Saturday, October 15, 2016

Our Failed Free TV Experiment

Readers will recall I posted earlier this month about wanting to try the Free TV Key I saw advertised on TV. It's just an antenna you connect to your TV to pick up broadcast signals rather than using cable or satellite.

We received our antenna in the mail yesterday. Just a piece of plastic maybe a foot long. Breaking with my tradition of holding off on doing anything productive, I tried to see if it would work right away.

First problem was the instructions that came with it had print so small I couldn't read it even with reading glasses. Since the wife reads small print better than I do, I asked her to try and figure out what to do- an exercise in the blind leading the blind, no pun intended.

I barely managed to get the antenna screwed in to the jack on the back of the TV- not a lot of room there for my fingers- and wondered if I even had it in the right place, but the wife later said I had it on the jack labeled "Antenna". Then we turned the TV on and I was expecting the worst.

First, we had to find the right input source for the TV to use. Since I couldn't read the instructions I wasn't sure which one to look for. We found HDMI1 and 2, or whatever they were, but no signal. We tried some of the other sources that showed up on the screen, still no signal.

After about 20 minutes of trying to find a signal we gave up. Then I had to hook the cable back up and hoped I could remember where I unplugged the cables from. I plugged Suddenlink back in, turned on the TV and it worked! Whew! I certainly didn't want to have to call Suddenlink up and have to have  them come to my house to bail me out.

So for now, no free TV. That was a bit of a hassle. Not sure I want to make another go of it.


At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've wasted more money than $27 on "stupider" stuff......

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might try "auto" scanning for over the air Samsung TV is able to receive over the air channels without an external antenna.

"Press [Menu] on your remote to bring up the Main Menu. Then, press [Arrow Down] to the Channel Menu, and then press [Enter]. Press [Arrow Down] to Auto Program, and then press [Enter]. Press [Arrow Up or Down] to select Air, Cable, or Air+Cable, and then press [Enter]."

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Thanks. We'll try that.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a scam to say you need a specific "free tv key" -- any TV antenna will work. The problem with those little cheap ones is they only pick up strong signals in urban areas. I have a larger antenna mounted on the roof (in Eureka) which gets me NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW, and multiple PBS (KEET) channels. The signal occasionally gets wonky because the broadcast antennas are a good ways outside of town and there are some trees between my antenna and the broadcast one.

You can pick up a good antenna for $50 that will get you all those channels if you don't live down in a valley.

Oh yeah, be sure and go into the settings on your TV and look for antenna input -- it sounds like you didn't change it off of cable input.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

This is weird, what you all are describing was how we watched TV before we had cable.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep. I remember the old "rabbit ears" antenna, and the old trick of putting a fork or spoon in a certain place on top of the TV to get better reception. I have an old black and white TV in my attic with an antenna. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd go bring it down and see what channels I could pick up with it.


Post a Comment

<< Home