TV Antenna: Portal to Free Movie Paradise

Overflowing cornucopia for cord cutters using antennae

All the free, well crafted, story telling, entertaining movies you might wish to see (again)

Step aside Netflix, IFC, TCM! River of film glittering with stars, Oscars

What do you think spies are: priests, saints, martyrs? They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors, too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.

Tired of too much good and bad TV, too many cable channels, and movies which cater to the pre-adolescent set with weak plots, overwhelming special effects and coke fueled direction? The sanest way to keep up with the basic offerings of TV aside from sports channels may be to cut the cord and revert to over the air TV, which has offered all the basic channels – 2,4,5,7,9,11, 13, 25, 64 – in crystal clear digital form ever since the digital switchover in 2008. Additionally, the channels are multiplexed, offering more than one broadcast program on the same channels, including program guides.

Movie Mississippi

One overlooked benefit of cutting the cord to basic cable TV apart from the savings of up to $30 a month, or $360 a year, or even six times that if subscribing to many cable offerings, is that the multiplexed space provides room for three or more first rate movie channels featuring all the golden oldies you never saw or wish to see again.

I Walk The Line (1970) features Gregory Peck succumbing to Tuesday Weld

On 5-2 is M! (WNYWDT2), which boasts classics such as Untamed (1955, a Boer War romance with a straight backed Tyrone Power and an overwrought Susan Hayward), The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1966, with a dour Richard Burton spying in East Germany), A Blueprint for Murder (1963, Joseph Cotten finds out if Jean Peters really poisoned relatives), The Last Hurrah (1968, an aging Spencer Tracy hangs on to rule as a mayor in New England town), I Walk The Line (1970, married sheriff Gregory Peck tempted by teenage daughter of moonshiner Tuesday Weld), Evel Knievel (1971, George Hamilton with Sue Lyon), Hatari (1962, John Wayne and Red Buttons with Elsa Martinelli capture and pet wild animals in Kenya), North to Alaska (1960, John Wayne brings back French girl to Stewart Granger and Ernie Kovacs in Alaska, fellow gold rush prospectors), Moscow on the Hudson (1984, Robin Williams as Russian musician seeks asylum in New York)… to select just from the 24 hours current while this post is written.

Gary Busey makes a better Buddy Holly than Buddy himself

On 11-3 THIS-TV (WPIXDT3) has Sleeper (1973, Woody Allen wakes up after 200 years in deep freeze), The Last Waltz (1978 Band’s last concert),The Buddy Holly Story (1978, with a young Gary Busey!), La Bamba (1987, Ritchie Valens played by Lou Diamond Philips), The Englishman Who Went Up The Hill and Came Down A Mountain (1995, Hugh Grant maps a small Welsh village in 1917 and falls for local beauty Tara Fitzgerald), Jack and Sarah (1995, high strung yuppie Richard Grant meets bubbly nanny Samantha Mathis after wife dies, mother Judy Dench clashes), Ulee’s Gold (1997, Florida beekeeper Peter Fonda searches for wife of jailed son against thugs looking for stolen loot). All these and more within a day, as we write this.

Good Neighbor Sam (1964, Jack Lemmon) features Jack in a difficult situation, especially when they put up billboards around town featuring him with the wrong wife!

On 68-3 GET-TV (WFUTDT3) today there is playing The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946, Barbara Stanwyck with Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas fears exposure as the poisoner of her relatives), Duffy (1968, James Coburn, James Mason, James Fox involved in hijacking banker father’s yacht), Murderer’s Row (1966, Dean Martin plays Matt Helm, secret agent), The Inspector General (1949, Danny Kaye’s sublime comedy masterpiece), Good Neighbor Sam (1964, Jack Lemmon as San Francisco adman who poses as friend’s husband so wife can inherit $15 million), Meet John Doe (1941, Barbara Stanwyck reporter hires bum Gary Cooper to act as spokesman for masses), The Way We Were (1973, Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford as leftist and writer whose college romance extends through life), The Owl and the Pussycat (1970, George Segal struggling writer shares an apartment with some of the time call girl Barbara Streisand). All these within the same day.

Finally, an over the air antenna is a portal to the golden oldies in television series such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Rawhide, Star Trek, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and perhaps the most intelligent and entertaining of all, Colombo, all of which are being rerun on 3-10 in NYC, MeTV.

Antennae sensitivity

Antennae in Manhattan are extremely sensitive to location within less than a foot and to positioning within a few degrees of turn or angle, varying according to the channel being sought. However, a position and angle should be found which will serve most stations well, with a few exceptions that will have to be tuned by changing position or angle. From one location three floors up in a brownstone half a block from Central Park in the East nineties, we have found that best results so far have come from a small power boosted flat antenna (Antennacraft HDTC Indoor Ultrathin from Radioshack $30-50) with almost as good results from a small power boosted three panel folding antenna with center rod (GE Model 24775 Power Boosted Quantum Antenna) with the Channels at 3-10, 11, and 66 the most recalcitrant. But your mileage will vary and will change within very small adjustments.

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