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Why Americans are Cutting the Cord, Saving Money

FILE: Scissors

(BPT) – Frugal Americans know how to save money, not only by keeping it in their pocket but by making wise purchasing decisions. As many have found, a frugal lifestyle does not mean going without.

One way many people have saved money is by cutting the cord and eliminating cable or satellite TV from the household budget. By taking that step, frugal consumers can save up to $1,200 per year.

In fact, Nielsen reports that the number of consumers who only watch broadcast TV has risen this year to more than 53 million, up some 5 percent in just a year. However, the overwhelming majority of TV homes in America subscribe to cable, satellite or telephone company TV delivery services.

The primary low-cost alternatives to pay TV include inexpensive high-tech antennas for live TV and online streaming.

But what is the impact of cutting the cord? And how can you save money and still receive plenty of free or low cost TV to watch? Today consumers are using technology in new ways by deploying a cord-cutting arsenal: a list of pay TV alternatives.

Those who take that step but still want to watch their favorite network shows are making one-time purchases of digital TV antennas and using free or low cost online streaming. Studies show that these are highly complementary services and not as competitive as one thought.

Many consumers also are moving toward antennas because of the increasing frequency of blackouts caused by retransmission conflicts between network broadcast content providers and the cable and satellite carriers.

With growing interest in antenna TV, manufacturers like Winegard have invested heavily in creating the next generation of over-the-air antennas that pluck free HDTV right out of the air. That’s especially important today because high def broadcast signals are not compressed like those from cable, satellite and telephone companies, so the picture quality is closer to true HDTV.

The company recently introduced a high tech UHF/VHF amplified indoor antenna, the FlatWave Amped, that fits into virtually any decor and weighs just a few ounces. It’s razor thin and can be installed in just a few minutes without technical assistance. It looks more like a picture on the wall than an antenna. And, it pulls in TV signals from up to 50 miles away.

In a review of the antenna, Mommy blogger Bridgette Duplantis says that she’s “definitely seen a difference compared to our old antenna. We can clearly get more local stations and they stay in tune … hubby loves that it is an HDTV antenna, so it gives a clearer picture.”

The Amped retails for $89 and is a one-time purchase.

However you watch TV today, there are more choices and more technology tools available than ever. So you don’t have to settle for just one type of TV when you can enjoy it live for a lower cost.

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