Video hardware

Mohu Turns Over New Leaf for OTA TV

Mohu wants to bring the sexy back to over-the-air (OTA) television. Already well-known for its Leaf HDTV antenna, Mohu launched a new product in the Leaf line Tuesday that it describes as providing "top performance in a stylish, small package." The Leaf Metro boasts a 25-mile reception radius. It's available online from Mohu for $24.95.

The numbers on broadcast-only households are in dispute. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says 19.3% of US homes are broadcast-only, while the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) argues that the number is under 10%. Either way, there has been a definite uptick in interest around OTA programming in recent years. Higher monthly fees for pay-TV services and new online video options make OTA an attractive alternative to cable. Much like Aereo is trying to capitalize on free TV with its cloud-based services, Mohu wants to do the same with its OTA antennas. (See Antenna TV Roars Back.)

Today's introduction of the Leaf Metro is interesting because it provides a useful data point on market demand for OTA television. However, Mohu may soon have another product that expands even further on the value proposition of free TV. The company recently completed a Kickstarter campaign for its Mohu Channels device, which is designed to combine OTA content with web-based video.

As described by Mohu, the adapter product pulls in content from an HD antenna (sold separately) and online video sources. It also offers a program guide that marries both types of content in one interface and lets users personalize listings with the channels that are most relevant to them. The Mohu Channels device is scheduled to launch this summer.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

wanlord 4/16/2014 | 1:15:26 PM
Re: your mileage may vary ... It would be cool if you could integrate this in with Aereo. I live in a metro area only 25 miles from the broadcasts, but some terrain is in the way and I can't tune to any channels so it provides little value.

Speaking of Aereo, good video. Why didn't LR get the exclusive?




mendyk 4/15/2014 | 5:10:45 PM
Re: your mileage may vary ... 25 Miles is a great song by Edwin Starr, but it's just miserable for OTA TV antenna performance. In fact, Mohu sells an indoor antenna with 50-mile coverage, which invites the question of why this one is being discussed. Also, broadcast towers are not distributed -- one facility covers an entire service area, which generally covers a 70-mile radius.

Mitch Wagner 4/15/2014 | 5:06:06 PM
Re: your mileage may vary ... I wonder if an OTA antenna with a 25-mile radius might be useful in a flat city like those in the Western US -- Los Angeles or Phoenix, for example. They sprawl out, but broadcast towers might well be located at intervals closer than 25 miles. 
Mitch Wagner 4/15/2014 | 5:04:51 PM
OTA Combine a good OTA digital antenna with a device like the TiVo Roamio and you're really on to something that can go a long way to allowing you to cut the cord. 
Mitch Wagner 4/15/2014 | 5:04:05 PM
Re: Almost ready sam masud - "It's a love-hate relationship that I have with my cable tv provider--I hate them, they love my money."

Ha! Me too regarding the love-hate relationship. I hate my cable provider, but love MAD MEN and GAME OF THRONES.
mendyk 4/15/2014 | 4:22:29 PM
Re: your mileage may vary ... NYC is probably the worst place for OTA antennas because of really really big buildings. In fact, CATV's first significant urban buildout was in Manhattan specifically for that reason.
Jessie Morrow 4/15/2014 | 4:11:23 PM
Re: your mileage may vary ... The only place where it makes any sense is centrally located in a large metro area. Is there enough potential business in NYC and the rest of the usual suspects?
mendyk 4/15/2014 | 2:36:22 PM
your mileage may vary ... A 25-mile reception radius sounds very very poor. Is that really the spec for this?
sam masud 4/15/2014 | 2:03:59 PM
Almost ready I think I'm ready to cut the cord. It's a love-hate relationship that I have with my cable tv provider--I hate them, they love my money.
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