Going Digital

With the approach of Winter, I decided to spend some money to upgrade my home A/V system with an HDTV. One of the unexpected delights has been to discover that the over-the-air, freely broadcast digital TV signals in this area are pretty good. Mind you, I’m talking about the A/V qualities — not the qualities of the content.

I’m unwilling to spend the money on cable service (I mostly like to watch DVDs), so I’ve made do with a cheap, rabbit ear-style antenna. With my old, analog TV, this antenna was good enough to get a snowy or ghostly image on four channels if I really felt the need to tune into broadcast TV. With digital, it’s a whole different matter. It’s really all or nothing — you get the channel or you don’t — and I’m shocked to discover that with my same old antenna, I now get 14 channels. That means I now get nearly perfect reception of almost all of the local digital channels without spending a nickel on cable.

Going digital hasn’t been entirely good, though. The novelty of static-free TV has been alluring: I’ve watched more TV in the last couple days than I did in the previous couple months. I’ll have to see if I can get that under control.

8 Comments so far

  1. Erica M (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 8:46 am

    You can get HD signals with rabbit ears? I had no idea! I was just about to toss mine. Might have to keep ’em now.

    That’s a really helpful website.


  2. ryanol (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 11:55 am

    I love TPTC or create and all the PBS channels.

    I bought a cheap visio 37 incher and havent looked back since, OTA all the way baby…its in the air man!

    I can’t get over people who fork over 110$ per month on hdtv cable…I have a hard enough time paying my cell phone bill every month…damn


  3. ari_1965 (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

    Thanks for mentioning this. The Comcast guy keeps dropping by with his clipboard and oh, so casually mentioning that I’m the only one in my townhouse development who doesn’t have cable. I just watch DVDs, so I’ve avoided the expense of cable for two years now and it’s been fine. The only TV I miss being able to see is the occasional show on PBS. Perhaps I’ll go digital when my current TV dies.


  4. Erica M (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

    One of my co-workers is trying to sell his flat panel 27″ HDTV for $250 (one third the price he bought it for) because he just bought a bigger one. I’m having a hard time justifying the expense, but….


  5. ryan (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

    three times that now would get your 37″….37 glorious inches


  6. Jason (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

    In fact, the OTA signal with rabbit ears is better than the HDTV signal from the satellite and the cable companies– because they compress it to varying degrees, in order to jam the signal into their wires.

    If you can work it: rabbit ears with a new HDTV is the way to go for sure.


  7. Emily (unregistered) on October 25th, 2007 @ 12:17 am

    I just bought a 19″ Westinghouse LCD HDTV at Sam’s as a replacement for my crappy monitor. I was toying around with a set of old rabbit ears I had around and the results are amazing. I get about 18 digital channels, and now I get to watch all the primetime tv for free and in HD! It’s worth the investment to buy one.


  8. Denny Duplessis (unregistered) on October 25th, 2007 @ 7:27 am

    Isn’t over the air digital reception great. Unfortunately not everyone is going to be able to get good reception with rabbit ears, for those who can’t I suggest you visit: TV Antenna Range at http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/1496626.html and HDTV Antenna Fact or Fiction at http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/1161550.html
    You can also contact me I’ll be happy to help.



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