Recent studies have shown that 90% of all United States households have access to free overtheair (OTA)TV signals. Cable TV is increasingly becoming an unnecessary cost for most US homes. This is punctuated further as people find out that their yearly savingsare now at an average of $1,400 when dropping Cable TV.
The average price of the typical US household’s cable TV subscription is around $80 per month. Recently, a study by the NPD showed thatcable TV pricesaregrowing by approximately 5% per year. At that rate, the Cable TV value is far, faroutweighed byits cost. OTA TV on the other hand is essentially free after the homeowners purchasetheright DTV antenna for theirarea.
Free Over-the-Air TV
With overtheair television, you still have access to your favorite local TV stations such as NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS and The CW. What’s worse, the channels you get over-the-air are actually broadcasted in higher quality than what you wouldget if you were tuning into the same exact channel through your cableTV service provider. The reason for this is simple (and extremely deceiving): The US government allows cable TV providers to downgrade their broadcasts by as much as 30%in order to save on their transmission costs. OTA TV does not have that same restriction, so you end up getting crystal-clear TV every single time.That is absolutely crazy if you think about it: You are paying for worse quality TV than what is available to you freely over the air.
In addition to all the free OTA network TV stations you receive, you also get many religious, shopping and oldmovie channels. This is done through a technology called multicasting, where broadcasters can actually send many different signals within theirone broadcast signal. This means that while channel 4.1 might be your normal ABC affiliate, you are also receiving 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 channels that have programming that is unique and different, yet still free.
Watching and Streaming Local Sports
Many people struggle with getting rid of cable TV because of the blackout restrictions surrounding their favorite local sports teams. Aside from the NFL (which has all its games on CBS, NBC or Fox), all other major sports are only available via Cable TV, and not through over-the-air TV signals.
Thankfully, there are a couple ways around this. These few steps might be a burden to some, but overall you will end up with the same viewing experience (honestly: maybe even better) than what you had before with cable. In order to skirt around those annoying blackout restrictions, you need to purchase a VPN service, and my favorite is Unlocator. This service will change the location of your home’s IP address – which is important because this is how the streaming sports services decide which games are in-market to your area.
Cable TV is Dead
Cable TV is becoming more and more of a certified rip-off. The more customers know that there are free – and better quality – alternatives out there, the better. Check out NoCable.org to find the best DTV antennas for you area.