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“Do I Need an Aerial for My TV?” A PSA

With the rise of 4K Smart TVs it’s become common for confusion to arise from those who have never experienced non-internet TV or who are diving into the Smart-TV world for the first time! Linear TV is still hugely culturally significant (And let’s be real, still incredibly entertaining) so here’s a quick once-over of what your TV comes with, what it needs, and what a tuner and aerial both do.

What is Linear TV?

Linear TV refers to the Live, Aerial-based viewing. Essentially “normal” TV that isn’t related to streaming, YouTube, Internet usage or catch-up. The original terrestrial (or digital) broadcast in the “Linear TV” category. Only recently has the term needed any real use as over the pandemic non-linear TV viewership rose to meet and, in some places, exceed Linear viewing for the first time in history.

What is the difference between a TV tuner and an Aerial?

A TV tuner is a device that can decode Television information and communicate it as video, audio, and text. TV information is all sent in waves, but we need those waves to be decoded into visual and audio elements for humans to actually understand it (Otherwise you’d be getting stray television appearing in your head almost 24/7 with all these transmission towers around!).

However, a TV Tuner cannot Receive those waves it needs to decode without, you guessed it, an aerial! So, while a TV Tuner is certainly required, it does not negate use of an aerial

What If My Monitor / TV Doesn’t Have a Tuner?

Fear not! Tuner technology only has to be small and feature an aerial connection. Once it has the software and the input a tuner is all set. So, if you want Live TV tuned onto your

  • PC
  • Laptop
  • Mobile Phone
  • USB-Ready TV

Simply head plug in a USB-TV Tuner and plug in a Portable Aerial!

So, Do Smart TVs Need Aerials?

The answer depends on your use of the Smart TV. If you use your Smart TV for apps, internet, Bluetooth and casting then you don’t strictly need an aerial to continue accessing that content.

However, to watch Live TV, even with an inbuilt Tuner as your Smart TV will have, you need an aerial connected. This applies to Freeview TV, also! It is subscription-free and will never incur extra charges, but you will need an aerial to pick it up to begin with!

Free Entertainment, Simple Accessibility

All the 4K Smart TV features people are growing accustomed to are very conditional. What this means is that they depend on other technologies that are sometimes temperamental, and on personal choices over accounts and such. Access to an app on a 4K Smart TV is easy
if you have an account,
if you pay subscription,
if you have internet at that moment,
if the app is updated,
if your TV supports that specific app…

An aerial and a Freeview tuner (Either inside a TV or in a Set-Top-Box) uses high quality broadcasts that have been stable for years, and is accessed simply by having the waves hit your device! No accounts, no subscriptions, no recurring costs for aerial power or channel access. Even in a power cut you can plug a portable aerial into a mini-TV and enjoy live entertainment while your router spends 3 hours recovering.

Why You Should Own An Aerial

For these reasons we strongly encourage anyone with a device that can tune to Live TV to have an aerial on hand. Not only will you be making the most of your tech, but you’ll have it for emergencies if weather or even the emergency broadcast system in your country.

If you have any technical questions about what device you need or what product performs which role don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team.

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