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  #1  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:19 PM
Dezroute Dezroute is offline
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Default Help please. How do I get local channels without cable or satellite?

I just cancelled our DirecTV yesterday - completely. So now we have nothing. I remember all the talk a while ago about needing a box or something to be able to get local/basic channels, since they were all going digital...? Where do I get one of the boxes? Are they expensive? And is that all I need? My husband's SF Giants just made the playoffs and if we can't get the games in our house he's going to have to go to restaurants to watch the games. Please help.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:43 PM
Salequeen84 Salequeen84 is offline
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I know there are a few other threads on here about this, you may find more info by doing a search. I do know that if you do not have a digitial tv you need to get a digital converter box, Wal-MArt, Target and other retail stores all carry them. I think they start out around $40 each. You will also have to use an antenna, either a roof mounted one or one for each tv set.

We tried going the no cable route but due to all of the trees around us we were getting really bad reception so we have comcast for super basic channels. We like it just so we don't have to deal with reception issues and didn't have to go through the expense of getting a converter box and antennas for our two tvs.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:51 PM
ashtonwa ashtonwa is offline
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We get the lifeline channels (all the basics) for free through prime time communications. They do our internet and phone as well.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2010, 05:01 PM
katiekat katiekat is offline
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We've never had cable and we get all the local channels in HD just fine. I love not being stuck with a TV bill, and I've never had reception problems. You do need either a TV that can accept digital signals, or a converter box. Converter boxes were about $40 last I checked. If your TV is fairly new, it probably accepts digital signals. Otherwise, you'd need a converter box for each TV. You probably will also need a digital roof antenna. We bought ours from walmart.com and it was about $100. It is inside our attic, not on top of the roof. It has to be oriented precisely for best reception. DH got up there with a compass to make sure it was perfect. Even off a degree or two made a big difference. You can get cheaper antennas, but in our experience, a quality one makes a difference. If you have a roof antenna, you only need one for your entire house, no matter how many TVs you have.
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2010, 05:09 PM
tinks-mom tinks-mom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salequeen84 View Post
I I do know that if you do not have a digitial tv you need to get a digital converter box, Wal-MArt, Target and other retail stores all carry them. I think they start out around $40 each. .
Watch garage sales. I saw one last weekend... someone was selling it for $5 (they also had their old TV for sale)
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2010, 07:45 PM
Dezroute Dezroute is offline
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Thanks everyone! I did search old posts but still have some questions.

I'm pretty sure my tv's are new enough to be digital, but how would I know for sure? Right now the tv has no wire or antenna connected to it and nothing comes up on any channel, does that mean it's not digital?
And if it did end up being digital, do I only need the antenna up in our attic or on the roof? And then channels will come on the tv without needing to connect anything to the tv? Or will I still need to connect something to the tv?
Thanks again for all the help!
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2010, 08:00 PM
ladym ladym is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezroute View Post
Thanks everyone! I did search old posts but still have some questions.

I'm pretty sure my tv's are new enough to be digital, but how would I know for sure? Right now the tv has no wire or antenna connected to it and nothing comes up on any channel, does that mean it's not digital?
And if it did end up being digital, do I only need the antenna up in our attic or on the roof? And then channels will come on the tv without needing to connect anything to the tv? Or will I still need to connect something to the tv?
Thanks again for all the help!
I also would love to know the answer to these questions. We have a digital ready t.v. but I can't figure out how to get the local channels on it. Right now we have Satellite, but we may need to cancel soon.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2010, 06:45 AM
MrPogi MrPogi is offline
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Default Can I help?

Hello, I am a new member and I am an avid proponent of FREE tv. I've posted this info before, but I am always happy to help anyone "Cut the cable"

You can still find converter boxes online at both best buy and wal-mart. If you have a newer TV, its ready for HDTV. Most flat panels produced in the last 5 years are digital ready. No converter needed.

Some facts:

Over the air tv is the best quality you can get. Pay TV compresses their signals to squeeze more channels in, thus degrading the quality.


You DO need an antenna. An outdoor antenna is prefered, indoor antennas work, but you'll miss a lot of channels. You could put it in your attic as a compromise. You can even use the cable or satellite company's wiring to distribute it to your TV sets... its in your house, you own those wires. There is no such thing as a "Digital antenna" or "HDTV antenna", they are marketing terms. Just make sure your antenna is able to get VHF AND UHF for Salt Lake area. Also, your HOA may not restrict you from putting up an outdoor antenna- its federal law.

My entire setup costs less than one months pay TV bill, and I get 28 channels here in cache valley - 8 of them in HD. Salt Lake area has an amazing number of free over the air channels. If you have a direct line of sight to the transmitters, you'll get a decent signal. Cache Valley and other areas use translators to repeat signals, and what you'll get depends on what channels the county re-transmits.


I can answer more of your questions, either here or on my blog:

http://cachefreetv.blogspot.com

If you are reading this on pinching your pennies forum, mention it in an E-mail to:
cachefreetv at gmail dot com
And I'll do a free analysis of your location, recommend you an antenna setup, and give you a report of what channels you should get.

You will also find help here:

http://www.dtvusaforum.com
http://www.antennaweb.org
http://www.tvfool.com
http://www.rabbitears.info
http://keepfreetvfree.com/

Cut the cable, ditch the Dish. Keep FREE TV Free!
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2010, 07:04 AM
MrPogi MrPogi is offline
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Default Sports....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezroute View Post
My husband's SF Giants just made the playoffs and if we can't get the games in our house he's going to have to go to restaurants to watch the games. Please help.

Well, thats one area of free TV that is sadly lacking, live sports. Unfortunatly, so many people have been willing to pay outrageous prices to watch football, that a lot of what used to be free is now only on pay tv. Monday night football? Its gone... ESPN, I think. There are two sports channels free: Untamed Sports (channel 4.2), which is outdoors-type sports, and Universal Sports (Channel 5.2) which does sometimes have football games - although neither of these channels is HD. There's still quite a few games to be had on Sunday, though. CBS, NBC, and FOX all carry some NFL games, all 3 broadcast NFL in HD.

I can see a day in the not too distant future when the Superbowl will be pay-per-view only. That's really sad...
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2010, 10:57 AM
whiteynelson whiteynelson is offline
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If you have an XBOX 360 with an XBOX Live account, you can get ESPN for free!
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