Gadgets: Amplified antenna, easy to setup, adds local channels

September 5, 2018 by Gregg Ellman

Whether you're cutting the cable cord or satellite TV subscriptions to save money, or you just need local channels during a weather emergency, I have a simple and easy solution with the Winegard FlatWave Amped indoor amplified HDTV antenna.

I'm being honest when I say it took less than five minutes from the time I opened the antenna box to having my local channels on my screen.

The antenna is just 12-by-13-by-.6-inches and is attached to your TV antenna port with the included 18.5-foot coax cable, which has a USB power supply built in.

The quick setup included attaching the antenna to a window with adhesive tape, connecting the coax cable to my TV and plugging the USB cable into a port on my TV. You can also connect to an AC with the included 110-volt adapter.

Once everything is attached, put your TV remote in scan mode for a search of the local channels. The scan only takes a minute or so but do some experimenting with the placement of the antenna. I tried three different places and then scanned, with each one having somewhat different results. Just do the placement and scan until you have the channels you want or are critical to you in an emergency.

Once your signal is set, you'll receive local channels' content 4k Ultra HD and Dolby Digital Surround Sound within an amplified 50-mile range.

The flat antenna (imagine a small stack of letter-sized paper) has an ultra-low noise digital amplifier embedded directly in the element, resulting in an unprecedented 100 percent signal boost that increases range and eliminates pixilation and dropout, according to Winegard.

winegard.com $59.99

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Trulia is a site for homebuyers, which not only shows the homes for sale but also extensive information about the area you might be considering moving to. The site's goal is to help consumers discover a place where they will love to live.

Included are original photographs, drone footage, information on local safety, commutes, and parent reviews of nearby schools. Trulia already has enhanced photography and drone footage from more than 300 neighborhoods in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Austin, and Chicago with more than 1,100 more neighborhoods expected to be introduced this year.

Trulia content gives potential residents a feel for daily life including what they call "Inside the Neighborhood" stories of what life is like there with input from local residents of your search, including feedback on dog-friendly areas and parking.

With all the information, Trulia provides an informative feel for what it might be like to live in the neighborhood of the home you're interested in purchasing. The site compiles all the information consumers would search for on multiple sites all in one place.

trulia.com

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BlackBerry, yes that same BlackBerry, is alive and well with the launch by TCL communications of the new, hot and slick looking BlackBerry Key2LE smartphone.

I haven't tried one, but as a former BlackBerry user for many years, the press release has me intrigued.

The touchscreen smartphone is available in three color variants – Slate, Champagne and Atomic with a redesigned chassis for a more modern look and feel with a full-HD display.

The Android operating system inside includes support for Google Assistant and other Google applications. Speed Key is a new feature, giving you a customized shortcut experience. This gives you 52 customizable shortcuts, allowing each to be programmed to instantly bring up the contacts and apps you use most.

Other features include a lightweight polycarbonate frame and a newly designed soft textured back that provides better in-hand grip to prevent drops. There's a dual rear camera (13MP/5MP) and a front camera (8MP) with an LCD flash and many modes such as portrait, selfie and face beauty.

Next month, models with 32GB of storage will be on sale in the US for $399 or with 64GB for $449. Each model has expandable storage MicroSD support. The rechargeable battery is expected to last up to 22 hours.

blackberrymobile.com

Explore further: Review: Tablo DVR and Winegard Flatwave antenna make cutting the cord a little easier

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