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359 of 374 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Flatwave Amped
We finally got an HDTV set this winter so I figured it's time to test out some of these indoor antennas and eventually cancel my basic cable which was $20 a month . My goal was to get major networks ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and maybe some public TV stations. Basic cable wasn't giving me much more than that anyway. Aside from this, I wanted an indoor antenna that can be...
Published 21 months ago by Max

versus
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusion over "amped" vs non-amped antenna
There has been some confusion over why apparently Amazon sells this Flatwave antenna cheaper than Costco. The key is that there are TWO models (both sold on Amazon). This model reviewed here is NOT "amped." The other one is -- that's the one sold by Costco. On Amazon, the amped 5500 model (more range, more reliable) sells for $96. At Costco, it's currently (April...
Published 20 months ago by Richard Rider


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359 of 374 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Flatwave Amped, March 1, 2013
This review is from: Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amplified Razor Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
We finally got an HDTV set this winter so I figured it's time to test out some of these indoor antennas and eventually cancel my basic cable which was $20 a month . My goal was to get major networks ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and maybe some public TV stations. Basic cable wasn't giving me much more than that anyway. Aside from this, I wanted an indoor antenna that can be easily concealed (outdoor was out of question for me).

I live in Rochester MN and towers are about 35-40 miles away from my house. So since most indoor antennas claim about 35 miles range I am on the outer edge of their reception.

My quest for a perfect indoor antenna started at the local stores. I ended up buying 3 of them locally and every one had to go back because I wasn't able to get local NBC affiliate which is broadcasting on VHF . Even technical support at that station told me that at my distance (35 miles) I have to get an outdoor antenna. My UHF stations were coming in easy with any indoor antenna but that VHF was always elusive . In one of my last attempts to keep the cord cutting dream alive , I sent an e mail to Winegard's global sales representative Grant Whipple. He responded right away with some good news. Winegard was just about to release a new amplified indoor antenna that was showing some great results. At first I was little bit skeptical but decided to give it a shot.

I received this antenna 2 days later and tested it right away. I hooked it up and BINGO I finally got that NBC station along with ABC, CBS, FOX, CW (this one I wasn't able to get before as well), PBS and some more public channels. This antenna is paper thin, and it looks like a laminated piece of plastic. It comes with 18 feet long coaxial cable, and an amplifier. One I got is transparent but it also comes in white/black combination to blend in your decor. It can be put horizontally but for better results I recommend attaching it to the wall using couple of 3M stickers that come with it. My entertainment center is about 6 feet tall and my TV is on the upper level so I put the antenna on the wall behind the entertainment center about 6 feet up from the floor. So this way it stays hidden but its in a good position to receive signals.It helps to move the antenna around a little bit to find out where it gets the most channels before you attach it for good, but this unit is so light and easy to move around. It can be attached to windows as well. FlatWave Amped Indor HDTV lets you connect the amplifier to the usb port on your TV so your amplifier turns off when the TV is off .

I am very satisfied with this unit and would highly recommend it. The thing that impressed me the most was its ability to get a VHF station at about 35 miles distance. As noted above none of the other antennas I tested was able to do this. Your investment in this antenna will pay off in 3-4 months depending how much you are paying for cable.

Portion of the money I save will go towards Netflix service - $7.99 a month.

So again, I highly recommend this product if you are looking to pick up over the air HDTV signal. Your reception will depend on landscape between you and the towers but this amplified unit worked great for me at about 35-40 miles away from the towers. Over the air signal is even better than cable, since cable has to compress it. Be ready to spend some time moving the antenna around until you find a perfect spot, small movements can make big difference. Costco will start selling this antenna as well, you can buy it through Winegard site or here on Amazon.
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492 of 522 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparing diffrent HD Antennas and was shocked, amazing product!, May 17, 2012
I tried the following items in different combinations and setup each antenna both amplified and non-amplified.

