Do You Remember When TV was Free?

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#1
If you yearn for the days when America was the land of free when it comes to TV, stick with me.

We'll talk about a way to combine something very old, an antenna, with something very new, streaming video, to return to those "Leave it to Beaver" days. Excluding one-time costs, you can pay as little as $8 a month to receive much the same programming as a premium cable customer and get a better picture in the bargain.

That's a big deal when you consider that cable customers will pay $1,200 a year or more for the most expensive packages. Even less elaborate satellite and cable packages run into hundreds of dollars a year.

That's fine if you think the money is a fair trade for the programming you get — premium movies, regular channels and a hundred or more channels that specialize in everything from sports, to cooking to music.

But if you'd like to keep both your TV habit and your money, I'll show you how...
Read more: TV programming available for nearly nothing » Ventura County Star
- vcstar.com

Well, over the air digital television is free... And, if you're already paying for highspeed internet, there is all kinds of content available for free or low cost.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#3
I really think it's a sad sad thing. Everything is about money today. TV should be free and it should be free without a hassle. Everyone should be considered, and they are not.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
I remember this ad when it originally aired. Does anyone else remember it?

Jim

[video=youtube;j3BA_fpDhbQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3BA_fpDhbQ[/video]
 
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nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#5
We have 25% subscription tv uptake here (mostly satellite), but even those people usually get very annoyed when theres problems with their OTA transmissions. Almost noone goes without OTA TV of some kind. (Even in remote areas the OTA channels are broadcast free-to-view on Satellite - subsided by the government)
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I really think it's a sad sad thing. Everything is about money today. TV should be free and it should be free without a hassle. Everyone should be considered, and they are not.
I don't expect that the cable company will hook you up for free. They're in it for a profit, which is why it costs money.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#7
I don't expect that the cable company will hook you up for free. They're in it for a profit, which is why it costs money.
The problem is that the government allowed easy access to free TV to go away. Again, no one cares about everyone, just the key demographic, and that has left a lot of people in the cold.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#8
I remember this ad when it originally aired. Does anyone else remember it?

Jim

[video=youtube;j3BA_fpDhbQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3BA_fpDhbQ[/video]
Wow -- no, I don't recall it. My earliest memories of pay TV come from my cousin. He had HBO when it first began and it was like a treat to go there and watch it.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#9
The problem is that the government allowed easy access to free TV to go away. Again, no one cares about everyone, just the key demographic, and that has left a lot of people in the cold.
What do you mean? If anything, free TV today is better than yesteryear. More channels, better picture and sound quality and more languages for those who don't speak English, just to name a few.

In "days of old" people had to set up large antennas too. I am sure no one around here was able to watch TV with a rabbit ears.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#10
I mean that it's gone. You have to have a digital converter box or a new TV. That seems like nothing to a lot of people, but to older folks, that's a lot of Greek, and not everyone has someone to help them or explain it to them. I'm not talking about the quality of TV or the technology, really, just that the days of TV with just a TV does not always exist out there anymore.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#11
I mean that it's gone. You have to have a digital converter box or a new TV. That seems like nothing to a lot of people, but to older folks, that's a lot of Greek, and not everyone has someone to help them or explain it to them. I'm not talking about the quality of TV or the technology, really, just that the days of TV with just a TV does not always exist out there anymore.
In the 1940's black and white NTSC was a new technology that required new fangled TVs for people to receive it. In the 1950's there was color TV and people needed color TVs to receive it. In the 1980's there was stereo TV and people needed stereo TVs to receive it. In the first decade of teh 21st century there was DTV and people needed new equipment to receive it. Oh, and the government sponsored a program where the cell phone companies paid for people to get the new technology. TV is certainly still free, and free TV is better than ever!!!
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#12
... In "days of old" people had to set up large antennas too. I am sure no one around here was able to watch TV with a rabbit ears.
Ryan,

I bought my first TV for 5 bucks at a garage sale when I was about 12 years of age. They threw in a set of rabbit ears. I had no way to get it home, so when 'Dear old Dad' got back from work, I told him we had to go get MY tv set. It was a late 1950s portable and it weighed a freeking ton! Dad was not amused, but he was a good sport and we brought it home that evening in the family station wagon.

