Review - Flatwave Air antenna Posted 8/28/13
8/16/13 Comment by Bradley. Denny, I am interested in Winegard's new outdoor Flatwave air antenna. I don't see it on your website. Is this something you carry or plan to carry? Thanks in advance, Bradley
8/16/13 Comment by Denny. Hi Bradley, Winegard just recently announced the release of the "FlatWave FL6550A AIR outdoor HDTV antenna". Winegard is expected to begin shipment on the FL6550A FlatWave soon. As soon as we have one in hand we will thoroughly test it. It will get compared to other antennas under the same conditions. We'll see how it performs. If the FL6550A performs as claimed by Winegard we will carry it. Every item we carry is tested before we sell it. Our location is an excellent antenna testing location. This locations allows us to test signals from both nearby and distant transmitters. The TV signals available here are VHF and UHF signals allowing us to test the entire digital broadcast frequency spectrum. As soon as we have the FL6550A Flatwave AIR we will test it. I will post the Winegard Flatwave Air antenna review here on this page.
Winegard Flatwave Air HDTV antenna
Here's what the manufacturer states on their sales page about the Flatwave Air indoor/outdoor HDTV antenna
Here's a press release Winegard Flatwave air antenna press release.
8/20/13 Comment by Denny. The Winegard Flatwave Air outdoor antenna is expected to be released today on a first come first serve bases. I expect arrival of the new antenna soon. My plan is to first test the Flatwave air antenna comparing it to the EZ HD antenna. The Flatwave Air has the new Winegard low noise preamplifier built into the antenna housing. I plan to use the mast mounted version of the same preamplifier on the EZ HD so the amplification will be the same for both antennas. This will allow us to test the new antenna and the Winegard low noise preamplifier. We also plan to test the Winegard discontinue AP 8700 preamplifier and compare it to the new Winegard Boost XT Preamplifier low noise preamplifier. The new preamplifier is planned to replace all Winegard AP series preamplifier's. Winegard stated they will no longer manufacturer the AP series line of preamplifier's. At this time the only preamplifier Winegard plans to offer is the new Boost XT preamplifier.
8/21/13 Comment by Denny. Just got word the Winegard Flatwave Air antenna should arrive here tomorrow. We plan to test it this weekend. Should have the complete test results posted here on this page by Sunday evening.
8/21/13 Comment by Justin: I just ordered the Winegard Flatwave Air. It suppose to be here Friday. I will be replacing a Winegard antenna that has been on my roof for about 5 years. Looks like my antenna is an HD 7082P or 7084P on your web page. I read where Winegard says, "no need for a big yogi antennas anymore". That would be great since I live in a very windy area and the Flatwave would have a much lower wind load. I will install the new antenna as soon as possible. I will send you my results comparing the Flatwave to my current antenna.
8/21/13 Comment by Denny. Justin, make your test fair and remove the current big antenna and install the FlatWave in it's place at the same elevation. If you currently use a preamplifier remove (bypass) the preamplifier that you have and the current preamplifier power supply but change nothing else. Replace the current power supply with the power supply that comes with the FlatWave antenna. I'm looking forward to hearing your test results.
8/25/13 Comment by Denny. I know a lot of you are waiting for the review on the new Winegard FlatWave outdoor antenna. I know this because a lot of you have visited this page in the last 6 hours. Unfortunately the Flatwave arrived on Friday but it was the indoor Flatwave antenna not the FlatWave Air outdoor antenna. I received an apologize for the mistake. The correct antenna the FlatWavew Air outdoor antenna is suppose arrive here tomorrow Monday or at the latest Tuesday. I will test it as soon as it arrives. Sorry...
8/28/13 Comment by Denny. The Winegard FlatWave Air outdoor antenna just arrived and we are testing it now. I will post the test results this evening.
8/28/13 We just finished testing the new Flatwave Air antenna. I have to say, the FlatWave Air is the best antenna we have ever tested that comes housed in a box. For it's size (14"x14"x4") it performs excellent. However, there are some short comings you should be aware of. The VHF signal performance is not as good as the EZ HD antenna and it's slightly more directional than the EZ HD antenna so aiming the antenna correctly is important. Aim the front of the Flatwave Air towards the TV transmitters.
We tested the EZ HD antenna and the Flatwave Air antenna head to head. Both antennas were amplified using Winegard's new low noise LNA 200 Boost preamplifier. Both antennas took turns on the same mast at an elevation of 22 feet above ground level. A rotor was in use so we could precisely aim the antennas. The TVFool reception data for the test location can be seen at the following link.
Click image to enlarge
Review Continued: A Sony Bravia TV was in use for the test. We tested both VHF and UHF digital signals. We recorded signal strength level and signal to noise level as measured by the tuner. Fourteen channels were tested ranging in distance from 31 to 68 miles.
We tested 9 UHF signal channels and the FlatWave never scored better than the EZ HD, there were 5 ties and the EZ HD outscored the FlatWave on 4 of the 9 UHF channels. The UHF reception is very close with a edge to the EZ HD.
We tested 5 VHF signal channels and the EZ HD won on all 5 channels. We tested the FlatWave Air on RF channels 7 (59.8 miles) and 8 (63.5 miles) both from Grand Rapids, MI. We could not produce a signal with the Flatwave Air on channel 7 or 8. The EZ HD produced a signal level of 23% on channel 8 and 40% on channel 7 and was able to maintain a solid picture on both channels. We tested channel 10 (58.9 miles) from Onondaga, MI and got a signal level reading of 21% with the Flatwave while the EZ HD produced a 54% signal on channel 10. Lastly we tested channel 9 (67.4 miles) out of Cadillac, MI. and the Flatwave delivered a 43% signal while the EZ HD reading was 76%.
