The perfect antenna. Seems like something that should be easy but there are so many models to choose from and so many capabilities! There are so many different things to think about, like…
- How far away can this antenna be from the broadcast towers?
- Will this antenna work with my HOA?
- Can I install this antenna myself?
- Do I need an antenna that will stand up to the elements?
- How important is price?
No antenna is perfect for everyone, but I think Solid Signal has a real winner with this new Televes DigiNova Boss. It’s a new product to the US market, but it’s already proven itself in other markets where over-the-air antennas are the only way people get TV. Let’s take a look at what makes it so special.
This review is available in PDF format! View it now!
The antenna itself
Let’s start with the retail packaging. What you’ll see is an emphasis on trying to make the package attractive and also environmentally responsible. There aren’t any shiny coatings or styrofoam packing materials here, yet the box is still very eye-catching.
The antenna itself looks a lot like a giant USB dongle. There’s a larger, wider gumdrop piece attached to a smaller tab. The chrome part you see in the bottom picture is part of the innovative way the antenna mounts to a mast.
Viewed from the side, this antenna really creates very little visual impact and will easily pass HOA rules as it’s considerably smaller than 39 inches.
Interestingly, the only stickers on the antenna are on the bottom, which kind of makes sense since that’s the part of the antenna that you’re going to see long-term. The coaxial cable connection is also isolated on the bottom and there’s a rubber boot (not pictured) that will keep the elements away from the connection.
The optional amplifier
Amplified antennas are all the rage, because they let you drive multiple TVs and help you with fringe reception issues. This antenna comes with an innovative amplification system that is much better than others on the market for several reasons.
Most mast-mounted amplifiers and amplified antennas put the amplifier outside near the antenna. This is done so that amplification takes place before any losses due to the cable between the antenna and the home. When you use an amplifier like that, you need to use RG6 cable with a solid copper core. This is the only cable that will actually carry power up the line so the amplifier can actually work. However, you can’t get that kind of cable at your local home store and you may not want to climb all around to install new cable.
That’s why the DigiNova Boss is passively amplified, and it’s one of the few antennas on the market that is. Most amplified antennas won’t work at all if they’re not powered, but the DigiNova Boss will. If you don’t need an amplifier, don’t use it.
The DigiNova Boss includes this power injector that sends power up to the amplifier and also lets you run up to 2 TVs without adding an additional signal. It plugs into the wall inside and safely does its job.
The DigiNova Boss includes a U-shaped bolt and a clamp, plus two nuts to connect to a mast. Almost any mast should work. The u-bolt threads through the slots on the back of the antenna and the notch on the antenna nicely accommodates the mast for a snug fit. Because the bolts are metric and not everyone has metric wrenches, a simple wrench is included as well, which is a nice touch.
There are actually two sets of slots so that the antenna can be mounted vertically instead of horizontally. This is done so that it can be used with broadcasts using vertical polarization. In the US all TV broadcasts use horizontal polarization so the antenna should be mounted as shown.
Who is Televes?
They’re not a well-known company in the US… yet. Solid Signal chose to partner with Televes after an extensive worldwide search because Televes stands for the same things we stand for: quality, performance, and customer satisfaction. Televes is based in Spain and designs and manufacturers all their products in Europe. The manufacturing quality is far above other similar products.
The company has been around since 1958 and is a worldwide leader in antennas, satellite products and test equipment. They’re used by all the major satellite companies for their own test and measurement systems.
If you think Televes products look similar to Chinese-made products, there’s a reason for that; they’re the most popular antenna brand in Europe and therefore an easy target for reverse-engineering. The difference is obvious when you actually get your hands on an antenna, though. This is a solidly-built product designed to last for years.
Solid Signal is the exclusive direct retailer and distributor of Televes products in the US and we’ve worked hard to bring Televes antennas to our customers at a price that compares to much lower-quality antennas.
Why is LTE filtering important?
Televes antennas are the only brand to incorporate LTE filtering into their full antenna line. Every single antenna is designed to reject LTE signals from US carriers. This is incredibly important because as cell carriers build more towers, there’s an ever-growing chance that your home or office is going to be very near one, and that the LTE signal will be a lot stronger than distant antenna signals.
LTE provides wireless internet to cell phones using frequencies that were once used for TV antennas. Even though those frequencies aren’t used anymore, older antennas will still pick them up, and newer antennas can as well depending on their manufacture. LTE signals can even affect channels on “fractional” frequencies — For example LTE transmissions at 792MHz can also affect broadcasts at 396 and 198MHz, which are half and one-quarter of the frequency used by LTE. By blocking LTE transmissions completely you have the best chance of picking up all the channels you want, interference-free.
Testing and Performance
This antenna performed very well in testing compared to other small outdoor antennas, and also compared very favorably to midsize yagi-style antennas. For this test, a 3′ length of bare wire was arranged in a dipole shape and tested for reception. The DigiNova Boss was placed in the same position and tested with amplification off and on. In both cases the power supply was in line, proving that the amplifier will perform with or without power.
All tests were conducted on the same day with the same weather conditions, at our laboratory approximately 55 miles from broadcast towers.
When you look at just the amplifier gain, you really see the quality of this product. Unlike other amplifiers, the amount of gain is very consistent from top end to bottom, showing only a slight drop toward the very high end. This indicates the presence of a slope compensator, which adds more power to the high end to make up for the relatively harder job of amplifying higher frequency signals.
Should you buy this antenna?
In tests, the DigiNova Boss performed better than higher-priced antennas, and it’s built much better than lower-priced options. It’s a good choice for someone who is looking for good performance from a compact antenna and it meets with OTARD rules so it can be mounted in any private space regardless of HOA restrictions. It’s the most flexible antenna in its class because of its passive amplification and LTE filtering.
It’s durable, strong, and smart. Try the DigiNova Boss from Televes, available now at Solid Signal!