Antennas: they’re your path to free over-the-air TV, but there are so darn many of them. Which ones are good? Which ones are lousy? Well, making those calls is what we’re here for. We review antennas regularly here on Cordcutting.com, and we’re back at it today in this NoCable antenna review.
NoCable is a company dedicated to better cord-cutting through superior antennas. “We couldn’t find the perfect antenna,” the company’s website copy explains, “so we built it ourselves.” Let’s see how they did, shall we?
NoCable 50-Mile Amplified HDTV Indoor Flat Antenna Review
Accepting free review copies is standard practice in our business, but we always disclose it anyway. In this case, NoCable sent us an antenna to use in this review. We never accept payment for our reviews, and we never allow companies to influence the nature of our reviews.
The NoCable 50-mile Amplified HDTV Indoor Flat Antenna (catchy name!) is a pretty normal-looking antenna. It’s a flat square with rounded corners and a thicker bit at bottom-center where the antenna connects to the coaxial cable. That’s about as typical an antenna design as you’ll find, which is just fine with me: the best antenna look, in my view, is the one you don’t notice.
The antenna is black on one side and white on the other, which gives you some aesthetic options. I was impressed to see that the thicker bit at the bottom is also black on one side and white on the other. I wish the white side was not the side with the screw-heads showing, but that’s a pretty minor beef with an otherwise very pleasing antenna.
This antenna is made of sturdier stuff than most. It’s a plastic material, but it’s not as thin and flexible as I usually see in antennas. Personally, I liked that. For most, it won’t make much of a difference.
The antenna comes with a coaxial cable, an amplifier, and a power source. All of those are white.
Range and Reception
I was pretty impressed with the NoCable antenna’s range. I pitted it against other amplified indoor antennas in my trials and found that it was usually able to grab a channel or two that the others could not.
And reception was usually quite clear on the channels that the NoCable antenna was able to pick up. It hung with its peers easily in this department.
Does the NoCable 50-mile Amplified HDTV Indoor Flat Antenna really live up to its 50-mile billing? Not in Queens, New York, it doesn’t, but I have a hard time getting real fired up about that. We’ve reviewed more antennas here on Cordcutting.com than I can remember, and I’ve never seen one match its advertised range. In the real world, hills and buildings and other factors can make even nearby stations impossible to get. The NoCable antenna missed a station 24 miles away from me, for instance. But every other antenna I’ve tested in this space has also missed that station, so what can you do?
I think the best way to evaluate the an antenna is to measure it relative to its peers – and, by that measurement, I found the NoCable product to be quite impressive.
(It’s probably worth noting that NoCable claims its antenna was designed specifically for “rural and suburban areas.” I’m not sure what that entails, exactly, but I wasn’t quite dedicated enough to leave New York to test our sample.)
The “real” price of the NoCable 50-mile Amplified HDTV Indoor Flat Antenna (there’s that catchy name again) is a pretty typical $39.99. It’s a decent value at that price, but the current going rate on Amazon – $26.99 – is a real eye-catcher. At that price, this strong amplified indoor antenna is one of the best deals going.
I like pretty much everything about the NoCable 50-mile Amplified HDTV Indoor Flat Antenna except for the name, which takes a while to type out. It showed good range and reception in my trials, and it performed well relative to its peers. It’s available at a good price. It is well-designed in the simple, safe way that I think suits antennas best, and because of that it’s pretty inconspicuous when mounted on the wall. It’s a good antenna, and it gets my stamp of approval.
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