Do you feel that you are paying too much for your cable connection? Would you like to save money with a free TV broadcast?
Of course, with our faltering economy who wouldn’t want to save some bucks of their hard earned money whichever way it is possible. To do that the first thing we try to do is lower our monthly bills. We can’t do much as the price of utilities go up, but we can try to cut down on other costs like cable connection bills and broadband internet connections.
The ‘pay for television’ bills can become a high monthly expense with an estimate coming to $75 per month in the U.S. That means you are paying somewhere around $900 dollars for your cable/satellite subscription every year.
There are other options available as well like digital television that save you a bundle.
Analog television broadcast is a thing of the past; it is now being replaced by digital television (DTV). What many people don’t know is that DTV is actually broadcasted free and offers a high definition picture quality as compared to the old cable connection.
DTV is able to maintain its high definition picture quality by not having to compress data over the cable, where as the regular cable service providers have to compress the data in order to broadcast such a large number of channels on their limited bandwidth.
Broadcast Television offers more local channels in various languages in addition to the big local stations like NBC, ADC, CBS, etc. Transmitting multiple programs of the same station over the airwaves becomes possible. Plus, the high definition resolutions can go up to a 1080i. That is a much better resolution than cable television, also charging you extra for HD programs.
Broadcast digital television also offers you additional space to store your personal preferences like program schedules, just like you used to with you ‘pay for TV’ cable provider. Almost all HDTVs have a detailed guide through which you can view the program listings, times, titles, genres, etc.
Getting Broadcast TV for Free
There are a few simple steps that you need to follow to make sure that you will be able to receive broadcast TV for free.
It is important that you determine that the digital TV reception in your area is good. If you are located in a geographical area like a valley or one that has large physical obstacles, you might not receive a very good reception. If you are not sure, then ask the people in your neighborhood who have outdoor or indoor antennas. This will give you a good idea of the reception quality in your area.
There are also websites that will help you determine the reception quality in your area. Antennapoint.com and Antennaweb.org are very helpful in determining the distance to the stations with the help of your zip codes.
Type of Antenna
Once you determined the reception quality in your area, you need to pick the antenna that is best for your location.
If the reception in your area is good or excellent, then even an indoor antenna will work. In this case an amplified indoor antenna is the best choice as it will boost the signals and pick up more stations.
If the reception in your area is okay or poor, then you will probably need an outdoor antenna. They offer much better reception as the path is fairly unobstructed for catching the broadcast TV signals. But make sure that you find out from your homeowners if they will allow you to set up an outdoor antenna if you are living on rent.
Type of TV
Now this is the most important factor. The recent flat screen televisions like LCD, LED and plasma all come with a digital tuner. To watch free broadcast TV you need to make sure that your television supports ‘digital broadcast TV’.
Then all you have to do is connect the cable coming from the antenna to the television’s input port, the place where your current cable television hooks into the TV. Once you have hooked up the cable wire, go the ‘Menu’ and change the signal input to ‘Antenna’ and initiate a channel scan.
Once all channels are scanned you are ready to watch broadcast TV over the air.
If your TV does not support digital broadcast, you will need to attach an ‘analog to digital’ converter.
With just a little effort and a one time expense of buying an antenna you can watch free broadcast TV off the air without have to subscribe to a cable connection or a broadband service. You will save hundred of dollars in monthly subscription bills all the while receiving better reception quality.