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Rabbit Ears for your Television

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The following is a guest post from my mom.  She actually wrote it to help me out when she saw that I was thinking about hiring a staff writer.  I think she rather only read stuff from me, lol.  🙂  She wrote it originally in my point of view, like a ghost post, but I changed it to hers and added headers and stuff like I do with all guest posts.  I thought you all would love seeing a post from my mom, so let her know what you think in the comments! 

My husband and I have retired a bit earlier than planned.  So we are really into saving money on our monthly bills.

Now you may need to understand something about us.  Saving is something we have always done.  Crystal is the product of that environment. (Yeppers).  Paying off interest bearing debt when that interest is more than what you can get on a savings account and buying the most inexpensive products with the best value have always been our cornerstone beliefs.

Our Cable and Internet Choices of the Past

Until five or six years ago, I would not allow us to get cable. It did not make sense to me to pay for something you could get for free.  Television was not a necessary item, it was a time consuming luxury that took away from homework time and family time. Due to various life changing events, I did become dependent on the internet though.

Up until 2000, I used various dial-up services.  Then the neighbor accidentally cut the telephone line again while gardening, and the phone line was never fixed properly.  After a year of complaints and watching the telephone bill increase every month with even more added fees, I gave up.  I bought a couple of prepaid cell phones after trying  a cell phone contract, which also ended badly (a story for another blog topic); and ended up using a pre paid cell phone that actually worked in the middle of nowhere (also known as my parents’ place).  Trouble is you could not get the internet over a prepaid phone at the time, so I went to the local cable company and asked about getting broadband service. 

Our First Steps into Cable

They had just started offering broadband, so they gave me a huge discount if I would sign up for a bundled cable-broadband deal.  So I signed up, went home and arranged our computers as we wanted them, and had the installation put in without a hitch.  I was a very happy camper. Since multiple birthdays and an anniversary was coming up, and my eyes had been getting tired of watching our grainy television, I also began the hunt for the best television for the least price.  I used our new broadband. 

Well, Amazon had this fantastic deal on a large Panasonic Plasma, but this New York photo site had an even better price on it with a better shipper and great guarantees.  So I took the plunge and bought a plasma TV and a huge scissor mount to hold it.  I surprised Crystal’s father with the news.  He would have this fantastic cable package and a plasma TV.  He was deliriously happy.   After much sweat, the plasma tv was installed and still works to this day.  The cable worked great and my husband even sneaked out and upped the service package to include HD the minute it was available.  That was like 4-8 years ago. 

Retirement

Now we are retired and are making less than one third what we were making then.  Now we have a daughter in college and another one working towards graduating high school.  Now the cable company allows you to have broadband without the cable.  So we went out and cancelled the cable and hooked up rabbit ears to our now 8 year old plasma. (When my husband cut the cable, he cut the internet too.  Then the clerk offered him a lower broadband rate for 6 months if he would sign back up, which he did.)  

I can not tell the difference.  The picture comes in clear and we get 21 stations.  Our savings is over $100/month.  For us, rabbit ears work.  I know Crystal likes her cable as you probably know too, but for some, using an antenna may actually free up enough money so that they can afford to pay their bills.  So, if you hit a rough patch, maybe you should think about using rabbit ears.  Works for us.

Crystal’s Comments:  I thought about doing this for a bit, but we really do utilize our DVR multiple times a day, so we’ll stick with cable.  Thanks to my mom for offering a personal experience for others!  I have seen their tv, and it is a really clear picture with just the rabbit ears!

Do you use an antenna?  Do rabbit ears work for you too?



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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21 thoughts on “Rabbit Ears for your Television

  1. Thanks for the post Crystal’s mom. I have thought about getting rabbit ears; my only concern is that we wouldn’t get anything in because we live in an apartment building. I will have to try it out.




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  2. Awesome. My dad actually does the same thing and gets great clear channels with his rabbit ears. I make fun of him because he has a 60 inch tv and only local channels, but he would not change a thing. AND, he is able to save money each month and enjoy life outside of watching tv!




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  3. My grandparents swear by good-old fashion rabbit ears, but they are upgrading now to a flat screen with HD, the works. I figure they earned it and deserve it in their old age. I guess the way to look at it is that they saved money with no cable for 80 years so anything they spend now will not blow the budget.(not that there was cable 80yrs ago, but you get the point).
    Neo
    http://www.networthprotect.com




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  4. So cool that your Mom has a post. I guess that is a perk of not being an anonymous blogger. We cancelled our cable last year. We usually just download the few things we watch now. My father in law uses rabbit ears though and he seems to do just fine.




