Wednesday, August 10, 2011

As TV is no longer free...

Canadian newspapers are running stories about rabbit-ear-using TV watchers, and how they are planning to cope with the switchover to digital TV at the end of this month.  The girls in this story say they'll be watching TV programs over the computer, rather than getting a converter box.

We don't have a rabbit-ear antenna on top of the TV, but we do have an antenna in the attic that picks up several Canadian stations.  Our family doesn't watch much broadcast TV anyway--we like movies and DVDs of older shows--but the move to digital means that we'd be getting next to nothing, that we can't even tape the late-late movie and watch it at a reasonable time (and without the commercials).

So Mr. Fixit came up with an alternative.  He bought a small satellite dish and is experimenting with Free to Air channels.  A lot of them are in other languages, but the English-language stations include Retro TV and the History channel.  So our new favourite shows are Route 66 and The Saint, and one of those shows on the History channel about people trying to sell their antique toys and treasures.  The commercials are worse than ever (no, I don't need a scooter, seniors' insurance, or a Cami Secret), but that's what VCRs are for. 

This is not necessarily the best choice for everyone;  to use FTA at this point, you have to be a bit of a techie. (Translation: I just watch the shows, I don't figure out how to get them.) According to an FTA-using friend, we're receiving some signals that are usually too hard to get with the setup we have.   Mr. Fixit, when he worked for the phone company, also installed satellite dishes, so he has some actual paid experience pointing at the right place in the sky...and, well...he's Mr. Fixit.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

We have a retro TV channel here as well. Jemimah is obsessed with I Dream of Jeannie and Here's Lucy! Oh well, no accounting for taste.

We have digital telly here now too, but it actually gave us more channels, not less, so we were happy!

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