The Terk HDTVa combines a log-periodic UHF antenna, rabbit ears VHF antenna and a 12-decibel integrated signal amplifier into one highly effective indoor antenna package. It's a great choice if you need a highly directional antenna, but you might need to do a bit of fiddling from time to time if channels in your area come in from different directions.
Great performance, but some downsides. The reception range of the Terk HDTVa -- up to 45 miles -- is excellent for an indoor antenna. This log-periodic UHF model is highly directional and less prone to problems caused by reflected signals due to multipath interference, which causes ghosts when watching analog TV but can completely obliterate digital signals. However, it also means you may need to constantly reposition the antenna for best results if you get channels from transmitters located in different directions from your home.
Attractive, but with some balance issues. Many say the swept-back design of the antenna is relatively good-looking. However, it's a bit top-heavy and prone to tipping over, which can be even more of a nuisance if you need to constantly fiddle with the Terk HDTVa to bring in signals coming from different headings.
Could be overkill for some. Although it's less expensive than some antennas -- including some that don't perform as well -- the Terk HDTVa is a little pricey. If you live closer to the antenna transmitters, say within 15 miles, a less powerful but significantly less expensive antenna such as the RadioShack Budget TV Antenna (Est. $15) can be an excellent alternative. But if you live in an area where multipath interference is an issue, the HDTVa may be your best choice. If you live in a strong signal area but still need a directional antenna, the HDTVa is available in an unamplified version as the Terk HDTVi (Est. $30) .
In this highly technical review, Putman conducts a three-antenna comparison test that includes the Terk HDTVa. He says the HDTVa "did the best overall job on UHF DTV and analog VHF signals, and the internal amplifier (although not a low-noise design) does make a difference."
Review: Product Review: Three for DTV…Reception, Pete Putman, April 8, 2010
Edward Albro looks at five indoor antennas in this head-to-head comparison review. The Terk HDTVa is judged to have the best performance, pulling in the highest signal strength on the most channels.
Review: Kiss Your Cable Bill Goodbye with These HDTV Antennas, Edward N. Albro, Dec. 19, 2011
Ken Nist notes that the Terk HDTVa uses the same design as the original Silver Sensor antenna that has been discontinued but adds rabbit ears for VHF reception. He says the Silver Sensor design is popular and "has high gain with minimal visual impact." The directionality can help with multipath problems, he adds, although it could be better still in that regard.
Review: The Silver Sensor, Ken Nist, Jan. 24, 2007
The Terk HDTVa and similar log-periodic indoor antennas get a bit of discussion here. Roundup author "EscapeVelocity" calls the HDTVa a good performer and highly directional, which can help if multipath interference is a problem but might force some to "fuss with it" more than they like. Tipping is a concern, but less so than with the original Silver Sensor, which used the same design minus the rabbit ears for VHF reception.
Review: EV's Indoor Antenna Round-Up, Contributors to AVSForum.com, As of November 2013
More than 1,250 owners post reviews of the Terk HDTVa here. Its overall score of 3.8 out of 5 stars isn't overly impressive at first glance, but the HDTVa is one of the higher-rated indoor antennas here, at least among those that get significant feedback.
Review: Terk HDTVa HDTV Antenna Reviews, Contributors to HDTV Antenna Labs, As of November 2013
Roughly 2,100 users provide feedback on the Terk HDTVa, giving it an overall rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Some reviews are incredibly detailed, including comparisons to other indoor TV antennas. Many owners are either completely or mostly satisfied, but others say the antenna didn't work at their location or other antennas provided better results.
Review: Terk HDTVa Indoor Amplified High-Definition Antenna for Off-Air HDTV Reception, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013