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Sound Advice: Determining right TV antenna and a couple noteworthy sales

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

Q. Who makes a good TV antenna? I want to cut the cord, no more cable TV for me! I have a one-story house and can use an outdoor antenna if necessary.

—M.O., Santa Clara, California

A. An outdoor antenna is definitely the way to go, and Channel Master and Winegard are my go-tos for outdoor antennas. But first, we need to determine what type and size antenna you need.

Cord cutters can visit antennaweb.org and fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps to see what channels can be received in their area. Using ZIP 95051 for Santa Clara shows that with a medium-sized directional antenna you can get 181 channels from 41 stations broadcasting near you. This is because with digital television a single station can transmit multiple channels. These extra channels are frequently vintage programming channels such as Comet, MeTV, and Buzzr (all of which I find very fun!). So you may get your major network affiliate on channel 11.1, while 11.2, 11.3 and 11.4 would all have completely different programming, yielding four channels from the transmitting station.

The Channel Master ULTRAtenna 60 directional antenna has a 180-degree field of view. Using two stacked ULTRAtenna 60 antennas ($99 each) with a JOINtenna OTA combiner ($29) yields 360 degrees of coverage without a rotator and will likely get you most, if not all of those 181 channels. I am a strong proponent of hiring an experienced antenna installer to do the job, especially when cutting the cord since you will be depending on the antenna a great deal. channelmaster.com

 

Big deals on big TCL TVs: Through Feb. 11, TCL is running the best large TV deals I have ever seen. The gigantic 98-inch S Class is reduced from $4,999 to $1,999 and the high-end Q Class 85-inch Q6 is only $899, which is a standout value for a premium picture quality 85-inch TV and perhaps a more usable size for most consumers than a 98-inch set. Other offers are available on smaller TCL TVs as well, but I highly encourage you to go as big as you can, even 98 inches big. You won’t regret it later. tcl.com

Top-of-the-line radio-frequency skin tightening for $380 off: If you missed one of the holiday offers on RF skin-tightening devices, your time may be now. The Amiro S1 goes far beyond a typical RF device in its ease of use, speedy application time and rapid results. It incorporates red light therapy and you can slide it over your face using gel like an ordinary RF machine, but it also offers a unique “stamping mode” that utilizes face masks with grids. In stamping mode, the S1 uses higher power and a special energy distribution pattern to penetrate deeper and differently to produce even more collagen more quickly, removing wrinkles while tightening and lifting skin to raise sagging jawlines. To use stamping mode you wash your face, apply the mask and put the device head on the starter grid. After six seconds it will vibrate and you move it to the next grid. You repeat the process for all the grids on the mask and full treatment takes about five minutes. If you do not want to use a mask every time, you can use stamping mode every week or two and the regular RF mode other times. With better results achieved more quickly and easily it is easy to see why the Amiro S1 is $799, though other quality machines are under $400. A Valentine’s Day promotion with the code AMIROS1 at amirobeauty.com reduces the S1 price to only $419, a discount of almost 50%.

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