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Truly Free, No Cost, TV - PSA

iLander

Ideal_Rock
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May 23, 2010
Messages
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So, did you know you don't have to pay for TV, at all? Not a single penny*. You can get all the broadcast channels (NBD, ABC, CBS, PBS), and some other misc channels using an HDTV antenna.

We have this one:

http://www.costco.com/Winegard-Flatwave-Non-Amplified-HDTV-Indoor-Antenna-FL5050C-.product.100047906.html

You can figure out what's the best direction to point it using this website:

$30 HDTV antenna: http://antennaweb.org/

And everything comes in loud and clear. It's also handy for areas where you might want TV, but don't want to pay for another cable box, like a home gym, or guest room, or garage. After all that hoopla about people not being able to pick up broadcast on their TV's (remember the change over?) I thought antenna TV was dead. It's not. :shock:

We like to use our antenna to get some stations that are NOT available on satellite or cable, like MeTV. I love MeTV because they have Andy Griffith, Odd Couple, Rockford Files, and all the other '70's shows that you don't see anywhere. :appl: It's a national station, which means you might have it in your area.

MeTV shows: http://www.metv.com/shows/

DH and I have noticed that between the antenna and Netflix, we might not need cable/satellite at all. :shock: I'm hesitant to give it up, but I am leaning towards that. It would save us $100+ a month, and apparently we can actually get HBO separate from all other channels. If we decide to cut the cord, I'll let you know.

*Well, you do have to pay $30 (just once!) to purchase the antenna.

Have you been reducing your cable bill?
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 26, 2007
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I do not pay for TV.
We got one free "box" for the changeover, and we acquired a few from friends who didn't want them.
We get ABC, NBC, CBS, four PBS channels(the ONLY thing worth watching, IMHO), five or six movie channels, 3 shopping channels(good for laughing at the hideous jewelry they try to hock), and alot of others.
You can watch plenty of "TV" online these days, too.
When TV is no longer free, I will just get more reading done.

ILander, I love MeTV, too!! I always watch Svengoolie on Sat night!
Also the movies on GetTV, and "Movies!"

Also, I was recently on a business trip, and of course there was cable TV in the room, which I hadn't seen for a long time.
Nothing but reality shows! They are so ridiculous. I saw 5 minutes of some Kardashian thing. I swear they were reading cue cards.
I was wanting to watch the cooking channels, but when I found them they were showing foolish reality-type competitions.
Thank goodness I have PBS, to watch Jacques Pepin, Lidia, Martha, Ming, and Alamelu actually cooking real food.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,345
Unless you live at the bottom of a bowl like I do! We can get one station and it cuts out constantly. Antenna was a total waste of money.

We don't have cable though. Getting by with Netflix, streaming, and going outside (gasp!).
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 21, 2010
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5,537
Okay, these may be silly questions, but if you don't have cable TV, how does your TV connect with the Internet to get Netflix, streaming shows, etc.? Don't you have to have a broadband connection? WiFi wouldn't be adequate, or would it? And, if it is via WiFi, is your phone the hotspot?
 

iLander

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marymm said:
Okay, these may be silly questions, but if you don't have cable TV, how does your TV connect with the Internet to get Netflix, streaming shows, etc.? Don't you have to have a broadband connection? WiFi wouldn't be adequate, or would it? And, if it is via WiFi, is your phone the hotspot?

We get our internet through the phone company for $49 per month. It's super fast broadband. We tried cable internet for a while, but you usually share your internet with other cable users in your area and it will slow down if everyone's one it. It's like a party line, at least in our area. We much prefer the phone company and they send you a free wifi modem.

We've used phone hotspots while traveling and it gets really expensive, really quick. The data charges add up fast.

I'm making this suggestion because many people pay $$$ for cable TV, on top of their internet fees, and this is a free alternative.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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iLander|1444495042|3936966 said:
marymm said:
Okay, these may be silly questions, but if you don't have cable TV, how does your TV connect with the Internet to get Netflix, streaming shows, etc.? Don't you have to have a broadband connection? WiFi wouldn't be adequate, or would it? And, if it is via WiFi, is your phone the hotspot?

We get our internet through the phone company for $49 per month. It's super fast broadband. We tried cable internet for a while, but you usually share your internet with other cable users in your area and it will slow down if everyone's one it. It's like a party line, at least in our area. We much prefer the phone company and they send you a free wifi modem.

We've used phone hotspots while traveling and it gets really expensive, really quick. The data charges add up fast.

I'm making this suggestion because many people pay $$$ for cable TV, on top of their internet fees, and this is a free alternative.

So, do you have a phone/broadband line plugged into your TV and a separate box for the WiFi modem? Or, is the WiFi modem plugged into a phone outlet and also into your TV?

