While I had been aware of this possibility for at least a couple of years, I finally took the plunge last week.
It is now possible to get very good reception using a rooftop antenna in our area, and to receive in excess of twenty channels. This listing gives an idea of what you might be able to get.
Relatively recent innovations with TV antennae allow for the reception of HDTV signals to a distance of 60-75 miles. These newer antennae are often omnidirectional which means they don't get pointed in a single direction; and they receive channels from a full 360 degrees around. The reception is quite good.
I had my antenna installed by this company-- Complete Automated Technology-- and they seemed to do a good job. Some folks doubtless can do the work themselves. The investment pays for itself over time.
After you switch to using an antenna in order to receive local/regional broadcast channels, it is possible to use a streaming service to get additional programming. These have become increasingly popular over the last five years-- Netflix, Hulu, Sling, etc. One of the objectionable aspects of cable is that the customer is forced to spend lots of money to subsidize awful content on a monthly basis. With more options in the marketplace, that becomes less of a factor.
But it is good to liberate oneself from the taxes, equipment leasing charges, and other fees associated with cable TV. The packages they offer have always been a bad value.
One additional benefit of making this change: we were able to reduce the number of remote controls needed from three to one; and we are able to channel surf again. The digital adapter box provided by the cable company, and its remote, were not very user friendly.
When I called the company to cancel my cable service, it was quite interesting. They quickly offered to put together a streaming option in which the customer chooses ten channels for a flat fee. Of course, the industry had been extremely resistant to offering this kind of a la carte option over the years. And they certainly don't seem to advertise it very much even now, because I was entirely unaware they would do this.
But the times are a-changing.
The take-home message? TV antennae are a lot better than they used to be; and are a viable alternative to help cut the cable cord.
Addendum 7/3: Robert Brinson has a great article that provides an overview of the issue... highly recommended for those considering a change.