Friday, July 15, 2011

Can't We Just Go Back To Rabbit Ears?

Isn't that what they used to call those antenna on the top of the T.V.? Wasn't television just simpler then? Not that I'd know. Most of my life I've had the privilege of cable or satellite t.v.

Is there any way to keep it simple these days? AND not pay an outrageous amount of money each month?

This is my new quest.

Here's the deal: Soon after moving in here, we put an eye sore antenna on top of our already tall, two story house here in this geographic oddity of land. (read: what some may call 'in the boonies')Being that we are nowhere near even the local affiliates of the mainstream networks, the reception is less than clear even under the best circumstances.

We have had satellite for most of the time we've lived here because the lack of reception drove me nuts. Fine and dandy until the monthly bill keeps creeping higher and higher and took a $6 jump earlier this year. And we're just paying for the most basic package!

With the realization recently that we're spending nearly $600/year on television of all things, we're re-hashing new ideas to simplify and save money.

We already have wireless internet, so that improves video gazing online. There's got to be some way to get t.v. through there, even if we have to boost up to the next level for the internet. We'd still be saving money.

I know there is a cable to purchase and connect the laptop to the t.v. and watch that way, but can we get regular ABC, CBS, NBC channels? I've heard of things like Hulu, does that work? What else is out there?

I hate to be a bother and ask for your help AGAIN....but....I just had to throw it out there.

I thought I'd test my readers' technical knowledge (or perhaps even your tech-savvy husbands) and implore your assistance. What's the easiest way to still watch my beloved Biggest Loser and Dancing With The Stars AND save our budget?

Our pocketbook (and my husband) will thank you if we can figure out a good transition that will work for us.


  1. Do you have a digital converter box? Or a digital TV? Because if you don't then you won't pick up any signal with just rabbit ears because all the channels have switched over.

    If you do, and all that's good, you can try amplifying your antenna to get a better signal. It can be as simply as the type of cable you have connecting your antenna to your TV (try a RG6 instead of RG59) or as complicated as getting a new amplified antenna that is designed for long range digital signals. (The adjustable db ones are good.) Also try to cut down on how many things the signal passes through: splitters and things will cut down on your signal.

    That's really the stretch of my knowledge on the subject which is simply my TV/Radio I class and that we don't pay for TV. (But we live in town so it's not too hard for us. We have to move our antenna to get certain channels.)

    Hope that helps at all. If I'm just giving you things you already know I'm sorry.

    Another option to look at if you really don't have any chance of a signal is Roku. Since you already have good internet it is more of a one time purchase and will stream to your TV without having to hook your computer up all the time. You'd still have to pay for a Net Flix subscription but some people swear by Roku. That option is still definitely going to be cheaper than your satellite.

  2. This is how we do it here. We get the basic cable plan...and I mean BASIC. They will try to tell you the basic plan is like $50, and you have to tell them you only want the cheapest package with ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and whatever else it comes with. We pay $13/month for that.

    Then we got the TiVo so that I could record shows for the kids mostly that they could watch in the evening, since we don't have Nick, Disney, or Noggin that play kid shows all day long. We pay about $13 for our TiVo service each month.

    Add to that our $20 internet service (no home phone, just cell phones) and we get by very cheaply and happily. I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, in fact I wish I could get out of tv watching in general :)

  3. We do the cheapest package also. Actually, years ago, Sally suggested we give up t.v. for Lent and we did. It was amazing how "freeing" it felt and how amazing my beloved pitched in with dinner and dishes instead of watching the news :)

    We have been without land lines for almost five years now. Going strictly mobile has been cheaper by far.

    We do subscribe to Netflix and can watch just about anything from t.v. on it. Sometimes, you may need to wait 24 hours before the latest network show is on after it was first shown on the t.v.

  4. We do Roku only, and save so much $$ and it has helped us to wean from the TV. We use our internet connection, and watch Netflix and Hulu (both great, free, or cheap) for the things we do watch, and NO COMMERCIALS!

    It is such a great blend of a more TV less lifestyle and QUALITY TV for little to know $ over time...just a one time fee for Roku, $9 for Netflix (the streaming movies/shows are incredible), and Hulu for free. Awesome.

  5. Thanks everyone for the great ideas and suggestions! It's been a great help and we're already looking in to the changes and to begin switching things over.


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