TERK HDTVo Amplified Directional HDTV Antenna Review
If you’re like me, you love watching television in your spare time but in reality, you hate what those cable or satellite companies are charging you monthly. Those charges stack up month after month and are really pricey and digging in your wallet. You can really save a bundle of money and place that towards something more important. You take a step back and realize that you really don’t watch that many shows to begin with and it gets harder to justify the monthly costs. You realize the impossible chances of watching over hundreds of channels are slim to none, there are so many choices and just how many shows can you watch in a few hours? Is it really worth it?
I concluded that it was not worth paying for cable or satellite TV and decided to go with the “over-the-air” route and attain 100% free and legal channels that are coming into my HDTV uncompressed, thus giving me better picture quality that none of the cable/satellite TV companies can claim they have. They come in HD as well! If you read some of our antenna reviews in the past, you will realize that there are different types of antennas available and different distances they can reach.
Continuing our coverage that advises you regarding the analog-to-digital TV switch that ended analog over-the-air transmissions in the USA (2011 for Canadians), today I bring you yet another antenna review that you can consider in your pursuit of free TV.
Today I will be taking a look at a HDTV antenna from TERK (owned by Audiovox that holds many different brands under its name) that is targeted towards customers who live within a metropolitan area. The TERK HDTVo amplified directional HDTV antenna is designed to be able to receive all available local UHF/VHF channels while having the flexibility of being mounted indoors or outdoors. This log-periodic type TERK HDTVo antenna is not a long-range antenna but one that can provide you with all your locals if that is all you desire.
TERK HDTVo Antenna Features
Well one of the weird things about the Audiovox brand is that they have many product brands under its label. Such companies include TERK, RCA, Acoustic Research, Jensen, Code Alarm and not to forget Audiovox. You’ll notice that these brand names are not upscale brands by any stretch but rather consumer brands. What this means is that you’ll find these products in just about any large retailer such as Best Buy, FutureShop, Wal-Mart, etc which is great for availability purposes.
Their website leaves more to be desired though as when you head over to the TERK website, they offer no technical specifications of any kind but only offer product features. I could guess why they do such a thing but regardless they should try to at least give more information. So I can’t tell you what the gain of this antenna is or the likely range other than the fact that TERK says it can get all local channels if you’re within a metropolitan area.
I have to give TERK a high-five as they have a brilliant looking package for the HDTVo. The HDTVo is without a doubt the best packaged antenna I have reviewed thus far. It comes with a plastic handle on top of the box for easy transportation and everything inside the box is secure with zero loose parts dangling around. The design is perfect for retail markets and if it’s something I see while browsing in Best Buy, I’d probably be motivated to see what it was.
Opening the box will reveal the following items…
Laying out all the contents aside, you will notice that the TERK HDTVo basically looks like an enlarged Zenith Silver Sensor indoor antenna. TERK also has a look-a-like of this indoor antenna called the HDTVa and HDTVi and I can’t blame them as these designs are one of the best for indoor usage. Now they have made this TERK HDTVo and we’ll see how it stacks up and what it can do.
The TERK HDTVo is a versatile antenna because it can be mounted indoors or outdoors and it includes everything you need to get this done, even the lag screws. And mounting is made easy and you really don’t need to even consult the manual (still consult the manual!) because the product box clearly shows images of how you can mount the antenna (on a wall, on a roof or in an attic) and it clearly shows which pieces bolt up to where on the antenna. I love how TERK made it so easy on the consumer. Everything fits one way, one position so there is little to get wrong. The mini mast is a J-type mast, the same kind you can use to install a satellite dish. The instructional manual is easy to read and effectively shows you how to install the antenna indoor/outdoor with images and is very well written.
The amplifier unit that comes with the TERK HDTVo is a small little unit which attaches to the antenna via coaxial cable and the other end will plug into your HDTV. Don’t forget to turn on the small little power switch for it to work properly. Lastly plug the amplifier’s AC adaptor into an available power receptacle.
Let’s look at the actual antenna now. The HDTVo is mostly made out of hard plastic while the log periodic elements seem to be made of thin aluminum. The whole unit measures 27inches x 13 inches x 2 inches (Length x width x height) when closed, with the actual log periodic elements protruding out from the unit 13 inches in length. By outdoor antenna standards, it’s actually a smaller antenna.
As you will know from my previous antenna review, the testing setup had changed. Each antenna is tested on the 2nd floor of my home, facing out of the window (south toward Buffalo). The antenna is then routed to the basement (through the rooms TV jack) and then routed to a Samsung HDTV in the 1st floor living room. To make up for the cable loss, I have the antenna hooked up to my personal amplifier (the PCT-MA2-1P). Each antenna is mounted on my modified camera tripod acting as the mast pipe.
But I had to revise these above setup because this TERK HDTVo comes with its own amplifier and doesn’t work with my own. So the antenna is simply tested in the 2nd floor, facing out the window but directly connected to my HDTV instead of being routed down to the 1st floor. It is still mounted on the exact tripod the others were on.
Here are the results…
ClearStream 4 – Advertised as an ultra-long range antenna at ¼ of the size. Does what it advertises and more. BEST antenna tested thus far. Longest channel picked up is ABC/CBS which is 92.6mi (149.0km) away! Box says up to 65 miles. Packaging leaves more to be desired. Has the worst packaging.
Winegard 1080M – Classified at around the 0-30 mile range. Definitely does what it says it can do and much more! But barely picks up ABC (1BAR) which is 92.6mi (149.0km) away! And cannot get CBS which is same distance and also 49-1. Packaging is second best of the group.
TERK HDTVo – Advertised for metropolitan areas where transmitters are close by. Picking up signals at the longer distance is not something it is advertised for. Meets advertisement and does pick up local HDTV channels with no problem. Cannot pick up further distance channels. Not recommended if you want to pick up long distance channels. Best packaging out of the three antennas, everything is secure and packaged in box. No loose parts.
There you have it. The TERK HDTVo is a good antenna for getting all your local channels. It’s got great packaging, flexible in being installed indoor/outdoor and includes everything you need to get started.
My only problem with this antenna will be the pricing. Checking around revealed that the TERK HDTVo antenna is sold for $107.99US on sale, $94.88US at Wal-Mart. Asking for this much money for an antenna that only gets locals is seriously too pricey.
Thankfully if you look around further, the TERK HDTVo can be had for $69.99US at Amazon.com. For this price while it is still overpriced in my opinion, it’s better than paying $107.99 plus tax.
The TERK HDTVo is an interesting antenna and does what it is advertised to do without anything further. It can only receive local channels and while that’s not a bad thing, because of being overpriced for what it does, I feel there are better antennas that can do the exact same thing, for a lot less. But if you can get this TERK HDTVo for $39.99, I think it’s worth a shot.