OK, I would love to get free TV but...

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Poohbug, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Poohbug

    Poohbug Sherlocked

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    I would love to drop the DirecTv but even with a new TV I only get two channels since everything went digital.

    Has anyone else had a problem receiving digital signals since the change? I like my TV and don't think I can handle getting one-two channels.

    Do roof-top antennas make a big difference. I live between two decent sized cities that broadcast and I can't get anything in.

    I am thinking of just switching between the satellite companies regularly to get the good deals.
     
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  3. Disney*Dreamer

    Disney*Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    We just switched from Direct to DishNetwork, and are saving $75 dollars a month total, because we got a package deal through our phone company, Embarq. It incluedes our phone, internet, and Dish classic Silver, our total savings (we had the internet before too) was $75 dollars.

    But onto your real question, my sister only gets 3 channels since the switch to digital.
     
  4. D&DDisney

    D&DDisney <font color=red>Don't you get it?? You see the hat

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    We just get free over-the-air digital tv. We have an indoor antena w/ electric boost (ie - you have to plug it in) and can pull in over 40 channels and we live in the middle of nowhere.
    We do not miss the tons of cable channels and can get some shows on the internet if we really want to see them.
    I figure we are saving between $50-100 per month this way. :thumbsup2
     
  5. raraloveseeyore

    raraloveseeyore Mouseketeer

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    I live in a large city with several local channels. Since the switch, I can only get two local channels. I have an antenna and I am still having problems. Sometimes I get a channel but it does the tiling and you can't watch it.
     
  6. soccerchick

    soccerchick Dis Veteran<br><font color=red>My husband has rice

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    I'm VERY tempted to drop all the cable stuff we have and just start watching shows via the internet on the tv. Between hulu.com and joost (sp?) and the regular channels on the internet, I will get shows I watch anyway and many from the cable channels I don't. Many are in hi def now too.
     
  7. D&DDisney

    D&DDisney <font color=red>Don't you get it?? You see the hat

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    Check your antena. Regular rabbit ears don't cut it any more. You need one with an electric boost/plug in. We got ours at Radio Shack. Looks like something out of Star Trek sitting on our table. It is adjustable by remote and also programable so you can program in the exact # for the station you want w/o getting up. We are actually picking up stations from 2 major cities (Milwaukee and Madison) now.
     
  8. raraloveseeyore

    raraloveseeyore Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the info. I'll have my husband check it out.
     
  9. kimsuenew

    kimsuenew DIS Veteran

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    Hi! :goodvibes We just house-sat for my in-laws. They have a digital box, their large roof-top antenna with box and they now only get 4 public television channels, 2 CHristian television channels, one NBC station, and one ABC station.

    Before the digital transition (off the old "stand alone antenna" they got at least one each of NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Christian, and Public Television, so their viewing opportunity went down considerably!

    We definately will not be switching! We have TWC and bundle our internet, digital phone, and digital cable for $99.00 a month, does TWC serve the area you are in?
     
  10. peggster

    peggster Mouseketeer

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    I'm having similar problems. I was using my converter box before the transition, receiving over a dozen channels (including all the networks), and once they flipped the switch, almost all of them disappeared. I've heard that some stations switched from UHF to VHF, and that's causing some reception issues. Also, some stations went to lower power transmission (something about what frequencies the FCC had assigned them or some such thing), and that's also causing many of us not to get reception. Supposedly they're working on the lower power issues and hope things will improve by the end of summer. You may have something similar happening in your area.

    Meanwhile, I'm going to try upgrading to a new indoor antenna and see if that's an improvement over my trusty old rabbit ears. I'm hoping not to have to install a rooftop antenna, but that may be what I have to do. The good news is that I'm finding I have lots more free time to do other things now that I'm not watching much TV. :)
     
  11. brettb

    brettb Mouseketeer

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    Y'all did re-scan your channels after the cut-off date, right?

    Check out http://antennaweb.org for the skinny on where you need to point your antenna and what kind of antenna you may need.
     
  12. squirrlygirl

    squirrlygirl DIS Veteran

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    DS's TV went down to only a handful of stations until we rescanned. Now he gets about 40 :thumbsup2
     
  13. Disneyliscious

    Disneyliscious DIS Veteran

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    I have scanned......and re-scanned....and scanned again. I live less than 30 miles outside of Nashville and get ONE channel. Sometimes another channel comes in....but it pixelates so bad you cant watch it.

    I will NOT cave in and buy cable/satellite. Thats exactly what they want you to do...lol

    I'll live with my one channel and use my extra free time to visit the DIS boards!!

    Im not a tv person and my kids mostly watch DVD's.....so there is just no way Im gonna pay for tv.
     
  14. minnie1928

    minnie1928 WDW addict

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    Do you mind posting your son's zip code? I'm curious to see how many stations are listed on the website compared to the actual number your son receives. I'm thinking of converting my mom over and simply signing her up for netflix to get movies. That way she'd only be paying about $9/month instead of $55/month for cable only.
     