Antennas:
Winegard Company FL-5000 FlatWave HDTV Indoor Digital Flat Antenna -
Winegard FV-HD30 FreeVision HDTV Antenna
Mohu Leaf (Non Amplified)
GE HDTV Quantum Antenna - Silver (24775) from target.
RCA Simple antenna from Wal-Mart ANT112R

Combiner/Splitter and Amplifier:
2-Port Bi-Directional Cable TV HDTV Amplifier Splitter Signal Booster with Passive Return Path
CHANNEL PLUS 2512 DC + IR Passing 2-Way Splitter/Combiner

I really wanted to ditch DISH network, I felt with Hulu, Netflix and HD OTA TV I'd be set. My main goal was to find something that would get all my local channels plus WTVD 11 ABC which is in VHF. Any other channels where icing on the cake. I live in Cary, NC near RTP NC. Antennaweb and TV fool says all my local channels are UHF and 22 miles or less from me with exception to ABC WTVD which is VHF. I am using Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 PCI-E x1 Dual TV Tuner connected to my PC with Windows Media Center. I first tried each antenna individually in the same location and wrote down the channels they achieved and signal strength after rescanning. I then tried them in combination using the combiner and would add the amplifier to see if results were better. I found when I amplified the signal I would get channels from further away but then it distorted the local channels. I found the best setup to be from the Winegard Flatwave alone mounted on the wall in my office about 8 feet high. The antenna is a little bit bigger than the Mohu Leaf but produces all the local channels except for ABC 11 which is VHF. Not a single setup I tired could get ABC 11.1 on WTVD. I even tried RCA simple antenna with bunny ears (dipoles). I found with the Winegard Flatwave that it reach so far away that I was able to get ABC from Greensboro on channel 45.1 in UHF. TVFool says the signal is 52.3 miles WOW! I was still skeptical and we had thunderstorms the other day. I was able to watch the channel 45.1 in heavy rain no issues, I was in shock! So now I get all the major channels plus bunch of other channels. Total around 35 channels and some repeat from another region.

The Mohu Leaf is comparable to the Winegard in appearance but the Winegard edges it out a bit in performance. I also like that the Winegard is not glossy and has a 15 foot cable to allow more flexibility in placement. Both produce very good results for the design and size. In conclusion, I highly recommend Winegard Flatwave antenna and I hope this ends up helping someone trying to decide between which antennas to choose.

Update: 8/8/2012
I still have the Winegard Flatwave and was working great but decide to get an antenna in the attic and run coaxial cabling to all 3 TVs. I choose this option because I had multiple TV's and didn't want to get an antenna for each.
Not everyone has this option but if you do I highly recommend this antenna: Winegard HD7694P High Definition VHF/UHF Antenna. I used Antennaweb and my iPhone with free compass app to find best direction to point the antenna.
I decided to use 2-Port Bi-Directional Cable TV HDTV Amplifier Splitter Signal Booster with Passive Return Path directly off the antenna. I now get 96-100% signal on 3 different TV's in the house. I have yet to see any freezes or issues with the picture quality. My work has 2 plasma TV's and wanted to show the Olympics but has no satellite or cable. Since I am in IT dept, my manager figured it was something I could handle. Thanks to messing around with stuff at home I was well versed.
I headed over to our local big bricks and mortar and purchased two antennas. Both costing $29.99 and both amplified. One by GE 34763 and other by RCA ANT1450BR. I wanted something sleek so it would not startle our employees as would huge rabbit ears. I attempted to get the antenna hooked up on both TV's at work and neither picked up the NBC station we needed. The RCA didn't get any channels at all, no matter how I placed or angled it.
The next day I brought in my Winegard Flatewave into work and rescanned for channels. It found over 30. For some reason I just was not surprised, LOL! Moral of the story this still one of the best antennas out there!
Good luck to you all and remember to use your resources like Antennaweb to do the research on the best antenna for your needs.
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244 of 261 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compared to the Mohu Leaf Ultimate - UPDATED 9/6/14, May 10, 2013
By 
Andrea Polk (Pacific Northwest - USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amplified Razor Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
I received the Winegard FlatWave Amped Razor Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna from the company that markets this device, and was asked to review it. I told them that I would do an objective review of the device (what I liked and didn't like...) comparing it to the Mohu Leaf Ultimate Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna which I purchased on Amazon and did a review. They agreed, and thus, here's my review of the FlatWave Amped HDTV antenna.

