So as you know I cancelled my cable earlier this year. But this was when I was taking 2 classes and the NFL was quiet so I really didn't even have time to notice. Now it is summer and I only did a 1-week class (Poland trip) so now I have tons of free time and there aren't really that many good DVDs out. (BTW, my Flix account has been on hold due to Redbox.com and will most likely remain on hold indefinitely. In honor of that Redbox.com will now be known as Big Red!)
In any case, I figured since I didn't get a tax rebate check (they claim I am too rich for a tax rebate...set ah THIEF!) I needed to find a way to get some of MY money back from the Gov't. Well, I found out the Gov't has mandated we go to digital TV by February 2009 and is willing to send you up to 2 $40 coupon cards good for purchasing a digital to analog converter. This is even valid for rarefied rich boys like myself who strangely enough still own analog TVs.
Of course I jumped on it just to play with electronics using other people's money (well, actually MY money). But being the true geek that I am I still reviewed and got a quality converter and even picked up an antenna (sadly I threw out all my rabbit ears that came with my TVs) since Radio Shack gives you 25% off the antenna when you buy them together. All told my bill was $34 including tax for the following items I list at the end.
And for my one time fee of $34 I get around 20 channels in crystal clear definition of which some broadcast in HD. Now I only did this recently so I can only go on what I have seen in about 6-8 hours of viewing pleasure:
NBC (2 of these with one being a weather channel that is pretty decent)
PBS (like 4 of these or so)
Worship (best religious channel in my opinion - mostly music with lots of nature scenes)
ION (?? looked like family programming to me)
Others - family and educational stuff it appears
1. Find out what channels are available in your area by going here: http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx (after you get the channel list select "show digital stations only.")
2. Get your coupon cards here: https://www.dtv2009.gov/
3. Compare converters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_CECB_units
4. Converter I bought: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3150939
5. Antenna I bought: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062081
And I am fully aware that there is no ESPN or NFL Network and that a die hard NFL fan like myself will suffer for the Monday night games. But you get what you pay for I guess.
I also have to ask, could this be the end of cable? Remember, this is digital where you actually get info on the show like with a cable box. And I know it is still lacking right now but you have to keep in mind that this isn't even fully rolled out yet (2/09).
This somewhat reminds me of when I dropped my land line MANY years ago people thought I was crazy but now it's the norm. Hell, I will go out on a limb and say that I give this 2 years before there isn't an all sports channel. Actually, this (nationwide network sports channel) in and of itself is a GREAT BUSINESS IDEA!!
PS: Much thanks to CancelCable.com (lots of info) for giving me a heads-up and providing me with all the details of what I needed to do. Each one teach one.