This is our bedroom TV, fed since 2002 by a cable box at a charge of $8.50/month, which works out to over $1200(?!) for those years.
Here’s how I replaced the cable box using set-top boxes with one-time-only costs.
In the middle on top is a Mediasonic HW-150PVR HomeWorx Digital TV Converter Box with PVR (about $35). This provides HD as well as SD digital content. If you have a newer TV, it’s built-in.
The PVR (DVR) part functions, but was just too primitive for WAF (wife acceptance factor) in the den, so the box was demoted to the bedroom, where it works just fine.
We use a flat, square, amplified HDTV indoor antenna. You may not find an amplified antenna necessary. There is a noticeable, though not huge difference.
I found a location for the antenna where all the good stations have decent signal strength. You must experiment. If it doesn’t work well enough for you, an attic or outdoor antenna may be needed.
Broadcast TV might well be, and probably should be totally adequate for your bedroom, but we have other content available.
The leftmost set-top box is a Roku, which lets us take advantage of our Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu subscriptions, as well as all our local content on the free Plex channel. On this old TV, we have Roku on channel 91, an equivalent of L1 or L2 line-ins on “newer” sets.
Since we still have a cable subscription (though only one converter box/DVR in the den), we can still get the old analog stations by hooking up to the cable outlet without a converter box. We see channels 2-63, pretty much the basic and extended cable of the 1990s, (now called “Essentials”; what were once luxuries are now necessities?) Together with broadcast TV, especially the new digital subchannels, we have a full complement of channels available in the bedroom.
On the right-hand side, to switch between broadcast TV and analog cable, we have a remote control A/B switch for 75 ohm coax cable. The cost was less than $10, amazingly. I use one in our theater room, too.
I described the funky little UFO box on the far right in a previous post about our workout room TV. Since we use it infrequently in the bedroom, the manual A/B switch is adequate for it.
It would be highly impractical to keep a bagful of remotes at the bedside to operate all this. I was able to shoehorn all these functions into the same Logitech Harmony 890 remote I use in the much more complex theater room.
I created the blue screen-labelled “soft” buttons to do important functions that could not be logically assigned to the other buttons: power on/off for the TV and converter box, remote A/B switching, special Roku buttons, and TV auto-shutoff timer setup. The buttons needed for changing channels, navigating the Roku and converter box, etc., are assigned to the “hard” buttons.
Sounds complicated (I did make a chart of the buttons for my wife), but it seems fairly natural to us both now.
(9/29: Bought a Logitech Harmony 650 for $34 on eBay to have a dedicated remote for this TV. Big improvement.)
She can again watch Mrs. Bucket or Basil Fawlty on our own Plex channel Sunday nights, which endeared the arrangement to her.
Another monthly charge eliminated.