As always, I am trying to re-purpose things. Here we have a tv setup using air tv (no cable required). There is a homemade antenna (there are a free zillion plans on the net you can find), an old allegedly obsolete monitor (you can get them for free or at a nominal price), and dtv converter that is almost free with a coupon. We have a newer mythtv cdvr (computerized digital video recorder) we are in the process of building from free discarded computer parts. Poor man’s mecca of a tv room, but we just have ours in a spare room.
We are also looking into ham or amateur tv to set up our own tv station. Just have to see what the laws are so we can follow them. Anyway, it was just a quick note.
Update: we took the original idea for the coat hanger hdtv antenna and merged it with the plans for the antenna at http://freehdtvsecrets.com/Foil%20Table%20Antenna.html and have even better results. One other advantage is that it is safer than the coat hanger antenna. Our antenna can easy be disguised behind a larger picture frame
Original Foil antenna:
Our antenna is held up with just a tack, takes less space and is safer than our original coat hanger antenna.
One last note: I did find other antennas made from beer cans, coiled wire and even a yagi antenna, but I really did not take any time with them. You can research those your self.
Second Update: Bought a couple extra antenna transformers and plan to test a yagi antenna and a fractal antenna. One other hint please use good coaxial cable to connect the antenna to the tuner. A bad coax cable can make a good antenna look bad. I went through three old cables to find a good one. I need to get a couple of spares. There are cable testers for this sort of thing, but I have never invested in one. Just having a good cable for substitution will do the job. We also tested the antenna that was basically a Pringles potato chip can wrapped in foil with the coax running through the can with the foil connected to the coax shield and the main core of the coax was left bare to stand above the can. We were able to get a few stations but nothing like the other antennas we tested. I may modify that design. I also tried the nail in a large can (a juice or coffee can be used) antenna. It did not work so well till it I modified it a bit. Seems to work as well as the other antennas as long as the antenna was near the exterior corner of the house. The only antennas left to try are the true yagi antenna, Fork lamp antenna, Telephone cable, Attic antenna, curtain rod antenna, and the fractal antenna. Keep watching. Good Luck.