I installed an external antenna to pick up broadcast TV several years ago so ask away.
You may need something better than simple rabbit ears (the ones with just two rods are VHF if they have a coil in the middle then they are also UHF) since they were designed for VHF and almost all TV these days is UHF
( See https://www.fcc.gov/...neering/dtvmapsfor channel assignments for your area) but if you are close enough to the towers even old rabbit ears will work. Plug them up and see. (You will need to have your TV scan for channels. Once it finds one channel you can then have your TV report the signal strength and turn the antenna for the strongest signal then rescan. With rabbit ears you may want to also shorten the length of the two rods and see if that helps the signal.) A common internal TV antenna is a rectangle you hang on the wall near a window facing the towers. I'm 50 miles from our stations so internal antennas don't work for me.
will give you a list of possible channels and what is on each day. Just put in your zip code. If you register with them I think they let you edit the schedule to just show the stations you really get or want to see but I've never bothered.
Main drawback of over the air TV is you don't have the convenient DVR provided by the cable company. I use an old PC with a Hauppauge capture card to record programs. It's a bit clunky but it allows us to record programs and play them back later and most importantly fast forward through the commercials.
Advantage of over the air is a better picture. Cable companies compress the signal to fit more channels on the cable and this results in a degradation of the signal as the decompression process is not lossless.