How to test whether your TV has a digital HDTV tuner in it

If you’re thinking about canceling your cable TV subscription to save money, you might be worried about buying an antenna, only to find your TV isn’t capable of receiving over-the-air broadcasts.

If you live near a major metro area though, you can test it with a one-cent paper clip.

Turn your TV around. Find the coaxial antenna input. Bend out the end of a paper clip, then push that end of the paper clip into the hole in the antenna input. A paper clip makes for a weak antenna, but can pull in signals that are very close, so if you are in a major metropolitan area, it will often work well enough to test whether a digital tuner is functioning.

You may have to adjust your TV’s menus to tell it to use the tuner rather than cable, then perform a channel search.

A paper clip isn’t a good permanent solution, but if a paper clip can pull in just one channel, then you know you’re not wasting any money by buying an antenna.

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