The House:

My house faces East, and has a huge front window, with all the major towers playing hide n' seek with mountains and valleys. All the major HDTV over-air channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) are accessible with the Mohu Leaf Ultimate; the furthest of which is 43 miles away with mountains in between.

For my test drive of the Wineguard FlatWave Amped Razor, I marked the exact placement I use for the Mohu Leaf Ultimate (found after about 1 hr of playing with placement it's hung 7' away from other electronics, about 1" down from the ceiling, and about 5" from the corner on an East facing wall with the large window opposite the wall). I found this to be excellent for pulling in all the HD over-air channels with the Mohu - 15 total.

The Amplified Tuner:

In un-boxing the FlatWave Amped I was struck by how 'razor' thin it really is! The one I received is opaque (see through with frosted look), with a pattern around the edge and throughout (as shown in photos uploaded to Amazon). The 18.5' coaxial cable is attached to the antenna (*different than the Mohu product which requires you to attach the coaxial cable) and runs down to an amplifier box with a USB port in the side. At the end of the cable is the connection that is for 'antenna in' on the back of your TV. Also the same spot the current cable line from your cable box (if you have one...) is feeding into your HDTV.

I noticed that the FlatWave feels less substantial than the Mohu Leaf Ultimate. The antenna itself can be bent around easily, and the coaxial seems thinner than that which came with the Mohu. The amplifier too feels less high quality than the Mohu product, but both are essentially the same design.

The amplifier is turned on by either using the included USB connection to a port on your TV; which powers down the amplifier when the TV is turned off. Or you can use the included AC power option (110V). I used the USB connection, just as I do with the Mohu. The amplifier has a green light to indicate it's working, on the opposite side of the USB port. I turned on the TV and did an over-air channel search it was obvious it was working when I picked up the HD over-air channels easily.

The Channel Scan:

The Winegard FlatWave Amped Razar Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna found all 15 of the channels I receive with the Mohu Leaf Ultimate, and about 50% faster, which surprised me! The channel received over-air from the greatest distance did have a bit of pixelation, as did its sister channel. I did a second channel search and the same channels came through clearly. Not sure why, but the problem was fixed.

I did my test on a bright sunny day, with no wind. I have found that weather does play havoc with over-air signals at times, but usually it has to be fairly severe with the Mohu Leaf Ultimate, thus I would expect the same from the FlatWave Amped.

The FlatWave Amped is slightly larger than the Mohu Leaf Ultimate, but since it's clear, it blends in as well as any of these antennas do and thus it isn't a big deal.

What I liked about the FlatWave Amped Razor:

+ With proper placement, it works well at pulling in channels over 40 miles away, through varied terrain.
+ Super easy to install - unbox, hang, plug it in, scan for channels and you're watching over-air HDTV!
+ Allows those who don't want to pay for cable to get crystal clear HDTV over-air programming.
+ Reception is solid; great signal strength and quality.
+ Good documentation and set-up guide.
+ Coaxial cable is 18.5' versus the Mohu Leaf Ultimate's 16' of cable.
+ Green light on amplifier indicates it's being powered up.
+ Made in the USA (as is Mohu)

What I wish was better about the FlatWave Amped Razor:

NOTE: WARRANTY CHANGED for 2014! NOW 1 YEAR coverage. Previously only a 90 Day warranty for the FlatWave Amped, versus the 1 Year warranty for the Mohu Leaf Ultimate Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna. **This 90 Day warranty has been changed (per customer comment) and on the current packaging says 1 year, as of 1/11/14. I checked the Winegard site and it is indeed been changed to a 1 year warranty. Good news!
- I would like for the coaxial cable to be separate (screw into the antenna like the Mohu Leaf Ultimate) because if the coaxial cable has an issue it cannot simply be replaced as with the Mohu product. In this case, the whole antenna would be useless IF a part on the cable was broken.
- Build quality of the FlatWave isn't as good as the Mohu, yet the list price of the FlatWave Amped is higher than the Mohu Leaf Ultimate.

