Don’t laugh. I finally got TV in my home. I have a TV, the physical device. I use it for watching DVDs. I just haven’t had TV programming in the last few years. I canceled my cable subscription because I found myself not watching at all for weeks on end. Occasionally I wanted to watch something like the Oscars or the Olympics. I also missed the PBS programs although I don’t understand why they keep having Robert Kiyosaki and Suze Orman on their personal finance shows. Because I live far from the broadcast towers, the signal quality from an indoor antenna isn’t very good. So I didn’t bother.
A couple of months ago I read on the Bogleheads forum that you can get a coupon from the government for a digital TV converter box if your TV doesn’t have a digital tuner, because broadcast TV will move to all digital in February 2009. You can ask for up to two coupons, each worth $40. It took them two months to send me the coupons. I went to Circuit City and bought myself a converter ($60 plus tax, minus $40 coupon) and an indoor antenna. I hooked them up and voila, I got TV! I receive about 20 channels, not counting the ones which broadcast in languages I don’t understand. For the channels I receive, the signal is crystal clear. There is no static or distortion. I guess that’s the benefit of digital broadcasting. But out of the major network stations, I only get Fox, not ABC, NBC or CBS. I’m not sure whether it’s because they are not broadcasting in digital yet or their signals are still too weak for me. I’ll go to Radio Shack tomorrow and try some different antenna.
Free digital TV over the air gives me one more reason for not dealing with a cable company.