Friday, August 5, 2016

How To Watch TV

An easy step-by-step guide.


Cut the cable.

If you take only this first step you will greatly improve your life quality as well as saving a lot of time and money every month thereafter.  Or, you may proceed to:


Acquire a broadcast tv antenna.  If you are ambitious you could install a yagi-type antenna on your roof.

It is also possible to just use an inexpensive indoor antenna.  You can probably dispense with rabbit ears on the older models as there are few analogue signals available these days.  Most of the broadcast programs are digital now and they are picked up by a uhf loop, or one of the more modern flat-panel models.

Connect your antenna cable to the back of the tv and proceed to:


Press the "menu" button on your remote and locate the channel scan tool which will find all of the locally available broadcast tv stations.  Even in a modestly-sized metropolitan area you are likely to find upwards of thirty broadcast channels including the major network affiliates.  Some stations will provide a stronger signal than others, and you may need to experiment with repositioning your antenna for best reception.  Now, go to your computer and proceed to:


Open your computer browser and find the TITANTV site at  Click the "+" symbol to create a new channel lineup using your local zip code.  After creating your custom channel lineup, make a link to the site. That will provide you with a tv schedule for all programs on all broadcast channels in your area.

Some of the listed channels may not be found by your scan.  Sometimes, it is possible to adjust you antenna position and do a rescan to pick up additional channels.  That's pretty much all there is to getting free tv.  You can add another tv or two at no cost beyond the additional receiver, or you can also get tv reception on your computer using a tuner like the little WinTV unit which plugs into a usb port on your computer.

All the major network programs are likely available via broadcast including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS.  If you so choose you can still waste a lot of time watching the generally awful network programming.  However, your channel lineup also likely includes stations which broadcast a lot of the classic series in a continuous loop from years past which are vastly superior to nearly all the current offerings.  For instance, look for "Mash", "Numb3rs". "NYPD Blue", "Night Court", and "Grace Under Fire", as well as many other programs unburdened by the improbable plots and characters of modern programming.


Jim Grey said...

I cut the cable in 2004, before cutting the cable was cool. I was broke then anyway, so the move really was forced by my cash flow problems. But then I realized...I didn't miss cable at all. Well, except for Game Show Network. I do love to watch old game shows. I don't get it, but I go with it.

Now I get something like 30 channels thanks to proliferation of subchannels. I have an antenna that I got at Big Lots for $5 and it lets me pick up every station available in my area. And now we get Buzzr, which is a channel of nothing but...wait for shows. When I can't sleep, I turn it on and watch b/w episodes of What's My Line, To Tell The Truth, and I've Got A Secret until dawn.

Mike said...

We had sat tv for a year or two when we first got to Albuquerque. Pretty often, I could not find anything to watch among a hundred-plus stations. It seemed a ridiculous waste of money. I don't feel a need to follow any programs on a regular basis. I usually want some distraction to get away from too long at the computer, and the broadcast stations seem to fill that need fine.

Mike said...

I should add that my own cable is only half cut. I'm still paying Comcast for an internet connection. A story for another day.