Amped Performance:

The performance of the FlatWave Amped Razor Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna is comparible to the the Mohu Leaf Ultimate. Both offer excellent performance and power for pulling in over-air HDTV channels in up to 1080P HD.

The reason I give this amplified tuner a 4 and not 5 star rating (I'd give it 4.5 if that was an option...) is that compared to my Mohu Leaf Ultimate, the Razor Amped falls slightly short in terms of build quality, specs and the company's lack of support for their product via warranty.

Conclusion:

FlatWave's 90 Day warranty, lesser build quality, higher list price and fully attached coaxial cable wouldn't bother me near as much though, if its current price was under fifty.

I definitely works well, but the short warranty makes me wonder - "For how long?"

5/13/13 UPDATE
RE: Hooking up FlatWave Amped to USB TV Tuner for PC

I have the Avertv Hybrid Volar Max TV Tuner Kit for Windows MTVHVMXSK connected to my desktop PC. Usually I have a coaxial cable feed to it powered by the cable company. I pull in 40 channels with that set-up using the digital/analog tuner. It works well and allows me to use my PC as a DVR, but has never produced HD quality channels.

I tested the FlatWave Amped to it, changing the TV signal settings to over-air. While not in the same room as my other test of this product, I expected to get at least 6 solid channels. Instead what I received were 14 total channels, 4 of which were in crystal clear HD, with the rest showing 'black'. (Remember, I never have gotten HD quality channels using the direct cable feed through the 5+ year old USB tuner.)

What does this mean for you, the user of this antenna?

The antenna does a great job of pulling in HD over-air channels, but the tuner you use and placement of the antenna will dictate which channels actually come in.

IF you have a relatively new HDTV with both an analog and digital tuner inside, you'll be able to get all the local over-air channels in whatever form they are broadcast, provided the placement of the antenna is optimal for your area. (Check where your towers are and work on placement to get the best reception.)

IF you have an older tuner (as attached to my PC) your results may be less than you'd hoped.

Remember your results - the channels and clarity of those over air channels - will be varied by the placement of the antenna, the tuner it's feeding into (equipment), available over-air channels and what they are broadcast in (480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p) and weather conditions.

In this scenario, upgrading to the AVERMEDIA H837 AVerTV Volar Hybrid Q HDTV & FM Radio - Black for the best possible tuner/antenna combo for the PC, is probably the best solution, as the FlatWave Amped was doing its job well.

UPDATE: 6/28/13

I took this over to my mother's house to hook it up in her bedroom and get rid of her old 'rabbit ear' antenna. I first checked online to see where the local towers were located (she lives in a different city), and then put it so that the face of the FlatWave was on the wall facing those towers.

Despite having to work through two interior walls and an exterior one, the FlatWave pulled in all the HD channels in her area and took her channel count from 10 to 24! She's thrilled with the performance and how it's 'not ugly' like the metal ones.

I still feel like Winegard should back this product with a 1 year warranty and make the cable detatchable, but frankly, if the price was lower, I'd probably be less picky about these issues because it works so well.

UPDATE: 1/11/14

Noted in comments, you may be able to snag this one for as low as forty bucks. The current warranty is 1yr on this item, an improvement from the original 90 day warranty.

Current Specs per Winegard site:
50 mile range
High definition dual band VHF / UHF
Dimensions: 13″ x 12″
Weight: 0.60 lbs
Multi-directional
Embedded ultra low noise (1db) digital amplifier for the best antenna performance
18.5' mini 59 coaxial cable (attached to antenna for better quality)
3' USB power cable with 110V adapter

I really do like this product and recommend it. When asked 'Mohu or Winegard' it often comes down to price, more than performance as they are so close in that department.

UPDATE - 9/6/14 - My book on Kindle!

Reviewing all these antennas and getting questions about how to setup and use flat antennas spurred me on to write the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV which was published on Amazon in April of this year. It's in Kindle format, and can be read via the Amazon Kindle reading app for Mac, PC, Android or iOS devices, in addition to on Kindle devices.

