BOISE - If you've made the decision to cancel your cable or satellite television subscription, that doesn't mean you can't still watch some of your favorite shows.

There are a number of inexpensive options for folks who don't want to pay the ever-rising costs of cable and satellite:

Get digital/HD local channels off-air for free

A common misconception persists that, because of the nationwide digital conversion, you can no longer get local channels "off-air."

This is simply not true. In reality, you can get digital/HD quality local channels through an antenna ("rabbit ears"). In fact, in the Boise area, there are over 35 channels available from 15 over-the-air stations. This includes KTVB's 7.1 (Newschannel 7, NBC affiliate), 7.2 (Idaho's Own 24/7), and 7.3 (Justice Network).

Here are some tips for using an antenna:

You must have a "VHF/UHF antenna. "Rabbit ears," rods, or other elements are needed to pick up channels 2-13 (VHF), and a circle, bow-tie, or other element is needed to pick up channels 14-51 (UHF). Some antennas marketed as HDTV antennas don't perform well on VHF channels; some antennas are VHF or UHF-only.

If you find yourself getting good reception on one channel and poor reception on another, try adjusting the length of the rods.

The location of an indoor antenna is key. And one of the most popular spots for indoor antennas - on top of the TV - may not be the best. Consumers having trouble with digital TV reception should try moving their antennas to one of these locations:

  • Near a window
  • As high as possible
  • Away from other electronic equipment, including computers, VCRs, DVD players, converter boxes, and the television itself.
  • Change the direction the antenna is facing
  • For the best reception possible, rooftop antennas are highly recommended.

MORE: How to get Idaho's Very Own 24/7

If you're concerned about issues with your homeowners association, consider this from Hans Eliasen, KTVB Assistant Director of Technology and Operations:

Remember, even if your homeowners association says you cannot have an outdoor antenna, you CAN and it can be on the front of your house if that is where you need to install it in order to get a good signal. Many people have really good luck with a large outdoor antenna in an attic, the installation can be easier than figuring out an outdoor mount that can handle wind and weather. Landlords are required to allow outdoor antennas as well – they can require you to use a post, but it can't be incredibly inconvenient.

If you have an older analog TV, you'll need a converter box, which can be purchased at most electronics stores.

Watch TV for free online

  • KTVB.COM - If it was on one of our news programs, chances are you'll find it on our website. Videos are posted with most news stories.
  • Networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and others) provide shows on their websites, usually the day after they air.