Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The economy brings back rabbit ears

If it wasn't for our DVR, I'd be begging the Lovely Mrs. Gekko to ditch our satellite dish. Mainly because we spend over $100/month for the opportunity to watch Independence Day for the 1,998th time.

For those channels not showing a Bourne Identity, an Oceans 11, 12, 18, etc. they show us home shopping channels.

To make matters worse, we don't even get the THIS network where I can watch old reruns of Mr. Ed, Highway Patrol or Sea Hunt I have to go into a spare bedroom for those treats.

In fact with a pair of rabbit ears, I can get 36 non-shopping channels on that old set.

Applying that old cost/benefit principle, it's probably not a coincidence that cable subscribers are shrinking.........

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 just a little too much movement in the room can wipe out the picture.

“If someone is changing in there, it messes up your reception,” said Ms. Bayerl, a legislative assistant. “We try to stay very still when we watch television.”

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, including younger ones, 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.


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