The book is written for those who would like to cut the cord with cable or satellite, but don't feel like they have the tech knowledge to do so. Check out the 'Look Inside' feature and the Table of Contents to see if the book would be useful to you.
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149 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing just amazing (and keep free tv free--contact Congress), April 13, 2013
This review is from: Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amplified Razor Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
Years ago, I discontinued Dish Network at the same time as HD/digital became available over the air for free. I installed high quality rooftop HD antenna for signal to two Sony large screens. Bought a tv for the 3rd bedroom, too lazy to run another coax from rooftop, so I've been buying highly rated amped indoor antennas that never totally satisfied. Live near LA in north orange county about 30 miles south of Mt Wilson where all the broadcast antennas are located. Previous indoor antennas required constant tweaking (moving) for all over the air channels. Drove me nuts. Then I saw this antenna at Costco, read reviews, and said what the hell, easy return if don't like.

After connecting and experimenting, I was amazed how constant the signal was to all channels. So I taped it to the wall behind tv; all channels come in, even more than I wanted; so had to delete some of the unwanted channels.

How does this thing work?!! Just a plastic sheet with lines in it, connected to light weight cable that connects to back of tv with cable to wall electrical outlet. Clever they included ability to connect to USB on the tv, but since I have easy access to 110v, why not just use it.

Contact your government officials and CEA to keep free broadcast tv available to us. Congress is considering (and CEA is lobbying) auctioning off frequencies. Those auctions would sell off the frequencies to wireless companies, which will pay TV broadcasters billions of dollars to give them up. The frequencies are considered "public airwaves," which broadcasters never had to pay for in the first place. They want to provide these frequencies to wireless companies to improve their band width. WHAT??

Free tv is the greatest free thing we have left in this country.
And over the air is better quality than any cable, satellite, or streaming.
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132 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great, April 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We got fed up with our ever-increasing cable TV bills, so we ditched the cable company and bought a Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p. Now our only monthly TV bill is to Netflix, and we're saving about $50 a month over what we were paying before. About the only thing we missed was local news and programming. This antenna gave us that for free.

You need to make sure you read the instructions and follow them to get the best (or any) results. The first time I tried the antenna I didn't (hey, all you need to do is plug it in, right?) and got nothing. It's critical to let your TV do a channel search, because the new digital channels are on "side" numbers (like 10.1 and 8.2). You also need to experiment with antenna placement; the first time I tried putting it up high against a window which I thought would be optimal, but later discovered I got more channels by just tossing it haphazardly behind the TV. This is probably the only drawback to the new digital TV format: You can't see the results of manipulating your antenna "live" like you could with the old rabbit ears, and every time you reposition the antenna you need to let the TV run a channel search again, which in my case took about 20 minutes a pop.

The marketing for the antenna claims you will get an as-good-or-better picture when compared with cable or satellite. In my experience the claim is valid. The HDTV channels we got looked stunning.

I was skeptical that this antenna would work since we live in the outskirts of the city, but we were able to get ABC, NBC, and PBS. All of the channels we get look great, there is no monthly fee, and we are happy.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An AMAZING and stealthy antenna!, December 4, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been living without the expense of cable for nearly 4 years now, and, as God as my witness, I will NEVER return. I have used a variety of small antennae in this time--from various rabbit ears and a few flat panel types (never had much luck with the flat types). We really wanted a hidden antenna and, after reading the reviews of this one, we bought it. It arrived today and I installed it a few hours ago.

Holy. Living. Puck.

I was nearly at a loss for words. Not only were all of our channels crystal clear (with no wiggling of rabbit ears, and no knob turning), but we actually picked up 16 new stations (granted, they were all some version of public tv from nearby cities).

I do not work for this company, I do not work for Amazon. I am but a humble public school physics teacher. But I really cannot speak highly enough of this antenna.

And perhaps best of all, it hides right behind a quilt we have hanging on the wall!!!
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110 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly powerful indoor antenna, EXTREMELY thin!, April 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've tried many antennas in the past with the HDTV in my house. I tried numerous types of antennas, from the old ancient plain rabbit ears, through a couple of powered antennas (this and this), and finally this. They all didn't perform to expectations (mostly due to my house walls causing interference), so I eventually got mad at the whole concept of an indoor rabbit ears kind of concept, and installed an attic antenna, and have been perfect with that since. If you look at the reviews for the attic antenna, I have a long review about that installations and these other antennas, too. So why did I look at this antenna after I had settled on something?

