Several months ago, I cancelled my cable TV subscription and opted for Internet only. I haven’t really missed it at all. I’m a Netflix subscriber and watch many movies and TV shows through their Instant Watch streaming service. I can stream Netflix online directly to my TV via an attached Blu-ray player that is Internet-enabled.
The downside to not having cable is missing out on the news, sports, or live television. I was going to regret not being able to watch the Panthers football games this year, for example. So I went to Walmart (of all places) and bought a $25 Philips Indoor HD antenna. I’d give it a try to see if I could pick up any local channels over the airwaves.
The results were staggering. My TV scanned and identified 17 channels that are being broadcast over the air for free. I was stunned at the sheer number of channels. I now get ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, Retro, LiveWell, and several others.
The best part is that the picture is in high definition and crystal clear. Long gone are the days of images of static and snow using rabbit ears and aluminum foil. With the switch to digital, as long as you can receive the signal, you get full resolution. I’ve even watched during thunderstorms and didn’t see any degradation in the picture quality.
I have no desire to pay for cable or satellite again. I can get everything I want over the air for free. I admit that I do love the original series on HBO and Showtime, but I rent them from Netflix. I am very satisfied without having to pay a bloated cable bill each month.
It’s worth mentioning that you cannot easily record the TV shows that are coming through the antenna, but I don’t miss that anyway. When I had a DVR, shows were constantly piling up, and the whole experience of trying to catch up began to feel like a part-time job. If recording isn’t important to you, I’d throw down twenty bucks on an antenna and see how many channels you can get in your area. You might be surprised.