If you live in an area where all broadcasters -- or all broadcasters you're interested in -- have made the transition to UHF, a UHF-only antenna can fit the bill nicely. We see the best feedback for the Mohu Leaf, which places the antenna's receiving elements within a thin plastic laminate. One side is black and the other white, and you can simply tack it to a wall so whichever side looks best with your décor shows; Mohu even packs black and white pushpins in the box. The super-thin design is also easy to hide. While the company suggests placing the antenna behind a picture, several reviewers say they placed the Leaf behind their sets.
When it comes to new consumer antenna designs, the reality is typically more about broken promises than about notable improvements. That's not the case with the Leaf; most experts and owners say it more or less performs as promised. This is a UHF antenna first and foremost, but testers find it gets the job done with moderately strong VHF signals, as well.
In terms of UHF performance, the Leaf holds its own and even beats some more expensive options in a comparative test at HDTVexpert.com, although it doesn't significantly outperform a basic bow-tie antenna that costs only a few dollars. TechHive.com notes that a few other antennas beat the Leaf in terms of performance, notably the Terk HDTVa, but says the Leaf is the "best choice if you care about how your living room looks." User reviews are very positive, but also indicate that the Leaf isn't a miracle worker; if other indoor-antenna designs won't work at your location, the odds are slim that the Leaf will do significantly better.
Mohu offers a version of the Leaf with a signal amplifier, but feedback on the Leaf Plus (*Est. $75) is mixed. It draws power from a USB connector on your TV, so you need a set with an available USB port. Unless you're located in an urban fringe area, Pete Putman at HDTVexpert.com recommends staying away from this and other amplified antennas to avoid interference and overload issues.
With the success of the Leaf, it's not surprising that other manufacturers have released similar antennas. The one that gets the most feedback is the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 (*Est. $40), which CNET gives a fairly in-depth review. Matthew Moskovciak says it and the essentially identical Mohu Leaf would be the first antennas he'd recommend to "beginning cable-cutters," although neither is good enough to supplant his Silver Sensor antenna.
User reports for the Leaf and the FlatWave are comparable; both get identical ratings from owners at Amazon.com, although the Leaf is reviewed far more often. While Putman finds that the Leaf clearly outperforms Winegard's flat antenna in at least some of his tests, the worst test results might have been partly due to a since-corrected defect.
Moskovciak points out that the FlatWave has a 15-foot black cable as opposed to the Leaf's 6-foot white cable, but that's about the only difference he sees. For him, the choice comes down to installation setup and which cable fits better in a homeowner's room décor. Mohu's Leaf Ltd. (*Est. $40) adds a 16-foot cord and a molded stand to the basic Leaf.