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Kermit was wrong: It's easy being green. Well, at least if you're a cord cutter with the Mohu ReLeaf antenna. It's made of recycled materials and delivers excellent reception, making this our top unamplified pick among even the best TV antennas.
Design: Recycled Basic Beige
Opening the box for the Mohu ReLeaf can be a little disconcerting because the flat, rectangular (11.5 x 9 inches) antenna looks and feels like cardboard. That's because, well, it is cardboard. The indoor antenna, which attaches to a wall with a couple of pushpins, is made of recycled packaging and "postconsumer" recycled paper, rather than plastic.
The round, clamshell attachment that connects the coaxial cable to the antenna is made from crushed cable boxes, according to Mohu. The box itself is made of recycled paper, and the setup instructions are printed on the inside of the box, eliminating the need for an additional paper manual.
The nonamplified ReLeaf is rated to pull in stations from a 30-mile radius (amplified models are typically rated for 50 miles), which is a tad farther than the 25-mile range of the Mohu Leaf Metro. It includes a 10-foot cable to connect to your TV, which should give it enough distance to find the optimal reception spot in your location. The ReLeaf's basic beige design isn't as stylish as some models, such as the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse, but it's relatively unobtrusive.
Performance: Outstanding Without Power
An initial scan of channels in our metropolitan test location registered a total of 58 digital stations. When moving through all of the channels, I found that 44 came in clearly, including local network affiliates such as CBS and NBC in full 1080i resolution. I also received secondary channels, such as Cozi and Laff, in 480p. Even the tricky ABC affiliate in our area came in crisply in 720p.
The scores of other stations I watched included Korean and Spanish-language channels with clear audio, plus shopping, public access and other specialty programming. The ReLeaf demonstrated the wealth of free HDTV that's available in many larger urban markets.
Of the 58 detected channels, the Mohu ReLeaf failed to pull in only 14 stations, but it still delivered the best reception we've seen to date from a nonamplified antenna.
Update (2/8/17): With a new test bed for our HDTV antenna reviews—a Samsung KS9000 4K TV—we retested the Mohu ReLeaf non-amplified antenna. With the more sensitive tuner built into the Samsung KS9000, an initial scan with the Mohu ReLeaf registered a total of 71 channels, more than we've seen with any amplified or non-amplified antenna so far. Of those stations, a total of nine were deemed either unwatchable or had too much interference for consistent viewing, including some channels other antennas could pull in such as Antenna TV and QVC. Still, the Mohu ReLeaf continues to best other antennas, powered or not.
Often, going green means compromising on performance. The Mohu ReLeaf proves that doesn't have to be the case, delivering category-leading performance with excellent reception and simplicity of design. So now, you'll feel good not only about the money you'll save on your cable bill, but also about how you're helping to save the planet.
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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.