[I totally appreciate the timing on this thread - my DH and I were just saying the charges we pay are ridiculous, but we are hooked on a fast broadband connection for our computers (which right now we get through our TV cable provider). Before, I had no TV at all and just used an At&T HotSpot device for WiFi connection for my laptop, but that connection was really really slow.]
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
Messages
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marymm|1444496192|3936975 said:
iLander|1444495042|3936966 said:
marymm said:
Okay, these may be silly questions, but if you don't have cable TV, how does your TV connect with the Internet to get Netflix, streaming shows, etc.? Don't you have to have a broadband connection? WiFi wouldn't be adequate, or would it? And, if it is via WiFi, is your phone the hotspot?

We get our internet through the phone company for $49 per month. It's super fast broadband. We tried cable internet for a while, but you usually share your internet with other cable users in your area and it will slow down if everyone's one it. It's like a party line, at least in our area. We much prefer the phone company and they send you a free wifi modem.

We've used phone hotspots while traveling and it gets really expensive, really quick. The data charges add up fast.

I'm making this suggestion because many people pay $$$ for cable TV, on top of their internet fees, and this is a free alternative.

So, do you have a phone/broadband line plugged into your TV and a separate box for the WiFi modem? Or, is the WiFi modem plugged into a phone outlet and also into your TV?

[I totally appreciate the timing on this thread - my DH and I were just saying the charges we pay are ridiculous, but we are hooked on a fast broadband connection for our computers (which right now we get through our TV cable provider). Before, I had no TV at all and just used an At&T HotSpot device for WiFi connection for my laptop, but that connection was really really slow.]

We don't have cable and use phone based internet. We just have a wire from the phone jack plugged into the modem. The modem is plugged into a wireless router. Nothing plugged into our main TV because it has a wifi receiver. I just plug my laptop into my other TV and use a wireless keyboard to select programs instead of a TV remote.

You could also use an apple TV for Netflix or any other type of wireless TV box thingy.

Eta: speed really depends on the service available where you live. We don't have any sort of lag with our phone based dsl service. While cable in our area is technically faster, it is split between houses differently than phone based internet. We have had both at different times and don't notice a difference.
 

marymm

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^ very helpful info, chemgirl - thank you!
 

iLander

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marymm said:
So, do you have a phone/broadband line plugged into your TV and a separate box for the WiFi modem? Or, is the WiFi modem plugged into a phone outlet and also into your TV?

[I totally appreciate the timing on this thread - my DH and I were just saying the charges we pay are ridiculous, but we are hooked on a fast broadband connection for our computers (which right now we get through our TV cable provider). Before, I had no TV at all and just used an At&T HotSpot device for WiFi connection for my laptop, but that connection was really really slow.]

To use the antenna in the OP, you need nothing. The TV signals are sent through the air, for free, and are captured by the HDTV antenna. We have our little 1 foot by 1 foot antenna stuck out on the porch. You don't really notice it. This is the way TV was before the internet. TV was free. :appl: (Interestingly, they sold us all on cable based on "they are pay stations, so you will never have to see commercials." What a lie that was! :( )

Then, around 2000, all TV stations switched to HD, and the old TV's can't catch that signal. That's what makes this antenna so cool, it is HDTV and it catches the signal for free. It's 100% legal. Just plug it into your TV (it has a long wire), follow the TV instructions to scan for channels, and boom!- you have free TV channels. No internet needed at all. Nothing. Zippo. Free TV.

Here's an article from Consumer Reports that explains it better than I can; http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/10/5-tips-for-getting-the-best-indoor-antenna-reception/index.htm

But if you want to ADD Netflix (in addition to your free TV antenna channels), you hook your TV up to your phone modem/internet service and it's Netflix on your TV. The phone modem is also a wireless router, so you can use your computers throughout your house, wirelessly.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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marymm|1444506148|3937044 said:
^ very helpful info, chemgirl - thank you!
Adding my huge THANKS!! Verizon is really pushing FIOS hard here in NYC, but I just checked their web site & it indicates that Internet service is still an option in conjunction with my landline, woohoo!
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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MollyMalone said:
marymm|1444506148|3937044 said:
^ very helpful info, chemgirl - thank you!
Adding my huge THANKS!! Verizon is really pushing FIOS hard here in NYC, but I just checked their web site & it indicates that Internet service is still an option in conjunction with my landline, woohoo!

