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Cable's Best Kept Secret?

October 25th, 2008 at 05:31 pm

I was browsing personal finance blogs yesterday and came upon a post that really got me excited. The author was talking about the upcoming February 2009 conversion of analog TV to digital TV.

I heard before that if you already have cable TV, you won't lose your reception, but if you don't, and you have an older TV, you won't be able to get a picture without getting a digital converter box.

But what got me excited is that the author was saying you could get a picture with the digital converter box and WITHOUT cable. In other words, by getting one of those $40 coupons they're offering online for free and then spending $10 out-of-pocket for the converter box, that could give you a picture if you're willing to settle for the basic network channels. Hey, that's what I'm getting now, but I'm spending $15 a month for the privilege.

It would be great to do away with that monthly expense if I could, since I don't watch much TV.

The author of the post also noted that they got a better set of rabbit ear antennas for their TV and said they didn't have an outdoor antenna on their roof.

Still no heat:
Boomeyer - Missouri
monkeymama - Northern California
debtfreeme - Northern California
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida
sevenofseven - Northern California
princessperky - Charlotte, North Carolina
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California
Little gopher - Minnesota
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
Buckeye - Ohio
Koppur - Massachusetts

Those who already turned on the heat:
Househopeful - Delaware Oct. 23
dmontngrey - Massachusetts Oct. 22
Fern - Oct. 19 Connecticut
mbkonef - SE Pennyslvania - Oct 17
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15
Nancy - Oct. ??
MilehighGirl - Oct. 11
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1 - Wisconsin
homebody - October 1

5 Responses to “Cable's Best Kept Secret?”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I canceled my cable back in June of this year. I don't remember exactly when I got my convertor box, but I think it was in July. I live in an apartment, so it may be different where you live, but I can't get ABC or CBS to come in, at all. I can get NBC and FOX, and PBS, plus a bunch of Spanish language channels and some weird movie channel. You have to have some kind of rabbit ears to connect to the box. I've tried two different kinds so far, and neither one have gotten any better signals.

    It works out okay for me though, since both LOST and CSI:Vegas are online, and my other can't miss show ER is on NBC (although they've also put that up online now!)

    I think you can probably test it out once you have the box to make sure you get enough channels to keep you happy by disconnecting the cable just from the wall (not through the company) and setting up the convertor box. The $10 for the box would be a lot less than the reconnection fee for cable if you find out you don't get all the channels you want.

  2. ann link Says:

    I have used a converter box for two months now. Not only do I receive a really good picture but there are 5 more channels than I had before. Prior to the box, there was no cable, only analog, with only main stations. Now I receive channels from towns up to 50 miles away. For the expense involved-using the government coupon plus $23.00
    it is well worth it. If you can spend just$10.00, go for it!

  3. StressLess Says:

    WBY, we had the same brilliant idea! We didn't have great luck, but it was interesting to try.

    I think it depends on how your house is situated in relation to the tv signals. In our case, I tried an antenna that got great reviews, supposedly more powerful than rabbit ears, but several major stations didn't come in. Then I found out that in our area, you really need to put up an outdoor antenna, which I didn't want to bother with. Also, be aware if you try it out before Feb., the channel a tv station is on might change. In our area, there are two major VHF channels that currently have their digital signal on UHF. They'll switch the digital broadcasting to VHF in Feb., and til then we just won't know how they will come in. I may play around with it again after the switch, just out of curiosity.

    I hope you have better luck--that would be really neat!

  4. boomeyers Says:

    Wow! That was an interesting post! Good luck with your cable-less experiment!
    Still no heat here. I'm sure I will have to crack this weekend though, as I told DH when it hit 65 in the house we could turn it on.
    Still no new clothess for me. I have lost 13 pounds, but can still wear everything. I have been networking for hand me downs too!

  5. catmom Says:

    Ya know, I was at the gas station the other day and I noticed the tv they had was coming in great. I mentioned it to the guy and he said all he did was touch the copper part of the cable to the place where it would connect and he gets cable for free. I haven't tried it yet. The cable in my house is in a weird place (right at the front door) and my tv is older than the hills. If anybody else has tried this though I'd love to know!

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