Are you on the lookout for an indoor TV antenna? Ensure you know what you might be getting

Every TV made since 2007 has a digital tuner that allows you to watch over-the-air (OTA) channels for free when you can get an inexpensive indoor antenna. These channels typically include local broadcast channels, including high definition or “HDTV” signals. However, with an OTA antenna, you don’t get free premium channels that you can only get through cable, satellite, or online content services. Don’t believe any OTA antenna display that thinks this is possible.

Today the FTC announced that it has sued a company for allegedly lying about the performance of its indoor antennas and signal amplifiers. The company sold products under the TV Scout, SkyWire, SkyLink and Tilt TV brand names. The aerial advertisements claimed that people could stop paying for cable or satellite television and still get all of their favorite television channels, including premium channels. That just wasn’t true, says the FTC. The company’s adverts for amplifiers – in English and Spanish – claimed that the antennas would allow users to get even more channels, including premium or subscription channels like HBO and AMC, for free. The FTC says these advertisements were also false. The FTC also said that some of the ads were designed to look like “news reports” and that some of the consumer notices were fabricated.

Before you cut the cable and buy an OTA antenna and related products, keep these things in mind:

Read the FCC’s tips on TV antennas and good reception.

Only trust news reports about a product if they come from a credible news source and on their own website or in their own news feed.

When looking at an online recommendation or review, think about where it was posted and what you know about who wrote it. Some endorsements and ratings are incorrect or misleading. They can be difficult to tell apart from the real ones, so it’s better to check multiple sources. Expert reviews from trusted websites are a great way to go.

If you encounter a problem, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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