Tag Archives: antenna

Product Review: 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna

1byone logoI recently moved my one and only television, a Samsun 52″ LCD HDTV, from the front room of my home into the back room. In doing this, I lost the connection to a TV antenna I had mounted on the outside of my home. While I don’t watch a lot of over-the-air TV, it was nice to have access to the channels I could get. I tried a basic set of non-powered rabbit ears to pick up some channels after the TV move. But it didn’t pick up anything. I figured for sure I’d either have to move my external TV antenna (not a fun task) or just give up on over-the-air TV all together. Luckily for me, I was offered the chance to review a 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna.

ibyone HDTV antenna box front
ibyone HDTV antenna box front


ibyone HDTV antenna box back
ibyone HDTV antenna box back


1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna unboxed
1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna unboxed

The 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna comes with everything you need to use it: The antenna with built-in ten-foot coaxial cable, the inline amplifier, A/C adapter for the amplifier, three double-sided 3M adhesive pads, and the product manual. Installation is pretty straightforward. Connect the amplifier to your television’s antenna input, connect the antenna to the amplifier, connect the amplifier to the A/C adapter, and plug the adapter into an available power outlet.

1byone HDTV amplifier
HDTV amplifier’s LED shows it’s powered on

Thanks to a handy guide from AntennaWeb, I know that most of the TV transmitters in my area are positioned to the northwest. My first attempt with the 1byone antenna was to hang it as high as possible in the northwestern-facing corner of my room.

1byone HDTV on the wall
1byone HDTV antenna on the wall

I ran the auto program feature on my TV. It didn’t pick up any channels.

0 channels found
Zero channels found

In the antenna’s manual, it states that if you have trouble getting TV signals, you should place the antenna as high as possible and/or put it near a window. For good measure, I moved the antenna to the opposite corner of my room, ran the auto program sequence and again, came up with nothing.

I then moved the antenna next to a window and tried again. This time, success!

6 channels found!
6 channels found!

With the antenna next to the window, I was now able to receive six channels. A nice improvement over the other attempts. The HD picture and sound were crystal clear and the stability of the signal was rock solid with no dropouts.

HDTV picture
HDTV picture

I know some readers will see the result of six channels as unacceptable. But, I think it’s great. I don’t live in a major metropolitan area, and even with my external antenna, I didn’t get many more channels than this. The 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna promises a range of up to 50 miles. I’m certain that if you live in the orbit of a large city, you’ll be able to easily pick up many more chances with this antenna.

1byone describes this antenna as “paper thin” and they’re not kidding. The antenna is very thin and light. It’s easy to move about the room and try in different locations. I’d recommend using one of the supplied double-adhesive pads until you’ve found a permanent place for the antenna. It’s light enough that one adhesive pad will hold it on the wall, but you’d probably want to use more than one to hold it in place long term.

The 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna is available for purchase for $36.99 direct from 1byone. It’s also currently available on Amazon for $29.99.

Boxee Adding Digital Television Signal via Dongle

Boxee Live TV Dongle
Boxee Live TV Dongle

If you run your Boxee through a computer monitor rather than a flat screen TV, or just don’t want to flip to the terrestrial line, well fret no more. Boxee has launched Live TV – a USB dongle that will connect to your cable or antenna so you can watch television straight from the box!

The Live TV stick is an HD antenna that provides Boxee Box owners with local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW and any other over-the-air channel you might get. The Live TV will be available in January 2012 for $49.

“Last year, 89 of the top 100 shows were on broadcast networks – they remain the most popular channels on cable.” says Boxee CEO Avner Ronen on the Boxee blog. ” The Superbowl, the World Series, the Oscars, the Grammys, presidential debates and addresses, the Olympics… they’re all on broadcast. Yes, there are hundreds of cable channels, but make a list of the stuff you actually watch. You will probably find that most are on broadcast and the rest are available on Vudu/Netflix/Network sites.”

