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How To Watch (Kinda) Free TV in Utica

How To Watch (Kinda) Free TV in Utica

The original article was first posted on October 27, 2015. Portions of this article have been rewritten.

I haven’t paid a cable bill in 10 years.

It’s always been too expensive for me to justify. I use my TV to “watch stuff on the internet”; Usually from Netflix and other streaming avenues or torrent sites. Yeah whatever, sometimes I download stuff, sue me, no –wait– don’t. Anyway, I’ve always been able to watch exactly what I want to watch whenever I want to watch it, for the most part.

It’s now even easier to watch local channels, upwards of 10-15 channels, for absolutely free. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 COAX Cable – You remember these is you remember VCRs. It’s also the cable that is probably more recognized as the one plugged into the thing to make your internet float around the house straight to your iPad. Look around your house, you have one, probably shoved away in a box somewhere.
  • A Pair of Pliers – I’m also willing to bet you have these around your house. If you don’t someone very close to you, near and dear to your heart, probably does. Like your Dad. So ask your Dad if you don’t have these. Diagonal cutting or wire cutting ones.
  • Razor Blade – Or a box cutter. Something sharp. Use caution when doing this and cut away from your body. I use a cutting board when doing this.

It’s called Over The Air Programming. It’s free.

If you do in fact own a TV, generally just even a flat (modern-ish) TV, this will work. In 2009 the government switched over all analog TV signals to free, over the air digital ones. Have you noticed channels looking something like 2.1, 20.2 etc…that is from the digital conversion.Most people would go out an buy a digital antenna to access these channels but this article is to explain why you don’t need to waste the money doing so.

In the lovely city of Utica, and the surrounding area, we have local stations already broadcasting this “free signal,” that’s right you all already have access to NBC, Fox, ABC, CW, WPNY, PBS, ESCAPE, Grit, Laff and some other random channels. That means you can watch any sports broadcast on these channels or even shows like Scandal, Antiques Road Show or a personal favorite of mine, Americas Got Talent—live in high definition. You even get the local news if you watch it.

How to Watch free TV In Utica?

Take a pair of pliers and a coax cable (take it right from that old VCR or just strip down your house for old cables like I did.) Next strip down one end of the cable, to the copper, about a foot. Then take the end that isn’t stripped and plug it in the back of your TV. From there just go to the menu and find the settings on your TV to do a channel scan. You’ll notice channels are being located (you want digital).

It’s literally that simple and that cheap. Throw away that cable box or dish…If you have the materials in your house, and most of you do, you will be enjoying free TV in Utica in a matter of minutes. Have any questions or comments? Leave them below!

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Justin Parkinson
"Don't point that gun at him, he's an unpaid intern."


  1. I’ll definitely be trying this!!

  2. I tried this with two of our tv’s. It takes a little bit of fighting with the coax cable to get to the copper wire, but it was worth it. I get a bunch of local (Syracuse) channels on one tv, but not as many on the second one. Location perhaps. Thanks for the great tip!

    • Justin Parkinson

      Hi Traci, I’m glad to hear it worked! It could be an element of things with your antenna. I’ve made so many over the years that its been as basic as point it towards a window to the actual coax cable itself just wasn’t very good, I would assume the thicker the copper the better – but obviously can hard to tell until you strip it down. You know how tricky that is!

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