Tech News and Commentary
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Robert in Miami, Florida asked: “I would like for you to assist me in once and for all getting rid of my cable bill, which constantly goes up. They constantly tell me I need new equipment. And of course, they adjust that bill. I’m paying approximately about $150 to watch – in standard definition, not even high definition – the local channels. That’s mainly what I’m interested in, and that’s what I’m paying $150 for. And I know I can get it for free. I want you to suggest good quality amplifiers that will help me get VHF and UHF channels and something that can adjust to the overpowering stations automatically. And then amplify the weak ones. Mainly local channels in Miami is what I’m interested in over the air, and I know they will be high definition. Something that my cable company is not even giving me now. Please help me, Dave.”
Robert, if you have any interest in keeping cable channels as well as the locals, the streaming options will all still cost you about half as much. For now.
Having said that, if youre ready to ditch them and keep just the free local channels, you do have options.
If you want to mount it outside on the run from an external antenna and run cables to several TVs, you can look at the Channel Master Ultra Mini Antenna Amplifier. Its weather resistant, and has 4 ports to feed your devices.
If you need more than that, they also sell an 8-port version, but with the basic 4-port device already costing in the neighborhood of $50, you probably dont need to spend extra for any ports you wont use.
If you do need those extra ports, you will have options though, for around $70 you can find an Antennas Direct offering as well, but again, do you really need 8 output ports?
If you dont already have an antenna, you can try a combo antenna/amplifier for about the same price as a standalone amplifier, for example the PBD WA-2608 will cost you around $50.
We should mention that these are all more powerful options, there are also small filter amplifiers that you can screw between the TV and the line coming from your antenna. Odds are that those will not do the job nearly as well, but if your signals are good enough you just need to filter out interference, they may be a cheaper solution for you.
You can check and see what signal strength you can expect in your areas at antennaweb.org.
Tim in Greenville, South Carolina called into share some Tech Rage about his Google Assistant
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