Login    Forum    Search    FAQ     Radio

Board index » OTA Digital Discussions » News

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:22 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 664
Rabbit ears perk up for free HDTV
The New York Times News Service
Published Monday, Dec. 06, 2010 12:06PM EST

Julie and Anthony Bayerl of St. Paul, Minn., love watching prime-time shows on the sleek 50-inch television in their bedroom. They also love that they pay nothing for the programming.

The only thing they do not love is how a low-flying plane, heavy rain or a little too much movement in the room can wipe out the picture.

The Bayerls are using an old technology that some people are giving a second chance. They pull free TV signals out of the air with the modern equivalent of the classic rabbit-ear antenna.

Some viewers who have decided that they are no longer willing or able to pay for cable or satellite service are buying antennas and tuning in to a surprising number of free broadcast channels. These often become part of a video diet that includes the fast-growing menu of options available online.

The antenna reception has also led many of these converts to discover – or rediscover – the frustration of weak and spotty signals. But its fans say it is tough to beat the price.

From April to September, cable and satellite companies had a net loss of about 330,000 customers. Craig Moffett, a cable analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said the consensus of the industry executives he had talked to was that most of these cord-cutters were turning to over-the-air TV.

To be sure, around 90 per cent of American households still pay for cable or satellite television – a figure that in recent years has been slowly and steadily rising. But Americans’ relationship with television has recently been in flux, in part because of the switch in June to digital broadcast signals.

That initially gave pay TV providers a group of new subscribers who had worried that their old sets would not pick up the new signals. But analysts say some of those subscribers have gone back to free signals.

Another big change is the rise of Internet video, which can ease the pain of losing favourite cable channels.

Bradley Lautenback, 28, who recently moved to Los Angeles to work at Disney, found enough alternatives to allow him to turn back the technological clock on his TV.

“I’ve always had cable. It’s the thing you do when you move to a new place: call the company and set it up,” he said. Not this time. Instead, he got an antenna and now watches over-the-air news and sports, complemented by episodes of shows like “Entourage” that he buys from iTunes. “I don’t miss cable at all,” he said.

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

Board index » OTA Digital Discussions » News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: