The super-thin Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 offers some advantages over the similar Mohu Leaf, although better performance isn't one of them.
Very good, but perhaps not the best of its type. Assessing antenna performance is a challenge because so much depends on the receiving location. Most reports say the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 works on par with the Mohu Leaf (Est. $40) , which draws raves for its performance as long as expectations are in line with its range and design. Winegard also offers an amplified version of the FlatWave as the Winegard FlatWave FL5500A Amped Antenna (Est. $65) . Feedback is limited on that antenna, but initial reviews at Amazon.com are reasonably positive -- in line with similar antennas.
Black cord or white; long or short? In terms of looks, the FlatWave and the Mohu Leaf antennas are near carbon copies: paper-thin, white on one side, black on the other. However, the Leaf ships with a non-removable 6-foot white cord, while the FlatWave's black cord is 15 feet long. Since more walls are white than black, the Leaf does better in that department. More critical though, the longer cord that's standard with the FlatWave might make it easier to find a perfect spot for the antenna.
Cheaper antennas could work as well for some. The Mohu Leaf and Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 both work at least decently and are easier to live with than many other types of DTV antennas. However, HDTVExpert.com's Pete Putman says neither outpaces the once-ubiquitous UHF bow-tie antenna by much. Bow-tie antennas cost only a few dollars but are hard to come by at electronics sellers, although they can still pop up on auction sites and elsewhere on occasion.
CNET tests the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 and makes comparisons to the Mohu Leaf, but we can't tell whether that antenna was actually evaluated. The FlatWave gets an excellent rating for working as well as more traditional TV antennas but in a more décor-friendly form.
Review: Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 Antenna Review, Matthew Moskovciak, June 6, 2012
In this face-off, Putman tests five passive and four amplified antennas at a location outside of New York City. The FlatWave FL-5000 finishes in a tie with the Mohu Leaf and the WallTenna, but he gives the latter two antennas a slight edge based on better performance on one channel. All of the antennas are beaten by a basic bow tie, however.
Review: Once More, Back to the -- Window??, Pete Putman, March 25, 2013
3. The Solid Signal Blog
This blog by antenna retailer and maker Solid Signal pits the Mohu Leaf against the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000. Testing reveals that the FlatWave pulls in some high-band VHF stations that the Leaf misses, but the signal strength of all signals received tends to be higher with the Leaf. Construction of the FlatWave is said to be sturdier, so that antenna is given the edge here.
Review: Winegard FlatWave vs. Mohu Leaf, Part 3: It's All About Results, "SS@SolidSignal", April 20, 2012
More than 470 owners post feedback on the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 antenna. Praise greatly outweighs pans, and the FL-5000 gets 4.2 stars out of 5. That score is similar to the Mohu Leaf's, although the latter's rating is based on significantly more reviews. Still, the feedback here is enough to conclude that the FlatWave meets the expectations of most who give it a try.
Review: Winegard Company FL-5000 FlatWave HDTV Indoor Digital Flat Antenna, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013