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A quick lesson in TV antenna history
Prior to cable, satellite, and now streaming options, the only way to watch TV was by using an antenna. And depending on the signal quality, whether you had an outdoor or indoor antenna, and other factors, the channels you received could be anywhere from crystal clear to a blizzard like appearance. Thus the birth of cable TV, which has been growing in popularity since the 80s, and now most Americans (89%) have some form of paid television subscription.
But in 2009, something interesting happened.
In 2009, the FCC mandated that major broadcast networks switch from analog to digital television broadcasting. This means that we can now – with the right antenna - pick up amazing High Definition digital television for free. As a result, more and more people are fleeing the high monthly costs of cable and reverting back to a free television.
How your FREE TV can be even better than cable
In order for cable companies to offer you 30+ channels in High Definition, they have to compress the signals quite a bit to get them squeezed through the same pipe to get to your television. The irony is that this free OTA television from an antenna yields a better picture than cable or satellite and is visibly noticeable on larger television sets! The reason is that these OTA television broadcasts are not compressed nearly as much, so you get the true, high-fidelity, digital signal which yields a better picture.