Rather than try to comment on everyone's comments, repeating much the same thing several times so you'd all see it, I figured I might as well just write a new post.
There's not much I could pick up at my house with an antenna; because of where my house is and which way the hillside faces, I can probably get FOX in SD (from a translator that's on South Hill) and that's it. (J.C. is 19 miles from most of the Rochester broadcasters, too far to pick up most of them except with a pretty serious directional rooftop antenna, but that option would indeed work for him.)
The networks-only "lifeline" sort of cable deal sounds attractive, except that a large chunk of the shows I enjoy watching these days, like "Burn Notice" and "HawthoRNe" and "Leverage," are on TNT and USA Network and other such cable-only (well, these days, cable and satellite and fibre) networks. Ironically, if I wanted to switch to mostly online viewing, those "newer" networks are the ones doing worst at adapting. ABC and NBC and FOX all do pretty well at getting their shows on Hulu or their own web sites or iPad apps, but not TNT and USA.
Actually, I'm looking for the first time in a while, and I see USA and TNT have started making some of their shows available online. I might have to explore that further.
HBO and Showtime don't do quite as well, either; HBO has an iPad app that only works on a few cable providers' networks, and Time Warner isn't one of them. (Ironic; they used to be in bed together!)
Some of the shows, I could buy at $2-3/episode, either on Amazon or the iTunes Store, but until I can do all of that in pretty automated fashion, preferably in one place, it's more trouble than it feels worth. And, of course, I could steal all of it, or close to all of it, and that's actually fairly easy to automate, but that's not my preference. Live sporting events are one area not well covered by this approach, but I guess that's why God gave us sports bars.
There are a lot of blogs about getting untethered from traditional TV providers, and I read a lot of it, but I just don't think the industry is ready yet. At some point, I'll be able to either ditch the live TV provider and buy all the individual shows I want to see, or the TV providers will wise up and let me pick and choose the channels I want.