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Monday, November 15, 2010

HDTV Antenna, Cable Companies BEWARE!

This is a surprisingly cool product. If you are old enough, you may remember when we all had TV antennas on the roof and if you had a few bucks you had a electric rotor to turn it. Then came cable and satellite and Fios and suddenly the idea of getting your TV signal off of the air seemed archaic. Digital conversion drove the final nail in the over the air TV signal or so the cable type people would like you to believe.

Digital signals mean that if you have the appropriate TV or a digital conversion box and an antenna designed to pick up digital signals you can get a GREAT picture for FREE! Obviously Comcast, Verizon and the satellite folks would prefer you did not know this. You are led to believe that the only way to get a good TV picture is to pay someone to deliver it.

Keep in mind the broadcast signal is now digital so if you don’t have a fairly new TV equipped to receive a digital signal you will still need a conversion box. If you got one of the $40.00 off federal coupons and picked up a box, it will work.

My test was for the Terrestrial Digital DB4 antenna. CSN stores provided the product for my test. Assembly was two bolts and then mounting the antenna on a mast of some type. Terrestrial states that if you install the antenna in an attic you will lose 40%-50% of your signal strength. Not only did I not mount it outside, I didn’t even take it above the first floor. I mounted the antenna on a short mast (see photos) and set it on a stool in front of my TV. After letting the TV know that it was no longer on cable and did a new automatic channel finder, I got 31 channels! Say what?

That’s right, 31 channels with the antenna sitting on a stool at ground level. Hmm, how do you like those apples cable, fios and satellite monopolists?

I was stunned with the clarity of the picture and the selection of channels. If I can get 31 channels at ground level inside, who knows how many you can get outside and (gasp) on the roof where the antenna is supposed to be mounted? Slowly turning the antenna I lost a couple of stations and picked up a couple more. A good old fashion rotor would probably make sense.

All in all this was an eye popping $69.00 with free shipping from CSN stores. Compare that to an average of $150.00 per month people are paying for cable type products and it may be time to go old fashion!

2 comments:

Dan Robinson said...

My wife and I made the decision to cut our premium channels and keep basic cable with internet service. We are saving $100 a month and can't believe we didn't do it sooner! I watch sports on ESPN via my Xbox 360 and the kids can watch their favorite shows on PBS and Netflix. You can even leverage podcasts to create your own personal network of shows that you can stream to your TV!

ibpurpledragon said...

Amen Dan, things they are a changing and if the monopolies don't make some changes there are going to be boat load of smart people abandoning the Comcast ship.

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