Free HDTV from thin air!
Yes! It's really Free!
Over The Air (OTA) Broadcasting has been around since the 1920's. Commercial broadcasting officially began in 1941 and then really caught on in a big way in North America in the 50's. The name "Commercial Broadcasting" itself explains why its "free". Broadcast TV relies on selling advertising to fund itself - There is a reason we call them "Soap Operas". "Public Broadcasters" like TVO and PBS rely on donations - thats why they have annual fundraising drives.
So what's it all about? Why are so many people going back to using an antenna?
On June 12, 2009 in the US and on August 31, 2011 in Canada, broadcasters in markets serving 300,000 people or more where required to switch from the old analog standard (NTSC) to a new and improved digital format (ATSC). The difference between these 2 formats is like the difference between day and night.
OTA uses "line of sight" technology to bring the signal to you. This has advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages: You receive uncompressed HDTV signal directly from the broadcaster. This means OTA delivers the very best picture and sound quality possible. It is noticably better than satellite or cable. Beyond the cost of your antenna installation you receive all of these advantages absolutely free for the lifetime of your equiptment (20-30 years or more).
Disadvantages: Trees, buildings, topography, antenna quality, wiring from the antenna to the TV's, distance from the broadcast tower, antenna installation altitude, all play a role in picking up weaker signals and providing stable performance. To overcome these disadvantages and get the best results for your location, it helps to have expert advice and experience on your side.
Click here for a brief discussion on the "Renaisannce" that is happening in Broadcast Television.