So I've mentioned that I'm considering dropping cable TV after the spring season, due to the fact that the 2 "cable only" shows I just can't wait for DVD for are ending, and pretty much everything else I watch is on the major networks.
So I started looking around for an antenna for my TV. I was a little shocked by the wide selection (and the prices! $25 to over $100??? For an antenna?) and I suspected that since the "HDTV" antenna was sitting right next to regular old coax cable marketed as "HDTV READY!" with a fair markup, there may be some hype going on.
Back to the internet to do some research before I spend "dumb money".
As it turns out (as I suspected), an HDTV signal is broadcast over the air in the same manner that TV has always been broadcast. The difference is in the tuner, not the antenna. Something else I learned is that there are a lot of people making their OWN antennas. Hmmm.
So I grabbed a basic design, and decided to go "all out". I bought the screws (98 cents) the washers (88 cents) and the UHF/VHF Transformer (sounds impressive, doesn't it? $3.79 at Lowes). The board, wire coat hangers and cable TV cable were all "reclaimed" or "found". Total cost to me was under $6. That's a savings of $14 over the cheapest "store bought" rabbit ears I could find, and given the nature of rabbit ears I have no doubt that this works far better (just take my word on the engineering techno mumbo jumbo, K? THX!)
I used this design (video) and it took me about an hour while watching Reaper yesterday afternoon. Hooked it up today, and get a BETTER picture than Comcast for the local HD stations. I pick up about 24 stations total, although 6 of those are "regular" and "HD" versions of the same station.
I'll get some pictures up later, but I'm quite pleased with myself.