on February 14, 2010
First some stats. I live about 45 miles from the primary source of all the local stations, in an apartment on the second floor, with a glass door to the balcony in the room with the TV. Also, the TV (and antenna) is in a recessed nook, with walls on three sides. I had been dealing with a boosted rabbit ear antenna setup from Radio Shack for the past 4 months. I could only reliably receive FOX, CBS, PBS, and the CW, and each of these required fiddling with the ears, circular antenna loop, and gain on the boost (too much or too little lost the signal). I could get other channels unpredictably and with a lot of work, and that was enough until I just got fed up with it all. Purchased three TERK antennas at Best Buy to try out, this one, the smaller version (FDTV2a), and a directional antenna (HDTVa).
All three completely blew the Radio Shack antenna out of the water, though they were very close to one another in terms of performance. This antenna was slightly more capable in receiving the weaker signals than the smaller version. While the HDTVa was the overall leader, the only one that picked up NBC while on top of the TV, it is on the large and cumbersome side, and takes up way too much space with the rabbit ears out (which were necessary for NBC). However, once optimally positioned, the FDTV1a picked up NBC and many others, and required NO adjustment.
I had to stand the antenna upright, next to the TV, and of course use the boost to get the best results. After a re-scan, I now get all of the channels I got before, all of the ones that were spotty, and a couple I didn't even know about, all with perfect clarity and sound, AND WITHOUT NEEDING ANY ADJUSTMENT. It also looks much more stylish than the rabbit ears I had before. I don't get ABC, and none of the TERK antennas were able to change that, but I am still thrilled with the results. I was seriously considering basic cable, and now I have no need for it.
Superb product. Excellent price here on Amazon. Highly recommend.
I bought a Terk TV-55 antenna around a decade ago (still sold today), since it was one of the most expensive antennas around, and I was hoping there was something to it.
It worked, but I've never been convinced it does any better than more traditional antennas. It does do a better job since the digital transition, but I had to play with it's positioning quite a bit to get everything to come in.
Originally I figured I'd pick up another one of those, but when I saw this, I thought I might as well take a chance on a newer design.
Pulling it out of the box, it's amazing how small and light it is compared to my TV-55...it had me skeptical that it could really do as well.
Before hooking it up, I used the signal strength indicator on my Tivo HD to check how well each station was coming in, so that I could see if this antenna really did better or worse...
I swapped antennas, threw this FDTV1A on a chair near where I have my TV-55, and checked again. To my pleasant surprise, EVERY channel comes in stronger. Channels that were above 80% already are now maxed out at 100. Channels below that have all gained at least 10+ to 30 on the signal meter. I even seem to be able to pull in one station from another market decently that didn't come in at all on the TV-55.
And all that was without doing any more positioning than just throwing it on a chair next to my TV-55 (which is by an outside wall). (I should note that I have channels coming several different directions, so on my TV-55 it's challenging to find an orientation that gets all of them decently-this model really does seem to be omnidirectional, or at least far more so than a normal antenna).
So I'm very happy with this thing's performance so far, and would absolutely recommend it. For YEARS I've wondered why someone couldn't make a better antenna, with all the technology we have now...and it looks like they actually did.
The small size, and small AC adapter are nice too.
One note-if you're already getting channels in super strong, I've heard there's a chance that amplifying them may actually make them worse. I didn't have that happen in my situation at all. Even the channels that were already at 92 or 96 on my signal strength meter just bounced up to 100 without issue, but possibly some people might want to try it without plugging in the amplifier, if their signals are already super strong.
on May 21, 2010
This is an excellent little antenna.
I have a great picture, lots of *free* (non-cable) channels, and some temporary respite
from the ever-constant exercise of dipole/loop manipulation.
Before purchasing this antenna, I tried two others: The RCA ANT1251 (Digital Amplified Indoor Antenna),
and the RCA ANT121 (basic loop & dipole-extendables) Indoor Antenna.
The problem with any loop/dipole antenna is obvious: Unless the antenna is (somehow) technologically superior,
many moments will become hours spent adjusting, re-adjusting, and re-re-adjusting those dang dipoles, adjusting the 'loop', and repositioning the antenna base. And - when a loop/dipole antenna also includes additional 'switches' and/or 'fine tuning knobs' (such as the RCA ANT121 above), the number of potential positions for successfully orienting the antenna for optimal reception is limitless... and quite exhausting.
I've only had the TERK for 3 days now, but sweet Jesus... the damn thing actually works, and that is the ONLY reason
I'm spending precious moments of my life, writing this silly review. (yes - i just wanted to give something back.)
I gave this product '4' stars (rather than '5') because... no product is perfect, and that includes the TERK.
- When I first installed the TERK and powered everything on, I got... absolutely nothing.
