Who's It For? Cord-cutters who still want to watch the big networks and their local affiliates — and may have to mount the antenna outside to get the best signal.
Design and setup: plenty of cable
With a list price of $39, the HD Frequency Cable Cutter Mini is best suited to metropolitan areas where over-the-air options are plentiful and nearby. It's a non-amplified model with a modest 11-by-9-inch flat metal frame that resembles a four-pane window. The Cable Cutter Mini is rated for a maximum 25-mile reception range and can be used indoors or out. Its hottest competitor is the Mohu Leaf Metro (see review), which is smaller, thinner, lighter and a bit cheaper, but is only for indoor use.
HD Frequency includes a 10-foot coaxial cable, which makes it easy to place the antenna in the optimum reception spot. The Cable Cutter Mini also comes with four adhesive dots to secure the antenna to an interior wall or window.
Performance: better than a flap
The unique HD Frequency design pulled in a solid picture and consistent sound. In our Manhattan test location, the Cable Cutter Mini received 17 watchable stations--more than most non-amplified models can do, including the Mohu Leaf Metro, which received 12. A more expensive amplified antenna would do better, however: The RCA Ultra-Thin, Multi-Directional, Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna, selling for between $40 and $70, allowed me to receive 41channels from the same location.
With the Cable Cutter Mini, Network newscasts on CBS were clear and uninterrupted; basketball games on the local ABC affiliate looked sharp. Telemundo was as effervescent as ever. Even in a snowstorm, the Cable Cutter Mini dropped only one station.
For simple HDTV reception, the Cable Cutter Mini is a reliable performer. However, if you know you won't need to mount an antenna outdoors, the Mohu Leaf Metro is a better choice because it's less expensive, more compact and easier to conceal on a wall or window.
- Your Guide to Cable TV Cord-Cutting
- Best TVs for Any Budget