Like most consumers, I want to get the most for my hard earned dollar. This applies to everything from breakfast cereal to home appliances and family entertainment options. In the past, this meant going to the movies, concerts and dinner out at a nice restaurant. Now home entertainment is something that must be figured into everyone’s personal and household budget.

Cable services in my area are available, so I know that watching the best of what broadcast television has to offer can be as close as my TV remote. However, getting the best buy for what it costs is all important to me. This is why I made a point of taking my time to select my broadcast provider when my family moved into our new home.

To begin with, I had a choice of simply buying a digital antenna that would provide me with free broadcasting television channels in my neighborhood. Because we live fairly close to a major city, we would receive the signal easily enough and there are plenty of local channels. In this regard, once I paid for the digital antenna there would be no further payments to make.

However there are several TV stations that I enjoy on a daily basis, particularly news stations like CNN, MSNBC and BBC news. Unfortunately, none of these are available for those people who watch via a digital antenna. This option would also restrict me from watching movie channels like Turner Classic Movies and sports channels like ESPN.

I noticed that many of my neighbors had satellite dishes on the balcony of their apartment or the roof of their houses. They let me know that they use a satellite provider to receive their TV programming. And yet, this isn’t a perfect option either. The local satellite companies do not always provide our traditional favorite channels. We would also have to make the purchase of a satellite dish, not to mention to arrange for professional installation.

With this in mind, cable services in my area seemed like a best bet. I contacted several local companies, since each of them have a number of different plans to choose from. The more you are willing to pay on a monthly basis, the more channels you have to choose from. There are also PPV or “Pay per View” concerts and special sports events to pick from, as long as you are willing to pay.

By speaking with knowledgeable representatives and consulting their company websites, I learned that I could save considerable money on cable services in my area by bundling their services. This is defined as not only purchasing broadcast programming, but high speed online service, HD channels, digital music and residential telephone services. Since I need to have a land-line telephone in my home for emergencies, this was not a bad idea in the least.

It is no wonder that we’re going with cable television instead of either a low cost digital antenna or the installation of a satellite dish on the roof of my home. I will be able to watch my favorite news stations on a daily basis and a number of entertainment channels that I’ve come to rely on over the years. The entire family will have everything from cartoon based networks to educational channels whenever we need them.

As a consumer, doing my homework and negotiating directly with the cable representative got me every discount I had hoped for. We now have high speed Internet coverage, a traditional kitchen land-line phone and every television screen in the house has high definition views. Now let the television watching begin!

– Experienced TV Shopper