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Old 04-11-2013, 07:20 PM
 
43 posts, read 88,432 times
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This might seem like an odd, caveman-type of question but I'm going to be moving to the Charlotte area within a month and I'm suffering sticker shock at TWC's cable prices. So I'm wondering: Would it be possible to get by with just some type of indoor antenna, especially from an apartment in Steele Creek? I've looked at antenna.org and their map indicates that it's possible, but does anyone here have any experience? (As you might guess, I'm not a big TV watcher, so I don't care about much other than the big 3 network affiliates and maybe PBS).
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Near the water
8,232 posts, read 12,627,951 times
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Use the search feature, there are a few threads on this....with a lot of great info.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:48 PM
 
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So you really mean TV with an antenna, not without.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:31 PM
 
821 posts, read 1,722,083 times
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Go to You Tube and in the search block type "a coat hanger antenna". If you can use wire cutters, a yardstick, a screw driver, and buy a $6.00 Radio Shack transformer, you can build your own HDTV antenna for $6. I was skeptical, but it really works. There are variations on the coat hanger antenna, but the darn things work. The one I made and gave to someone who could not get a good signal with rabbit ears was getting 22-25 stations from where I live in the south Charlotte/Matthews area. Actually, it was a fun project that took about an hour once I got all the pieces, i.e., hangers, a board, transformer, and tools. Some people who have made these get great signals from stations 50 miles away when hung outside. Inside, depending on your elevation, you should get stations 30-35 miles away, easily.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:08 AM
 
3,914 posts, read 4,468,932 times
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Sure you can. With a relatively decent antenna you should be able to pick up all the major networks and a number of subchannels like ThisTV, AntennaTV, CreateTV, MHZ, MeTV, Bounce, Retro, TuffTV, Family, etc. All free.

Add a Roku and a subscription to Netflix ($7.99/m) and you don't need an expensive Cable or Satellite TV.

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Rule of thumb when buying an antenna. -- Only the metal parts receive the signal. i.e. Don't waste money on an antenna with a lot of plastic. Ignore marketing hype about HDTV. Charlotte retailers have a very poor selection of good antennas so plan to buy it off the internet.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:56 AM
 
821 posts, read 1,722,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulosfm View Post
Go to You Tube and in the search block type "a coat hanger antenna". If you can use wire cutters, a yardstick, a screw driver, and buy a $6.00 Radio Shack transformer, you can build your own HDTV antenna for $6. I was skeptical, but it really works. There are variations on the coat hanger antenna, but the darn things work. The one I made and gave to someone who could not get a good signal with rabbit ears was getting 22-25 stations from where I live in the south Charlotte/Matthews area. Actually, it was a fun project that took about an hour once I got all the pieces, i.e., hangers, a board, transformer, and tools. Some people who have made these get great signals from stations 50 miles away when hung outside. Inside, depending on your elevation, you should get stations 30-35 miles away, easily.
I should have said - Some people who make these great *antennas* and not people who make these great signals. Senior moment and should have been in bed.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Shakedown Street
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If you have an older TV, you will have to get a converter box to process the digital signal. I have seen them for $50, but you can probably get them cheaper.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:42 AM
 
3,203 posts, read 4,971,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdub1968 View Post
If you have an older TV, you will have to get a converter box to process the digital signal. I have seen them for $50, but you can probably get them cheaper.
I have old TVs. Not the new flat screen type. I have had only 'basic' cable TV for years but recently the price went up again and I am considering dropping cable totally. Are you saying I can't use just an antenna on my TVs? I have to have a converter box? Where would I get those? Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Shakedown Street
1,452 posts, read 2,806,805 times
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Most likely, no. But verify before you go out and buy a new one. I have seen them all over - Walmart, Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc. Even then, the price for a box will pay for itself after a month of not paying for cable.

I have a small antenna that sits in my living room, but have to move it from time to time. I just bought a rooftop antenna for $70 or so, and will install it this weekend. I hope all goes well!
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotteborn View Post
I have old TVs. Not the new flat screen type. I have had only 'basic' cable TV for years but recently the price went up again and I am considering dropping cable totally. Are you saying I can't use just an antenna on my TVs? I have to have a converter box? Where would I get those? Thanks!
Broadcast TV is only digital now. Analog transmission stopped in 2009. Most tube TVs especially those more than just a few years old, won't pick up the digital signal. The government was giving away free converter boxes for a while, but I think that program has ended.
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