Previous to this purchase I tried the Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna - Made in USA and Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna at my home. Neither product worked better than the Philips SDV2750/27 Amplified Superior Digital Design Antenna, and none of the three could pull in more than five channels.
In other words - they didn't work for me.
When I saw the Mohu line had a new one - the Mohu MH-004092 Leaf Ultimate, I was pessimistically optimistic that with a 50 mile range it might be able to reach the tower located 43 miles away and pull in a couple more channels. TVFool had indicated I needed an outdoor antenna to grab over-air signals in my area, but I decided to give this one a try and if it didn't work - I could always return it.
"Mohu Ultimate - A Nice Surprise!"
Unboxed it looks and feels very much like the other two Leaf products (white on one side, black on the other), but it has an amplifier dongle, that is powered by USB. You can use the included AC adapter (with USB port on it) to power it by AC, or you can plug into a USB port on your amplifier or TV to power it. I chose the AC adapter, and plugged mine into a surge protected power strip. A blue light on the amplifer came on when it was powered up.
Directions for the Mohu Leaf Ultimate are simple and straightforward. There's not a lot to get confused about, which is great. Anyone can set this antenna up!
Assembly is as easy as attaching the cords per the directions, powering up the amplifier, and hanging the Mohu Ultimate in the best spot for over air reception. Finding the optimum placement for the Mohu Ultimate to work its magic is the tricky part!
It took me 5 attempts at hanging the Mohu (taking note of channels received after auto-tune and the signal quality of those channels) before I finally found the perfect spot to receive all of the HD channels in my area from CBS, NBC and ABC.
Hung 7' away from other electronics, about 1" down from the ceiling, and about 5" from the corner on an East facing wall with a large window opposite the wall, the Mohu Ultimate did what none of the others could accomplish. The over-air HD channels I'd been hoping I could pull in from 43 miles away, through mountains, were now mine without being hooked up to cable! Crystal clear reception on all available HD channels, with no dropped signals or pixalation.
That was something the Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna - Made in USA and Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna had not been able to accomplish for me, due to shorter range and perhaps never before finding 'just the right spot' to place the Mohu for optimum reception.
However, depending upon where you live, you might be able to save yourself some money. If you live in a urban area with lots of towers nearby, you may not need the 'Ultimate' and its amplified range. Consider saving a bit of money and going with the original Mohu leaf first, after you check with TVFool and/or antennaweb for signal strength and range in your area.
Mohu Ultimate is a top notch device that works as promised when correctly placed for optimium performance. It's build quality is solid, and it's easy to set-up and use.
Do I wish it was a tad less pricey? Sure, but for its unobtrusive good looks, outstanding performance and money it's going to save me in the long run over cable - it's worth it!
I will be using the Mohu Ultimate, and a Roku device to stream Netflix, HuluPlus and Amazon Instant Video. That combination will save me approximately $100 a month in cable bills. Something I thought I'd never be able to do with a very simple looking indoor antenna.
Definitely worth a look no matter where you live - rural, suburban or city dwellers - if you want to cut ties with cable TV.
Tips to getting the Mohu Ultimate to work for you:
1. To find the best placement for your Mohu, check TVFool for towers in your area. Knowing what channels are available, their strengths, and distance from you, and direction, is very helpful in finding the best spot for this omni-directional antenna.
2. Try at least half a dozen spots in your room to find what works best, and then you can neaten up your wiring as needed. Do a channel search after every new placement and take note of each channel's quality and tweak accordingly.
3. Hang the Mohu as high up on a wall as possible for the best reception to start, and then adjust as needed.
Getting nice clear HD reception from all the biggies in my area (CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, and FOX). Learned that if I moved the Mohu up or down on the wall - even as little as 2" makes a difference in reception! I actually lost ABC when I placed the Mohu too high on the wall, but gained it back by dropping it down 2".
To get proper placement you may want to get a second person to help you, especially if you know the channels that should come in (because the towers are close enough and/or you've received the signal before), and have them make minor adjustments up and down to get things adjusted for optimum reception.
I have noticed a slight delay on audio over air on one channel, but otherwise, looks as good as it did using Charter cable.
Some comments regarding supplementing your over air TV programming with 'streaming' devices such as Apple TV MD199LL/A [NEWEST VERSION] and Roku 3 Streaming Player.
Streaming devices use a wireless signal or a hardwired Internet cord (from your modem or router) to stream content to your HDTV. They don't require a tuner, thus the HDTV really acts only as a monitor for the device to be able to show content to you.
The Mohu Leaf has nothing to do with the streaming of anything. It simply catches OTA (Over The Air) FREE programming (standard and HD) and through the tuner in your TV, puts those OTA channels into your tuner's memory so you can watch those signals.
Two separate things.
IF you have an OTA tuner such as the Mohu Leaf Ultimate or similar, you can cut ties with your cable company IF you are happy with the programming options it gives you. Streaming programming from Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and other sources allows you to add to your programming options without the cost of cable TV, but it does require both the device (means to stream programming) and Internet service (a per month cost).
I ended up lending my Mohu Leaf Ultimate to my mother for a test drive, and hooked-up my non-amplified Mohu Leaf while she tried out this one.
Needless to say I lost channels - two were my favorite HD ones - and wanted THIS one back!
I cannot speak for everyone who uses this amplified antenna, but for me, in my location... I need that extra 'umph' provided by the Mohu Leaf Ultimate!
Mohu Curve 50 Designer HDTV Antenna is the latest of the amplified Mohu antennas. It has a curved design versus the flat design of this one. I've yet to get to test drive it, but if I do I'll be excited to see if there is any performance difference.
I recently helped a friend drop her Charter cable TV by using a Mohu Leaf. She lives in a town with towers a lot closer than in my area - and she's thrilled!
