- -Great Reception
- -Can Install in Window
- -Easy Installation
Today, I’m going to review the Mohu Leaf after showing you a little trick that makes the Mohu Leaf the most versitile indoor TV antenna you can buy. But first I’m going to give you a little background on the antenna I first reviewed over 2 years ago.
Update: Mohu recently released an update to the Leaf. Check out my review of the Mohu Leaf Glide.
When we first cut the cord I tried quite a few indoor TV antennas. By in large, they were all a disappointment. In fact, I stated on this very blog that there was little difference between various indoor TV antennas. The antenna company Mohu took umbrage to my comments and sent me their Mohu Leaf and Curve to review. The quality of reception for both was fantastic, and they turned my opinion around on indoor TV antennas.
Since then it’s been a tough decision on which indoor antenna is better, the Mohu Leaf or the Mohu Curve. They’re virtually the same when it comes to reception. However, the Curve is a looker. In the past, I gave the nod to the Curve based on its aesthetics.
However, a recent experiment I conducted regarding indoor TV antennas and improving their reception has changed my mind. Based on the results of my test, I now think the Mohu Leaf is a better choice than the curve.
Mohu Leaf Versitility
So what made me reconsider the Mohu Leaf? It’s ability to be placed anywhere, even outdoors. Many commenters have expressed their aversion to using an outdoor antenna. I originally thought this was due to folks not wanting to climb out on their roof to install the antenna. However, the most common reason was getting the coaxial cable into the house. Having an outdoor antenna at ground level would likely have better reception than an indoor antenna. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t want to drill a hole in their house to install the coaxial cable.
So I started looking for a solution for folks to easily get a coaxial cable into the house. That’s when I came across this flat coaxial cable.
You can use this cable in a closed window to join a coaxial cable inside the house to a coaxial cable outside the house. Not only is this an easy way to install something like a Mohu Sky 60 outdoor antenna, but why not try installing a Mohu Leaf outside to increase the channel reception. That’s just what I did, and you won’t believe how much better the reception was.
I will show you how to install the Mohu Leaf inside later in the review. First, I wanted to show you what a difference this little cable made on my Mohu Leaf.
Here is a shot of my Mohu Leaf in the window. This is typically the optimal place to put an indoor TV antenna. However, many of us have metal screens in our windows, and that can really mess up reception. Here is an image of the channel scan with the Mohu Leaf inside the house.
Not bad, 26 channels is a lot of free television. But let’s use this flat coaxial and see what happens when I install the Mohu Leaf outside. First, I attach a coaxial cable to my TV’s antenna coaxial port. Then, I attach the other end to the flat coaxial cable and lay the flat cable in the window as shown below.
Next, I close the window and head outside. Then, I attach another coaxial cable to the end of the flat coaxial cable sticking out of the window.
From there I just connect the cable to the Mohu Leaf and slap it on the outside wall facing the broadcast towers using the velcro tabs that came with the antenna.
Remember that channel scan of 26 stations. Check out what the Mohu Leaf pulls down when it’s outdoors.
It pulled 43 channels! That’s more than a 50% increase in reception for a flat coaxial cable that cost me about $3. You may be wondering why I’m praising the Mohu Leaf when it was the flat cable that made the difference. It’s the versatility on where you can install the Mohu Leaf. Its flat design allows you to stick it on an outside wall, or even on the other side of the window using the sticky velcro tabs that come with the Mohu Leaf.
So while it performs identically to the Curve, and may not be as pretty as the Curve, it’s ability to install practically anywhere makes it the better choice.
Keep in mind that Mohu considers the Leaf an indoor antenna, so using the Mohu Leaf in the manner above may violate the warranty. You would need to check with Mohu to be sure. Also keep in mind that the National Electric Code in the US recommends grounding an outdoor antenna, and installing the Leaf in this fashion would qualify. For those that want to install the Mohu Leaf in the more orthodox fashion, my original review of the Mohu Leaf continues below where I cover the Mohu Leaf 30, installation, and the Mohu Leaf 50.
Mohu Leaf 30
The Mohu Leaf 30 is rated to pick up TV signals within 30 miles. Mohu also makes the Mohu Leaf 50 (formerly known as the Mohu Leaf Ultimate) which is rated for 50 miles. The only difference is an included Mohu amplifier, but I’ll cover that a bit later in the post.
Before we install the Mohu Leaf 30, lets see which channels are available in your area. To do this use this online tool from Mohu. Simply enter your address and the tool will let you know which TV networks you can receive on the Mohu Leaf.
When opening a product for the first time, realizing you don’t have a connector or a cord to install the device is disappointing. Mohu apparently feels the same way. Everything you need to set up the Mohu Leaf comes in the box. It includes:
- A Mohu Leaf Antenna
- A 10 feet coaxial cable
- Hook-And-Loop Tabs and Pins for mounting
Everything required to install the Mohu Leaf is there in the package. After hearing the Leaf was “Paper thin” I expected it to feel cheap. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While it bends, it’s extremely sturdy and has a feel of quality. It’s also only 10 X 12 inches, so it’s very modest in size.
