Time Warner-CBS blackout solution: free antennas

Consumer Reports

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In a twist that some might find ironic—many TV viewers originally switched to cable because they didn't get great over-the-air reception—Time Warner is offering free basic antennas to customers affected by the blackout of CBS shows.

Both in emails sent to some customers and in print ads in local newspapers, Time Warner said that customers in cities affected by the blackout—including Dallas/Ft.Worth, Los Angelels, and New York City, as well as Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the cable operator is blacking out channels from the Journal Broadcasting Group in a similar dispute—could pick up a free antenna from a Time Warner cable store. Quantities are said to be limited, so they'll apparently be available only until supplies run out.

Time Warner has also worked out a deal with select Best Buy stores so customers can get a $20 credit toward the puchase of an in-stock antenna.

If you're an affected customera and would like to get more information about the antenna giveaway, visit the Time Warner Cable Conversations website that was set up to provide details about the program, as well as the specific locations of the Time Warner Cable stores and particiapting Best Buy outlets.

For more information about antennas and over-the air reception, check out our recent post, "Indoor HDTV Antennas Get a Warm—But Hopefully Not Fuzzy—Reception."

—James K. Willcox

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