My bedroom was in the basement and it 'kinda' received two snowy channels: KING-5 (NBC) that ran a show called the Gold Diggers that featured dancing girls (woohoo, for a 12 year old boy!) and KTVW which was a 250 watt independent 30 miles south of me in Tacoma, WA.

On that channel, I watched Minnesota Fats and Willie Masconi play pool many times, 'roundy-round' dirt track car racing from a tiny track in Shelton, WA (they did a remote!) men and womens' Roller Derby, a weekend monster movie hosted by Stu Martin and a late-night talk show 'starring' Bob Corcoran.

Rabbit ears and tin foil for an antenna. SeaTacRadio.com | Seattle Radio Dial - Seattle/Tacoma Radio & Television

Jim
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#13
I remember watching the NCAA football bowl games on channel 2 KNOP using the monopole on my 1983 Quasar black and white TV in the upstairs of my parents house. Then later I watched Alister Malpin's 'Tales of the City" on PBS on the same TV on Channel 9 (PBS) in the "guest house." (49 miles from channel 2, 45 from channel 9) Both channels require an outdoor antenna for digital, but the picture quality is much better. ;)
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#14
Some of our ancient (~30+ yo) TV sets could really crank up the AGC, and if you lived in a good signal area you could get away with nothing, literally nothing, no wet piece of string, no paperclip, no 75ohm resistor. Ive even seen a few doing just that in the flesh, while all the modern tvs in the house had to be connected to the roof aerial.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#15
In the 1940's black and white NTSC was a new technology that required new fangled TVs for people to receive it. In the 1950's there was color TV and people needed color TVs to receive it. In the 1980's there was stereo TV and people needed stereo TVs to receive it. In the first decade of teh 21st century there was DTV and people needed new equipment to receive it. Oh, and the government sponsored a program where the cell phone companies paid for people to get the new technology. TV is certainly still free, and free TV is better than ever!!!
If you cannot see the difference in what is required today versus what was required five years to receive local channels, then we will just have to agree to disagree. Yes, new technology arrives every single day, but it is how that new technology affects people who still have the old that I am referring to. Color TV did not affect those who still wanted to watch B/W. Stereo TVs did not affect those who just wanted to hear what was coming over the TV. Believe it or not, there are still people who do not own cell phones. There are people who own them but only use them for emergencies, and there are people who have no desire to own smartphones and all those thousands of apps. Their existence has, at this point, not affected those who still prefer the landline, regardless of who pays for what. My point is the whole DTV thing. In this case, everything changed and if you did not get the update, if you do not understand the difference, you just couldn't watch TV anymore. It was no longer an option; it was a requirement. For some, free TV went away.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#16
... For some, free TV went away.
Orry,

All three people Nationwide that lost free OTA reception was NOT based on the change from analog to digital modulation. It was probably based on not having a nearly free, D2A converter.

In your situ where your antenna has been on your roof for 55+ years without any maintainance is not the norm. Ancient systems usually do the favor of falling down in a storm and then they are replaced.

Jim
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#18
Excuses.

Orry, years ago I suggested you talk to your neighbor teens to see if one might be willing to work on your antenna setup. Apparently, no one in the entire region was interested in helping you. Too bad, but I repeat my offer. I will ship you whatever length of coax you require and I'll include a good OTA antenna. FREE to you. I remember your TVFOOL report and as I recall, you could potentially have 55 FREE channels.

Please ask for help on Craigslist and I bet a few locals will step up.

If I ship coax and an antenna to you, my only requirement is to report back to our Forum, update and stay current as you have for years but (again) you have to find the paperboy/ladder climber or a next door neighbor willing to make it happen for you.

Jim
 

scandiskwindows9x

Moderator of DTV Latino
#19
I think get what N2rj days, the topic isn't the television quality are what costs assume to pick up good quality television, in my case I have spent near 300 dollars in equipment antennas etc you name it had to get a big full HD television for get HD later converter boxes, cables etc the airwaves are for free the technology that makes alive isn't for free

Sent from my LG-P500h using Tapatalk 2
 

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