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updated 4/4/2012 5:45:28 PM ET 2012-04-04T21:45:28

 

Mohu today (April 4) released an upgraded version of its Leaf HDTV antenna, a simple device to receive network channels on your TV without a cable subscription. The Leaf Plus has an amplifier to make incoming signals stronger, particularly useful if you live in an area where over-the-air channels aren't as strong as you'd like. The amplifier provides more channels and better broadcast quality.

Far less noticeable than old-fashioned "rabbit ears," the Leaf looks like nothing more than a laminated piece of paper with a 6-foot cord, but it delivers all available broadcast channels, including HD. Screw one end of the Leaf's cord into your TV's coaxial jack and use the Velcro stickers to attach the Leaf to the wall. That part's easy, but the real question is: "What can I watch?"

People living in populated areas get major networks, including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and public television stations. And quite a bit of programming is broadcast in HD. For those living in rural areas, you may be out of luck. But you don't have to blindly make the cable-free leap.

Use the FCC's website to check broadcast reception for your location — you'll want place the leaf on the wall facing the nearest tower as indicated on the FCC map. Next, visit  TitanTV for a TV Guide-like listing of shows you can see with an antenna.

Paired with a streaming Internet TV device like the Roku , it makes for an affordable alternative to monthly cable service. As long as you can wait about 24 hours, you can buy the latest episodes of most cable shows through Amazon OnDemand, iTunes and other services to watch on your television.

The new Leaf Plus also adds a USB power charger that can be connected to a TV with a USB port. When you turn off your TV, the Leaf is off as well — and doesn't drain power  while not in use. A small bonus for sure, but appealing to energy savers.

The Leaf Plus is available from Amazon and on the Mohu site for $75; the original Leaf sells for about $45.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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