Yes, It’s Just Like the Old School: The Antenna Chicken Fight
At a time when cable companies are giving you channels you don’t want and need through bundled subscriptions and slick promotions, the consumer has decided that enough is enough. More people are “cutting the cord” in response to high cable bills and bad customer service searching for a viable alternative to their woes. For some, it is the comfort of having the choice of high-quality programming at a fraction of the cost of cable through streaming services and devices such as Hulu, SlingTV, and DirecTV just to name a few. But if you don’t have the extra money to keep the internet up and running, there is an even “better” alternative for the money conscious– the bad boy that has withstood the test of time: the antenna.
“While searching for that perfect signal, it looks as though I am in a chicken fight, dancing with this Ultra Pro Optima HD Antenna by GE,” – Glenn Nelson, YBLTV Writer / Reviewer
Because there are so many different types of antennas on the market, it was important to do research on what would be the best one for me. There are the traditional “rabbit ears”, flat ones for the wall, and one that caught my attention during my search– a double-sided detachable one called the Ultra Pro Optima HD Antenna by GE.
The display on the box showed it resting in this nice living room (my first mistake was forgetting my living room was much smaller and uglier than the one shown on the box). The display also listed some of the features as being interchangeable for use on either the wall or on the table. With a lifetime warranty and the ability to pick up signals from within 60 miles (mistake number two of not realizing what within 60 miles meant), I had found the key to cutting the cord and saving some as the kids say today “coin.”
Let me begin by saying the product does what it says it will do in terms of being interchangeable. The setup is simple for the table top mount as there are two detachable blades that can slide into a base; simple as that. Using a Vizio television, the HD channels that came in were very nice, consistent with the claim on the box promoting channels being able to be viewed in full HD 1080p.
The design was overblown since it really is nothing more than two hard pieces of plastic situated on what looks to be a weird boomerang type contraption. That, however, is not a serious issue. One of the real issues is the coaxial cable that is literally attached to one of the blades which presents a problem if you need to reposition the antenna outside of a certain radius. This is not listed on the box anywhere — and believe it or not, I looked at every picture and there’s no photo of a coaxial cable anywhere to be seen! And moving the antenna around searching for that perfect signal, looks as though I am in a chicken fight, dancing with this antenna fumbling around in my hands.
Although I could rant and rave about how I get more Spanish and other foreign language channels than American ones I choose not to since that however is based on my geographical location. The whole 60 miles thing is important to realize in relation to where you live and the nearest broadcast source which it says on the box. (I have the mountains surrounding me). And finally, I could get my local channels, just not all at the same time. Certain channels are on UHF frequency while others are on VHF (I know it’s a freakin’ antenna) and unless you purchase one with dual capabilities (this one does not) then you will face this problem.
- Ability to pick up all core plus additional channels
- Full HD 1080p and 4K compatible
- Easy assembly
- Can be used both on a table top or mounted on wall
- Delivers on HD channel promise (tested using a Vizio TV)
- Can easily pick up 33 channels
- Claims ability to pick up signal within 60 miles however it struggles to capture the nearest tower which for the writer is 21 miles
- Although it picks up at times 33 channels, most of those are foreign language programming; a bummer if you aren’t fluent in those languages
For the price of $19.99, the Ultra Pro Optima HD Antenna by GE does what it says and if you are like me, this is a deal! The price is right and besides having to constantly readjust, reprogram channels, and be willing to see half of your local core channels at a time, the biggest issue you encounter is the one of not taking your time and doing research before choosing this brand. It’s not the worse, but there are other available ones on the market that may fit your needs.