TV for Free, and Being TV Free...


Staff member
by Pat Nash
Well, I did it. I got rid of satellite service and went back to an antenna. And what’s amazing is the ancient antenna, way up there on top of the equally ancient tower, still transmits clear signals. I’m impressed by Gary Fuller, the technician from Vodak’s Radio Shack here in Baraboo, and his determination to make it all work without costly upgrades. He’s a true magician.

I don’t miss the cable channels and the incessant blathering of political pundits, or the non-stop tripe that fills cable television channels. My antenna pulls in all the networks, plus a few add-ons that show old standards, the weather, and a DYI show. If I want to see a cable show, most of them are archived on the Internet, so I’m not missing anything.

The best part is my bill, that once bundled satellite, phone and Internet, was cut in half. What’s not to love?
Read More: Nash column: Free at last from the TV set : Baraboo News Republic

She goes on to talk about not having a TV in the late 70s and 80s. I also was part of a family that got two channels, though we got both of them with the antenna pointed the same direction. We also had times when the TV broke and we just didn't bother to fix it for a while, or when it did "work", the picture would slowly roll. Those were the days! Now those 2 channels are 5 channels broadcast on VHF where you don't have to worry about them getting sold off to the cell phone company.

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
I grew up with 6 channels available and all but one was full of ghosts and continually breaking up. The one 'clear' channel was an independent station about 25 miles south of me transmitting from an AM radio tower using a 250 watt transmitter. The signal was solid but 'snowy' and I got to watch Roller Derby and Pool games between Minnesota Fats and Willie Masconi, in black and white of course.

Favorites on the other channels with ghosts were Jeff's Collie (pre-Lassie), Bonanza, The Wonderful World of Disney and several local television shows specifically directed toward children ... basically, local Captain Kangaroos.



, Blogger: Orry's Orations
When I was a kid we had the 3 networks, pbs, and two independents worth anything. Then we got a couple more further out that we could get good reception on that was a ton of fun. It's all grown a ton since then, hasn't it.


Staff member
We had NBC and PBS (Nebraska Educational Television). I learned to be a Broncos fan because they were always on when I tried to tune in to "Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday evening. ;) I had little to no exposure to shows on ABC or CBS. My parents still don't have ABC or CBS. They have NBC, FOX, & three PBS channels.

I should have 25 channels for a while before the incentive auction messes with things.
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