You're welcome! I've actually used this antenna in NYC (for an extended 2 months stay, didn't want to get cable hooked up), and used this website http://antennaweb.org/ to point it. Without the website, it's hard to tell how to navigate through the buildings. :)
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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THANK YOU ever so much for the additional details & explanation, iLander -- I will definitely be exploring this in the upcoming week!
:appl:
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
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May 23, 2010
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MollyMalone said:
THANK YOU ever so much for the additional details & explanation, iLander -- I will definitely be exploring this in the upcoming week!
:appl:

You're welcome! If you want to try out the antenna on a temporary basis, you can call Time Warner (or whomever) and tell them you want your account to be put on "vacation status", then you don't pay for those days that you don't use cable. You can try it for a couple of weeks, and if you don't like it, you can return the antenna and reactivate your cable account without paying for installation, etc. We taped our antenna up inside a window and it worked fine.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 18, 2010
Messages
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marymm said:
So, do you have a phone/broadband line plugged into your TV and a separate box for the WiFi modem? Or, is the WiFi modem plugged into a phone outlet and also into your TV?

You can also get internet through the cable company without having tv through them
 

tuffyluvr

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 24, 2011
Messages
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We haven't had cable in 3 years... And I don't miss it at all! We have a little AppleTV box (I think it was about $200) and we pay $8 per month each for Netflix streaming and Hulu. DH doesn't watch sports, and we get most of our news from NPR and online, but it would be good to have access to a few local stations if there's an emergency or something, so I'll look into the HD antenna.

Thanks for the tip, and I hope more people get rid of their cable too. The cable companies prices are highway robbery, and I also find that our quality of life has improved without it. For one, we have to think about what we want to watch and find something to watch, so we don't just "veg-out" in front of the tv like we used to, and secondly, I find the programming on Netflix and Hulu to be 'smarter'--lots of great documentaries and foreign programs that I probably wouldn't have found otherwise!
 

diamondseeker2006

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I watch almost no TV, but my husband won't give it up, unfortunately. I recently read about another low cost option if just the channels you can access with the antennae and Netflix are not enough. You can choose packages of channels for small monthly fees through Sling TV, and that and Netflix can be accessed through wireless boxes like Amazon Fire TV. The base package is called Best of Live TV and it is $20 a month. It includes HGTV which is my favorite channel aside from the basic channels you get with the antennae. It includes some of the most popular channels such as ESPN, Disney, Travel, CNN, History, etc. Then for my DH, we'd have to add the Sports Extra package for only $5. So really, we could watch everything we'd really want for $25 on Sling TV plus the $8 or whatever Netflix costs. We already get Netflix on top of TV service, so it would technically only cost us $25 and eliminate a bill of over $100.

My question is how am I supposed to connect a TV which is on a wall above a fireplace to an antennae that has to have a wire connected to it? I can't have a wire running across a wall to get it near a window or whatever.
 

Tacori E-ring

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I haven't paid for TV in years. :praise: I don't plan on ever having cable again. Now internet is not something I could live without.
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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You buy good sized internet, you set up your router and your Netflix and Amazon come to your smart tv via it and your router. I added TIVO to get the on-screen guide and DVR. I got the high def antenna to get all the network tv.
 

momhappy

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
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Thanks so much for sharing this =) We pay for a DVR cable box in a guest room that barely gets used. We plan to get rid of it and purchase an antenna.
 

iLander

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May 23, 2010
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diamondseeker2006|1444536195|3937146 said:
I watch almost no TV, but my husband won't give it up, unfortunately. I recently read about another low cost option if just the channels you can access with the antennae and Netflix are not enough. You can choose packages of channels for small monthly fees through Sling TV, and that and Netflix can be accessed through wireless boxes like Amazon Fire TV. The base package is called Best of Live TV and it is $20 a month. It includes HGTV which is my favorite channel aside from the basic channels you get with the antennae. It includes some of the most popular channels such as ESPN, Disney, Travel, CNN, History, etc. Then for my DH, we'd have to add the Sports Extra package for only $5. So really, we could watch everything we'd really want for $25 on Sling TV plus the $8 or whatever Netflix costs. We already get Netflix on top of TV service, so it would technically only cost us $25 and eliminate a bill of over $100.

My question is how am I supposed to connect a TV which is on a wall above a fireplace to an antennae that has to have a wire connected to it? I can't have a wire running across a wall to get it near a window or whatever.

This is very cool, diamondseeker! I'm going to look into this, since we often use Sling TV while traveling!

DH says you need a Tablo Wifi DVR. You attach the antenna to your Tablo, and then attach the Tablo to your wifi router with a cable. The wifi will send the shows to your Firestick! :appl: So yeah, (kinda) wireless antenna! :appl: :appl:
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
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May 23, 2010
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momhappy|1444684245|3937585 said:
Thanks so much for sharing this =) We pay for a DVR cable box in a guest room that barely gets used. We plan to get rid of it and purchase an antenna.

That's Exactly what it's for. Very handy for TV's you don't use a lot.

You can also buy a Tablo DVR, (about $200, table.com) to replace the DVR cable box, and it will record the antenna shows that you select.
 
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