I have been wanting an HDTV set for quite some time. Problem was that they were so damn expensive. With the FCC promising that all over-the-air broadcasts will have to be digital by 2009, I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. For quite some time I have been watching all local channels via antenna. I don't use some fancy rooftop antenna. I use a 10-20 buck antenna. It worked fine. Well, not really. I was nearly unable to get NBC or CBS unless I messed around with the antenna a lot. I knew that with HDTV you either get the channel or not when using an antenna.
Today I bought a 19 inch widescreen HDTV for just under 300 bucks. First off, its light. Well that's to be expected since its an LCD monitor. After removing it from the box, I had it up an running in about 2-3 minutes. I just hooked up my cheapo antenna (available anywhere for about 10-20 bucks) and after a quick setup I was watching digital channels. Gone where the static lines and ghost images. The sound was much better too. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to easily receieve HDTV programming via antenna. Well I guess if you can get a regular analog picture with your old TV and an antenna, there's a good chance you can receieve that local channel's digital offerings. I live between two local markets. So in order to get all the channels, the antenna needs some adjusting.
After testing things out a bit here are my findings:
I truly believe this will be the new (and only) format for getting over-the-air channels in the future. People shouldn't be afraid of the new technology either. Its great! The days of bad reception are over! Finally you can see a picture comparable or even better than what digital cable or DBS can provide. Best of all, your local networks are free! With some of the locals you get the regular broadcast channel in digital quality as well as a few other sub-channels. For example the Syracuse NBC local channel offers not only its regular channel in HDTV but a music channel and a weather channel! I am quite pleased with my purchase. If you've been thinking about upgrading to HDTV now just might be the time. At Wal-Mart, they finally have digital LCD TVs that are small (15 inches) for around 200 bucks. These sets have the new digital tuners right in them. Just hook up an antenna and you're ready to watch crystal clear digital broadcasts!