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.