  15. dementia412

    dementia412 DIS Veteran

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    I was so ticked after I got the converter. I love how they left out how you would also need to buy an expensive antenna to get anything in. We were getting a handful of stations but they wouldn't stay on and the voice kept getting real deep, then the channels would just vanish. So when are the coupons for the antennas coming out? Oh, yeah all those people who were told they wouldn't be hurt by the switch can just suck it I guess. This just gave my DH an excuse to get cable. :scared1:
     
  16. johnnymo99

    johnnymo99 Mouseketeer

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    I went from 12 channels to 1. I live in NE Ohio about half way between Cleveland and Youngstown. Now I get only 1 youngstown channel and thats it. This is with an amplified antenna(plug in). I have rescanned but still only get 1 channel. This digital conversion SUCKS big time. Now I am going to have to buy an outdoor antenna and install it. Who is going to pay for this? The government or maybe I should take up a collection from some on here who thought digital was the best thing since sliced bread. I have already complained to my congressman and senator about this garbage. And as a side note it is not just me in my area who have lost most of their channels- many, many, many, many others are in the same boat as me.:mad:
     
  17. peggster

    peggster Mouseketeer

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    Yes, multiple times. Re-scanning won't solve the problems I've been having. When a station switches from UHF to VHF, or starts transmitting at lower power, that's not something I can do anything about, really, aside from spending more money on a more powerful antenna (and hoping that will do the trick). This whole digital conversion has been a big rip-off, as far as I'm concerned. Since those of us without cable or satellite make up such a small portion of the viewing public, I feel like the powers that be figured we wouldn't complain much, or would just switch to cable. And that's something I refuse to do. I am watching a lot less TV than I did before the switch, and it's amazing how much free time I have to do other things.
     
  18. squirrlygirl

    squirrlygirl DIS Veteran

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    Antennaweb says we should get 11 channels, mostly from Lansing. We actually receive stations from Lansing, Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Toledo, and Windsor (Canada) off the top of my head. We have the recommended roof-top antenna as well as an in-line booster, so I don't know what we'd get without them. :confused3
     
  19. kileybeth

    kileybeth DIS Veteran

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    We have never had cable, always just an antenna. We used to get tons of stations with it. Since the switch, we can not get ABC without it coming in and out and pixilating. Good thing it's not a channel I enjoy much! We also lost our 2 PBS stations my little ones enjoyed each morning.

    We have the booster plug in box thingy (so technical I am!) and an absolute huge antenna in our highly vaulted attic. Now we do still get lots of channels so it is what it is but certainly aside from better reception on the ones we now get, not much of an improvement.

    oh yeah, we live within an hour of two huge broadcasting cities (Philadelphia and Baltimore). We used to pick up most programming in both directions. crazy.

    My parents are closer to Salisbury/Baltimore and are getting nearly nothing with their plug in antenna on their new digital tv. They are older, do not have money for cable and this was their entertainment for most of the day. They do not have a computer. Seems like not such a good thing for lots of older folks.
     
  20. brettb

    brettb Mouseketeer

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    My random thoughts:

    1) An outdoor antenna in an attic can have signal loss from 30-100% compared to the same antenna mounted on the roof.
    2) Signal amplifiers *may* help, but sometimes all they do is amplify noise. They probably make the most sense when installed near an outdoor antenna that has a long cable run to the TV.
    3) Indoor amplified antennas can stink big time - even expensive ones. If the antenna can't pick up a decent signal, the amplifier isn't going to help.
    4) You may need to point your antenna in a different direction
    5) Some cable companies offer a very limited package for < $20 month. Not free, but a lot less than the $100+ some people spend on cable. (Our's is about $15/month.) In the all-analog cable days, this was supposed to offer the basic broadcast stations and some public interest channels. If you have a digital TV with a QAM tuner (the ATSC converter boxes won't work), you can probably tune all the basic broadcast channels in HD and perhaps even a significant number of unencrypted basic cable channels.
    6) If you have a cable modem, but not cable TV, try connecting your QAM-capable TV to the cable and see if you get the HDTV and unencrypted digital TV stations. Some people do (even without something like the $15/month TV package), depending on the cable company!
     
  21. Ava

    Ava DIS Veteran

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    Anyone here live in an apartment building and get decent reception with just an indoor antenna? I would love to get rid of my cable, but I live in an apartment in Brooklyn and am worried that I won't get any channels because of all the interference. Obviously I can't install a roof antenna, so I'd only be able to use an indoor one. Any apartment dwellers have experiences to share?

    I guess I could always buy the antenna, unhook the cable box and try it out. Then if I don't get any channels just return the antenna and keep my cable. I don't even know if my TV is digital though - I got it new in 2003.
     

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