We both find that since we get the over air HD channels *(all the biggies: Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS... in HD) and can get most programming via the Internet, Amazon, Netflix and Hulu Plus - there's really no need to pay for so many channels we never watch. Not when we're saving about $1200 a year doing it.
One thing to consider before cable cutting is whether or not you enjoy live sports. If so, keeping cable may be the only way (other than sport-specific subscriptions on the Roku or similar device) to feed that addiction. I've found that while the Mohu Leaf Ultimate works amazingly well in my rural location to pull in all the HD channels, I can only watch sports on those channels or pay to watch them on a channel via Roku or Apple TV.
I'm also picking up some channels with my PC tuner - with no Mohu attached - and am able to use the PC as a DVR. I've hooked up the Mohu to the tuner and it works well, but I was really surprised to get some unscrambled channels via the straight cable connection, even with my TV service turned off. **Give it a try if you have a PC tuner and Windows Media Player. Maybe you'll get lucky this way too!
I still get my internet via my cable company, but my bill went from $150 a month to $54 by using the Mohu Leaf Ultimate. Really a great, almost life-changing, money-saving device. Still highly recommend it!
After the initial shock of losing TLC, FX, A&E, History and HGTV, I'm so happy to be using the Mohu Leaf Ultimate to pull in my over-air HD signals. 98% of the time, the picture is crystal clear, without a hiccup. All the major stations in HD and no cable bill.
Even after pulling the plug on cable TV, I'm able to get cable channels through my PC which has a SiliconDust HDHomeRun DUAL High Definition Digital TV Tuner HDHR3-US (Black) attached to it, via Windows Media Player. I actually get some channels that I don't get via the Mohu on the PC (in addition to the over-air channels picked up by the Mohu), and can use the PC as a DVR. I don't have a flat anntena hooked up to my PC, so I guess the signal is coming through the line that's split with the other lead feeding my cable modem for our internet service?
2/4/14 UPDATE - Per a comment left by J.Ward I learned something new today that I want to share with others.
Jeff says: "No TV receives 1080P from Cable, Dish, or Antenna, so there is no limitation with your TV, as stated in your video review. It is simply too large of an amount of data to bring to the household, so it is limited to a broadcast of 1080i. The only way to view 1080P currently is via BluRay." Good to know - Thanks Jeff!
The over-air HD channels in 1080i look great, and I'm tickled to have 'em with the Mohu (newly renamed Mohu Leaf 50 - for the 50 mile range) Ultimate.
2/12/14 UPDATE - "Hmmm... not sure what happened to that other HD over air channel?"
I'm not sure why, but last night I lost one of the digital, over-air channels about 14 miles from my house. Using the TV to do an autoscan for channels I found that when scanning 'air', I do not get the channel anymore. I swapped out the TV with another containing a similar digital tuner. I was thinking that my old plasma was giving up the ghost and the tuner was dying, but alas the newer HDTV also did not pick up the lost channel.
Troubleshooting this way told me it wasn't the tuner, but it didn't tell me if it was the antenna or the signal that had changed.
I did a channel scan for 'cable' (I have the cable lead plugged into the back of my TV, although no cable TV service at present), and there was the channel I'd lost, and another I missed noting I'd lost in addition to the first. I tried to clear the TV of scrambled channels, but it wouldn't do it. It may just be that I was impatient, so I'll try to do that later today when no one is watching TV.
I can use the TV's remote to switch between the two feeds to get all the channels, but I am confused as to why this happened in the first place. Using the TV's channel search for a combined 'Air and Cable' I still don't get the channel without switching the 'antenna' button on my TV's remote. Unplugging the cable from the wall from the TV also did nothing to fix this issue.
Needless to say it's not ideal, but I can't say for sure whether it's the antenna or something else.
NOTE: A reviewer in the comments noted that he took off the antenna amplifier and got more channels than with it. I don't doubt him, but when I do this, my normal 12-14 channels drops to only 2! Amplified is the only way to go in my house.
UPDATE: 2/24/14 - Tried the Mohu Sky 60 HDTV Antenna (formerly Sky HDTV) and sent it back after troubleshooting and finding that by upgrading the Ultimate's coaxial, I got back my channels and cleared up the signal loss. I gained no channels by upgrading to the Mohu Sky, but that extra 10 mile range may help some folks. Just bear in mind you have to install it in your attic or on your rooftop for the best performance.
Mediabridge Coaxial Digital Audio/Video Cable (25 Feet) - Triple Shielded F-Pin to F-Pin with Easy Grip Connector Caps - Black solved my issue. I suggest upgrading the thin cable that ships with the Mohu to this one to get the best signal strength and stability.
In the comments jbwam mentions an issue that you may want to know. The warranty will be voided if you puncture it, as with a nail to hang it. This model has two small holes which allow it to be hung this way, but Winegard's model does not.
I received so many questions regarding my use of this Mohu Leaf antenna that I decided to write a book about over-the-air TV and setting up flat antennas. Check it out! Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV which is written in a non-techy way, for real people who just want to know more, save money and watch a little TV.
Recently I started using my new TV with this Mohu antenna and as with the other one all the channels were recognized with a 'air' channel scan and look great! My new TV: Sharp LC-60EQ10U 60-inch Aquos Q 1080p 240Hz Smart LED TV has built-in apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus and others (but not Amazon... a major bummer for me, but the Roku still has it) as well as an on screen guide that seamlessly integrates the over air channels with offerings from streaming media. At a glance I can now see what's on for all my over air channels as well as what's available on Netflix. A very cool feature that I was pleased worked so well with the Mohu antenna.
NOTE: If you're having issues with your Mohu antenna not receiving channels, or issues with setup in general, email them! They are really receptive and will help you get it right. They want you to successfully cut the cord and enjoy OTA FREE TV!