There’s always been a little mystery around how to cut the cord and dump the cable company that has been gouging you for years. Sure, there were always ways to make this work, but those ways entailed complicated and unsightly setups that are unacceptable to most humans. Plex DVR recording and live streaming of over the air television has taken the voodoo out of the process.
How To Setup An OTA Antenna To View And Record Live TV
Here is a summary of how it all works:
- Use an Over The Air antenna (OTA) to get broadcasts from a nearby city or broadcast tower.
- The signal is transferred to a tuner box you place on your home network.
- Plex discovers you have a TV tuner on the network, and then sets up your local channels and DVR capabilities.
- You then use the Plex app to schedule and watch live TV.
We used the following components when setting this up. This tool on the TV Fool website allows you to put in your zip code to see what type of antenna you will need based on your location. The antenna we chose below is rated for 40-50 miles.
We used the HDHomerun Connect Quatro for the tuner, as it is one of the models compatible with Plex.
We used the 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna because we are relatively close to a major city and have few obstructions to the towers.
Setting Up Plex DVR Recording
Sign up for a Plex account if you do not already have one. To maximize your Plex DVR recording, we recommend buying the PlexPass.
You will need to create a folder on a computer or server that Plex will use to store the recorded TV shows. Once Plex is setup and working, connect the HDHomerun Quatro up to your network. There is a single Ethernet port on the back of the device, as well as a coaxial port used to connect to your OTA antenna. The tuner can go anywhere on your network, but it must be within cable length of the antenna.
Depending on the antenna you buy, you will place the antenna on the roof, in your attic, or in high window of your home. Screw the coaxial cable into the HDHomerun Quatro tuner.
Next, open a web browser and visit https://my.hdhomerun.com to scan for available channels. If you have selected the correct antenna for your location, you should see numerous results for local channels. Some will be HD quality while some may be standard definition.
If you are not convinced you have the amount of channels you should, move the antenna to a different location and then click Detect Channels again to re-scan. You always need to re-scan when you move the antenna.
If you are happy with the results, you can permanently mount the antenna. The ibyone antenna comes with adhesive pads that can be used for sticking the antenna to a window or wall.
Configure Plex DVR Recording and Live TV
You have so far setup a Plex folder to store your recordings, attached your HDHomerun Connect Quatro to the network, attached your OTA antenna, and scanned for available channels. Your final step is to configure Plex.
Launch Plex and then click the Server tab. Scroll down to the Live TV & DVR section. Plex will scan the network and find your tuner. Once it does, you can proceed to scan for channels and setup your local guide by putting in your zip code.
There are some minor settings you can tweak within the DVR settings, such as how long to record after a show ends to avoid clipping, or if you want Plex to automatically remove commercials from your recordings.
Your Plex DVR recording is now setup. Go to the Plex home screen and click on your recordings and program guide to setup series recordings or watch live TV. To make the transition from cable as seamless as possible, we recommend buying Roku devices for each room of your home. This will simulate the feel of having cable TV and unify the experience throughout the home. Your goal is to be able to walk from room to room and not have to fiddle with anything. Install the Plex app on Roku and you’re all set!
Cord Cutting Complete
Your final step is to call your local cable company and cancel your cable subscription, but we will leave that up to you. Please refer to our other cord cutting tips to maximize your viewing potential. Enjoy!