The Leaf Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna is not your father’s antenna. Or your grandfather’s. Or really, any relative of yours who bought their first TV in the days before HD or the Internet.
The Leaf antenna, from parent company Mohu, has a simple pitch directed at cord cutters: While you’re spending a little bit each month on some combination of Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV, are you might be missing broadcast channels. So, for the one-time purchase of $29.99, you can plug in an HD antenna to your TV and get all those channels, over the air and in HD, at no further cost.
You might be thinking “over the air channels” consists of your local TV network affiliates, plus public television, plus one or two of what used to be called UHF channels. You get those, plus a lot more: The Leaf materials promise 50-plus channels, and when I plugged mine in, I had over 60.
You’ve got your network affiliates, plus “alternate” signal versions of each one, plus multiple PBS stations, plus Spanish channels, plus a handful of obscure over-the-air movie channels (flipping through, I even saw one showing the classic movie “On the Waterfront.”) Leaf promises a 50-mile range, meaning you can pull stuff in from outside your home market. (I’m in Philadelphia, but got stations from at least Wilmington and Scranton.)
No, they’re not all perfect or even necessarily in 1080p, but it’s quite a selection considering you don’t have to pay a cable company for it.
The antenna, once again, doesn’t look anything like your conception of what an “antenna” is. It’s a thin, light, floppy black board, one you can even stick to a wall or ceiling. It comes with a couple of cables- one of which can plug into a coaxial port. For power there are two options- for a power outlet, or your TV’s USB port.
So all you have to do is plug in the Leaf to your TV, scan for channels, and you’re good to go.
The Leaf antenna looks cool- it’s thin, sleek, and completely devoid of rabbit ears- and it works even better. Setup was easy, and I had it working within minutes (the only obstacle was being able to reach the coaxial port behind my TV.)
One thing I realized while testing this- most of the time i watch TV either through my cable box, my Roku or even my iPad. With the antenna, at least according to my devices menu, I was watching TV through my TV.
And for better or for worse, it’s very much watching TV the old-fashioned way. No DVRs. No guide menus. You navigate channels by flipping. With this product, the cord-cutting dream just got a lot easier.