I hate bills. I also hate paying for things I can get for free. I was at Thomas’ house last year just hanging out. We were watching a movie on his Roku box, and I realized that the little box was giving him everything that I watch on TV except for local channels. That was the beginning of my quest to get rid of my cable bill.
At first I searched the web and found that all you need is an antenna to pick up local television stations. I could remember back to my childhood, and how we had an antenna that was pointed toward Indianapolis so we would get about 10 channels; that is all that we needed.
I did my research and found a tutorial on how to build an antenna on YouTube …
I placed this antenna in my attic. (my wife said that I was not allowed to put it outside due to its appearance). I hooked this up to my LCD HD TV, and I was able to get 18 channels on a good day and 9 channels on a bad day. I didn’t get the Indianapolis channels, so I did some more research and found the Federal Communications Commission Website. The FCC website has a great interactive map that allows you to look for antennas in your region. I was able to see my location in relationship to all of the antennas nearest me. If I was closer to a large city, my home-made antenna would have been great. Unfortunately I had to try something different, but after trying other configurations I decided to get a professional installer to place a large antenna on my roof.
Once installed, I was able to get 24-31 channels from 5 different cities in my region. The most surprising thing was that the reception was better than the paid stations I’d had in the past, and shows were displaying in HD. I had to pay extra for the HD from my previous television provider.
That same weekend I bought a Roku HD to be able to get Netflix on the same television that is attached to the antenna (see Roku review from Dan from the past). With this configuration we now have all of the shows that we used to watch from our previous television provider but with much less cost. We were paying $100 dollars a month for television. Now we are paying $7.99 a month for Netflix. The cost of the Roku was $79.99 and the cost of the antenna was $700 installed. That was initially a big investment back in May 2011.
It has been 8 months of no bills for television for a $800 savings; my initial investment is now paid off. At this point I have the same programming for $7.99 a month. I love saving $90 dollars a month! Also we now only watch what we really want to watch, and we don’t channel surf like we did in the past.
Going old school with a new school twist. Thanks Roku, Netflix and my antenna installation guy!
Categories: How to Do It Yourself!