Review: The best under-$10 TV antenna

Remember when I wrote that the Cable Cutter is the best antenna I’ve ever seen? Well, it still is. But while I was testing it, I also discovered that the simple indoor antenna I was using as a baseline was also really good. In fact, I’ve come to believe that the HomeWorX HW110AN Super Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna is the best antenna I’ve ever seen for less than $10.

First, a housekeeping note. You may have noticed that some of the links in this post are affiliate links to Amazon.com, as are several other links throughout FTABlog. Thanks to the Colorado legislature, I don’t get paid for those links any more. Because of an ill-advised sales tax collection law passed in my state, Amazon cut off all of its Colorado-based affiliates. Maybe when something sensible happens, like Congress passing a national online sales tax bill that treats every company fairly, then those links will start earning a trickle of money. Until then, they’re a handy way to grab product photos and provide a convenient link for you to find out more.

Back to antennas. If that HomeWorX name sounds familiar, it’s because HomeWorX also makes the digital converter box that I reviewed as a weak DVR a few months back. Like that sub-$50 converter/receiver, the HomeWorX antenna is inexpensive – under $7 on Amazon as I type. It comes with the pictured stand, which is really a mechanical suction cup, making it easy to mount on a window or wall.

I’ve gone through a lot of cheap TV antennas, but the HomeWorX is the first to hold its own against serious, expensive antennas. I noticed that as I set it up for my Cable Cutter comparison tests; mounted in the right place, the HomeWorX picked up almost all of the channels that the Cable Cutter found, just with reduced signal quality. It was about equal on VHF channels, but noticeably weaker in the higher UHF channels, particularly 41-45.

After noticing that strong performance, I took my HomeWorX to my basement, where an old TV picks up a few channels from a powered antenna by a window. I plugged in the HomeWorX to the same spot, and even though it’s not amplified, it easily beat that old antenna. That was so startling that I left it there and ordered another HomeWorX, which has performed just like my first.

One reason it’ll never replace the Cable Cutter is the HomeWorX is definitely an indoor-only antenna. It rectangle of soft, flexible plastic wouldn’t stand up for long against the elements. But if you can find just the right mounting position next to a window, and if your local channels’ signals are strong enough, this HomeWorX antenna may be all you need.

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