Rooftop Antennas Make a Comeback

TV antennas are back in fashion for many

By Gordon Tokumatsu and John Simerson
|  Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012  |  Updated 2:24 PM CDT
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They were long thought to be a thing of the past, but rooftop antennas are making a comeback, thanks to high cable and satellite prices and online programming options. NBC 4's Gordon Tokumatsu reports.

They were long thought to be a thing of the past, but rooftop antennas are making a comeback, thanks to high cable and satellite prices and online programming options. NBC 4's Gordon Tokumatsu reports.

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Four decades ago, almost every rooftop had a television antenna. Televisions even came with indoor rabbit ears to make sure the signal was there -- piping entertainment, news and sports directly to your home.

But then came cable, and after that satellite. And the antennas all but disappeared from our world.

That is, until recently.

Ron Season, of Calabasas, said he's  tried cable and satellite, and was paying thousands of dollars a year for the services.

But with internet services streaming what he wants to watch, Season decided to scale his satellite subscription way back and went back to the old, reliable rooftop antenna.

Except these days, it's digital and high definition. And cheap.

"Now I’m down to about $87 a month," Season said.

The hardware is cheap, too, with some dealers selling the antennas for $60 to $100. Those dealers say their phones ring off the hook whenever the big entertainment companies like Comcast, Disney and NBC announce new services online.

But before you say goodbye to cable and satellite, keep in mind the FCC said 90 percent of consumers still get television from those sources.

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