Jan 02 2008

My TV won’t work in Feb. 2009….unless I buy a special box for it

If you’re like me, then you don’t pay for your television viewing. We have a $20 set of “rabbit ears” atop our TV, and it lets us get reasonable reception for ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and a home shopping network. Yay.

But, we’ve found that it’s enough to keep us happy, between that, online television viewing, and our Netflix subscription.

In our area, the cheapest TV plan is $50 per month, which to me is way too expensive to be worth it.

In 2009 (which is next year! Whoa!), we won’t be able to use our rabbit ears to watch TV anymore.

Television is going digital.

This means that a standard analog TV set without a subscription to cable will need a converter box to continue to view those over-the-airwaves channels.

For more information, see this site. You can take a quick quiz to see if you’ll need a converter box.

For those who request it, the government is issuing two $40 coupons (good for one converter box each) to households.

I don’t know how much these converter boxes will cost, but I hope they’re around $40.

Visit this web site to learn more about the coupon program, and apply for the coupons.

A word of caution: Just be aware of this program, and if it applies to you, be sure to plan your budget accordingly. These coupons supposedly expire within 90 days of being issued.

Also, I don’t know if retailers are stocking these items yet. It might be better to wait a few months to see how prices go.

Do you plan to buy a converter box? Or, do you have a digital television set? Or, do you have cable? What do you think of all this?



13 Responses to “My TV won’t work in Feb. 2009….unless I buy a special box for it”

  1. We are blessed that this won’t affect us at all. DH and I decided right from the start (before we were married) that we don’t need a TV… and we don’t have one. We do our movie viewing (which we love) on either my desktop or his laptop, or on a projector via one of the above. As far as TV, we just do without… in fact, we only recently discovered online viewing. We have watched a few things (i.e. Mythbusters and Are you smarter than a 5th grader) online, but we are not involved in any of the tv series programs, so it doesn’t matter. It is amazing how much we get done/ how much time we have together without a TV being on in the background… not to mention, it isn’t taking up space in our little home. :)

  2. We have been married almost 10 years and we have never paid for cable!! We did get it free for the promotion period a couple of times. For 2 years we actually had cable for free because we cancelled and they never turned it off.
    I agree that $50/month is way too much!! I will check to see if this affects us. I sure hope not.

  3. We have never paid for cable…..and hubby just emailed me saying he’s applied for two coupons (we only have 1 TV set, so I’m not sure why he got two..). My TV is from 1994, and I’m not sure that it’s really going to last until Feb 2009!! It makes sense that technology has changed enough that my TV won’t work, I guess.

  4. We also use rabbit ears. I checked into this recently and I believe we are going be fine with the equipment that we have. According to the box our rabbit ears came in, they are compatible with digital, that and our t.v. is digital. A suggestion – if you have cable internet, try plugging the cable into your t.v. you might actually get a few channels. For some reason we get HGTV (My favorite ever). All the other channels are scrambled though so we still use our “Ears”.

  5. This shouldn’t affect us as we can barely get one channel via rabbit ears. We use our TV soley for DVD and videos. If and when we decide to get “wired”, we’ll probably go with a satellite company. I find that my self-image and contentment levels are so much better without commercial television!

  6. Your updated picture looks great Kacie. When I saw it on bloglog I thought I was on the wrong bloglog profile page. Happy New Year.

  7. We have $12 cable – took me 20 minutes on the phone with the cable company convincing them that i did not need a $35 package and they DID have a smaller package. They do: called “Limited Basic” and only comes with around 20 channels… enough for us ;)

    (I just wanted to share – in case your local cable companies offer something similar.) I wish we could eliminate TV all together but my dh needs it ;)

  8. Thank you!

  9. Hmm, I’ll have to look into getting $12 cable. I’ll give the cable company a call and see if they can get me a good deal. Thanks for the idea!

  10. I’ve found the same as Stacey – seems like a lot of cable companies offer a “limited” package for less than $20 a month. For our cable company right now, the only cable channel it includes is TBS (which we watch a lot). It also includes all the other basic network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX). Even though I live just outside a big city, for some reason I can’t get any reception using bunny ears. :-( (Which frustrates me to no end!!)

  11. I’ll have to check this out–we don’t have cable or digital.

  12. I signed up for the coupons on Monday, but I didn’t realize it was only good for 90 days… as it is, we don’t have cable and don’t watch broadcast stations, just DVDs. I figured if we ever did want to turn on a TV station, the box will be nice to have.

    If it were up to me, we wouldn’t have a TV at all.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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