Free HDTV Perks Up Old-Fashioned Rabbit Ears

CLEVELAND (AP) - Some consumers are spending thousands of dollars on L-C-D or plasma TVs and hooking them up to 50-dollar antennas. Those antennas aren't much different from the old rabbit-ears antenna that grandpa had on top of his black-and-white picture tube.

Many tech geeks say that the local channels available from over-the-air high-definition signals are superior to what cable and satellite companies can offer because some compress the signal. And that compression may degrade picture quality because it means that some of the data is removed from the digital signal.

The best part for the consumer is that the over-the-air H-D is free. Antenna prices range from 20 dollars to 150 dollars for indoor and outdoor versions.