This new antenna claimed to be some new antenna design for indoors antennas, one that would make reception better. I doubt it would replace my attic one, but I was looking for a good backup antenna for indoors. So I decided to check this out, with the foreknowledge that my house itself was causing interference (my attic was fine, something in my walls was causing the problem). I could not ever find a rabbit ears that worked all the time without interference, so I was curious to see how this one would work.

I got it at home, and the first thing that came to mind was how flimsy it was. The picture doesn't do it justice - this thing is VERY THIN. It almost felt too thin, like it was missing a part or something. It's got the same feel as when you take a large piece of cardboard, shake it around, and it makes that wobble-wobble sound. However, this is what the antenna was - a thin square piece of "something" (not sure what it's actually made out of). The antenna was designed to be "hideable", to put it behind a TV set or something like that. They're right, it is small. Oddly enough, the cable that comes with it seems to take up more room than the antenna itself.

The moment of truth for me was when I hooked it up to my HDTV and did a rescan. I wasn't expecting much, but to my surprise, I got a decent number of channels. Not nearly as good as the antenna in my attic, but I was surprised at how many it pulled in in my interference filled, no window TV room. When I ran the rather long cable into the kitchen and put the antenna in a window, the scan was much better. I haven't tried it in the attic, but I would imagine it would probably do quite well up there, too.

The bottom line for me is that it's a good antenna if you don't have interference problems inside your house. If you have a good place to put it - an unobstructed window, or even an attic, I would imagine this would be all you need. For me personally, it will live as a backup antenna - my main attic antenna is hooked into my TiVo, and this antenna goes into the TV itself, on those odd times I need to watch something straight through the TV.

I'd check out your TV reports over at tvfool daht cahm first before buying anything. Plug in your address there (tvfool is better than antennaweb, IMO), and see what you should realistically be able to get, and then use that as a comparison when you get any antenna (this one or soemting else) and are figuring out where to best position your antenna.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Antenna Works Well!, August 15, 2013
By 
R. Edwards (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amplified Razor Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna (Electronics)
I have purchased 4 of these antennas and they have all worked great! I live in the LA area approximately 30 miles from the transmitters. I wanted a TV in my bedroom so I tried the standard Mohu Leaf antenna. In that particular room, after a lot of trial and error, I found one sweet spot where everything came in really well. The regular Mohu Leaf worked great in that room. Next, I tried to set up a TV in the adjacent room using a second Mohu Leaf and it was impossible to find a location where I could get all of the stations at the same time. I thought I would give the Winegard 5500 a try. I was pleased to find 2 spots on the wall where it worked very well. On my final channel scan, I pulled in 163 stations! Not bad! That is as many as I get with the roof-top antenna! The signal strength was very strong on the majority of the stations. Even stations in Orange County and San Diego came in well. The Winegard did really great job in a difficult room.

My mother wanted an additional TV in her sewing room, so I took another Winegard 5500 over to her house and we ended up mounting it in her window, facing the transmitters. Again, the results were very good. I helped friends out with the final 2 antennas and they also worked well.
Over the years, I have experimented a lot with indoor antennas and this one is the best one yet.

I have a few tips for folks considering this antenna. Don't expect to simply stick it on the wall and have all of your stations come in perfectly. You need to be very patient and be willing to experiment until you find a good location. It really helps to use a TV with a signal strength meter. My Samsungs have one but my Sony does not. First, take your TV containing a signal strength meter to a location where you can get all of the channels. This might be the top floor or to a friend's roof-top antenna or perhaps just take it outside. Then perform a channel scan. Now you have all of the channels stored in the TV that you can possibly get. You don't need to rescan anymore. Next take your TV to the location where you want to use your new flat antenna and try different locations on the wall. Toggle through the channels and look at the signal strength for each channel. I actually wrote down the strength for each important channel and made a chart. I eventually found the perfect spot. After you find the perfect spot, you can perform a final channel scan one last time. Here is another tip: Remember the little DTV converter boxes the government gave you a discount on when DTV first came out? Many of those have signal strength meters. You can connect one of those to your TV on channel 3. I have a Radio-Shack converter and I can easily display the signal strength by pushing one button on the remote. It really makes the whole process a lot faster. After you find the perfect spot, you can disconnect the little converter box.

