Friday, February 26, 2010

HD TV Over the Air

I am opposed to Cable TV on a number of levels (maybe another post...). But with the advent of over-the-air digital TV in my area, it makes even less sense to buy cable.

1. Over the Air HD channels are Numerous and Free!

In our home in the Chicago suburbs, we can get the following stations in High Definition:
  • Channel 2 (CBS)
  • Channel 5 (NBC)
  • Channel 7 (ABC)
  • Channel 7.2 (Local)
  • Channel 9 (WGN)
  • Channel 11 (PBS)
  • Channel 20 (PBS)
  • Channel 32 (Fox)
  • Channel 38 (Ion TV)
  • Channel 44 (Telemundo)
  • Channel 50 (UPN)
  • Channel 56 (PBS, Indiana)
You have to pay extra for HD programming on cable, of course.

2. There are some pretty decent free TV channels now.

We get 54 channels now! Of course, none of them are The Golf Channel, or CNN, or Discovery. But there are some good ones out there, like 5.3 is Universal Sports; 11.3 is The Create Channel; and we get ME-TV and ME-Too (and ME-too has Star Trek TOS and TNG).

3. Digital TV is cool.

The digital TV signal really is excellent. The picture quality is fantastic, and you get meta-data on all the channels (what is on, with a description; what is on next, out to 24 hours from now; what is on the other channels).

There is a down-side: If the signal is weak, you see nothing, not even static. But you rarely notice it because the signal is so good!

Conclusion: Cable TV Sucks

If you have Cable, get rid of it--save money and watch better TV.