The combination of the internet and antennas has added new viewing options, at a lower price. This economy has Americans cutting back on everything, even, TV.
Brittney Aguilar: "When times get tough this is the first thing you have to let go."
Brittney Aguilar of Fresno is cutting back by cutting the cord, getting rid of Cable TV. She's not alone. According to an Associated Press survey, cable is losing nearly one-hundred-thousand customers per month nationwide, and satellite subscriptions are dropping as more viewers learn they can live without the cost of pay TV.
Linda Weller: "It does add up we like to spend our money on things that are more important to us than watching TV. There are so many good options we don't need to spend extra when we already have something good for free."
Linda Weller of Fresno watches TV the old fashioned way, with an over the air antenna, an increasingly common trend that's perhaps, not surprising.
Al Baxley, Arbuckle's Electronics: "Not the way the economy is right now. We are selling more antennas than we did 15, 20 years ago."
Al Baxley of Arbuckles Electronics says standard bow tie antennas that cost about 30 bucks are the best for the Central Valley. And thanks to the new digital TV technology there are more channels than ever.
Linda Weller: "And I really like to watch 18.2 because its like the free version of the Home and Garden Channel on Cable."
Linda supplements her viewing by watching channels she can't get over the air through the internet on her computer. She sees no need to connect her computer to her TV, though it can be easy to do with a cable. And new computers with a new technology called WIDI eliminate the need for wires. The most popular way to watch TV over the internet is with Roku and Apple. They cost from $79 to $99. They can wirelessly link your internet connection to your TV.
Zack Cardoza, Best Buy: "And they offer a ton of entertainment options outside the basic Netflix and Hulu they also have a lot of private networks."
Viewing options are almost endless, movies, network and Cable TV shows, old and new, news from around the world, all of it on demand. Netflix and Hulu are the most popular premium channels, each cost about $7 a month. Nearly all of the other hundreds of channels are free.
Most video games and many DVD players connect TV's to the internet and many new TV's have internet connectivity built right in. But they are more expensive than regular sets.
So, if you really want to save money, antenna TV is free. Adding internet TV gives you more options, not all the programming you'll find on cable or satellite and you will still have to pay for a high speed internet connection, with a cable or phone company. $20 to $60 dollars a month. You can get pay TV and internet bundles for low initial rates, but it doesn't take long for the bill to go up.
Brittney Aguilar: "I'm paying almost double what I started out with and I can't do it no more."
More viewers are feeling the same way, and cutting the cord.