This weekend we had a FreeVision Indoor Outdoor UHF VHF Antenna by WINEGARD installed in our attic. We found an installer via Craigslist who was punctual, knowledgeable and professional. Even if we got lousy signal, I already counted the day as a win.
The installation process was very methodical. He set up the antenna on a stand and wired it to the largest television in the house. We then scanned channels and got about 60 (including sub-channels). ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS all came in as expected. We also got a few others and did not need a booster. Then he proceeded to track the remaining cables to their prospective homes in the basement and upstairs. Finally he mounted our antenna in the attic and dressed the wire to the existing cable junction.
The price was within 20% of the advertised price and I knew what those charges would be before he even got “started.” The signal quality and channel selection is exactly what I expected.
We also have two Tivo subscriptions and they adapted seamlessly to antenna rather than cable signal. We did have to reset our season passes to “look” for the new channel numbers, but that went pretty quick. One unexpected downside is that now the programs are recorded in HD, thus consuming more hard drive space versus SD, which consumed less and could be transferred to mobile devices more quickly.
All things considered, I will miss having FX, ESPN and HBO, but I won’t miss it to the tune of $130/month. My daughters adapted pretty easily as well. Instead of Sophia the First and Lalaloopsy on Nickelodeon, they are back to Curious George and Arthur on PBS. They spent most of their time watching feature films which we own on DVD anyway. The hardest part is following through on the decision to do without. Comcast has found a way to entice me into giving them a larger share of wallet than I ever felt comfortable with.
I look fondly back on the days when I had a second hand tube television and a VCR and would just pick up movies at 2 for $5 from the grocery store rather than have a monthly bill from Comcast.