Free TV

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Do you want FREE TV? Perhaps it’s because you are addicted to the latest police, medical or legal weekly series (mine is NCIS) or you are a sports couch potato (who spends all weekend with beer, potato chips and whatever game is on). Or maybe you are a news and documentary junkie (like my husband). But TV has more to offer …

TV can be a great educational tool for learning another language too. Watching and listening to your favorite program (in English or French) is a great way to improve your listening skills. My recommendation is that you select at least one program and watch it regularly. If it becomes your favorite show, then you are far more likely to be motivated to watch than if you randomly select shows. The regularity of the show will engage you. After a period of time, your understanding will improve as a result of the level of engagement.

About the FREE part of watching TV

It is obvious that people would like to watch TV for free!  This desire is demonstrated by the fact that there are approximately 45 companies selling TV-Android boxes with the promise of FREE TV. On the other hand, this case is being fought in the courts by the cable companies because it will dramatically challenge their business model. In fact on June 21, 2016 the Huffington Post called the “TV Box crackdown a wake-up call for the entire media industry“.

I am on the side of FREE TV . I have not paid for my TV viewing for more than 13 years. And, I have more than enough choice to watch.

How to get your FREE TV

All I have is a digital TV and an antenna, and I currently  get more than 10 channels in Montreal.

I have used this same method to watch TV while I lived in Canada, Australia and the USA. In Toronto, I used a basic set of rabbit ears but eventually bought a power-boosted indoor antenna. In Australia, we had an old-fashioned  roof-top outdoor antenna. And while traveling in an RV for three years around Canada and the USA, we used the built-in RV antenna. A few years ago, the free-to-air TV broadcasters changed from analog to digital signals, so it is now necessary to have a digital TV, with a built-in HD receiver,  in order to receive the signals.

I have two antennas – the old rabbit ears (which you can buy for about $5) and a newer, power-boosted antenna. Both will receive signals but the power-boost gives me more consistency in both the number of channels and the quality of the images. I currently use, and am very happy with the quality of, a TERK amplified HDTV indoor antenna. The box says: “Engineered to receive 1080i HDTV broadcasts not always available on satellite or cable. Perfect antenna for local HDTV reception (channels 2-69) up to 70 km / 45 mi from broadcast tower”.  I bought my antennas at The Source, where there is a wide variety of alternative models and brands.  The TERK is also available at Amazon.

The greatest advantage of this system is that after I have invested in my TV and antenna – I can watch any free-to-air broadcast and never be ransomed by subscriber fees which can range monthly from $25 to hundreds of dollars.

Other Almost-FREE TV options

Free-to-air is not the only way to get TV without a cable subscription. Approximately 16% of Canadians do not have cable TV. According to the Huffington Post article “CBC Report: Growing Number of Canadians Cutting Traditional Television” , about half of those are currently people who have cancelled cable subscriptions in favor of using the Internet.

While using the Internet to stream your TV shows and/or access specialized streaming channels like Netflix, etc. may allow you to eliminate cable fees, it is still not completely FREE because you do require an Internet service provider. And if you are a frequent TV watcher, your data usage fees can climb with heavy video downloads or streaming. On the other hand, if you are a light TV watcher and prefer your watching to be without ads, then this could be the best option for you.

Advantages of Ads

While ads can be annoying, especially if they are repetitive during a show, they can also be educational. Ads provide information about products and retailers in your area and also teach you about the culture and interests of the area where you live. Some TV commercials are even highly entertaining. And the fact that they are repetitive allows you to improve your listening skills and recognition of words. What you missed the first time, you can always get the second or third-time around.

Save your pennies

So if you feel like I do – and do not want to pay monthly access charges – you do not give up on TV as a medium for learning. Try one of the FREE-TV or almost FREE-TV options. And use your savings to purchase things that make you happier.

How do you learn from watching TV? How do you get your TV?




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