Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cutting the Cord


For those who are regulars or know me, you know that I just recently moved cross-country. With that, I decided to officially cut the cord from Cable and Satellite Tv. Spending $60+ a month on service I rarely used is quite ridiculous. Especially when that monthly donation is going to such a greedy company. They are such vultures, they showed up on my door-step while I was moving into my new place, ready to provide service, and I never called them!  I also had to threaten to take legal action, after they wouldn't stop calling my cell to sell the same service, stating that I called them asking for it.  Satellite isn't as bad as the evil cable company, but I still had issues with them as well.

I've spent the last couple of months planning my escape and I think I'm fairly satisfied with the outcome. Any station or show I don't catch on tv, I just watch on my computer. No biggie, and I don't miss Cable/Sat. Now if there was a way to cut the strings altogether and pick up a over-the-air internet feed, I would be all over it.  I currently, still have my Direct-tv DVR, which I plan on returning after my 6 month vacation hold.

The Following is from my recent review on the paper thin Leaf Antenna and my journey towards salvation.


After being burned and wasting money on cable and satellite the last couple of years I wanted to look for an alternative, especially because I don't really watch tv all that much. I'm a apartment dweller, and often move once a year for work. I wanted to buy a strong outdoor antenna, but stringent rules on cabling and mounting of such an antenna, made it difficult. I wanted to try my luck first with a couple of indoor antennas, before shifting to the outdoor route.

I purchased this item, due to the high ratings. I was completely disappointed when this item didn't work for me right out of the box. I called their CS, and they were very helpful. I assumed my 7yr old Sony HDTV had a digital turner and wouldn't need a converter, but I was wrong.

When I finally got my digital converter box and hooked up the Leaf, I was able to detect about 22 channels, but not all that well. Most cut in and out. I also purchased a few other items to supplement this product, and after playing around a bit with placement and set up, I now get 17 channels at 100%, and there is only 12 full-pwred stations in the surrounding cities in my area. I also get quite a few channels in High Def. There is only one VHF channel in my area, but I get that one at 100% with the Amp I'm using. The picture is better than I've ever been able to receive with Cable or Satellite. I can't believe I'm finally utilizing my tv's HD capability, and I'm not paying a dime.

I said it works But because I was able to receive almost the same amount of channels with the $8 rabbit ears I bought at the same time and I also wouldn't suggest using this item alone. However, if I had to choose either one, I would definitely go with the Leaf. Less adjustment is needed and it gets a stronger signal overall. But I would suggest adding a amp and maybe a extra VHF antenna for the best possible signal from an indoor antenna. I'm planning to buy the PCT 2-Port Bi-Directional Amp/Splitter to eliminate the extra cabling and to boost my signal.

Update: I was still curious about how many channels I could possibly get in the area, so when I went to Lowes I picked up the GE Outdoor/Indoor Antenna on a whim for almost $50. The box claimed the strongest signal, with its 20db built-in amp, but I only got about a third of what I got with the Leaf, even with it outside.

Update II: I have since received the PCT 2-Port Bi-Directional Amp and now this works like a champ. I didn't realize this amp has two outputs not inputs, so I can only connect one antenna without a additional splitter. Well, it doesn't seem to matter, because this amp boosts the leaf enough to use alone. The signal is so strong now, there is no pixelation and everything is pretty much looks HD without any signs of noise, which the RCA Amp couldn't do. I'm going to purchase the PCT 1-Port Bi-Directional Amp, to see if that helps even more.

Update III: I tried the PCT 1 Port Bi-Directional Amp with this Antenna, but it definitely under performed in comparison with the heavy duty 2-port PCT amp. I don't recommend wasting your time on the 1-Port Amp, even though it advertises to be double the amplification. Don't believe it.

My Final Set-up after trying multiple equipment:
PCT 2-Port Bi-Directional Amp/Splitter.
Viore Digital TV Converter Box ($34 Walmart)

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