Last week Winegard launched the FlatWave Amped Antenna —a new version of its FlatWave antenna with a built-in preamplifier. Flat antennas with amplifiers aren't new—the popular Mohu Leaf introduced an amplified version, the Mohu Leaf Plus, some time ago. What’s interesting about the new FlatWave is that Winegard claims the preamplifier has a noise figure of only 1.0 dB, improving its sensitivity. The larger size of the FlatWave should give it an advantage at VHF and the preamp should further improve VHF performance.
“This newest member of our patented FlatWave HDTV antenna family is the best one yet,” said Grant Whipple, Winegard’s national sales manager. “We have set a new standard for amplifier performance and the Amped is the first antenna to utilize this technology. The Amped is one of very few indoor dual-band antennas on the market, which means consumers don't have to miss out on a major network that other UHF-only indoor antennas may experience.”
The FlatWave Amped antenna is a flat 12 x 13-inch sheet that comes with an 18.5-foot “mini” coaxial cable and an embedded digital amplifier. It’s powered through a 3-foot USB cable, making it suitable for use with laptops, and it can also be powered from an included AC adapter. The antenna retails for $89.99 and is available online direct from Winegard at www.GetFreeTV.com. A special edition transparent version will be available exclusively at Costco. Other FlatWave antennas, including the new FlatWave Mini compact UHF-only antenna, will soon be available on Amazon.
I've used the Mohu Leaf Plus for reception in hotel rooms--under less than ideal circumstances--for both UHF and VHF stations with excellent results overall. However, it looks as if I'll have to give the FlatWave Amped a try to see if it can do a bit better on VHF and with some of the weaker UHF stations.
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