I went to my local Best Buy store last weekend and purchased an $18 indoor brand X antenna. It came with a 6’ coax cable permanently attached and I hooked it up to a TV upstairs and on the East side of my house (facing the location of local TV stations transmitters. I ran a channel scan and bingo. I got 44 stations. 7 of which are NBC,CBS, ABC, FOX along with PBS, Cozi and WB.
I then took the antenna to the upstairs West side room and OMG only got 4 channels. Moving downstairs to the bid 50” Samsung which sites in the middle of the house, I got 11 channels including the 7 above.
Reception was great on the East side, OK (with some tiling) on the West side and only one channel with some tiling downstairs. So what? Whoopee, for $18 I really got local HD TV. If I spent a little more money and had one master antenna in the attic I could get my 7 main channels and a bunch more for maybe $40-$60 for a good attic mounted antenna.
The whole proof of concept took less than 30 minutes and I feel good about having my cable dumped at the end of my low cost two year cable contract.
OK. Now that I know I can do it, how do I get a bunch of my cable conveniences to move to my future new master antenna?
Easy. Roku boxes and a great little device called Tablo (www.tablotv.com). Talbo connects to your indoor or outdoor antenna. You can put it anywhere in your home (I suggest connected to your cable modem) and wirelessly provides you with local TV stations using your antenna. It transmits to the TV’s in your house wirelessly and you can use your Roku box to access local TV content. WOW.
The Tablo also comes with a two week in advance TV guide (like cable). The guide costs you $5 a month or $149 for a lifetime subscription. So what? Remember when your parents used to subscribe to TV Guide magazine to see what’s on? Same thing.
AND you can connect a 2TB external hard disk to the Tablo to record your favorite shows. I am thinking about not even using the DVR capability because I will subscribe to HULU+ to watch shows I missed for $8/month. Amazing isn’t it. You now have options. Something the cable company doesn’t give you AND no more cable box rentals! Hallelujah. The Tablo sells for around $200 with 2 tuners so you can watch one channel while recording another (good for me with HULU+) or a 4 tuner option for $299.