PROS / It is easy to install and receive free TV channels.
CONS / It isn’t as powerful as others and the channel reception isn’t as clear.
VERDICT / This TV antenna is best for those who don’t want to spend much on an antenna and are close to a TV tower since the reception power isn’t as strong as others.
The Channel Master FLATenna 35 is about as basic as an HDTV antenna gets. The indoor HDTV antenna is all black, flat and thin. It measures 13 x 9 x 0.3 inches and comes with M3 sticky mounts to stick the antenna to a wall or to the back of the TV.
The Channel Master FLATenna 35 is a non-amplified model. It works by simply plugging the coaxial cable into the TV – no additional power source needed. Since this model isn’t amplified, it doesn’t have as good of a signal pickup range as some of the other HDTV antennas in our comparison. The Channel Master FLATenna can pick up signal in a 35-mile radius. Many of the amplified models can snatch TV signals from a 50-mile radius. If you are closer to a TV tower than 35 miles, this antenna will suffice.
We tested the HDTV indoor antennas in two different locations: our downtown office and in a second-floor apartment building a few miles south of our office. Our office is surrounded by taller buildings and trees. Buildings and trees are obstructions to TV signals and can cause signal breakup. In our office, we were only able to pick up 12 TV channels with this antenna, while the best HDTV antennas received upwards of 32 channels. In the apartment, where there are fewer obstructions, the Channel Master FLATenna was able to pick up 28 channels. This antenna does much better with fewer obstructions to the signal. Keep in mind that the number of channels you will be able to receive will vary depending on your location. Use our numbers as a reference for how well the signal is received.
Even though the FLATenna picked up more channels in the apartment, the channel quality was poor to unwatchable on many of the channels. Even the major networks like ABC and PBS had poor video quality. These channels were often the strongest and best quality with other antennas. The 12 channels that we received while in our office building is a better representation of the capabilities of the antenna. Although it received fewer channels, the quality was strong on the channels that were received.
The FLATenna comes with an attached 6-foot coaxial cable. This doesn’t give you much leeway to find the sweet spot for reception in your home – something you’ll want to do to get the best reception possible. Other HDTV antennas come with attached coaxial cables that are 10 feet or longer, giving you way more slack to find the best spot in your home.
The Channel Master FLATenna 35 is covered by a 90-day warranty. Many of its competitors offer at least a one-year warranty on antennas, so it is disappointing to see such a short warranty. If you have any questions or concerns about your HDTV antenna, you can contact Channel Master via email or by phone.
The Channel Master FLATenna 35 is a non-amplified antenna that can receive TV signals within a 35-mile radius. Since it is non-amplified, it isn’t as powerful as others, so it works best if you are within 30 miles of a TV tower and have few obstructions around. This HDTV antenna isn’t our top choice, but if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to subscription cable TV and you are within range of a TV tower, it is a relatively minimal investment.