Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Getting Free Cable Channels (Legally)

If you've got some patience and are willing to experiment, ask your cable company for "broadcast basic" cable service. This includes (on paper) only about 20 channels. However, there is disparity among cable providers on the filters used to block the remaining analog channels. From 2001-2003, I paid only $18/month and got 70 analog channels.

For 4 months in 2004 I tried this again in Monterey, CA and was able to get 40 channels for about $20/month (or less). I eventually switched back to full analog cable since I wasn't able to get my two favorite channels (ESPN, CNBC).

Finally, if moving in to a new residence, check to see if the cable service was ever turned off. On one occassion, I had full cable and didn't even know it until just after calling in my service request.

We don't yet have any cable service ordered for our new residence, and we are still getting about 6 channels (weather channel, ABC Family, FOX, PBS, CBS, NBC).

1 comment:

Tricia said...

With my cable service, I have basic cable. Due to a glitch near the cut-off of channels, I get two other channels free (Lifetime and Spike TV). And sometimes I can get CMT too.

So the basic tier isn't too bad after all for $15/month.