No more monthly bills for Cable or Satellite TV!
Cable TV had been bothering me for a number of years. I just didn't think that we were watching enough TV, especially any channels beyond what are being broadcast for free. Having been a customer of Cox Cable and Qwest over the last 14 years the constant raising of rates was a burr under the saddle as well. With the advent of the Digital broadcast rollover that was looming in 2009 I also discovered that true HDTV is only received over the airwaves and what is sold by the cable companies is not true high definition TV. So I set out on a mission to rid ourselves of the Cable TV yoke and go back to free TV like in my childhood. (Am I dating myself?) You can do it too! Below are the steps to TV independence.
The first step is to determine if you have a TV addiction.
The TV addict will:
- Watch in excess of six hours a day
- Have the basic cable package plus extras such as HBO, Cinemax, Sports packages
- Don't understand why anyone could only have about 20-40 channels available and only get one or two NFL games at a time on Sundays in the fall
If you meet any or all of the above criteria you need to move to another project.
If TV doesn't rule your life and you are tired of paying for TV and being at the mercy of annual increases read on.
The Steps to TV independence are easy to follow.
- Go to AntennPoint Digital Antenna Geo Locator and enter in your specific location just above the map. This will provide the list of stations that you can expect to receive over the air signals from and antenna recommendations for your location.
- You can also go to AntennaWeb.org and compare the results with the results in Step 1.
- Once you determine the antenna and/or amplifier combo you'll need then you can search for who has the best deals online. I found Amazon has very good selections, pricing and easy return policies if you need to try a different antenna. I had to return one antenna until I found my current one in order to get it to work. (I use the ChannelMaster 4228 and the ChannelMaster 7778 Pre-amp mounted with a J Mast as you can see in the photo above. We're located in a fringe area and most people won't need this much antenna to receive High Definition TV for free over the air.)
Now that you've installed your Antenna, it's time to get to the FREE TV!!!
We are nearing our 5 year anniversary of getting rid of cable TV. To date the Antenna has performed perfectly over the last four years even though we are on the "fringe area." Channels are being added almost monthly now and we're well over 40 channels that come in over-the-air. It is truly High Definition TV as well. They recently added a channel that is all movies and is really cool. You do need to re-scan every month or so to find the new stations. Our cable bill was approximately $45 and was going up to $62 when we dropped cable. It took three months to recoup the antenna installation expense. So far, we've pocketed 48 months of profits at $62 a month. We just recently got hit with massive storms here in Arizona and lost Internet service for about 30 hours. The TV worked flawlessly even through the huge storms, but those who had Cable got knocked out with the Internet.... Five years now, and we do not miss paying for Cable or Dish TV at all. Now that we've built our DVR on our streaming PC for almost no $$$ we have an awesome entertainment system.