Save Money With HDTV

It sounds crazy, but you can actually save money by trading in your old television for a big, new HD TV. I just bought a new 32" LCD HDTV for $463 but expect to get that money back and save an additional $158 this year by doing so!

The premise is simple - think about what you pay each month to you cable or satellite provider? How many TV shows do you actually watch on those cable channels?

Truth is - about 95% of watch I watch on cable are the network tv channels. The only exception to this for me is college football on ESPN. I'll get back to this in a second.

So if such a majority of my tv time is spent watching network tv channels - why pay so much for cable? Well cable/satellite is really the only solution for me to get clear (non-static) TV. With an antenna, the quality on analog channels comes and goes - often getting static and noise in the reception, ruining my TV watching experience. Cable eliminates this issue.

However, I just bought a 32" LCD HDTV for $463 and used an antenna from a friend for $10. I now get all 12 local HD network channels (plus a couple extra that I haven't heard of before) without the static and noise that I couldn't stand. Its amazing picture quality - the best part is the picture is BETTER than the standard cable picture (I would have to upgrade my service to get the HD channels for an extra $16.25/month).

The cost-benefit ratio is now out the window. To maintain Time Warner cable I would be paying $52.58/mo just for non-HD ESPN. I can get just about everything I want to watch for free. This means I can cancel cable service and use those monthly fees to pay for my HDTV.

Heres the numbers for the return just for the next 12 mos:

12mos cable service (non-HD)

$ 631


$ (463)

Low profile antenna

$ (10)

Net Savings after 12mos

$ 158

To summarize - I get a better viewing expierence with HD channels, a 32" LCD HDTV, and money in my pocket compared to the status quo. This is a great investment for me.

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Comments (13)

That is a very smart idea. Thanks for the information!


I just did the same thing at my home. After purchasing our new HDTV and hooking it up to the "bunny ears" antenna --- I was amazed not only at the picture quality from this "free" signal, but that I get basically all the channels I would normally watch.

My wife and I just cancelled cable service and were going to try living without it for 6 months. The money saved will simply be used to pay down the cost of our new HDTV. So far things have been great. We get to see all our favorite shows (with exception of missing ESPN and SCIFI) and the picture and sound quality (mine is hooked up to a Dolby-Digital/DTS receiver) is amazing. It's amazing that we're enjoying a BETTER quality signal for FREE. I can't promise that we'll go without cable forever, but for the next year it's probably going to be a certainty.

- N.W.

The only thing I miss with this new setup is being able to record all my shows using my Tivo. The HD Tivo costs a little more than I want to spend (ok, it'll cost more than my new TV). Anybody out there find a good solution for this problem? Let me know. :)

I have a coworker that has a PC he converted into a DVR (Tivo type device) and added a remote to it - seems to be working great for him although not sure if its HD or not. He is doing the same thing - no cable - getting over the air HD channels.

Great tip. I wish it would work for me, but since I live in the boonies, I think I would only be able to get 1 HD station over the air.

Great idea. The next lcd I buy I will consider that.

If you can get by without ESPN2, which btw has just as many sporting events as ESPN does, then it's a great way to save money.

My only problem is I can't use cable or antenna alone as I enjoy having The NFL Sunday ticket on DirecTV. So I'm outta luck on this one, besides the fact that I live in a semi-rural area that doesn't allow me to access many HD stations.

Good idea to follow 2million . Where you can enjoy better quality picture and sound at the same time save the money.

Can't go w/o my HBO. Good breakdown of costs though.

How do you setup the "bunny ears" How does it work?


What are you going to do about not having ESPN?

Heh, totally forgot about this post and stumbled upon it when doing more OTA HDTV research.

Any comments regarding ESPN? Im really itching to dump my cable but won't be able to do so without a solution for ESPN.

Here is how I handled it.
1) For the big games I took the money I saved and went to a bar to watch them.
2) I look at internet broadcasts such as SOPcast. They work, but resolution isn't the greatest.

In the end this worked ok for me because I am a college football junkie. I could get by without ESPN except for my team. So I would go to the bar to watch our games and then watch games on the other channels.

If you watch ESPN all the time this might not work for you.

Best way to save some money on HD TV is to get DISH Network. I am a consumer/employee and DISH has the most HD channels avail and you can get them free. DISH is extending this offer to all customers so everyone gets value. Find out more at the DISH website.

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