Friday, January 29, 2010

TV Antenna HELP!

Does anyone have experience with new TV antennas?  We hardly ever have time for TV and don't want to pay $50 a month for it so we were thinking about getting an antenna.

I called the FFC (Federal Communications Commission) and Charlotte was very helpful to explain some things to me.  (1-888-225-5322)  She is going to mail us a magazine that shows how to hook it all up.

The lady at the FCC said you can buy an antenna at like Target or Best Buy and the outdoor kind is best.  Then, you need a converter box for older televisions, but not the new ones that can receive a digital signal, or something like that.

We want to record our shows and the lady said we could get a TiVo for that.  Then it would be like $12 a month for the TiVo service, but that would be the only monthly charge.  And, with a TiVo, we could stream videos from our Netflix account online to watch on our TV.

So, the upfront cost can be something like this...
antenna - about $100
converter box per tv (if you have an older tv) - about $50
(If you want DVR - $250)

The initial DVR cost is a lot.  There are websites that claim to have free monthly DVR service, but I don't know if they are good or reliable.

We know it's the cheapest way to go monthly and we might wanna do it so please let me know if you know anything about which brands of equipment to get or any useful information to help us decide!

All of this started because the speakers on our TV went out (we got it for $35 at the Mesa Auction so it we got our money out of it for sure).  So, we got a new TV.  Well, without a HD receiver for our Dish, the picture is not good at all, pretty much worse than the old TV.  So, we called up Dish and wanted a new HD DVR.  Well, they wouldn't give it to us unless we upgraded our plan, which we don't want to do because it would go up to $57 a month.  If we wanted to buy their DVR it would be $500!  Yeah, right!  So, we started looking into the antenna option.  Please let us know any suggestions!


Lola said...

My sister has an HD atenna and it works great! They got it at wal-mart. She has a crystal clear picture, plus her husband hooked up a computer to their TV and downloads movies and they watch on their TV via the computer. We have Dish and called to cancel and they lowered our payments for a year w/o making us sign a contract so when this year is up with cheap payments we're going the antenna way too.

Steven said...

Steve knows all about antenna's, we have one but don't use it, next time we see you guys i'm sure he can answer most of your questions!

Luna said...

We've never had cable and so have been on an antenna all along. Harry (who knows this stuff,) says that you need a Dual Band (UHF And VHF) antenna. An HD antenna only shows the UHF channels, but some channels stayed on VHF so an HD would miss those. Recently we helped a friend get hers from Radio Shack, because it has the longest range antenna for rural areas. It was about $100. We have a DVD recorder with Channel Changer/TV tuner in it($160.) A Tivo would let you record multiple shows. (We get around this by having two TV's, but we don't record that often.) We get CBS, NBD, ABC, Fox, CW, 2 PBS channels and 2 all weather channels---more than enough TV for us! It's easy enough to bolt the antenna on and run the wire down, but then it's helpful to have two people and/or walkie-talkies while you're adjusting the thing so that you get the most channels(this doesn't mean ALL, sometimes the direction for one doesn't work for the others--you can buy "turners" but they don't work well in wind.)
I hope this helps!
your cousin, Kristina


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