Ditching Cable ~ Part 2

Yesterday I posted on the high cost of our current cable/internet/phone bundle. You can see that post here. I also mentioned I researched and discovered ways we can replace all the things we value about our current cable.

So, as promised, I’ll share with you how Gail and I plan to replace what we like about our cable offerings, and the costs involved.

We really want to keep the local channels, which include the local news and information about our new city. That basically boils down to having the major networks. All that can be easily replaced by purchasing a simple digital antenna. These antennas will pick up TV signals in the usual VHF/UHF range, including HD (high definition) programming. These are relatively inexpensive (and remember it is a one-time purchase.) There are indoor and outdoor varieties. The outdoor ones are more powerful, which means they can detect signals from far away TV towers, supposedly as much as 150 miles away! They require installation, though this is simple and many people could do this themselves. I would probably hire someone to do it, because that’s just how God made me.

Indoor digital antennas are much easier to work with and start at about $30. That cheapest caliber of antenna reaches towers up to about 25 miles away. I tried one of these and it did not pick up a signal, as I figured. But I wanted to try the cheapest first and work my way up the price ladder. I found out that our local TV towers are in Sophia, NC and Randleman, NC, about 30 and 40 miles away from our house as the Carolina wren flies. So next I will try another Best Buy product, this one runs about $50 and is the model they can’t keep in stock. (Other people have walked this way before me!) Their best indoor antenna costs about $90.

Interesting facts about flat indoor digital antennas are: 1. They pick up MORE local channels than what is offered by the cable and satellite companies! 2. The picture from these HDTV antennas is actually BETTER because there is no need for the data compression required by cable and satellite. And after the cost of the antenna itself, the ongoing cost of watching those channels is ZERO! NADA! NOTHING!… FREE!!!

So if my estimated cost of cable TV is $110/mo, the best indoor antenna from Best Buy would pay for itself in one month!

Tomorrow I will detail how I will replace the cable channels we watch that are not in the usual VHF/UHF range, the DVR function, movies, music channels, and more!

If this has been helpful, please share or “Like.” 🙂

12 thoughts on “Ditching Cable ~ Part 2”

  1. Are you telling me that I could get one of these antennas and not pay anything more? I could get one of these and my house sitters will have television when we are on our cruise? Is this what you're saying? If so I'm getting one of these.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Princess Gail. 🙂

    1. Sandee~

      These digital antennas are just like the old rabbit ears. No electricity required. You just plug the coaxial cable into the TV's input and voilá!

      Yo do have to have a HDTV digital TV set. If you don't, you have to have one of those converter boxes that they were giving away for free when TV broadcasters were mandated to go digital last year. If you need a converter box, they are cheap.

      And yeah, after that, all local channels that the antenna picks up are free, like all TV used to be!

  2. we still have the old analog TV's here at the Golch household,but the nice this is that we do have the digital converter boxs that enable us to watch the networks at least.

    1. Mike~

      I give you a lot of credit for keeping your costs down. Many of us have signed up for cable or satellite and are now back-tracking. Maybe it was more worth it before, but as far as I'm concerned, the prices are now too high, especially when one can find a way to get all the same service much cheaper, and probably better!

  3. Ferd, we just added this digital antenna. Cable has become too expensive. We rarely watch TV. It does add up. This is a really good idea.

    1. I called the cable company yesterday to see how much I will have to pay to terminate my contract early. They gave me the hard sell, of course, but they didn't offer me anything. They just threatened me that if I quit cable, then my rates for the internet and phone would go up! I think they are starting to see the trend. I'm sure they HATE all this new competition. The cable companies have had it good for a long time.

      So how did the antenna thing work out for you? Are you seeing more local channels, more clearly, like people say?

  4. Best Buy was sold out of the $50 dollar antenna, so I bought the $90 model. It can be used powered (plugged into the electricity) or unpowered. We tried it both ways and clearly the extra power helps the reception. We had to play with the positioning of the flat antenna just a little, no big deal.

    We were indeed able to get more local channels than what we get through cable. All the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox) came in crystal clear. And I DO think they come in clearer than through the cable!

    We are one step closer to ditching cable! 😎

  5. Couldn't cable internet and phone rates be eliminated by going to another source like Verizon (or whoever you like)? To avoid high internet service rates at three homes, I went with a Verizon air card for $60 a month… a bargain when divided over three locations. Plus, it's a cool toy.

    1. Hi, Linda~

      Thing is, Gail and I both use the internet at the same time on different laptop computers, so a wireless setup works best for us.

      The phone line we get through Time Warner is just for our fax machine. It doesn't need any special features, so it would be relatively cheap through a real phone company.

      So if Time Warner won't come way down in price for the internet and phone, I'll switch the phone line to AT&T, and shop for the cheapest internet service.

      1. PS-

        I think the Verizon air card is the perfect solution for your internet access, because you spend time in different places and you just need access for your own self. Perfect! Just one bill!

        We like our wireless setup because it also connects our laptops to our TV via Apple TV, and allows us to surf at the same time, which we do all the time, especially during our daily Lexulous games! 🙂

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