Thursday, February 01, 2007

RDU HDTV owners... WRAL offering free over-the-air antennas

Fellow RDU folks... if you're within the coverage of the WRAL TV5 (CBS) broadcast area you can get a free over-the-air antenna for your HDTV setup. For more information check out the linked page on the WRAL website.

Most people don't realize there are currently channels being broadcast that don't come through your satellite dish or most of the cable systems. For example NC ETV (PBS) - channel 4 in the RDU area - broadcasts 5 channels. WRAL 11 (ABC) broadcasts 3. There are a total of 35 digital channels available to most of the people in our area. You just need the right equipment to receive those channels.

Here's the basics of what you need:
  1. HDTV set or something suitable to watch the broadcasts on.
  2. A TV tuner that can decipher those digital HDTV signals. This is called an ATSC tuner. Some HDTV's have the built in (most of the newest ones) and some require an external box. Check with where you bought your TV from if you have any questions.
  3. An antenna that is strong enough to pull in the stations that you want to receive.
The good news is that digital signals still look great when analog signals are too snowy to watch. Digital is pretty much an all or nothing affair. Either there's enough information being received for the TV to display a perfect picture or you get nothing. The bad news is if there's not enough information being received... you get nothing.

So if you have #1 and #2 above covered, take WRAL up on their offer. Let them give you a free antenna. It will save you anywhere from $50 to $150. Their engineering folks will take a look at where you live, analyze the terrain between you and their broadcast tower, and order the correct antenna for you at no cost.

That's a great deal! Take advantage of it ASAP! Get their free antenna form in the mail today.