There were terrible, broken, pixelated pictures, and yes ~ heartbreak. Then, I added the signal booster/amplifier, and voila!! I got strong signals, excellent pictures, and little in the way of the need for repositioning the unit.
But - for my apartment layout, area of town, distance from town transmitters, etc., etc.,
my TERK unit won't work without the adjoining booster/amplifier. (which, for the energy conscious amongst us, could be an issue.)
- Booster/Amplifier Design: The design of the booster/amplifier unit is a tad inconvenient.
When the amplifier/booster is connected to the antenna, there is no 'on/off' switch; one must either connect or disconnect the amplifier from the antenna, and then plug/unplug the amplifier from an outlet. Basically ~ once the amplifier/booster is connected,
the antenna won't work without it (and the amplifier must be plugged in, for use).
It's just a tad inconvenient, but the excellent performance of the antenna is worth the inconvenience.
- Booster/Amplifier Design: Also... for my particular layout, the design of the booster/amplifier presents another challenge. The booster itself is a tiny little black box, connected via cable, to both the antenna, and my digital converter box. The connecting cable (for the booster/amplifier) is *just* short/stubby enough, and the little booster box *just* heavy enough, so that it threatens to pull my antenna and/or converter box backwards off of my TV set. This is not a big deal, and a little repositioning solves the problem, but to date, the set-up is still a bit awkward. (i have a thick, table-top analog TV; my electronic accoutrements sit atop the TV, for convenience). Optimally and ideally, one will want to place both the main antenna, and the tiny booster box connection, close together, on any flat surface.
(note: the prime antenna cable itself possesses plenty of slack for moving the unit around, but not more than 2-3 ft.
from your television set. when the amplifier/booster is connected, an additional 1-1.5 ft. of cable slack is created,
for moving the unit around.)
- I'm able to pull in every local station/channel offered by my municipality... except one. This is interesting, because positioning the unit in almost any spot will pull in every channel (for my area), reasonably clearly... except one, little channel that refuses to be watched.
This unit was simple to install, installed easily to my analog APEX TV and digital converter box,
has a simple design with no knobs or switches, and requires very little in the way of adjustment/repositioning.
My current unit sits atop a pile of clean laundry, on a couch next to my TV, and has required little movement or repositioning to receive a great signal. By day, the unit sits atop one pile of clothing. By night (apparently signal positions 're-orient' themselves or something), I move the unit 1-ft. away, to sit atop another pile. Occasional corrections to improve picture quality have been few, and required only the slightest turning of the unit to the left, or right.
I will return my $100 Best Buy version, and re-order it here for 1/2 the price.
(bless you Amazon...)
Additional Reminder: For most, it might be helpful to purchase an additional 6-20 ft. of coaxial cable,
just to find that perfect spot for signal reception.
Also: Don't forget to test the unit with AND without the use of the booster/amplifier box.
Lastly: Don't forget to test the unit in BOTH the flat, and upright positions.
on October 9, 2010
First of all I am more of a reader than writer of reviews, however I feel compelled to share my experiences in finding a suitable antenna. My original intention was to get rid of cable and watch the OTA stations. So began my journey.
I tried out four different antennas before making my final selection:
1) RCA ANT1500 Superior Flat Antenna (White)
2) RCA ANT1650 Flat Digital Amplified Indoor TV Antenna
3) Terk HDTVa Indoor Amplified High-Definition Antenna for Off-Air HDTV Reception
4) Terk FDTV1A Flat Digital Omni Directional Amplified Indoor Antenna (Black)
I was really impressed by the RCA 1500. For a non-amplified unit, it brought in a lot of stations 18(counting substations) on the first scan and 28 after some repositioning. The position I had to hold it in to get those stations was unsustainable. There was no way to mount it on the wall at that angle. Too bad though, since I couldn't get NBC or CW. It had a nice clean design and it was flat and wall mountable, which was important for my setup needs.
Next was the RCA 1650. I figured I would have better luck with an amplified unit. No way, though. It was flimsy, light and cheap feeling and very weak. The performance was way behind the cheaper 1500 (which I consider a great value by comparison).
Ok here goes... one of the best selling antennas on Amazon: The Terk Hdtva. Despite its somewhat garish looks and ungainly stature, man this thing rocks!! I see why it's so popular. It did a great job picking up the stations I wanted, and for someone with the counter space it is absolutely worth a try. Inevitably I returned it because it would not fit properly on my window ledge,due to its bulky design.
