Announcement: Review: Winegard FlatWAVE Indoor TV Antenna

By Richard V. Burckhardt

I’ve been seriously considering cutting the cord on cable TV and going with over-the-air and streaming sources like Netflix and Hulu through Roku, Boxee etc. I tend to watch very few shows on cable, which seems to be in love with reality shows these days (which I HATE). Mostly I have been viewing a handful of network shows and LOTS of streaming movies and TV shows. I have cut down to the extended basic package already and dumped everything in the premium tier.

More than anything, I am sick of paying for a ton of channels I never watch, but that are shoved down my throat in a “package” by the cable company. I have complained about this for years, yet here we are. I’ve had enough.

My problem is that I live in a condo where an outdoor digital TV antenna just isn’t possible, so I have been hunting for something indoor, fully realizing that no indoor antenna will work as well. But, it’s all I have to work with.

I have tried several. Indoor antennas are a lesson in frustration. Combined with digital signals, which give you little wiggle room (they are strong enough to work or not), you generally have to position, reposition, stand on your head, etc. to get the channels you want. Adjust the antenna to get one channel, you lose another.

Nothing has worked very well for me. I decided to give the Winegard FlatWAVE at try. It’s a flat, roughly 12″ x 12″ flexible, nearly paper thin panel with a nice long coaxial cable and comes with some Velcro to attach it to a wall or wherever.

Looks nice and the manual provides suggestions for getting the best signal. First, it suggests mounting on a window. Out of luck there as there is only a sliding glass door in the room . . . on the OTHER side of the room from the TV. So, it was basically hit or miss. I tried numerous positions around the room. In every case, some channels came in brilliantly but I lost others. Naturally, the place with the best reception was the most visible place, exactly where I DIDN’T want an antenna stuck to the wall.

Keep in mind that I don’t live in a huge city. The Palm Springs area has a population of about 500,000 so I don’t have a zillion TV channels available. The best location locked onto 29 channels, some just barely. By the time I filtered out the foreign language, shopping, religious and simply non-stable channels, I was down to about ten. I can get my local network TV stations along with some world news channels. One channel that I was hoping to get, KRET, which has some great classic shows, was hopeless.

So, your reception will vary, depending on where you live and how you can locate the antenna.

As indoor antennas go, I’d rate the Winegard FlatWAVE about 3 1/2 out of 5, but understand that indoor antennas are a last resort and generally don’t work that well.  Don’t expect them to.

Do I feel like I can cut the cord with this antenna? No, primarily due to placement. The best reception was on a wall right in the middle of the room where it stuck out like a sore thumb. I had hoped to be able to mount it behind or beside the TV. Didn’t work in my case.  Might for you.

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