A modern art antenna?

This is not an antenna. But, it could be. I mean, if it were properly designed to be one. After all, this is an antenna:

and it’s even available at Solid Signal. What I’m really asking is, would you buy a large indoor antenna if it looked as stylish as a modern art sculpture?

I’ve always thought this was an underserved market myself, but maybe I’m just nuts. I know it’s hardly ever in fashion to show how thrifty or clever you are, but I think that if there was a “decorator” antenna, maybe people would be inspired to buy it.

After all, we’ve been talking for over a decade on the influence that good design has on electronics. There was a time when most home theater equipment was some variant of a grey or black box, preferably as big as possible. By the 2000s though, there was an appreciation that electronics should be small, unobstrusive, and as sleek as possible. Flat televisions were a success because they let people get rid of massive projection sets. Giant speakers gave way to sound bars, and the equipment we use most of all — cable boxes and streaming devices — became so small we could hardly find it when we looked.

For antennas, though, getting small isn’t an option. If a smaller antenna works for you that’s great, but if you’re more than about 20 miles from the broadcast towers, it probably won’t. So why hide that large antenna? Why not turn it into a conversation piece?

The closest analogue I can find is the refrigerator. Refrigerators can’t get small, that wouldn’t work, so rather than having a big white box in your kitchen, designers have worked for decades to turn the refrigerator into something stylish.

I’ll grant you, painting it avocado green probably wasn’t the right choice.

Today’s refrigerators come in designer colors or sleek “black stainless” finishes, along with high-end hardware that makes them look luxurious. This is just artistic “window dressing” though — today’s fridges do the same thing they did in the 1950s: keep food cold. They do look cooler though (pun intended.)

That’s why I think the same thing can happen with antennas. There are so many innovative antenna designs today and that’s why I’m confident that if someone really wanted to, they could create an antenna that was as much a “conversation piece” as a useful way to save money and “stick it” to the cable companies.

What do you think? Would you buy a designer antenna? If not, why not?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.