TV Free-Way is an HD antenna attachment for your television from Telebrands that touts it will allow you to watch all of your favorite shows without having a huge cable bill. TV Free-Way states it’s easy to use, has no hidden contracts or expensive fees, and will give you crystal clear television signals of movies, programs, sports, concerts and more absolutely free. But is TV Free-Way a product you really need and, most importantly, will it give you free cable? The answers are: no, and NO! (We’ll explain more below).
What is the Federal Government Mandate they talk about in the TV Free-Way commercial?
Way back in 1996, the Federal Government decided it wanted to move away from the traditional way television stations were broadcast, via analog signals. This was done to both free up space in the broadcast spectrum for emergency communications, as well as modernize the way we watch TV.
Since June 13, 2009, all full-powered stations, including the major broadcast networks NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CW, and their affiliates, were required to have a digital signal that could be picked up by the new HDTVs or older televisions equipped with an ATSC Tuner.
The great news for many viewers that have a digital TV is obvious: the picture and sound are noticeably superior. The even better news is that, as long as you have the right antenna, the above-mentioned channels are free.
Am I already getting these channels with my TV that TV Free-Way is mentioning?
Most likely, yes. This is because along with the mandate for broadcasters, HD television makers were required by 2009 to include built-in ATSC tuner in every TV they sold. Newer TVs even offer wireless Internet connections.
Therefore, if your TV is newer than 2009, YOU DO NOT NEED TV Free-Way or any separate HD antenna. It’s just that simple. Any built-in antenna will probably be just as strong, if not stronger, than the TV Free-Way.
Then, turn it on and start changing channels. If you see sub channels (like 5.1, 5.2, etc.) you are already set to go! (You could also re-scan to make sure you are getting all of the local programming. Consult your instruction manual or look up directions for your model online.)
TIP: Type in your address into Antennaweb.org. They will highlight any digital signal available in your area that you should be receiving in GREEN.
If your TV is older than 2009 and you are only seeing static, there is a chance a digital antenna like TV Free-Way can help you.
BUT, you should also check your area’s reception via the FCC Digital Reception maps, to see how far you are from the nearest signal towers. Other factors to consider are whether you are in a mountainous or remote area, or you have aluminum siding that is interfering with the signal. In these cases, it may make more sense to buy an outdoor antenna and mount it on the roof.
Will I get free cable TV with TV Free-Way antenna attached to my TV?
Sorry for shouting, but we find with these types of products (see HD Clear Vision Antenna, Clear TV Antenna, and Free TV Key) the number one complaint from consumers is that people think they are getting access to pay TV channels for free.
No matter what HD antenna you buy, NONE of them will give you cable. People get confused because the commercial says something to the effect of “cut expensive cable bills” or “bypass cable and satellite companies.”
The truth is, if you “bypass” paying them, you are also “bypassing” access to their programming.
How much are they charging for TV Free-Way?
TV Free-Way sells on the website for $14.99 plus $7.99 shipping and handling, for a total of $22.98. You may add another TV Free-Way for $7.99 more in processing and handling fees.
TV Free-Way does have a 30-day money back guarantee, but here’s the kicker: they will keep any and all the processing and handling fees, and you will have to pay to ship it back to them. You also need to include a written, "detailed" explanation as to why you are returning TV Free-Way, or they could say no.
Telebrands customer service number: (844) 814-9723
Bottom Line: TV Free-Way isn’t necessary for many and WON’T give you free cable
As we’ve attempted to illustrate above, TV Free-Way is an HD antenna for your television that you likely do not need to enjoy what is already free for all television-owning Americans to watch: NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CW, plus local programming on channels like 5.1, 5.2, etc.
If you have a pre-2009 television, there is a chance TV Free-Way will help you catch and convert a digital signal. But if it doesn’t help you and if you bought it online, you have to deal with the hassles of customer service returns.
If you want HBO, AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, or any other channel that is normally provided via satellite or cable TV, you must PAY for them. Yes, cable bills can be expensive, but things are starting to change for the better. As we outlined in our 4-part series on How to Cut the Cord, there are ways to order programming from these channels without a huge monthly fee, via the Internet.
No free cable. No need for the antenna if you have a newer TV. That’s the reality of TV Free-Way. Let us know your experience – did you buy it and did it help you get great receptions? Did you think you were getting free cable TV and feel duped? We’d love to know…