I really love the pristine signal I get with OTA broadcasts. I wouldn't use cable even if it were free! Who wants to look at compressed video? OTA broadcasts and blu-ray are the best you can get. Hope my review with help someone.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piling on to the positive reviews, December 4, 2012
By 
Stephen D. Costello (St. Louis, MO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like many others here, I was skeptical even as I was ordering this thing. How in the world is this non-amplified, flimsy, *internal* antenna going to be any better than the amplified external antenna I have on a mast on the roof of my two-story home?

However, we'd just experienced some of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the Midwest (obviously, NOTHING like the coast, but we did get some pretty stiff winds). The antenna mount broke off of my chimney sending the Phillips antenna crashing 10 feet to the top of my flat roof. While things seemed okay, OTA TV reception was never the same. Prior to the storm, we were able to receive Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS digital stations. After the storm, the only station that was reliably coming in was ABC (at least we got to watch Castle!).

Even before this, though, I was never fully happy with the external antenna. It was VERY sensitive to direction, and we would momentarily lose signal whenever a helicopter or airplane went overhead (which is pretty often... we seem to be on a common flight path for medevac helicopters in one direction, and we are on long final for a business jet airport in another). Invariably, our commercials would be interruption-free, while just at the moment a show was coming to climax, a police chopper would loiter in just the right spot to screw up our picture. ლ(ಠ益ಠ)ლ

First world problems, right?

So then I unbox the Winegard Flatwave. What? This is it? This flimsy little sheet with a few lines running through it and a wimpy little coax cable (seriously... it's not much thicker than an iPhone charger cable)? How in the WORLD is this is supposed to be better? These other reviewers must be smoking something.

Whatever. So I plug it in and run my channel scan on the Samsung tuner. At the end of it all... 25 channels. Wait... what? 25? But... I only started with around 14!

Sure enough... this thing freaking works. I don't know how. I don't know what kind of black magic Winegard has blessed this with. I hope I haven't sold my soul to anyone to get crystal clear OTA from channels I saw on AntennaWeb but never thought I would receive. I am absolutely astounded that this thing works, despite being slapped haphazardly near my TV in the general direction (not specifically aimed... just kinda sorta aimed somewhat in the right direction) of our local transmitters. On the bottom floor of a two story brick home, absolutely surrounded by other two story brick homes and large, mature trees.

I've spend a ridiculous amount of time aiming, tweaking, and otherwise messing with the amplified external antenna. I literally spend all of 90 seconds installing this, and that included unpacking it and snipping the wire ties from the coax, disconnecting the other antenna from the digital tuner and connecting this antenna. Another few minutes to run the channel scan. Then another few minutes sitting with absolute amazement in front of my TV at how well it was not only pulling in the channels I had to work so painstakingly to get before the wind storm, but also channels I never thought I would get.

For those in the St. Louis area, I am in the South City area near Tower Grove Park. Aiming the antenna in a generally southern direction (as it is draped right now, more of a SSW direction), I receive the following digital channels, as well as all of their subchannels: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 24, 30, 46, 51.

Don't bother with huge aerials, messing with needing to ground masts on your roof, trying to find the EXACT aiming point, running coax all over the outside and inside of your house... just buy one of these Winegard FL-5000 FlatWave antennas for each TV you want to get OTA on and save yourself the time.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusion over "amped" vs non-amped antenna, April 16, 2013
There has been some confusion over why apparently Amazon sells this Flatwave antenna cheaper than Costco. The key is that there are TWO models (both sold on Amazon). This model reviewed here is NOT "amped." The other one is -- that's the one sold by Costco. On Amazon, the amped 5500 model (more range, more reliable) sells for $96. At Costco, it's currently (April 2013) available at $48. The 5500 is clearly superior to this non-amped model selling for $44.

Hope that helps.
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