For $49, you get the dongle. I would guess there is no need for a remote, like a regular TV to PC dongle, because it could be controlled via the Boxee software.

Boxee screen
Boxee screen

Keep in mind, any over-the-air channel might not be in full HD. Primary HD channels could be in 1080p, 1080i, 720p or less. If a channel has a 2nd and 3rd sub-channel (ex: Channel 3.1 is the primary, Channel 3.2 and 3.3 are sub-channels), those would most likely run at 480i. If the Primary channel wants to run 1080p, it would have to turn off the sub-channels to do so.

Also keep in mind about the signals of over-the-air TV. The farther away from the antenna you are, the better chance of channel breakage you could get.

If you can get past that, this might be a great way to connect the TV to your… well, TV. Of course, if you haven’t cut the cable yet, you can also connect your cable to this and funnel those channels through your Boxee.

Mohu Leaf Antenna: You Don’t Need Cable

Did you know that you can get free HD over the air with an antenna. The truth is some of the best HD comes through over the air resources. The best way to get these channels is by using an outdoor antenna, but for people who live in an apartment that’s not very realistic.  Most indoor antennas don’t work very well and you constantly have to reposition them to get different channels to come in. Mohu Inc leading producer of antenna technology has been working to solve this problem. Their latest product is the Mohu Leaf.

The Mohu Leaf is an indoor antenna that picks up all available over the air channels in an area without constant repositioning. It is manufactured in the US. It was originally designed for the military by Greenwave Scientific antenna engineers.  Dr Mark Buff the president of Mohu Inc decided to buy an ad on  Time Warner Cable for the holiday season.    Their ad spot stated that consumers “do not need expensive cable service to watch HD programs.”. Mohu assumed that there would not be a problem since Direct TV and Dish Network also competitors to Time Warner Cable have ads on cable.  Unfortunately Time Warner Cable in Columbus, Ohio and Kansas City, thought differently and refused to air the Mohu Leaf commercials. This is the commercial that they were going to run.

I haven’t tried the Mohu Leaf myself, but all the reviews I read on-line have been positive. It is sad, that Time Warner chose not to run this commercial in certain areas. It is even sadder that they are able to block Mohu ability to advertise on cable. Hopefully this on-line video will become viral and Mohu will have the last laugh.

Did Steve Jobs iPhone 4 “Blame Game” Work or Not?

This had to singularly be one of the worst presentations Steve Jobs has given in a while.

I was watching the video on CNet. The video itself was short and edited to be more to the point. We learned in 2:53 what took Steve Jobs 30 minutes to say. But the first 10 minutes were the most surprising. Let me quote:

Steve Jobs

Well it turns out, it’s certainly not unique to the iPhone 4. That is one of the first things we learned. You can go on YouTube and see videos of Nokia phones, Motorolla phones and other phones doing the same thing. Nobody ever looked at them much before…

This is true.

I found a video for a Nokia E71 where the bars disappear in their left hand.  HTC EVO tried the Deathgrip video, which showed if you hold it at the top, the signal goes down, so that is untrue. The Blackberry Deathgrip, however, caused antenna signal to go down.

Blame Game

So Steve was stating fact. Some other phones do loose signal if you cover the antenna. Maybe that’s something the FCC should look into, however, the blame game shouldn’t have been brought up as much as it did on Friday. The first 15 minutes was about stating “Other phones do it, too…”

Isn’t Apple Suppose to be Superior?

Everything I see and hear, Apple is suppose to be better than all other devices. Yes, they can make mistakes, however, don’t go saying that’s the standard when you tout that you are above the standard.

Steve said this was a “Very advanced, new antenna system”.

At least one with a very simple flaw.

Don’t Pick on Us, Bullies!

We don’t expect the iPhone to be perfect. We don’t expect any phone to be perfect. However, we expect a phone to work properly. When it doesn’t, we don’t want to hear “Well Johnny’s phone doesn’t work that well, either”.

I didn’t buy Johnny’s phone.

