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Old 01-30-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,396,898 times
Reputation: 734

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I haven't paid for any form of television service since I moved out of my parents' house, including my time here in the DC area. Since experimenting with 'rabbit ears' is no longer an option, apparently, what's the cheapest way to get ('live' - not interested in viewing selected programming on the 'net) local channels (PBS, local public access [depending on where you live, could be the Fairfax station, Arlington public access, whatever]) in NoVA? The cheapest plan listed on Comcast's web site ($29.99/month) is more than I really want to pay.. is there any non-advertised super-bare-bones-ridiculously-basic plan that's less than $29.99/mo. and.. you know.. maybe even requires a super-secret password to sign up for, that sort of thing? In other words, an option very roughly analogous to just most basic local telephone line with no frills whatsoever, not even an ability to initiate local calls? Or am I just revealing my old-fogey status by expecting cable service to ever be less than $29.99 a month (and making references to fixed-line telephone service, for that matter)?

Last edited by Alicia Bradley; 01-30-2011 at 09:22 PM..
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:29 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,163,958 times
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I'm confused....possibly revelaing your old-fogey status....but also talking about moving out of your parents house like it wasn't super long ago.... So are you an old-fogey who just lived with their parents for a long time? Hahaha.

To answer your question, I have no idea. You could get one of those boxes to get the digital signal and then you don't have to pay for anything, just the box.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:21 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,520,293 times
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You could get a digital antenna. I am thinking about going this route myself (and getting the rest of my TV from Hulu and Netflix by getting a Blu Ray or other device).
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,163,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillabean View Post
You could get a digital antenna. I am thinking about going this route myself (and getting the rest of my TV from Hulu and Netflix by getting a Blu Ray or other device).
That's the 'box' I was talking about, the digital antenna.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:29 AM
 
53 posts, read 130,559 times
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im not clear on what you wrote but should the coaxial cable going into your flatscreen is good enough to pick up local or even local HD stations? its been working for me at various locations in No.VA area
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:32 AM
 
509 posts, read 852,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okletmein View Post
im not clear on what you wrote but should the coaxial cable going into your flatscreen is good enough to pick up local or even local HD stations? its been working for me at various locations in No.VA area
It depends, if it is an older TV it will not have a digital tuner and will need a digital box (at one time offered practically for free by the gov't) to tune those channels.

If you are in Arlington or Fairfax you still can get over the air signals, and with a newer TV it will have the digital tuner required. No cable is necessary.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:19 PM
 
3,149 posts, read 8,084,392 times
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Also, Fairfax vs. Arlington matters if you're actually going to get cable. Comcast is not in Fairfax (except for Reston). Fairfax is served by Cox cable which has slightly cheaper basic service ($22.99).

I agree with the other posters that you should just try putting up an antenna first (with a box if you have an old TV), but I'll warn that antenna reception is going to be highly location dependent. For instance, a first-floor Arlington apartment surrounded by tall buildings isn't going to be a great place for TV reception.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:58 PM
 
3,378 posts, read 3,230,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngadude View Post
It depends, if it is an older TV it will not have a digital tuner and will need a digital box (at one time offered practically for free by the gov't) to tune those channels.

If you are in Arlington or Fairfax you still can get over the air signals, and with a newer TV it will have the digital tuner required. No cable is necessary.
So, the older TV's need a converter box, AND a digital tuner? maybe thats why I could not get any channels when I hooked up my converter box, and indoor antenna?
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
284 posts, read 783,889 times
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If you have an older TV, you need a converter, and maybe a better antenna. The digital signals are more finicky than analog, so it takes a while to get it set up. The Digital TV Transition: What You Need to Know About DTV
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:10 PM
 
3,149 posts, read 8,084,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamanians View Post
So, the older TV's need a converter box, AND a digital tuner? maybe thats why I could not get any channels when I hooked up my converter box, and indoor antenna?
The converter box is the digital tuner. You just need the box and the antenna.
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