The Winegard SS-3000 is an effective indoor antenna and a good choice for challenging situations. But it will never let you forget it's a TV antenna, and it's a little pricey compared to some antennas that work as well.
Great on UHF, not so much on VHF. Reports say the Winegard SS-3000 Sharpshooter antenna is an excellent performer under certain, but not all, conditions. The manufacturer claims the antenna is good for UHF and VHF, but testing conducted by "EscapeVelocity" at AVSForum.com disputes that. This long and detailed post says high-band VHF channels are okay, but the lower VHF channels aren't so hot. However, the SS-3000 is a great UHF performer, especially in challenging settings where multipath interference makes DTV reception difficult. Aided by a built-in amp, it's suitable for locations up to about 30 miles from the transmitter, and the review at AVSForum.com was conducted 45 miles out. The SS-3000's highly directional characteristics come courtesy of a rear scatter-plane reflector that can be omitted if you want an omnidirectional antenna, although this will likely reduce its range. Edward Albro at TechHive.com says assembling the reflector isn't a ton of fun, so you might first try omitting it to see if the SS-3000 gives good performance in your location without it.
TV, call home. Albro calls the Winegard SS-3000 the least attractive of the antennas he tests. "With an oblong front wing nearly 2 feet wide, and an even longer plastic reflector attached to the back, the Winegard looks like it could be searching for extraterrestrial life," he says. That's not the reaction of all reviewers; "EscapeVelocity" calls the antenna's wide, winglike design "pleasing." A brief review at TVConversionHelp.com notes that the wide design "may not be suitable for placing this antenna on a small table or on top of an equipment cabinet."
So-so, unless it works for you. The biggest challenge in assessing the value of a TV antenna -- particularly an indoor model -- is that performance can vary so much based on where it's used. The Winegard SS-3000 is more expensive than the Terk HDTVa (Est. $40) , another highly directional UHF antenna that includes standard rabbit ears for complete coverage of the VHF bands, as well. In general, the HDTVa gets more and slightly better feedback. That said, at least one reviewer says that in a heads-up comparison, the SS-3000 was the better performer in his particular test location. The Winegard SS-3000 is still available via a number of retailers, but appears to officially be discontinued.
The Winegard SS-3000 takes third place in this five-antenna comparison. It doesn't produce the highest signal strength compared to antennas that Albro rates higher, but it does draw "decent" signal strength for a good number. Albro's bigger issues are the SS-3000's "ugly" design and the fact that "of the five models, it was the most complex to put together."
Review: Kiss Your Cable Bill Goodbye with These HDTV Antennas, Edward N. Albro, Dec. 19, 2011
"EscapeVelocity" posts an in-depth report on lots of TV antennas, and that kicks off this ongoing thread at AVSForum.com. He names the SS-3000 among his favorites, but notes that its low-band VHF performance isn't very good. He's among the few to compliment the look of this antenna.
Review: EV's Indoor Antenna Round-Up, Contributors to AVSForum.com, As of November 2013
More than 380 owners rate their experiences with the Winegard SS-3000 at Amazon.com, giving it 3.8 stars out of 5. More than three times as many users give it 5 stars than they do 1 star, but that still leaves a good number disappointed. As is generally the case with TV antennas, most of the dissatisfaction stems from the antenna failing to produce improved -- or any -- reception at a given location.
Review: Winegard SS-3000 Amplified Indoor UHF/VHF Antenna, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013
This review of three TV antennas is short, but is clearly based on testing. The anonymous reviewer finds the Winegard SS-3000 easy to set up and an effective performer for both UHF and VHF.
Review: Indoor DTV Antenna Reviews, Editors of TVConversionHelp.com, Not Dated