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At the moment, live TV alternatives to cable, antenna slim

July 4, 2014 - Chris Pugh
So how do you watch TV if you don't have cable?

The easiest answer is to buy an antenna.

If you have a TV that is HDTV ready (most current ones) do, you can simply buy an antenna from the store, hook it into your TV and you can enjoy local channels.

As long as you live within 20 miles of an antenna (which most Valley residents do), any antenna would work.

If you don't have HDTV capability on your TV, you'll have to buy a converter box along with the antenna.

The converter box typically starts at $20.

But other companies have taken aim at this model.

Aereo, a tech startup, offered over-the-air antennas in various cities across the country, the closest being Cincinnati, where residents there can subscribe to local channels for $8 a month and get access to TV and DVR for $12 a month before the Supreme Court recently ruled against the model.

The company has disbanded service, but promises to continue fighting to keep their business model.

"The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud," company founder Chet Kanojia said.

Then there's USTVNow.

The service, which can be found (LINK), offers free local television to Americans living outside the U.S. The service also offers cable packages for sale.

The local television signals are from Harrisburg, Pa.

The interesting thing is that the web site and sign-up process are open to anyone who is willing to register.

I've had the service for the past four years and have extensively viewed it while in the States. In addition, the service is extensively mentioned on U.S. message boards

I spoke via email with Gustavo, a representative from the USTVNow, who sounded surprised that I was able to access it from the U.S.

"This is not what it was intended for," he said, and additional emails asking questions about the service were unanswered.

While we wait for cable companies to debut live streaming television packages, it will be interesting to see how Aereo's legal fight progresses and if USTVNow will stay viable as a company.

Chris Pugh is a copy editor and blogger for the Tribune Chronicle. You can follow Tech Corner at and

You can also connect with him personally at



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