Was talking to Comcast today. I was going to cancel my cable tv, since I'm just paying for local channels, and I figured I could get a converter box, some rabbit ears, and get the same service. The Comcast rep told me that I can't do that in this area... I still have to be hooked in with a provider. Is that true? If it is, then the local channels are not free to the public. And that stinks.

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Comment by Ron Da Bomb on December 1, 2010 at 5:53pm
I don't have cable or satellite and I get the local stations just fine. You need to have a digital converter box if your TV isn't digital-ready. Any TV you buy these days is digital-ready. I get all four major networks and a bunch of PBS stations all in HD over the air.

Here's a good article that shows what broadcast stations are available.

I should note that sometimes my signal comes in and out (I am using an indoor antenna). With digital, it doesn't just get snowy like the old analog broadcast TV, it goes black with a "signal not available" message. You can usually tweak the antenna a little bit to get the signal back.
Comment by Nnett on December 1, 2010 at 8:33pm
Does anyone know where to find a converter box these days? We have been wanting to drop our basic cable service because we really only watch the network channels at this point, but we have old TV's and have been unable to find a converter box for sale. I haven't been able to find anywhere in town that sells them and the search results that have come up online only reveal sites that once sold them but are now out of stock. I suppose now that the rush on the converter boxes is over and the new TV's are digital ready that there isn't much demand for them anymore. But what about those of us who are late to the game?
Comment by Michelle Meaders on December 1, 2010 at 9:38pm
Maybe you could get one from someone who doesn't need it any more. There are probably those who got one and later bought a digital TV. The government coupons paid for most of the cost, so they might have donated it to a thrift store, or try to sell it on Craig's list or e-bay. Ideally someone from DCF will have hung on to one and let you have it.
Comment by Debby S on December 2, 2010 at 6:31am
I got my converter box last May at Radio Shack, and at Walmart (boo-hiss!) an antenna that I've hung in a northeast-facing window. I live downtown with a lot of big buildings between me and the mountains, thus no line of sight to the antennas. I get 2-1, 2-2(a music video channel), 4-1,4-2(area weather),5-1,5-2 (Spanish), 7-1, 7-2(spanish), 13, 19 & 50 pretty well. Iffy on 14, 41-1 & 41-2 (both Spanish). 41-3 is home shopping network. I don't look at the many, many religious broadcasters. I do note some pixilation at times in all the channels, the most with the smaller stations (like 9-1,9-2, both PBS spinoffs) -- but I got that when I had digital Comcast, too. I suggest you acquire a converter and antenna and see what you can get. It may be adequate, but if not you can return the equipment and make another plan. Oh, and my backup for not having cable any more was to sign up for high speed internet with Qwest through Southwest Cyberport so I can watch the few cable shows I woudl otherwise miss (that may not come out on DVD).
Comment by cathyray on December 2, 2010 at 7:23am
We have a tv at one of my jobs with a converter box & a pair of ancient rabbit ears & it works great. We had to put foil on the ears & fine tune (move them around) them for different channels but it makes me laugh so much.
Comment by Amanda on December 2, 2010 at 9:45am
Richard, I have a converter box that I don't need and can give you. Contact me through my page if you want it.
Comment by Chris Iller on December 2, 2010 at 10:59am
Yes, all local channels are free. The Comcast people are evil. I dropped all cable back in June. I bought a TIVO...hooked up an out-door antenna. Works great.

But if I want to watch a cable show, I download it off of Amazon-on-Demand straight to my Tivo.

Saving a ton of money.
Comment by Richard V on December 2, 2010 at 11:06am
thanks, amanda. yes, i'm definitely interested in the converter box. much appreciated. please send contact info as a message. much appreciated.

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