I used one of those flat panel HDTV antenna's for a couple weeks until I was going nuts with moving it a fraction of an inch to get all the channels with just enough signal to not cut in and out. I ended up returning the flat panel and getting this antenna instead.
Yes, you have to put it together...which was not as difficult as I expected, however the instructions are so small and badly written, that GE just can't be the party that manufacturers the antenna itself.
Yes, you have to mount this antenna on a stud in the attic. I would not recommend this antenna for outdoors as it is a little fragile with the plastic used. I can see the UV from the sun breaking down the plastic over a quick period of time. My antenna has about 22' of RG-6 cable between it and my Silicon HomeRun tuners. There is no need for an amplifier with this distance and using one may actually hurt the signal.
Before you even think of going up in the attic, you need to lookup your broadcasting antennas on antennaweb to figure out exactly where you should be pointing your antenna. I have 3 broadcast towers in my area...some of which are far apart from one another. Some were at 326, 357 and 343 degrees from my house. Take the average of all those (342 degrees) and that is where you should point your antenna. Load up the free Compass app on your iPhone (or similar) and use it to show exactly where you should point the antenna.
What about performance? Well, with the previous flat panel, I was getting about 2 (or 3) of 5 bars for signal strength on 9 channels. After putting in this antenna, most every channel is about 5 of 5 bars...AND I'm able to pickup an additional 10 channels. Pretty good! I have only seen channel degradation when it is stormy or windy outside, but figure it can't be from my antenna in the attic. Overall, for cord cutters, this is the best way to go to get your locals for free. I'm now saving about $70 month by not dumping it to the cable company.