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The TV Antenna is Making a Comeback

Phillip Dampier February 22, 2012 Consumer News, Online Video, Video 1 Comment

Rabbit ears are making a comeback.

After this year’s cable and satellite rate increases, the average American is now spending $550 a year on basic cable television.  With declining middle class incomes and increasing energy and health care costs busting the budget, something had to give.  Increasingly, it is cable and satellite TV.  Now consumers are combining the past with the future to find a cheaper way to watch television — over the air “free TV” with streamed online video entertainment.  Many broadcasters even offer extra channels that are made possible through digital signal compression.

Some marketers are going over the top with the renewed interest in over the air television, pitching “futuristic” television antennas at a steep price to customers who want to cut cable’s cord.  While your parents and grandparents were well-acquainted with antenna technology, today’s younger generations are not, and are overpaying for antennas you can find for a fraction of the price at Wal-Mart.

The concept of cord cutting is simple.  You can watch live sporting events and local news and network shows from over-the-air broadcasters and catch up on favorite movies and TV series streaming shows online.  The days of the snowy picture are over since the country converted to digital TV.  But in many cases, an antenna is essential to getting the best reception.

Satellite and cable companies are trying to compete, offering discounts and, in some cases, pared down packages.  But prices will need to come down further: the average video streamer and over-the-air viewer pays $180 a year on average for a premium streaming package from Netflix, Hulu or other online viewing option.

KIMT in Mason City, Iowa explores the growing interest in the old-fashioned TV antenna.  (3 minutes)

 

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Tim says:

    I guess some people don’t realize you can use a standard UHF antenna to pick up most OTA HD channels. There are few channels that transmit in the VHF range though. You just have to check what is available in your area. I have an omnidirectional antenna that does UHF/VHF and I am able to pick nearly 40 channels in my area, with amplifier. Granted some of those are duplicates such as PBS channels.

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  • James R Curry: No guarantee at all. But, as there's no contract commitment, you can at least cancel if they gut the line-up....
  • Required: Much more expensive than Hulu or Netflix, doesn't let you time-shift (VOD) all the shows/movies,, and doesn't solve the local news/sports problem, rea...
  • JayS: Looks like the era of the CVNO (CableTv Virtual Network Operator) has arrived. MVNO's have been terrific for the Mobile-phone consumer. We now have nu...
  • Gregory Blajian: A quick analysis for my wife and my entertainment situation is below. Getting Starz and MLB Network plus the A&E and Viacom family of channels mig...
  • Elbert Davis: Your last paragraph is exactly why Armstrong Cable cord-cutters cannot have this--200GB a month is all we're allowed to have until we have to pay Arms...
  • ANgela Hill: Did you get anywhere with this? I am about to do the same thing myself. My bill is $170 month, and I cannot do it any longer....

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