So finally I tried the Terk FDTV1a. For my needs this is the bomb. The convenient three way mounting bracket, the black and silver finish, everything about it looked right to complement the looks of my TV setup. And then I plugged it in and BAM! Stations galore, very little fidgeting to get a good signal, and it fits neatly on my ledge. Magic. It was a little more than I wanted to spend but it was worth it. I am very satisfied.
on May 26, 2010
Bought to replace a pair of good old fashioned bunny ears for the DT converter box. It doesn't get any more channels than the bunny ears were able to pull in, but I've gone from repositioning the bunnies every time I change channels to only repositioning this antenna for the one channel whose tower is the opposite direction from all of the others (In North Tampa, everything but Channel 10 comes from the south, channel 10 comes from the north)
A definite improvement, but I wish I could get everything from the same position.
on July 20, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I gave up my cable, and it was such a liberating feeling; "No more high, unreasonable cable bills". Yesterday, I finally got this innovative product in the mail. The build-up of excitement was just unbearable. I opened the box, read the instructions, and connected it to my Zinwell converter box. Then I rescanned all the channels and stored them. I can't believe what I'm looking at; beautiful, vibrant, and clear colors of transmitted TV shows in "high definition! This product is amazing! I am very happy with the purchase and Amazon's fast service! In fact I have a couple of friends who are interested in buying the same products that I bought relative to "not having high, unreasonable cable bills".
KEEP THE HDTV ANTENNA MOVING!
I am very happy with the amount of TV channels that I'm able to get. It's not cable so one does not get the extra premium TV channels. But if you can be happy getting the news, local channels, this product is for you.
on February 7, 2011
I picked up this antenna when I decided to drop my cable company to save some money. I live in the suburbs much less than the 25 miles from the broadcasting centers that the items claims to have a range of, but that was not good enough.
The major channels in my area and 2, 4, 7, 9 and 31. The Terk antenna only managed to get 2, 4 and 31. In my case those happen to be the channels I do not really want to watch. I spent hours moving and recalibrating the antenna to try to get the missing channels. I tried all directions, with and without signal boost, everything, but no dice. I figured it was as good as it could get and moved on.
The one day I was at walmart and noticed an RCA antenna (ANT1650) for sale for 10 bucks less than the cost of the Terk. On a whim I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I got home, unhooked the Terk, hooked up the RCA and scanned the channels. Much to my pleasure it got many more channels, including the big ones I was missing. And the channels that I did get on the Terk came in better with fewer drop outs in reception.
Maybe this works well if you live in the city and can actually see the broadcast centers, but considering it is more expensive with worse reception than the RCA model I bought I don't see any reason to buy this product. Also on a more petty note the antenna is gloss, so fingerprints and dust show up in a glaring fashion.
on March 9, 2013
When I got rid of Cable, I needed an indoor antenna to pick up the HDTV channels. So I chose the TERK HDTVA Amplified Directional antenna after reading the reviews. That antenna worked OK. Combined with a Motorola signal amplifier I was able to pick up about 20 Channels. That's about 5 more channels that I was able to pick up with the outdoor antenna sitting on the roof of my apartment building. Another reason I got the Terk was that the outdoor antenna on the top of my building, was totally unreliable especially when it was raining, or very windy outside.
Wanting more performance, I decided to hook up my Terk Directional antenna to a Channel Master 7778 signal amplifier. This set-up boosted the channels I picked up to about 40 ! Fantastic, but the only problem is that I constantly had to get up from my comfort zone and adjust the antenna. I had to pull out the arms of the HDTVA and point them in all kinds of different directions until I got a good signal. Once I got a good signal for a particular channel, then I would lose the signal for another.
This became too frustrating for me, plus the HDTVA was an eye-sore in my living room. This is when I decided to take a chance with the Terk FDTV1A Flat Digital Omni Directional Amplified Indoor Antenna. I was a little disappointed at first when it came in the mail since it was all plastic instead of chrome like it looked in the pictures, but at least it was very light and definately looked better than the HDTVA in my living room.
Combined with the Chanell Master 7778 amplifier, I am now getting 50+ wopping channels up from 20 all for FREE ! and I don't have to get up and perform any adjustments either. I live no more than 20 miles from the broadcasting towers, in a semi-urban area, so maybe that has something to do with it. I would recommend the Channel Master 7777 if you live in a rural area.
Right now I would say that it's almost like having Basic Cable except that the choice of programming is a little more limited, but the great thing without the expense. No ESPN, no CNN, no Pay Per View, but I think I can live with that. I'm picking up a bunch of interesting foreign channels and the picture and sound is as clear as cable with this antenna.
on August 15, 2010
Saw this on Hammacher S., found it at Best Buy, bought it on Amazon for best deal. For us, it works beautifully though my experience is that you need to try these types of devices where you'll use it. Much cheaper than cable. And more attractive design than other types. I'll be using it a lot this football season!
on April 19, 2011
I purchased the Terk FDTV1A to replace another brand antenna which worked fine until a vital piece broke off. The Terk antenna failed to pickup any signals despite my best efforts to place it in various locations throughout my living room. As a result, I returned it to Amazon for a full refund.