My wife and I cut the cable last year with few regrets. We were paying for channels we never watched, and spending more time with Netflix and Amazon Prime. We kept the most basic tier of cable service, though, for weather emergencies and events like The Oscars, and resigned ourselves to dealing with the standard definition broadcasts that came with paying as little money as possible month-to-month. But now with the FlatWave Indoor HDTV Antenna, we might just cut the cable completely.
The FlatWave antenna is a sheet of plastic a bit larger than a sheet of writing paper, that you can mount on a wall or window using two adhesive strips (included). The antenna attaches to your TV via a coax cable. Once you put up the FlatWave and hook it up, you tell your TV to scan for over the air signals. And that’s it. You can reposition the FlatWave to try to get a stronger signal, but it claims to pick up stations from up to 35 miles away. And in my apartment in a densely populated urban area, I was surprised at the number of stations I picked up.
The big plus is that many of the stations, including the local network affiliates and PBS, are broadcasting in multiple HD and SD formats. Another plus is that the FlatWave is unobtrusive; it doesn’t sit on top of the TV like an old pair of rabbit ears; I put it at the top of a window where the blinds generally cover it. The other great part is that it’s designed for indoor use, so people like me don’t have to attach it to the outside of a structure.
The signal strength has generally been good. Some stations will occasionally glitch, freezing and artifacting for a second or two. But generally it’s been a pleasant experience, watching nature programs and old TV shows—although you do get the classic TV problems such as commercials and having to watch a show when they decide to air it.
But if you’re an apartment dweller who wants or needs over the air broadcasts to cut the cable completely, the FlatWave HDTV antenna is a simple, effective tool that requires little set up.