Is a digital antenna worth it?

So I’m off cable, as you all know. I watch mostly internet television now, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Crackle are my bread and butter. Everyone asks me how much cheaper, and I tell them, it’s not about being cheaper. It’s about having things to watch. I had every paid channel my cable company had to offer, and I still didn’t have anything to watch.

I’ve gone from Roku (which I love) to a Vizio internet television. It doesn’t offer as many options, but one less remote is always welcome. The problem I was having was when I wasn’t watching one of my wonderful internet channels, I had a blank screen. I have a 70 inch TV, so it’s a lot of black space on my wall.

I decided to hook up a digital antenna. I spent $20 on a powered antenna from Target. I also picked up the old rabbit ears style antenna for $5. I hooked up the $20 antenna, set the television to detect the channels, and I came up with 40! I was a little shocked, but yes I get 40 channels with my $20 antenna. You should know too that the antenna is hanging in the door was to the basement. It’s not way up high. I hooked up the $5 antenna to my bedroom television, and I now get 40 channels up there. I honestly think the $5 antenna does a little better, but it doesn’t fit very well in the space I have in the basement steps. Either way, for free, I get about 40 channels (one is an analogue channel that’s fuzzy).

Things you should know about a digital antenna:

1. Digital antennas for digital channels either work or are blank.

You might get a frozen pixel channel, but you won’t get a watchable fuzzy channel. It will be clear and watchable or black screen.

2. You get a lot of channels.

The days of getting 5 or 6 channels are gone. The last time I hooked up rabbit ears I had the networks, PBS, and a couple fuzzy channels.

3. You get some HD channels.

These HD channels are much better than cable HD. I get 1080p on a $5 antenna. These channels are crisp, and I think even better looking than the channels you get with cable (even their HD channels).

4. Many of the channels are religious

Yes, where I live I get 5 channels that are devoted to churches.

5. You get themed/movie channels like cable.

I get Bounce, GritTV, Ion, and even a music channel that’s like a low budget MTV. Many of these are movie channels. I really can’t believe the quality. These channels offer some top notch movies (not brand new) but older high quality films. I don’t even get these channels on cable.

6. Not a great way to watch

I love these channels for background, or when I get the itch to flip, but honestly, other than the evening News, I haven’t watched much of them. It’s like having cable without a DVR. You get way too many commercials, and the movies are cut all to pieces. If you like TV, get some internet channels or cable or satellite with a DVR. It’s just not worth watch TV like this, in my opinion.

Overall I was shocked by how easy, cheap, and the quality of a digital antenna. If you have cut cable, and you want real-time television to flip through on occasion, I highly recommend it. It’s not a replacement for cable or satellite at this time.

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