Cutting the Cable Ties
Last year, in my quest to see if i could spend less on utilities, I decided to work on reducing my electric bill and my water bill. I had two goals: stop wasting energy, thus saving money, and keep my comfort level the same. I am happy to report that after reviewing my bills for the past several months, I was able to reduce my electric bill and water bill quite easily and with no real discomfort. I even reduced the gas bill. The total average savings is about $105.00 per month.
Feeling great about my accomplishment, I started thinking about other things I could do to stop wasting money. Sat down in front of the TV, channel surfed through a lot of really brain numbing shows and then it hit me. Did i really need all those channels? What did I really watch?
ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and movie rentals from Blockbuster, that’s what I watch. So, the next day, with fancy DVR cable box in hand, I went down to Cox cable and said goodbye. The following day I went into a small panic attack, I had no TV. No communication to the outside world, no more useless channels, no more Jimmy Neutron on Sunday morning at 7am! What had I done?
I had cut the ties, more than I even knew existed. Tie number one, believing that I needed all of those channels. Tie number two, always heading for the couch instead of reading books or playing games or going for walks or countless more things I could have been doing. Tie number three, watching crap, noneducational, senseless crap (there is no nice way to say it). Tie number four, paying that huge cable bill (about $90.00 per month).
I vowed to go thirty days with no tv and I did it. It was actually fun and better yet, I realized I could do it and that was a great feeling. Now, I do like watching a few shows like Modern Family and the Amazing Race, so I did search out new ways to watch them and guess what, I now get my tv free.
Here is what I did to get free TV.
First I went to Radio shack and purchased a Digital TV (DTV) converter box which cost about $50.00 and then I went to Best Buy and purchased an antenna for about $80.00. It’s that simple. Okay, the equipment does cost money, one time, upfront. But then, no monthly bill.
Amazing results! I did not expect a better picture. Once I plugged the cable from the TV to the DTV converter box and the cable from the DTV converter box to the antenna, the improved picture quality was instantly noticeable.
The DTV converter box found over 20 channels. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, a non stop weather channel and some Spanish channels, all free.
Here’s the specifics:
I purchased the TERK Omni-Directional Amplified Flat Digital Antenna (FDTV1a Digital Pro) from Best Buy. I tried the smaller, less expensive one first, but it did not get channel 13 very well. So I went to the more powerful one and it works great. I do live in central Tucson, so I’m not sure if that makes a difference or not.
The Analog Pass-Through DTV Converter Box (DTX9950) was not in stock at Best Buy so I went to Radio Shack. Bonus, it has the Energy Star logo on the box which means it has met the Energy Star requirements.
The employees at Best Buy and Radio Shack were very helpful so I would ask them any questions you may have.