Cutting the Cord: I dare you!

Introduction: History

What does it mean to cut the cord. Easy, cancelling your cable TV subscription. It doesn’t mean adding free internet streaming TV, or adding Netflix or Hulu. It means “Cutting the cord to your cable subscription”. Sounds daring doesn’t it? Especially if you have been a long time cable subscriber. It’s all about saving money by not paying crazy cable TV prices. It started back around 2009 when the US government and the FCC decided to change the television airwaves from analog to digital. The US subsidized the American people by offering 2 coupons per household to a TV converter. A forty dollar coupon each. Analog TV went away on June 12, 2009 at approximately 11:59 EDT. This was a huge transition and it also meant you could not watch local broadcasting with the old standard TV Antenna. It meant you needed a digital converter. Not highly publicized and was good news for cable companies. The term Cord Cutter did not exist. People had to buy cable TV.

I was one of those people that by chance discovered the new TV converter coupon. I also discovered that analog was going away. But I was a cable subscriber and I was not a satisfied customer. I had to buy a slew of channels just to get the ONE I wanted. Ridiculous I thought. And the price? Way to high just to watch TV. And now I’m forced to get cable for local TV. Can you relate?

How did I do it?

It took a lot of research back in 2009. There was no Cord Cutting, not even the term. Streaming TV? No such thing. What existed was Netflix DVD rental, blockbuster was still around too. But Netflix came up with the idea to watch online with your laptop or computer. Then along came “The Roku Player” that you could attach to your TV and watch Netflix. I ordered one direct from the manufacturer in California before it was widely known.

But what about local channels? That’s where the TV converter came into place. I received the 2 subsidized converter coupons valued at $40 each. I bought 2 at $49.99 each and with the coupon I saved $40 each per converter. The next step was I needed an antenna, a digital antenna to attach to the converter and to the TV. I took a chance because I really didn’t know how the broadcast channels were distributing their channels. However in my research I found antennaweb.org which gives a listing of digital channels in your area. This is a free tool to maximize your TV reception.

Next I had to buy a digital antenna

Walmart had a couple of digital antenna’s back then. But today they are widely available. You can find many at Amazon. This one I recommend and has a decent range to get quite a few channels:

[2018 Latest] Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna Long 65-80 Miles Range – Support 4K 1080p & All Older TV’s Indoor Powerful HDTV Amplifier Signal Booster – 18ft Coax Cable/USB Power Adapter. $27.99

 

 

 

There is a vast array of antennas to choose from on amazon. I would encourage you to visit you to visit antennaweb.org to find the signal range that is appropriate for you. And remember buying an antenna is a one time deal not a subscription and the airwave broadcast is FREE.

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