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End the Cost of Watching TV

December 23, 2013
Plain English Version

Remember when there was no monthly cable bill? You had a TV set and it had an antenna. It is possible to go back to those good old days.

There is a new generation of antennas. They do not get every channel that you can get on your expensive cable system. But after buying one, you can stop paying for cable.

Digital reception replaced analog reception in 2009. Digital antennas let people watch the broadcast channels such as CBS, NBC and ABC. They receive an over-the-air (HD) signal (if you have an HD TV).

In some area there are more than 40 HD channels. To know which channels are in your area, go to the website antennaweb.org. Type in your ZIP code. The website will list each network in your area. It does not guarantee you will get reception. However, you might be able to adjust your antenna to improve your reception.

The antennas come in a range of shapes and prices. The Terk HDTVa ($50) has really strong reception, but it looks odd. The Antennas Direct ClearStream Micron-R ($75) looks like an Internet router.

On another front, new streaming systems using the Internet can bring a whole world of TV shows to your computer or tablet. Netflix and Hulu Plus have huge online libraries of shows and movies for $8 a month. Hulu gives you many TV series the day after they are aired. Amazon has Prime streams that offer TV shows. And many pay per-video options.

You need high-speed Internet to watch streaming shows.

Roku 2 and Google’s Chromecast are budget ways to throw the signal from your Internet connection to your television.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor                                                                          December 17 and December 18, 2013

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