Reviewing a Review

#1
What's wrong with this picture?

There's quite a bit of praise on the internet for the scientific comparison done by HDTVExpert.com of several "flat" indoor antennas. After a series of three articles
here: Useful Gadgets: Super-Flat Indoor TV Antennas – Do They Really Work?
here: Useful Gadgets: Wall-Mounted Indoor DTV Antennas
and here: Useful Gadgets: Wall-Mounted DTV Antennas Revisited

the ultimate conclusion was:

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get decent DTV reception. In fact, you should be in good shape for no more than $40, based on my tests. If signal levels are really low, the amplified models will make a difference. Based on my tests, I’d suggest sticking with the Leaf Plus, as it is $25 cheaper than the Micron XG – and a lot easier to mount to a variety of surfaces, given how light and flexible it is.
I was a little surprised that the Leaf beat out the Micron XG, with its removable amp and reflector, which Antennas Direct proclaims "represents the most powerful indoor antenna one can buy," but I accepted the results, while noting that the amplifier used in the final round came from the Micron XG. The amp that came with the Leaf was "cooked."

I started thinking about this yesterday and realized something was handicapping the Micron XG in those tests. In fact, based on this simple observation, I'm ready to give the Micron XG a moral victory! :first: Care to take a guess?

Rick
 
Last edited:
#2
Nobody brave enough to guess? Chickens! :behindsofa:

Here's a hint. From article number 1:
The methodology was to tape each antenna into the same position, connect 20’ of coax through a two-way splitter, and scan for channels ... Speaking in plain English, this test was conducted as fairly as possible, favoring no antenna. I made no effort to try and ‘peak’ antennas for more reliable reception – I just taped them up and scanned away...
 
#3
The Micron XG has a reflector!

I can't BELIEVE you people didn't get this. :eyes: A reflector is going to make the Micron much more directional. You can't just tape it up and scan, with "no effort to try and ‘peak’" (translation: aim) as Putman says.

In fact, under the picture of the Micron, he says he didn't think it would work "but it did." Well, yeah! It's a flippin MIRACLE the Micron did as well as it did under those conditions. None of the other antennas reviewed sported reflectors of any kind. A reflector is generally considered a good thing, but it goes without saying you have to aim the thing!!

Now, there's a possibility Putman took off the reflector for the test. I can't see the reflector in the picture, but it's hard to be sure. But in that case, he was not comparing the Micron XG with the other antennas. He was comparing the Micron XG without reflector which should have been stated prominently in the article.

Also, the amp that comes with the Micron XG must be very good, since the other antennas he hooked it up to all showed improved performance. With only 20 feet of coax, that would only prove true with a high quality amplifier. In fact, the Micron XG amp apparantly worked better with the Mohu Leaf than the amp that comes with the Leaf Plus, since at least one extra station came in with the Leaf + XG amp, compared to the regular Leaf Plus.

Finally, in the conclusion Putman makes a lot of the "fact" the Leaf Plus is $25 cheaper than the Micron XG. I'm not sure this was even true when the article was published. The Micron XG is currently set at $79.99 by Antennas Direct, the Leaf Plus at $74.99 by Mohu. But few people buy direct from the manufacturer any more. If you shop around, you can easily find the XG for under $55. Not so for the Leaf Plus -- they are still enjoying the benefit of a big publicity blitz. Best I can find there is $73.

Rick
p.s. I'm not recommending either antenna, and I have no connection, financial or otherwise, to either manufacturer.
 
Last edited:

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#4
Good reads and I like HDTVExperts articles. I think the average Joe (such as myself) does the trial and error thing anyway. My guess is that most people don't bother putting much effort into learning about how, what, and why antennas work until they can't actually receive TV signals with what they have.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
Good reads and I like HDTVExperts articles. I think the average Joe (such as myself) does the trial and error thing anyway. My guess is that most people don't bother putting much effort into learning about how, what, and why antennas work until they can't actually receive TV signals with what they have.
Arron,

I agree and that's human nature or carried a bit farther, if it works don't screw with it!

On the other hand, readers here can quickly discover some potential issues indoor antennas have to deal or compete with, such as signal reflections off of bathtubs, stoves, refrigerators or blocked signals do to foil-backed insulation in their walls.

As I've said here before, receiving OTA can be a bit of a black art and sometimes what 'oughta work' doesn't at all yet what should not work at all, works great!

Jim
 
#6
there's a possibility Putman took off the reflector for the test. I can't see the reflector in the picture, but it's hard to be sure. But in that case, he was not comparing the Micron XG with the other antennas. He was comparing the Micron XG without reflector which should have been stated prominently in the article.
Turns out he did leave off the reflector. He says "I forgot."

So he did a third round of comparisons. This time he put on the reflector:
Useful Gadgets: Indoor DTV Antennas – The Third Time

But he still didn't aim the thing! It's still a friggin miracle the Micron XG did as well as it did. On average, a reflector is going to be a MINUS for antenna performance, if you don't aim it. He taped it to the window, same as all the other flat indoor antennas without reflectors.

Here's a hint: You only have to aim it once, for a lifetime of excellent reception.

Unreal.

R.
 

Similar threads

Top