Is the TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit?

Is the TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit?

We call all of these types of waves “radio waves” regardless of what type of programming or data they carry (electromagnetic waves). This includes Radio, TV, Cell signals, WiFi, BlueTooth, Police, Fire Department, Taxi, Garage door openers and all others.

ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that conducts is an antenna picking up “radio waves” all the time! Anything that is called an antenna, all of your house wiring [even the ‘ground’ wires], lamp cords, metal hand-railings; all this stuff gets those signals induced in them EVEN YOUR BODY. You can touch a finger to the antenna terminal of a receiver and receive the signals YOUR BODY picks up.

I have a small hand-held short-wave receiver I take on vacation and can connect its antenna terminal to the ground screw on any light switch cover plate and listen to short wave radio and Hams.

If you have strong signals from OTA TV stations, then ANYTHING you stick into the antenna terminal will work. You move it around if it isn’t quite good and it can get better; thus the old adjustable “Rabbit Ears” antennas on top of the TV set.

It is HOWEVER, usually better (but not always necessary) if you can make that antenna resonant at the desired frequency. Simplified, this means that the antenna is is typically, for TV, 1/2 a wavelength in actual physical length.

the order of the Lord of the Rings movies?

TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam
TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam

If you need to pick up weak signals (from farther away) you need a better antenna and there are ways to put several conductors together to pick up better and pick up better from one direction; some use a flat square or round, dish-like reflector.

Is the TV Buddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit?

Many of the TV antennas you may see above houses that have several horizontal ‘bars’ are made to pick up more from the small bar direction and all the different lengths of bars are for all the different frequencies that the TV channels are on.

I haven’t tried all these things sold, but my 65+ years in various types of radio hobby and paid-professional experience tells me I don’t need to. Anything hyped as an HD or “digital” antenna is COMPLETE hype only and may work ok for strong signals. However, there is no magic cure for weak signals to replace lots of conducting ‘elements’ up in the air; NOTHING, ZERO.!.!

ALSO: The number of “channels” you get depends on how many actual stations you have in your area and how many virtual channels (these are sub channels on one signal) that each of those stations has combined on their transmitter.

TL;DR: I looked up the TVBuddy and it may or may not work for you. It is a toss of the dice, but probably not worth the money. If it works, an old lamp cord will probably work too. Snake-oil by any other name is still oil.

Q: Is the TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit?

TV stations in the US stopped broadcasting analog signals in June 2009. This caused many people to believe antennas no longer worked and that TV was no longer free. Not true.

A wire coat hanger attached to a (digital) TV will get me about 60 channels in Los Angeles, including the major networks in precise, clear HD that looks better than most. compressed cable services.

The catch is the TV must be digital. You can’t use an old tube TV or analog flatscreen without external conversion equipment. But if you have a modern flatscreen, yes, TV is free.

A pair of rabbit ears works very well and cost one to 5 dollars at discount stores. Mine were 99c and have provided free TV for 10 years. If I want Showtime or HBO, those are available through my Amazon Prime or Netflix, which feed the same TV by WiFi.

If you live in rural Wyoming, you may get no service. The ability of any antenna to receive signal is partly location.

If you could get TV stations 30 years ago in your location, you can get them today; no one moved the towers.

There are charts on the internet that list stations available in your proximity.

I don’t know about the TVBuddy, but I do know that a number of manufacturers seek to play on lack of public knowledge to sell “special” antennas for a premium.

A cheap antenna works in or near cities, and expensive roof-mounted rotating antennas may work on rural reception fringe areas.

TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit

Buy a Fire Stick instead, if you plan on traveling and staying in hotels with good WiFi, but really old televisions in the guest rooms.

TVBuddy isn’t a “magic antenna”, and while it has a WiFi antenna in it, it’s not useful as an antenna, HDTV or otherwise.

It’s a “Smart TV Dongle”.

In other words, it’s a WiFi connected dongle that you can hook up to a less-than-smart TV or projector via HDMI, and then you can pay for your subscriptions to various streaming services.

But you still have to pay for the subscriptions.

It competes in the same space as the Amazon Fire Stick, but it costs $15 more.

I might actually buy one.

But the, I have a reader pen for the codes that they used to print in TV Guide to program your VCR using a pen attachment you buy from Radio Shack.

All three items are an obsolete technology, also I’d buy one to collect it as a piece of obsolete technology.


there seems to be considerable confusion here. The TV Buddy “free HDTV antenna” — 2018 version here — is a TV antenna, plain and simple. It seems to have a USB-powered LNA (low noise amplifier) to boost the signal, which works a little bit.

If you have an HDTV with an ATSC tuner, this might allow you to pick up broadcast ATSC television signals. Same idea as any other television antenna.

Assuming it actually works, that part is true. The sales blurb I read about this is about 85% bullshit. There’s nothing particularly special about this antenna.

So it’s an actual device, though I have no idea how good it is. There are a few companies in China making similar antennas and dozens of importers like TV Buddy selling essentially the same thing. Only their marketing press is way over the top, full of distortions and lies. That alone makes me say “buy someone else’s”.

And even in this image, you’re being lied to. Can you actually pick up Nickelodeon, ABC Family, or ESPN? Nope. You can only get a standard broadcast. Will it get you 4K-UltraHD television. Nope. At least not back in 2018.

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TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam
TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit

The next generation of over-the-air (OTA) television, ATSC 3.0, is supposed to be rolling out this year. This antenna will work for that, but you’ll need a compatible tuner. A small number of 2020 model televisions will have that tuner. Otherwise, it’s the only HDTV now.

The other TV Buddy thing is the TV Buddy Caster, which looks like this. This is an HDMI video accessory. Though it’s apparently not actual “casting” device like the old ChromeCast, but rather a screen mirroring device.

Both of these let you effectively send video from a phone or tablet to a television, but they work differently. A screen mirroring device simply sends what you see on your tablet or phone to your TV. That ought to let you display nearly anything, but you are fully dependent on your device and can’t use it for anything else.

TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit

A casting device, rather, is kind of a digital handoff. The original ChromeCast used an industry standard, developed by Netflix and YouTube, called DIAL (Discovery and Launch).

Basically, the tablet sends a command to the casting device for a particular program, it loads its own mini-app for that program, and then the casting device itself — not your phone or tablet — handshakes with the source stream to get video in the format needed for your TV.

If you have a SmartTV of any sort, you probably don’t need this, particularly given its high dependency on your phone. The TV Buddy web site sells this for $50, claiming a $100 list price.

That itself is kind of a scam. Another thing that’s kind of telling is that nearly every TV Buddy Cast review I found is, itself, a scam. They’re ads, not reviews, and make the same level of false claims as the TV Buddy antenna ads were making.

TVBuddy free HDTV antenna a scam, or is it legit

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