I’ve been enjoying watching the Olympics for the past few weeks on television. The experience is magnified by watching them in hi-definition. What is this you ask? It’s brighter, clearer, and easier on my eyes than watching it via regular satellite TV.
Over a year ago, my son Taylor bought me a new, modern, flat screen LCD television. This 42″ TV has many modern capabilities including a USB port where we can insert a USB stick or hook up a computer and watch movies or TV shows or look at our photos on the big screen. You see, a few years ago, the ‘industry’ changed the way they delivered ‘over-the-air’ television (ie. the old fashion way received via a home antenna) from analog to digital. This was to accomodate the growing cellular network. What this meant was that an older TV (ie non-flat screen) could no longer pick up airwaves with an antenna. Homeowners had to buy a converter box to change the digital signals back to analog if they wanted to watch programs on their old televisions. However, this change also meant that the new TVs could pick up bright, crisp, clear digital hi-definition signals with their antennas.
Well at our house, we switched to satellite TV a dozen years ago and took down our antenna. But last summer, my son Darin created a homemade antenna from a 2 foot piece of 2×4 wood and 8 coat hangers. The intent was to just try it out and see if we could bring in the digital signal to my new television.
It works like a charm! We already had the necessary extra pieces of RG6 cable and ‘video A-B switch’ stored away in the garage. For now, I just prop my antenna in front of the window. So when we want to watch TV (ie hockey games) on stations that we can get the digital signal, I just have to switch from A to B, change the channel to whatever station I want to watch, and my TV ‘magically’ changes into bright, beautiful, and crisp digital hi-definition without the expense of paying my satellite provider for a hi-def receiver and programming! Awesome eh!?
Many satellite/cable stations are owned by their providers (ie Shaw) so I can only access some programming via satellite or computer (via their website).
I’m very happy to have the choice with my new home made antenna.