I was a bit nostalgic and was reading posts from way back when Mark started this forum. I realized that I authored the first thread in this "Antenna Info and Recommendations" forum. It made me realize how far I have come since then, so I thought I would comment on my family's TV experience since leaving cable TV after over 20 years of continuous service.
As I said in my early post, there was a bit of withdrawal...no Brewers games, no ESPN, no Discovery, no Disney for the kids, etc.
I did build my tower. I now have a pair of UHF antennas in the attic, a pair of UHF antennas plus a pair of VHF-Hi antennas on the tower and an FM dipole antenna at the very top of the tower. The tower assembly gets comments from friends, but they also comment on the great reception. I receive and watch 25 digital channels, 11 of which are HD channels. I also receive another 6 channels that are not saved because they are exact duplicates of other channels (such as PBS). I now receive over 60 FM stations in full stereo quieting, plus another 15 stations that are listenable in mono.
While this tower cost me a fair amount of money, I am over $1,000 ahead of what I would have paid for cable over the last 30 months. With all equipment paid for, the savings are accumulating every month now.
We now have a fine DVR and never have a shortage of enjoyable shows. We stream at least 5 movies per week through our PS3 with Netflix. In a word, our non-subscription television experience is "AWESOME!!!" We have learned to watch shows other than cable programs and really no longer miss cable.
One thing. If you are considering dropping cable or satellite, you may not need a setup like mine. I have installed systems on the other side of the hill from me for friends. An attic setup has been enough to get all of the Green Bay stations reliably. My location is what forced me into this system. Well, OK...the location and the fact that I am very anal and always want perfection. I have no dropouts or problems. I may have created an overkill, but I am one of those who would rather be safe than sorry.
I read a great number of old posts this morning and it struck me how many complaints there are about poor reception, high prices, missing or changing services, etc with pay TV. Those posts made me realize how happy we have been to not have to deal with any of that over the last 13 months since I erected the tower.
Just my two cents.