Winegard recently sent me one of their FlatWave Amped HD TV antennas to review.  Read on for details!


Winegard recently sent me one of their FlatWave Amped HD TV antennas to review.  The FlatWave Amped is an in-house HD TV antenna with a powered amplifier and advertises a range of 50 miles to the transmitter.  Watch this video as a good primer on the product:

Signal Estimation

I live in a very tough area for over the air TV reception.  You can see how your TV reception should be at TVFool.Com, and this guidance is useful in determining what kind of antenna to buy.  TVFool.Com takes your address, converts it to lat-lon coordinates, identifies the transmitters near your home and analyses for topographical issues to render an estimate of what you should be able to receive and what antenna that you should use.  Click here to get your assessment.

Here is what TVFool said about my address:


This shows three stations that should be reachable with an internal antenna (the three shaded in green), six that would be reachable with an attic mounted antenna (the yellow ones), four as being reachable with a roof-mounted antenna (the red shaded ones) and the rest as being impractical to expect reception.  TVFool suggests that the power rating, called Signal NM (db) on their site, should be greater than zero to have any chance at reception and at least 20 for optimal results.

As this analysis suggests, I’ve had issues getting OTA signals in my location to use with Media Center.  I was very curious as to how well the Winegard antenna would work…I currently only get NBC and CBS stations with the Media Center tuner.

Antenna Setup

The FlatWave Amped is easy to set up.  I hooked it up to a Sony 32” set in a bedroom upstairs that supports digital OTA and has a USB port to power the amplifier.  After taking the items out of the box, I noted the antenna with attached coaxial cable, two pieces of adhesive to hang it on a wall, and a USB cable and wall wart for the amplifier.  Simply hang the antenna, screw in the coaxial cable into the right port on the TV, plug the mini-usb connector on the amplifier cable into the port on the antenna, and connect the USB connector on the supplied cable to the USB port on the TV.

Next, turn on your TV and set the input to Antenna.  My Sony called that TV.  Once you are seeing the signal from the antenna, go into the setup menu and scan for channels.  The TV will then use the signal from the antenna to scan for available OTA channels and will set up the TV to tune them.  Channel scanning can take up to an hour to complete; mine finished in 15 minutes.  Setup took 25 minutes from when I opened the box to watching TV OTA.