Enjoy Free Over-The-Air TV Shows in HD with Mohu Leaf [Giveaway]

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Gadgets, Geek Stuff

The Mohu Leaf is a paper-thin TV antenna you can hang on your wall to get HD-quality television, for free. Cable is quaint. Web-savvy consumers ditched that overpaid service a long time ago: it’s simply cheaper to stream shows online or purchase them later, especially if you only watch a few.

But ditching cable doesn’t mean you need to ditch live TV altogether: all the major networks and an occasionally surprising amount of other channels are available to you free of charge over-the-air, if you have an antenna. This means you can watch many of the most popular shows, along with many major sporting events, in high definition for free.

We’re giving away one Mohu Leaf Plus and two regular Mohu Leaf antennas valued at $150. Read on to find out more about the Mohu Leaf antennas and how to win them!

The Mohu Leaf isn’t magic: it’s just a TV antenna which you plug into your television, similar in many ways to the ugly rabbit ears you might remember from older televisions. It’s certainly less of an eyesore than those rabbit ears, however, and generally doesn’t need to be adjusted once it’s set up. Hundreds of reviewers on Amazon love this antenna; you might too.

Using The Leaf

There are two models of the Mohu Leaf (which retails for $37.99): the Leaf and the Mohu Leaf Plus (RRP $74.99), the latter of which uses USB for extra power. Both models look the same; the only difference is performance.

 

This antenna looks like little more than a piece of laminated paper, with a wire coming out of it. Here it is next to my favorite coffee mug, for context:

As you can see, it’s not huge. It’s two sided – one side is white, one side is black. Which way it faces makes no difference whatsoever in terms of reception: the colors are there to make it easier to match the antenna with your decor.

If you grew up without cable (I did) you probably remember adjusting an antenna, struggling to get a decent picture. The picture rarely looked perfect: there was inevitably a certain amount of “snow”.

Put those thoughts out of your mind. Terrestrial broadcasts today are digital, high-definition and crystal clear. This is great, but also means there is less wiggle room than before. With digital television there is no fuzzy picture: it’s all or nothing. This means you need a good antenna to consistently see your shows.

Putting The Mohu Leaf To The Test

Mohu suggests that customers who live within a 30 mile radius of their neighbourhood broadcasting tower to go for the Leaf antenna, whereas those who live 10 miles further should ideally use the Leaf Plus instead. I just happen to live in one of the hardest towns in America to get television reception – Boulder, Colorado. I have a cheap antenna from Radio Shack, and I can get most channels but it’s inconsistent: some stations work well, others are a hassle. This can get annoying: I had to stand in certain places to maintain reception throughout the Stanley Cup Finals this year.

In this environment, the regular Mohu Leaf simply won’t work well, so I decided to put the Mohu Leaf Plus to the test. The Mohu Leaf Plus, unlike the Mohu Leaf, requires a USB port to be powered.

You can plug this into your TV, if your TV has a USB port, or the USB port on your game console or media computer. If there are no USB ports near your TV, don’t worry: an adapter you can plug into the wall comes with the Leaf Plus.

Back to the test. How many channels did I manage to get? Here’s a chart comparing the Mohu Leaf Plus to my old antenna, channel-for-channel:

The list includes every channel I could hypothetically get in this area, though I doubt any antenna could pick most of them up. As you can see, I managed to receive channels I didn’t before. Sure, most of those channels are in Spanish, but still: new channels!

Even better, and this doesn’t come across in the spreadsheet, I can get the channels I like without the need to constantly tweak the antenna. Every channel worked once I set the Leaf Plus up, although for PBS I do need to move it occasionally.

I’m seriously impressed with this antenna. Sure, I need to use the Plus and its USB power source, but that’s only because I live in one of the worst reception areas in America. If you live away from the mountains the Mohu Leaf will probably work for you.

Interested in which channels it’s possible to get where you live? This reception map can help if you live in the USA.

What do you think? Eager to try out the Mohu Lead? We have one Leaf Plus and two Leaf antennas up for grabs in our giveaway. Join below and be in the running to win!

How do I win a Mohu Leaf antenna?

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner.

The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from our Facebook page, Twitter stream and Google+ page.

 

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post!

Like it

Tweet it

+1 on Google

 

 

(Note: no points will be awarded.)

Alternative entry method: Use your points!

Exchange your MakeUseOf points for an entry into the competition. First, create a MakeUseOf account, earn points and exchange your points for an entry! Learn more about our Game system and Rewards program.

To exchange your points for quick entry, you must be logged in

By participating in this giveaway, you agree to the giveaway rules.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, September 7th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

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