If you’re looking to save money by “cutting the cable”, you’re probably looking for an alternate source of TV programming. Of course there are various boxes and services that you can subscribe to, but there’s a lot of network programming that is available to you for free. All you need to receive high-definition TV programming from local channels is an antenna, and we’ve reviewed several here at The Gadgeteer. Many of the indoor antennas are about the size – and have the appearance – of a plastic placemat for the dining table, with a thick coax cable hanging off them. For best reception, you need to hang them in a window or on your wall near the ceiling. They work, but they don’t usually add to your decor. Mohu has a new antenna, the Curve, which looks almost like a simple sculpture. You can set it on a table, and it looks like it was meant to be there. There are two models of the Curve available: the Curve 30, with a 30-mile reception range, and the Curve 50, with 50-mile reception. I received the Curve 30 for review.
My family and I recently moved from our house to a condo. We’re on the 12th floor of the building, so the Curve 30 will have a very high vantage point, no matter where I place it in my unit. The TV in the master bedroom never had a cable connection at the old house, so I always tried out antennas on that TV. I decided I’d use that same TV again for this test. The bedroom is somewhere between 100-120 feet above the ground, and all the windows are north-facing. I placed the antenna in the window closest to the location of the TV.
The Curve is designed to stand horizontally, so I don’t quite understand the placement of the Mohu logo. I positioned the Curve vertically in this picture so you could see the logo. Other than this small logo, the Curve’s front is plain, white plastic. With the stand attached and with the Curve in the horizontal orientation for use, the Mohu logo is at the bottom right. The antenna measures about 11.5″ long X 8.25″ tall X 2″ deep with the stand attached.
And here it is sitting in my window. The windows in the condo are literally floor-to-ceiling. The antenna is sitting about 4″ above the floor in my bedroom, but I still think reception should be fine because my floor is about 100 feet or so up in the air.
According to Mohu’s website, these are the TV stations I should receive at my location. After I had my TV search for stations, it found all of these except for 8-1 and 8-2. That’s no loss to me, because I haven’t watched Fox since David Duchovny left The X-Files. In addition to the stations Mohu said I should receive, I also receive two different sets of Public TV programming, three extra stations at channel 16 (I see home shopping channels are now broadcasting over-the-air), and a few other channels, including a low-power local channel from another county north of my location.
And these are the stations that TV Fool‘s website said I might receive. Channels shown in the green columns should received by a set-top antenna, yellow columns are probably will require an attic-mounted antenna, and the red will probably require a roof-mounted antenna for reception. I received all the channels shown in TV Fool’s green band, plus the low-power station that doesn’t show up anywhere on the list. Surprisingly, I also receive the local NBC station, which I have been able to receive with some indoor HDTV antennas, but never reliably. That station is placed to the south-southeast of my location, and I was surprised I could receive the channel at all, and I’m very pleased at how good the reception is. Some of the more distant stations have some pixelation, but I’m not going to watch that weird little local channel from the nearby county anyway.
Click to enlarge the above image, and you’ll see that my Vizio’s tuner found 29 digital channels. Almost every one of them come in as clear and clean as the station you can see behind the TV’s setup menu.
I guess my location above the treetops has advantages that lower buildings and houses may not have, but I still think the Mohu Curve 30 performs admirably, and it doesn’t even require an amplifier to work this well. I’d like to see what the Mohu Curve 50 could pull in at my new home.