For starters, is your television hooked up to an antenna? This is where things start to get tricky. For most of us, this is what an antenna looks like:
OK, this one's going to be tricky, and not just because most of your viewing options for tonight's game are legal. This is one of those rare viewing opportunities where legal does not mean expensive. To watch tonight's game you will need to use your TV as an actual television, and not just as a monitor for your cable or wi-fi connection (unless, of course, you get your ABC through Comcast but, as I will discuss later, that would be a mistake).
The antenna is the two wires sticking out from the top of the TV (yes, the squarish gold and gray thing is a TV and no, it's not shaped right but that's a history lesson for another time). If you're a homeowner, your antenna may look more like this:
Looks vaguely familiar but you're really not sure? Go outside and look at your roof. If you see something like this (note: if it's round, it's a dish and that's something else entirely) go back inside. Look at the back of your TV. Is there a wire attached to the connection marked "ANT"? If so, you're in good shape. If not, you may have to consult the original architect's blueprints for your house but at this point I would suggest you forget about this option and either go with cable or an "undocumented" feed because the game starts at 8 pm (which in NBA time will probably be closer to 8:40).
In any event, neither of these antennas will help you pull in the game. The rules have changed since you watched The Transformers on TV every Saturday morning. Now you need an antenna that looks like this:
Or possibly this:
Or maybe even this:
Note: If you have the antenna pictured immediately above, congratulations on having successfully broken into your local U.S. Air Force base. You're obviously on top of the situation, and no doubt have already programmed your home entertainment center to intercept the satellite broadcast best suited to your home holographic projector.
Still with me? Good, because now is when it starts to get complicated. Using your remote control, switch your source from Cable/Dish or HDMI to "TV." Yes, you do have this option. If a legal disclaimer appears on your screen, ignore it. The cable companies can't really sue you for watching a broadcast although their lawyers might beg to differ given legislation pending in Congress.
In TV mode now? Excellent. use the part of your remote marked "channels." You're looking for your local ABC affiliate. In the Twin Cities, you want channel 5.1. Not 5.3 or 5.45. Channel 5.1. In other areas/countries, ABC may be on another channel. To find out where ABC is in your area, consult the FCC. You may have to actually visit their offices to consult their archives. Or, you have the option of channel surfing just like you do with cable, but be forewarned: broadcast TV channel surfing may expose you to unacceptable levels of religious indoctrination and/or home shopping opportunities. Remember: the point of this exercise is to watch the Miami-OKC game -- stay focused!
If you cannot pull in a signal, try moving the antenna around. For those with a roof antenna, this means finding the antenna control (I would suggest giving up after a 30-minute search at which time I'd recommend trying to find your ladder).
Still having trouble finding ABC? Consult with a teenager. It's the same channel Modern Family is on so they should be able to help. At this point earplugs are recommended as the resulting desultory chatter may result in involuntary muscle spasms that may lead to an appearance in family court.
Got ABC? Brace yourself: you may be on the verge of seeing a live sporting event in actual high quality high definition. No, it's not like cable hi-def, is it?
Ex. of cable hi-def:
Ex. of broadcast quality hi-def:
No, not the same thing at all. Broadcast TV not only has crisper, cleaner hi-def images, broadcast television signals also allow you to see portions of the light spectrum that are not available on Comcast (unless you have Xfinity+™). On a regular cable hook up you can't even see the fractals, let alone the shimmerescent floaters.
Or you can watch the game on your phone. The choice is yours because this is the Finals, and you actually still get a choice as to how you want to watch Miami go down in six.
UPDATE: Want to watch the game tonight? No problem, especially if you haven't turned your TV on since the last game (and really, why would you?).
You don't have to seek out an undocumented feed site, and you don't have to spoof a fake IP address. Just turn your TV back on, kick back and enjoy.
And try not to think about why New Line Cinema would pay Tom Cruise to star in Rock of Ages, then edit all the promo ads you can't see it's Tom on stage. I think this is a "meta" strategy, but it could just as easily be post-ironic, or maybe just post-L.Ron.