prices will only transfer to streaming services and internet access.

    I dropped DirecTV and I have an antenna for local channels. But, I have AT&T DSL service for internet and, just like with the sat/cable companies, their price continues to go up.

    Right now, it’s great. Just like DirecTV was for all those years I kept paying them. Until the price goes up.

  14. Cable TV is a waste. Back in the day, We only had HBO and Showtime, which had NO commercials, 24 hour movies, and Martha Quinn on MTV. It was a good thing, and we were always told that there would be no commercials because we were paying for it by subscription and not through advertisers.
    The copmpanies got stupid and greedy by sliding in more and more commercials, then sleazy “reality” TV shows, and rerun after rerun.
    The end of it for me was when a long-haired wierdo on Ancient Aliens claimed he knew ow ancient aliend built the pyramids. 4 hours and 4 episodes later, and I still had no idea how ancient aliens built thbe pyramids, or even if there really were “ancient aliens”.

  15. Dwight Weidman says:

    There is very little worth watching on over-the-air TV.

    1. Scott Stevenson says:

      If you mean the “big 4”, you’re pretty much right. But most stations have one or more secondary channels that broadcast other programming. Where I live (admitted not in your area, but still…) I’ve got secondary channels that show classic TV shows, one that has just sci-fi, several religious channels, and half a dozen foreign language channels, among others.

  16. john L says:

    If I cut cable, I won’t be able to see my team, the Phillies play because Comcast owns all the broadcasts.

  17. Richard Schneider says:

    I love my Clearstream 2 antenna!

  18. Gordon Hugh says:

    How do you record if your have no cable and just an antenna?

  19. Patrick Long says:

    Internet and Roku! $52 a month!