Friday, January 06, 2012

The occasional hassle of saving money - Free over the air TV

As I wrote about the other month, we are saving money from cutting our cable bill. We love it. However it can be more tedious to find something to watch, but when viewing our regular programs it's super easy to get what we want on Hulu and Netflix. And we can channel surf in the tradition sense with over the air channels. However, the latter has been an ongoing experience that is best described as annoying until we found the "right" antenna for our house. Even so a winter storm can affect the signal and I've had to climb the ladder once to re-adjust the position.

So if you're planning to make the big switch to free TV be prepared to enjoy what I call the antenna dance.

It took no less 6 antennas before we found one that provided a stable signal, including PBS for the twins. A few that we tried we bought from Best Buy. There the sales guy said many customers have to try a few attempts of the different antennas before finding the "right" one for their house. So, needless to say, Best Buy didn't mind me returning three different models.

Now that we have a good antenna for our needs I can't imagine going back to a monthly cable bill. But for those still looking to take the leap I would recommend finding the right antenna first before you cut the cord. It took us almost 3 months to go through the 6 different models. It would have been better to wait to cut until after the antenna dance concluded.

Our antenna dance:
1 - RCA indoor flat panel antenna
2 - Antennas Direct indoor flat panel antenna
3 - RCA indoor amplified flat with rabbit ears antenna
4 - Antennas Direct indoor/outdoor with circles antenna
5 - Winegard 6 footer outdoor antenna, this thing was huge (the Radio Shack manager rolled their eyes when I came back to return it. I'm sure they weren't happy to find a place to store it since I ordered it online with ship to store option. i don't blame them)
6 - 2 and a half footer RCA Outdoor antenna - the final good one

Have you cut the cord? Did you try getting over the air TV? Troubles finding an antenna?

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