Televés DAT-75 UHF HDTV Antenna

The Short Form
$200 / 72 x 22 x 28 IN / 10 LBS / antennavoodoo.com / 206-323-8845
Plus
•Compact size for high-gain antenna •Looks cool •Excellent performance for fringe areas
Minus
•Expensive
Key Features
•75-element, 17-dB high-gain antenna •Optional MRD 5050 booster module •Aluminum with orange or black plastic
Plucking high-def out of the air is a viable (and free) alternative to upgrading your cable or satellite service. Enter the Televés DAT-75 HDTV antenna, a directional, high-gain UHF antenna designed specifically to capture HD signals. Suitable for roof or attic mounting, this Spanish import is remarkably compact for its breed, solidly constructed, and - can you believe it? - actually looks cool.

I tried out the Televés DAT-75 at my rural New Jersey home, where I've been getting HD via a giant multi-element antenna in my attic pointed at Philadelphia, about 50 miles away. Swapping in the DAT-75 took a half-hour of assembly and installation before tweaking its orientation and horizontal angle using the onscreen meter of my digital TV tuner.

I enjoyed a modest improvement with the 6-foot long DAT-75 over my old 9-foot antenna. It pulled in the same eight digital stations at about the same signal strength. But in one case - a Jersey PBS station that was off the direct line of sight to Philly - reception improved from marginal to excellent. Frequent image pixelization was eliminated, and for the first time I was able to consistently pick up the station's dedicated high-def channel.

BOTTOM LINE The Televés DAT-75 HDTV antenna impressed me with its performance, design details, and appearance. It's pricey, but if you live in a fringe area or want something on your chimney with a little panache, it's worth the investment.

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