We turned off our Comcast subscription because we rarely watch TV, but now my daughter decided that we absolutely have to see the American Idol finale tonight and it's my job to get our TV working again. So I headed to Best Buy and for $179 came out with this Samsung DTB-H260F external HDTV tuner:
It was surprisingly easy to get working with our HD-ready TV set. I set up a $35 over-the-air antenna right there in the living room and I'm able to get three channels in glorious HD quality:
- 16-2 KONG (NBC independent)
- 22-2 KMYQ (listings)
- 13-1 KCPQ (FOX)
Punch in your address to Antennaweb.org and it tells which direction you need to point the antenna to get various channels in your area, but these three stations came in without much fiddling of the rabbit ears. I still haven't figured out how to get PBS (Channel 9), though I'm hoping that's just because I haven't tried hard enough yet.
How much am I saving over Comcast? Well it appears that now Comcast offers limited cable service with all the over-the-air channels for $12.95/month plus $6.65 for the set to box, or $19 total per month. The HD option is an additional $5/month (but waived for the first year). There is also a $90 setup charge. Bottom line is that my free over-the-air option (which, with taxes and antenna totalled about $220) will pay for itself in about 6 months.