Antennas Make A Comeback

Four decades ago almost every rooftop had a television antenna.

Televisions even came with indoor rabbit ears to make sure the signal was there -- piping entertainment, news and sports directly to your home.

Then came cable, and after that satellite, and the antennas all but disappeared from our world.

That is, until recently.

Ron Season, of Calabasas, California says he's tried cable and satellite, and was paying thousands of dollars a year for the services.

With internet services streaming what he wants to watch, Season decided to scale his satellite subscription way back and went back to the old, reliable rooftop antenna.

Except these days, it's digital and high definition.

And cheap.

"Now I'm down to about $87 a month," Season said.

The hardware is cheap, too, with some dealers selling the antennas for $60 to $100.

Those dealers say their phones ring off the hook whenever the big entertainment companies like Comcast, Disney and NBC announce new services online.

Before you say goodbye to cable and satellite, keep in mind the FCC said 90 percent of consumers still get television from those sources. However the FCC also has rules that say homeowners associations and municipalities may not enforce rules that attempt to prevent homeowners from installing outdoor antennas.

You can research antennas at the Antennas Direct website, In their Learning Center you will be able to chat with an expert or connect to a website that allows you to enter your address and list the digital signals in your area and the direction from you home to the television station's transmitter site.

In addition Mohu has gotten a lot of attention regarding their state-of-the-art indoor antenna. Mohu is a company founded by several engineers from RTP. Check it out at

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  • by h8liars on Mar 2, 2012 at 01:28 PM
    Are you getting this all you cable and satellite companies! We are tired of your offers, tired of your channels, and definitely tired of the cost of cable/satellite!!!!!! And if I see Terminator come one one more time, lol, I will barf! They gave us free Starz and Encore for a year and I never saw a new movie come out...they were all repeats! Should be FREE!
  • by Washington Location: Becky on Mar 1, 2012 at 05:39 AM
    My husband installed a digital antenna in our attic and it works awesome, we get about 30 local channels for free. Intial outlay was $100 or so. We stream Netflix on Demand thur our wii for about $8 a month. Can't beat that and we catch up on any cable tv show with that without all the commercials! We love it!
  • by tyrrell county sucks Location: terrible county on Feb 29, 2012 at 05:00 PM
    Dont move to tyrrell county!You can't get jack !#$ here.Even the stupid prisoners here in tyrrell county have an antenna in an open field and can't get flip!BTW,they don't have AIR Conditioning either nor do the officers!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 29, 2012 at 06:38 PM in reply to tyrrell county sucks
      I like that the prisoners have it a little rough. Everywhere else they get too much comfort.
  • by Ripoff on Feb 29, 2012 at 04:06 PM
    Won't be renewing my contract next time around. Nothing on TV, even collectively, is worth almost !00 bucks a month!
  • by :) on Feb 29, 2012 at 02:17 PM
    and cassette tapes will be next!!!!!
    • reply
      by obamanot on Feb 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM in reply to :)
      BS!33's and 45's!Glad I saved mine.
      • reply
        by Rotor? on Feb 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM in reply to obamanot
        I wonder if I should get a rotor for mine. Seems if I point it toward Wilmington, I can get Channel 6. On some days, I can almost get WRAL or WRDU. Digital signals aren't like the old TV signals. It's either THERE or it's NOT. Gone are the "snowy" days when the picture use to be weak but watchable.
  • by :) on Feb 29, 2012 at 02:17 PM
    and cassette tapes will be next!!!!!
    • reply
      by h8liars on Mar 2, 2012 at 01:24 PM in reply to :)
      Oooooo 8 track tapes....
  • by Ron Location: Goldsboro on Feb 29, 2012 at 02:08 PM
    Rabbit ears with an old bike rim up on a pole high above the roof with a signal amplifier inside and the signal from the local stations is better than time waner cable!I get 22 channels that I watch and 7 more that I don't watch.With the enternet for movies (free) I will never paid for cable again.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 29, 2012 at 02:05 PM
    I have had one up for the last three years due to obamanomics.I sure wish channel 7 would come in.It is the only local channel I can't get.
  • by James B Location: Washington on Feb 29, 2012 at 01:37 PM
    With these high gas prices, who can afford satellite or cable? Nothing on cable or sat except re-runs and commercials anyway. I bought an antenna off ebay for $35 and i pick up 22 stations... free. SCRe@u sat and cable.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 29, 2012 at 01:35 PM
    Best thing I ever did. I have a small rooftop antenna with a signal amplifier (about $120 total) and can get stations from the Triangle (I'm in Pitt Co.), and sometimes Wilmington. And digital broadcast is the highest quality HDTV you can get, since cable has to be compressed.
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