The Other Issues?

While the whole conversation was about “Antennagate”, nothing was mentioned about the yellowing issue. Nothing was mentioned about some owners seeing their screens crack easily. Mass quantities of phones put out through cheap manufacturing. Some issues happened simply because glue did not dry properly.

Of course, if it wasn’t for that cheap manufacturing, then we wouldn’t get our rumor leaks about Apple’s next big thing.

Should Apple have Recalled it?

The rest of the speech was Steve umming through a presentation he did not have that much time to learn. While that is understandable, the whole experience might have been better handled. Some say a $1.5 billion recall, for example, is in order.

While the Bumper is a simple fix (and apparently approved by Consumer Reports as Jobs noted), it has not helped Apple’s market share. In fact, shares have fallen over 10 percent since the iPhone 4 came out. $25 / Share. Now with 909 million shares out, that means Apple lost 22 billion dollars last month – 9 billion since Friday.

Of course, with a big price on a stock, dropping and raising always means major amounts of money are affected. Still, if Jobs would have said “Recall”, would that have appeased the stock holders, or would we have seen the price drop below $200 / share.


Apple has a product that contains a defect that is fixed by a case. That seems to go against Apple’s strategy for no cases, but O.K. – You can get a bumper for your phone. Maybe some software updates will fix the problem so you can take the bumper off. That remains to be seen.

The blame game might have hurt more than anything. There is an old addage that says if you get defensive to a problem, it may continue to be a problem. Since Apple surpasses the standard, do they have a right to be like any other phone?

I’ve Got An Iphone 4

I received my new Iphone 4 late Monday afternoon and have been trying it out since then. I have upgraded from an Iphone 3GS and so far I am happy with my purchase. I am well aware of the issue with the antenna, however I don’t make that many calls and when I do I almost always use headphones. This however does not excuse Apple for the antenna problem. One of the issues maybe how Apple, especially Steve Jobs and early adopters see the Iphone, in comparison to the general public. I believe that the first group see the Iphone as a mini computer that happens to have a phone, while the second group sees it primarily as a phone.

If Apple sold it as a mini computer with telephone capabilities added, I might give them more leeway. However it is being sold as a phone, which means that it must work at least as well as any other phone on the same network. A questionable connection and a suspect network, is not a good combination for a phone. I am afraid that Apple, solution maybe to simply changing the the bars to fit the actual connection, instead of fixing the connection. This unfortunately is something that many companies do to, they mask the problem, instead of fixing it. Worst, is what Apple tried to do. which is to blame the customer. Blaming the customer is always bad for business, no matter if what you are saying is true or not. Its even worst if the customer is doing exactly what you would expect them to do.

There is a part of me , that says this product is defective and you should hate it. I don’t, I admit I still love it. I love how it feels, how it works and all the little touches that make it an Iphone. I admit that the various Android phones probably do certain things better then the Iphone. However after three years in the Iphone universe, I am not about to change now. I am still convince that Apple will find a solution to the antenna problem, and in a year it will be just be a distant memory. Perhaps the press conference this Friday at 10:00 AM PST will tell us which direction Apple is headed on the antenna issue. What do you think, do you own an Iphone 4, do you love it or are you ready to throw it against the wall. If you don’t own a Iphone 4, but was thinking of getting one, has the antenna issue stopped you. What do you want to hear from Apple at this Friday’s press conference. Please let me know.

Easy iPhone 4 Antenna Fix

Inexpensive iPhone 4 Scotch Tape Antenna FixThere have been numerous reports that the newly-released Apple iPhone 4 is having some antenna issues. The metal ring that forms the outside edge of the phone can essentially short out due to the conductivity of human skin when it’s held in the wrong way.

One of my podcast listeners forwarded me this link to an item on MacDailyNews that details the problem, and details a very inexpensive, unobtrusive fix. Apparently all that’s needed is a tiny piece of  plastic or “scotch” tape applied to the right place and that’s enough to eliminate the issue.