going from cable tv to antenna

Ordinary

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
hi everyone,
i'm seeking some ways to save money and I think i've found a way to drop my monthly bills down by almost $85/month and that's by dropping cable. i'd like to know how I can go straight from cable tv to antenna tv which i'm sure will require a antenna. what kind should I get?

also,
i'm going to miss my recorder very much as I will have to return it to the cable company this month which means no more recording my favorite shows. :( is there a recorder I can get for antenna TV or should I just use my vcr?

thank you so kindly, ordinarygirl
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#2
Hello ordinarygirl! Welcome to the forum. You came to the right place for your questions.

Couple of questions to help you make good decisions.

Post your TVfool. Just google go to the site, and follow the links, filling in the info, then post a link to the last page with the charts and graphs.

Also what make and model of TV do you have?

I think you can get an SD OTA DVR, that might not be quite as slick as the Sat/Cable box DVRs but they still work much easier than VCRs....and without breaking the bank.

Yes a lot of people are switching to OTA to save money these days. Other options for programming are Internet Video sites and downloads, like hulu.com. Also people use Netflix to augment their television watching, with television series DVD rentals as well as movies (instead of paying for premium movie channels). You can also dedicate a $100 or so, and buy complete television series off of ebay used, watch them and then resell them for the going rate, and buy the next year in the series. That way you really arent losing that much money, and Ive found its nicer than Netflix cause you can watch them back to back to back at your convenience more easily.

Hope that helps
 
Last edited:

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#3
Hello ordinarygirl! Welcome to the forum. You came to the right place for your questions.

Couple of questions to help you make good decisions.

Post your TVfool. Just google go to the site, and follow the links, filling in the info, then post a link to the last page with the charts and graphs.

Also what make and model of TV do you have?

I think you can get an SD OTA DVR, that might not be quite as slick as the Sat/Cable box DVRs but they still work much easier than VCRs....and without breaking the bank.

Yes a lot of people are switching to OTA to save money these days. Other options for programming are Internet Video sites and downloads, like hulu.com. Also people use Netflix to augment their television watching, with television series DVD rentals as well as movies (instead of paying for premium movie channels). You can also dedicate a $100 or so, and buy complete television series off of ebay used, watch them and then resell them for the going rate, and buy the next year in the series. That way you really arent losing that much money, and Ive found its nicer than Netflix cause you can watch them back to back to back at your convenience more easily.

Hope that helps
From what I understand, the DTVPal DVR will output HD and SD so it will work if she has an HDTV or SD TV.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#4
In addition to DVRs, some companies also sell combination DVD/VCR recorders. They're not as convenient as a DVR, but they won't make your whole videotape collection instantly obsolete, either.

There are a couple of other things to keep in mind as you make the leap:

• The VCR section of a DVD/VCR recorder cannot record digital broadcasts. You can, however, record shows on DVD-RWs or DVD-RAMs, both of which are erasable just like analog videotapes.

• Whether you get a DVR or a DVDR, make sure the model you buy has its own built-in DTV tuner. Not all models do because so many people who buy them also subscribe to cable or satellite service. It's very difficult, sometimes impossible, to export signals from a TV tuner to a recorder. (You'd have to leave the TV turned on and tuned to the desired channel for a timed recording, and this wouldn't work at all if you wanted to record two shows on different channels while you're out of the house!) One big advantage of this approach: You can watch one show on the TV while recording another on the deck.

• Over-the-air broadcasts will get you ABC, CBS, Fox, Ion, NBC and PBS, and possibly a wide range of rerun- and old-movie-based networks on subchannels such as RTV, This TV, Dot-2 Network, etc. The "standard" cable networks -- ESPN, HGTV, Oxygen, USA, FX, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, MTV, and so forth -- won't be available. Needless to say, the movie and premium networks aren't OTA, either.
 

Eureka

DTVUSA Member
#5
First, check your home's reception by entering your address at TVFool.com.

On the results page, look for the bolded link to share your results. Copy & paste the results link back here for antenna suggestions. Your address will not show on the results page.

You can buy a DVR that works for over the air antenna TV, much like a cable or satellite DVR. You can setup event recordings and pause live TV with it. It's available here. There is up front cost of course, but once you've bought the DVR, there are no monthly fees to deal with.
 
Last edited:

Grumbles

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
hi everyone,
i'm seeking some ways to save money and I think i've found a way to drop my monthly bills down by almost $85/month and that's by dropping cable. i'd like to know how I can go straight from cable tv to antenna tv which i'm sure will require a antenna. what kind should I get?

also,
i'm going to miss my recorder very much as I will have to return it to the cable company this month which means no more recording my favorite shows. :( is there a recorder I can get for antenna TV or should I just use my vcr?

thank you so kindly, ordinarygirl
I don't know if you got an answer to your recorder question, but the new Tivo HD will record over the air HD programming. It is 300 bucks for the machine (unless you can get in on a deal -- upgrades, buying a previously opened box, etc where it is 200). It also is 12 bucks a month for the service. That said, if you get your antenna going with Tivo, you can use Netflix for 9 bucks a month and stream tons of programming directly to your box. This of course requires internet-- I don't know if you have that already or if that is a part of the 85 bucks you are dropping.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#12
No, they're not cheap, but look at it this way: Three months' worth of forgone cable bills buys you the DTVPal that NYCLA* mentioned!

You had also asked about an antenna in the original post. The TVFool report shows that all the network affiliates, plus a good number of additional stations, should be easy to receive over the air at that location. This means an inexpensive antenna would be suitable.

I would recommend getting an outdoor antenna and mounting it above the roof. The strongest, most reliable signals are available there. If that's not practical, an outdoor antenna can be placed in the attic. Either way, you might want to look at this guide for a better idea of what's involved. Putting up an antenna like this is not difficult at all for anyone used to doing DIY projects and repairs around the home. The AntennaCraft HBU22 antenna would be a good choice. It's available here, and here.

If a rooftop/attic antenna is out of the question, an indoor antenna should work OK for network stations most of the time. It may not be completely reliable under the best of circumstances, and it's not at all likely to work well if your home has aluminum, brick or stucco siding. If you must go this route, get a pair of "rabbit ears" made for both VHF and UHF signals, such as this one. Local discount stores carry them, too. Don't buy a set with a built-in amplifier, because a booster is likely to hurt reception rather than make it better.
 
Top