Broadcast TV over coax for free?
October 8, 2012 6:04 AM Subscribe
Is broadcast TV supposed to come in over coax when you're not paying for it? (or is it not actually coming over coax in the first place?)
I'm a comcast/xfinity "internet-only" customer.
We used to pay for TV, but canceled it over a year ago, returned the box, etc. If it's relevant to the question, we have never had phone service through comcast.
I noticed, though, that if I plug coaxial cable from the wall into my (digital-tuner) TV, I am still able to get some channels. Basically anything you could get "over the air", plus a few other channels like Local Access.
Is this normal? Is it a "known secret" or a known non-secret? I can't seem to find a straight answer by googling.
Most answers seem to say "you need an antenna" or "you need to be paying for cable TV service" to get these channels without a cable box.
Now that I'm writing the whole thing out, I also wonder if the answer is more mundane:
Could it be that I'm getting these channels because the wire-to-the-wall is acting like a strong antenna, and they are actually coming over the air after all? The low-numbered channels (what you'd call "VHF" in the olden days) do seem to have stronger signals than the high-numbered ("UHF") channels.
If this is what's happening, is this an electrically bad idea? Should I immediately cease doing this and hook up a powered antenna instead?