Free digital cable box
If you have an old tube TV like the one shown on the right, or a flat screen that does not have a built-in digital tuner (made before 2006, when digital tuners were mandated), you will need a digital TV converter box (also called a tuner box) in order to get free TV using an antenna. These cost less than a month of cable TV for most people.
If you're one of those folks with a tube TV, you might want to consider upgrading to a flat screen TV if you can afford it. Here are some reasons why:
- You won't need to buy a digital TV converter box (saving you $50).
- If you get a "smart" TV, you can access subscription Internet content without having to buy a Roku/AppleTV/etc. (saving you $35-$100).
- You'll have incredible picture quality compared to your tube TV.
- The TV will use less space, and you can hang it on a wall.
- Flat screen TVs use less energy than tube TVs of the same screen size, saving money over the long run.
- Even if you buy a Sony 40" wide screen HDTV, the savings from cancelling cable will pay for it in less than a year.
OK, if you still want to buy a digital TV converter box for your tube TV, there are two models that I recommend:
The HomeWorx unit includes a recording feature, where you can record shows to a USB drive. It has gotten surprisingly good reviews online, and is no more expensive than other converter boxes!
If you have a flat screen TV without a digital tuner (these are relatively rare), you'll need to get a digital tuner box. I searched around a bit and couldn't find one that has gotten good reviews. Let me know if you find anything.
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