While you could easily hook everything up and stick the Mohu Leaf on the wall in a matter of minutes; I recommend figuring out the best way to orient your Mohu Leaf. Use this signal locator at TVfool.com. I’ve put together an episode of the Grounded Reason Podcasts that walks you through using TV fool. It will explain the steps below and more.
Just enter your address on the page and you will see a similar report for your location. I find it easier to print out this information when orienting the antenna. Proper orientation and location upon installation will negate the need to adjust the Mohu Leaf antenna in the future.
As explained by TvFool.com, any station in green should be received by an indoor antenna. Any rows highlighted yellow or red may require an attic or roof antenna. The fields for orientation are under the Azimuth heading.
If you want to use a compass, then you use the magnetic (Magn) Azimuth instead of true north. Otherwise, this will give us an idea of which way the panels on the Mohu Leaf should face. Both sides receive the signal, so I am going to have my antenna face northward to pick up PBS (67.1) and CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC which all come from the NE. Since both sides will receive signals, I may be able to pull in weaker signals from the south as well.
Once you’ve figured out the ideal direction to orient the Mohu Leaf, just connect the antenna to the television. This is simply a matter of screwing one end of the coax cable to the port on the Mohu Leaf, and the other end to the antenna port on your TV. For more tips and tricks on setting up your Mohu Leaf, check out this guide on improving antenna TV reception.
After the antenna is connected, use the pins or loop tabs provided in the box to mount the Mohu leaf wherever you like. I prefer a window due to heavy insulation in my exterior walls. Once the antenna is attached, simply switch your television’s input to “Antenna” and scan for channels. If you are unsure how to do this, consult your television’s owners manual. If you are unable to locate the manual, check the manufacturer’s website. It should be available for download.
Mohu Leaf Test
While most antennas give their rating in miles, receiving a channel is dependent on the power of the signal arriving at the antenna. If you look at the table from TV Fool, the NM(dB) field essentially tells you the signal’s power. It is given as a “noise margin” essentially indicating how much signal is left. Occurrences like the signal passing through a wall and coaxial splitters cause “noise”, thus degrading the signal further.
Generally, a noise margin of at least 30 dB should account for “noise” passing through the trees and walls around your television.
However, PBS (67.1) has 34 dB at my location and I have been unable to pick up this channel with the indoor antennas I’ve tried. Therefore, I’m considering PBS the bar to measure the Mohu Leaf’s performance.
Mohu Leaf 50
If the towers are a little further away, Mohu also makes the Mohu Leaf 50 (formerly known as the Mohu Leaf Ultimate.) This leaf antenna is rated for 50 miles and includes the Jolt Digital TV Amplifier.
The Ultimate provides a little more range by using the amplifier to compensate for any dB loss from the connections between the Leaf Antenna and TV tuner. It also compensates for noise generated by the TV tuner itself.
The amplifier is easy to install. It is powered by USB and ever comes with a USB power adapter. This provides the option of powering the amplifier from the power supply or getting power from your TVs USB port.
This is an impressive antenna. It looks as though I was wrong in thinking all indoor antennas are the same. Not only was the Mohu Leaf able to pick up my local PBS, but it was able to pick up the other PBS affiliate 20 miles to the south. The antenna also captured WDCW, which TV Fool recommends an attic antenna for and is 25 miles south of my antenna. Also, note that all of these channels were crystal clear, and in HDTV when applicable.
Furthermore, this is with the Mohu Leaf hidden from view on the wall behind my TV. If I mount it in front of the window behind my TV, the results are amazing. I’m able to receive 3 more stations rated for an attic antenna, and WDCA (20.1) which is almost 30 miles south. That station is highlighted in red, and TV fool recommends a roof antenna!
With results that rival the antenna on my roof, it’s easy to recommend the Mohu Leaf for those looking for a quality indoor antenna. It’s the best unamplified indoor antenna I’ve tried to date. It’s well worth the money at its price of $39.99.
Decorate Your Mohu Leaf
Ann Brannon has written an article on Mohu’s Blog about getting creative with your Mohu Leaf. She took various craft materials and did some cool DIY art projects with the Antenna.
If you are a cord-cutter with kids, it might be a fun family project so I’d thought I’d share the link.
Purchase a Mohu Leaf
You can purchase the Mohu Leaf through my affiliate link, or just by clicking the Mohu Leaf images above. Mohu is running a sale. Enter promotional code “super25” at checkout for 25% off.
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For tips and tricks on cutting the cord and other tech topics follow Dennis on Twitter Follow @GroundedReason