CNET: How to get free HDTV


Staff member
From The Article:
If you bought your TV within the past few years, and you live anywhere close to a city, chances are you can get better HDTV than you've ever seen, for free.

The key, of course, is you need one little thing that you probably already have.

An antenna.

All TVs sold in the United States after 2007 are required to have an ATSC tuner. TVs larger than 36 inches have had ATSC tuners since 2005. So if you bought your TV after this, you probably have a tuner.

The next step is getting a signal to it. Most of you reading this will remember the good old days of screwing on the thick coaxial cable to the back of the TV. Same thing here. If you still have an antenna in the attic, give it a try. It will probably work...

...But, but, but, my DVR!
If you've become accustomed to the convenience of your DVR (and who hasn't?), the switch to over-the-air may seem jarring. After all, there's no DVR, right? Turns out, there are lots of options.

If you're computer-savvy, you can build an HTPC that will act just like a DVR. I love my PC, but incorporating one into your living room isn't like plugging in a Blu-ray player. Many swear by it though, and I'd love to hear from them in the comments on their best strategy.

For the rest of us, there's TiVo. The latest DVRs from TiVo offer streaming like Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand and Hulu Plus, and are available for less than $100. So free HDTV over the air, plus the pay services for the shows you missed on cable. Not a bad way not to pay for cable. Though who knows if you'll really save money.

David Katzmaier also liked the Channel Master CM-7000PAL as a TiVo alternative that doesn't have a monthly fee.

Over-the-air reception devices rule
One of the most common complaints I hear from people about getting OTA HD is that their homeowner's association won't allow rooftop antennas. Legally, they're not allowed to have this restriction.

Whether you want that fight with your neighbors is the bigger question.
Read More: How to get free HDTV | How To - CNET

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