You may already know that you can save a lot of money by canceling your paid television services and receiving free HDTV via an antenna. But what you may not know is that instead of mounting an outdoor antenna, you can purchase a small indoor antenna and receive the same or even better quality than a rooftop model delivers.
Mohu offers two different indoor antennas that can receive HDTV without hardly taking up any space at all. Two Mohu products, the Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna and the Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna, work quite well – but are they necessary?
How It Works
It is a little-known fact that local stations broadcast perfectly free, legal, high-definition television to anyone savvy enough to attach an antenna to their television. In Denver, I receive about 40 channels ranging from the major networks, to public television, to small local stations. In addition, there are many Spanish language stations available.
Using an antenna to receive digital television is much like the old days of rabbit ears, but better. Simply plug in the antenna, and your television does a broadcast channel scan. It searches for several minutes and returns a list of all the channels in your area. In addition, most televisions display a channel guide with program information, just like satellite or cable services.
The Mohu Leaf
There are many different types of HDTV antennas on the market, including indoor and outdoor models. Mohu produces two of the smallest, most unobtrusive indoor models available today. The standard Leaf and the amplified Leaf Plus are both about the size of a piece of paper. The amplified version plugs into a wall outlet or a USB port and is promised to get a better signal in areas where the standard Leaf may be insufficient.
- Size. Both leaf antennas look like a laminated sheet of paper with rounded edges.
- Price. The standard Leaf has a list price of $44.95, but the Mohu website sells it for $39.99. The amplified Leaf Plus lists and sells for $73.49.
- Picks Up HDTV for Free. Once you have this antenna, there are no other monthly charges to receive high-definition television.
- Free Shipping. Orders placed directly from the Mohu website are eligible for free shipping.
- Warranty. Mohu products come with a 30-day, money-back guarantee, and are warrantied for one year against defects.
- Good Reception. Getting solid reception is the one thing that an antenna is supposed to do, and this antenna does the trick. I tried both the standard and the amplified versions of these antennas at my home and at my office, which is even further from the broadcast towers in my town. Both picked up the full range of broadcast channels that I had been receiving with my rooftop antenna.
- Easy to Mount. The products include small, penny-sized Velcro stickers that easily hold these ultra-lightweight antennas to the wall. This is a lot easier than mounting an outdoor antenna to the roof.
- Small and Unobtrusive. Since the Leaf is so thin, it can be mounted on the wall behind your flat screen television and nobody will ever know it’s there. It is white on one side, and black on the other in order to be hidden visually.
- Inexpensive. The costs of the two models are competitive with other amplified and non-amplified products.
- USB Power for the Leaf Plus. The high-end Leaf Plus has a power amplifier that can plug into a wall socket or the USB port in the back of the TV. Using USB is much more streamlined and efficient than adding another plug to an overloaded power strip.
- Limited Performance of the Leaf Plus. Although every installation and location will vary, I found that I actually receive more channels without plugging in the amplifier on the Leaf Plus.
- Location Matters. You need the antenna to face the broadcast towers, and it is better to have it near the exterior of your home. Of course, the further you are from the broadcast signal and the more obstructions there are, the less likely you are to receive all of the local stations.
- Any Antenna Can Pick Up HDTV. Mohu, like nearly all other antenna manufacturers, claims this is an HDTV antenna. While it is true that it will receive HDTV broadcasts, it is also true that any television antenna can. The frequencies used in over-the-air digital television are the same ones that were used in the old days of analog. The picture is great, but if your old antenna works, this product is unnecessary.
There is a lot of satisfaction in being able to call your cable or satellite company and cancel your service. The Mohu Leaf allows you to receive local broadcast channels and to do that without installing any bulky equipment on your roof or in your living room. By using an antenna such as this, you can save hundreds of dollars a year worth of pay television costs while enjoying a perfect HDTV picture with surround sound.
Have you tried the Mohu Leaf antenna? How did it work out for you?