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For those who need to place an amplified antenna out in the open to get proper reception, but don't want their living room to look like an ad for Geek Weekly, the Moho Curve ($79) may be the only antenna that one can honestly say is attractive. And it pulls in more channels than the competition, too, making it one of the best TV antennas we've reviewed and our favorite amplified antenna for cord-cutters.
Design: No Need to Conceal
The Mohu Curve is designed to sit inconspicuously on a bookshelf or next your equipment on a tabletop. As its name suggests, the antenna's solid arced design means it's more likely to blend in with your bric-a-brac. It comes with a 16-foot coaxial cable (longer than most), so you can set this up on a shelf reasonably far from your TV for optimal positioning.
Mohu includes the USB power adapter (less expensive models often neglect the power plug), and the Curve has the longest USB cable I've seen on an antenna (73 inches), so that you have more flexibility about where you plug it in.
While slight, Mohu's supplied instruction manual is clearly written and precise so that anyone can install and tune in stations. It's probably the best manual I've seen packaged with an antenna, which is notable in a market where cutting costs (and corners) is often more of a priority.
Channels Received: 58
Range: 50 miles
1080p reception: Yes
Cable Length: 16 feet
Size: 11.75 x 7.75 inches
Performance: Outstanding Sensitivity
Like many antennae that include an amplifier, the Curve is rated to pull in stations within a radius of 50 miles. An initial scan using our test Samsung KS9000 4K TV's tuner brought in 65 channels; and the Mohu Curve did extremely well delivering most of those stations. All but seven were clear and imminently watchable.
The Mohu Curve had no trouble receiving all the major nearby affiliates, including ABC, CBS and NBC. And the picture was clear whether I was watching NHL hockey or McMillan and Wife (although the latter was in SD). PBS stations were sharp, and even subchannels, such as Heroes and Icons broadcasting Wagon Train, looked better than most. The Curve also pulled in stations that others missed, such as the English version of Sinovision and the Korean language CGNTV.
The only stations the Mohu Curve didn't pull in properly were secondary channels. There were redundant comedy and western rerun channels that dropped out, as well as a shopping channel and a marine weather station that failed to come in. Most viewers won't miss such peripheral stations.
The Mohu Curve 50 is the most stylish and least geeky of the other HDTV antennas. It has a USB power option, and pulled in more stations than the competition in our tests. If you need an amplified antenna but can’t afford the Curve or the $40 Mohu ReLeaf, consider the $27 Holisouse HD antenna, which costs half as much. But you won’t be disappointed if you splurge on the Curve.
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John R. Quain has been reviewing and testing video and audio equipment for more than 20 years. For Tom's Guide, he has reviewed televisions, HDTV antennas, electric bikes, electric cars, as well as other outdoor equipment. He is currently a contributor to The New York Times and the CBS News television program.