Cable TV Companies: Should You Leave?
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Cable TV Companies: Should You Leave?

Most people assume that their cable providers are providing them with excellent picture quality, but those assumptions may not be true. You may be surprised to learn that the best picture quality is easily available for free. This is through OTA or over-the-air HDTV which means you get great picture quality by simply switching to digital TV.

Aside from great picture quality, high definition OTA (or free-to-air or FTA) also provides you with free viewing (you only need to spend a one-time expense of $100 - $400 for an antenna), uncompressed picture quality, programming from major networks like ABC, PBS, CBS, NBC, and FOX, digital sub-channels, and you get to save money that you would be paying the cable or satellite companies if you go about switching to digital TV.

Imagine how much you spend on cable per month.

Digital starter, the lowest-tier digital cable plan can cost about $61 per month

Add: HD DVR for another $16 per month

Total: $77 per month before taxes OR $924 per year before taxes

Compare that with simply buying a simple indoor antenna that can cost less than $50 and getting HD quality broadcasts totally free by switching to digital TV.

Of course you will not be getting the major cable and satellite channels, but then you will be getting most of the major US networks programs through their local affiliates. For most people in the cities, switching to digital TV by using a simple indoor antenna can give them access to several local networks with great picture quality.

There are some factors that you need to consider before switching to digital TV. For one thing, you must decide if you can live without your major sports or movie channel as they are definitely not free-to-air. If you find that you cannot live with watching movies online, then you may not be ready for switching to digital TV just yet.

Before switching to digital TV, you need to take a look at your television set if it can receive digital broadcasts. You can check the label of the set or browse through the owner’s manual. If your television set has a digital tuner built-in, then all you need is a terrestrial antenna pointed towards the transmitters’ direction and you are good to go. But, if your television set is an old one and only has an analog tuner, you will need to get a digital converter box and an antenna. Although that may be a little more expensive than just buying an antenna, it is still more affordable than paying close to $1000 per year for cable.

Another great advantage of switching to digital TV is that most local stations have started airing better varieties of programs. This means that you may not get to miss your cable connection that much after the switch. Believe it or not limitations on bandwidth mean that your cable or satellite provider may not be carrying all the local channels that are available in your area, or they may not be offering those channels in HD. Also, disagreements regarding contracts between cable tv companies and local television broadcasters may mean that the big networks may not be provided to you by your local cable provider.


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