Guess What, Over-the-Air TV Channels Are FREE
After saying goodbye to a $125/month Comcast cable bill and getting Internet from a local provider, I headed over to our wholesale club BJs and bought this 50 mile range antenna on sale for $44.99. This little bit of hardware nets us six over-the-air, picture-perfect channels. For free!
OK two of the channels are in Spanish. But with a longer coaxial cable and some experimenting, I think we can get more. The trick is to position the antenna so it best receives the broadcast signals (for us, they come from Philadelphia).
Use this FCC Reception Map to see which channels/signal strength you can expect at your home address.
Beyond the Basic Channels
Here are the other media sources we use and what they cost:
- Netflix, $8/month
- iTunes rentals through our Apple TV, usually $3.99/movie
- Amazon video content, included with our Prime membership
Subscription Video on Demand
Still, there are some channels that I like I don’t have – HGTV and Animal Planet are my faves. These and other channels can still be had by subscribing to a cable alternative, sometimes called Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) like Sling ($20/mo), Youtube TV, or DirectTV (both $35/mo).
For me the most promising seems to be Philo at only $16/month. I’m just waiting for Philo to add support for the Apple TV (at the moment only the Roku can stream Philo).
Good to Know
- You don’t have to hang the antenna in a window! Experiment with positioning to see where you get the best reception
- The antenna has both a white and a black side; you can choose either color as per your preference or room decor
Stay tuned – I’ll continue to report back as I expand our options while keeping the total tab in check.