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  5. Great post Crystal’s Mom. I cut-off our cable TV and telephone this morning…how’s that for timing. I was looking at a bill for $147 and just decided that I was not prepared to pay that every month. We will be getting rabbit ears to get the best HD reception ever and I can’t wait to have an additional $100 free cash-flow. The cable company put up quite a fight, but families on a budget need to find unconventional ways to save. Cable TV is a luxury, as you say.




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  6. I would love to cut cable and get rabbit ears, but there’s two people in this marriage! Hubby loves his cable and I love him, so we have compromised on a lesser dish package.




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  7. Like that your Mom wrote a post!

    My grandparents do this; they are on a fixed income (SS only), and had their previous television for decades. When it finally died, their daughters and son chipped in to purchase a new plasma t.v. They have that box that you need, and their channels come in more clearly than ours on our cable television!




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  8. That was very sweet of her to help you out. My husband has been doing that for me these days, it is nice.

    We tried rabbit ears and a few different ones before settling down with the current one. We have been cableless for the last few years and never missed anything. But if one of us had loved sports it would have been difficult.




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  9. Thanks for all the great comments. Everyone made my day, especially my fantastic daughter.
    If anyone needs any other information, there are several sites dedicated to helping people use an antenna to receive broadcasts.
    antennaweb.org, http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/info.aspx?page=FAQ is one of many.

    There’s this saying,,”if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Using all available resources will insure not only that you can, but that there is a choice available, other than paying a cable or internet company to provide you with your entertainment, news, and informative programs. For free enterprise to work, there has to be honest competition.

    Apartment buildings, condos, and older houses sometimes contain wiring and such that do interfere with the signals, but we actually know of many students and apartment dwellers who have blogged about how to get around these problems (including hanging the antenna out the window, next to the apt. wall).

    All moms should blog. It is a fantastic way to connect with others in a positive fashion.
    We have a 52″ plasma, 26″ LCD monitor, a projector and wireless LAN connection, so Hulu, sports scores, financial updates, You Tube, and all the great stuff from the web can be accessed while we watch our 21 channels in any room. My husband says we get more than 21. Truthfully we watch about 10 of them, because a lot of them are Spanish, various other languages, shopping channels, or duplicate non-digital channels (yes, there are a few left).
    All plasma and most flat screens come with their own digital decoders. Any TV manufactured after 2009 is supposed to receive digital signals without any converter box. We do not use a converter box.
    Antennas are not for everyone, but using the” I am married and I love my partner who has to have cable” seems a cop-out to me. If you love him/her and they love you; then trying something out shouldn’t threaten the relationship. Don’t disconnect the cable first, just try the antenna. If it works and both of you find that all the channels you watch are available, then both of you might consider dropping cable ( in 4 months you could buy a new laptop or DVR). This is what we did. By the way, you can DVR antenna captured shows. Either on a DVR or on your computer. Or you can catch a lot of them on Hulu or at the network web site.
    In these tighter times, it is important that cable, utilities, and our government understand that we have alternatives and we are not afraid to choose them. We may not be able to change how our government works, but we can change how we handle our own money. Generally, businesses and companies notice a loss in revenue much quicker than they notice our loss of wages.
    Getting off of my soap box now. Thanks Crystal! Wasn’t expecting this.




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  10. I agree with Crystal’s Mom 100%! I have been using rabbit ears for about 2 years now, and have been absolutely floored with the availability of channels, the quality content and the clarity of the HD. This isn’t the old school rabbit ears where you stood on your head balancing the rabbit ears on your toes just to get a grainy picture, we’re talking about beautiful HD content with am minimum of fuss. It is definitely better than any basic cable package and it is free.




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  11. I am glad you seemed to enjoy my mom’s post.

    @Mom, sorry but I am with Funancials on this one. 😉 Thank you for guest posting (even if I didn’t give you a chance to back out, lol).




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  12. I just assumed you had to have a converter box to use rabbit ears now… We were thinking of getting a flat screen TV as our next splurge so we can watch shows in our bedroom… and its good to know that we may be able to do something with rabbit ears instead of a converter box.




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