Hey baby boomers! Here’s some great TV for you… only available with an antenna!

If you think TV was better in 1975 than it is in 2015… here’s some great news. A lot of the shows you used to love are still on the air. Back in the 70s and 80s these shows would have been on reruns on UHF channels, and back in the 90s you might have found them on Nick at Nite or TV Land. YOu might think that they’re gone forever but you’re just not looking in the right place.

It turns out that your local networks are probably broadcasting them right now. The new digital television system that brings you HD picture and great sound also allows your local broadcaster to create “subchannels” which can be another whole program source carried on the same frequency. It’s been hard for broadcasters to know what to do with these subchannels, because cable and satellite companies usually don’t carry them. It seems they’ve found the perfect solution: boomer-friendly TV.

Networks like MeTV, AntennaTV, CoziTV, ThisTV, and the new Buzzr! channel carry a 24/7 load of “comfort TV” shows from Jack Benny to The Drew Carey Show spanning the entire second half of the 20th century. Depending on your local station’s schedule you could find Barnaby Jones, Star Trek, or Password ready for you to enjoy. Of course it’s all standard definition, but that’s how those shows were shot. It’s not like you’re missing anything.

The cost for this programming is very low and since all the shows are available over antennas, 100% of the ad revenue goes to the broadcaster. On traditional broadcast channels, cable and satellite providers routinely air their own commercials, covering up the ones put in by the broadcaster. This means that even though the audiences are smaller, the profits can be bigger.

Personally I’ve become a big fan of Buzzr!, which launched this summer. It’s round-the-clock game shows from the classic days, and it’s a lot of fun to get into the grind of To Tell The Truth and Match Game. As much as we laugh at the wardrobes and the odd euphemisms (since there were a lot of words you couldn’t say on TV back then) it’s comforting to go back to a time when TV, and the world, made sense in a way it probably never will again.

There’s only one way to get these channels… use an antenna. They’re not in every market but with a TV antenna you’ll also get the clearest possible picture and sound on the regular networks and it’s a perfect way to make sure you’re covered in the event of a cable outage. If you use DIRECTV or DISH these subchannels can integrate right into your guide and you can even record them!

I know you want to shop for TV antennas at Solid Signal, but in case you need motivation to act quickly…


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.