All in all I'm very impressed with this antenna. I thought it would be another gimmick antenna but it's not. It really works. The FlatWave Air is a very good antenna for its size and shape. There are a lot of situations where it is ideally suited. However, be aware the VHF performance is sub par compared to the EZ HD antenna. I highly recommend the Flatwave Air for TV signals rated strong for both VHF and UHF signal reception and strong and moderate for UHF signal reception on the FCC signal analyzer.
I have to say, the FlatWave Air is the first antenna that doesn't look like a TV antenna that really works!
Since the EZ HD antenna performed slightly better than the FlatWave Air I didn't bother getting out the larger more powerful HD Stacker antenna.
8/29/13 Comment. Thanks for the review. I am considering this antenna. I live 30 miles north of 30 Boston, which is all UHF.
8/30/13 Comment by Denny. At your location the Flatwave Air should work great. Especially if it can be mounted outdoors above any nearby structures to the South towards the transmitters. We opted to test the antenna first so we won't have the FlatWave Air available until the 12th of September. I do believe a few on line retailers do have it available now.
8/30/13 Comment by Vince. Nice review Denny. I think I'm going to try the FlatWave here in Florida. I will wait and order from you because I like your no hassle guarantee. I'm 44 miles from the station transmitters near Tampa and a few of the channels are VHF. If it doesn't get the VHF signals very well I will return it and get the EZ HD. I really like the fact that you guys test stuff before you sell it.
8/30/13 Comment by Denny. Hey Vince, I think the Flatwave Air will work 44 miles out. It will work best if you can install the FlatWave antenna outdoors above your roof line higher than any nearby structures that may be located in the signal path to the transmitter. We test everything here. If it doesn't work as claimed we don't sell it. When you offer a guarantee like we do the products you sell have to be good.
9/6/13 Comment by Gil. Denny you mentioned earlier in this thread that you planned to test the new Winegard Boost preamplifier. Did you test it and what were the results. Cheers, Gil
9/6/13 Comment by Denny. I did test the Winegard Boost XT preamplifier. See: Winegard boost XT preamplifier review.
9/14/13 Comment by Justin. Sorry I took so long to let you know how the Flatwave Air antenna is working for me. I replaced the big Winegard antenna on my roof with the Flatwave. For the most part the new Flatwave antenna is working great. As you stated in your review the Flatwave performs great for UHF signals and pretty good on VHF signals. All of the UHF channels are coming in as good with the Flatwave. The two VHF channels I receive (43 miles away) are weaker with the Flatwave than they were with the big antenna and occasionally freeze for a second or two. For it's size I have to give the Flatwave Air two thumbs up. I will be keeping it.
9/15/13 Comment by Denny. Thanks for the input Justin. I think for a lot of people the Flatwave Air is the answer. Just don't buy the antenna expecting miracles. The FlatWave Air is great for those located in strong to somewhat moderate signal strength areas. However, if the signals are weak at your location a larger yagi style antenna is likely a better choice. In other words, don't let sales hype cause you to believe the FlatWave Air is a deep fringe long range antenna because it's not. Do your home work and buy the right antenna to meet the reception conditions at the location where the antenna is to be installed.
9/23/13 Comment by Greg. I got the Flatwave Air Friday that I ordered on Tuesday. Thanks for the fast service. Anyway I live in Los Angeles about 25 miles from the transmitters located on MT. Wilson. I installed it outdoors on the sidewall of my house about 18 feet above ground. I can get every channel available (over 100 channels) and the picture quality is outstanding and is better than my now terminated cable service. I really appreciate your review. It help me make my decision to go with the Flatwave and I have no regrets at all. I will recommend this antenna to anyone interested in TV reception.
10/2/13 Comment by Stephanie: I received my FlatWave antenna from you about two weeks ago. I installed on my patio to my second floor apartment. I'm located in Kissimee, FL. about 30 miles South of the Orlando TV stations. I get all of the Orlando channels beautifully. The big surprise is when I scanned the TV for channels it found about 10 channels from Tampa about 60 miles away. My apartment is on the North side of the building and Tampa is Southwest. This is a great antenna for its size and ease of installation. I recommend it.
10/23/13 Comment: Just purchased this to install in our house under construction as a backup to satellite tv. Location is about 28 miles northwest of tulsa, ok, very hilly terrain near Lake Skiatook. Tested the Flatwave air antenna at the new house just holding it up in the air, oriented toward where the closest towers are connected to laptop with digital tuner. It worked great!! Now we are trying to determine best permanent mounting location. Our question is: what is the max length of the coax between the flatwave antenna and the power inserter? We would like to position the flatwave on the back of our covered patio, then run the coax to a central location where the power inserter would be plugged into 110. We were also thinking of running a booster/splitter at this location to then run to two separate tvs. Again, just need the max. length of the coax between the flatwave and power inserter. Could not find any mention of this length in the manual. Any recommendations on the booster/splitter would also be welcome.
10/24/13 Comment by Denny: The maximum length of coax cable between the FlatWave Air antenna and power inserter is 200 feet. I haven't found a good amplifier/splitter combination. It's best to use a quality distribution amplifier and a separate signal splitter. A good choice for a distribution amplifier to supply a 2 - 4 way signal splitter is the HDA 100 amplifier. You may or may not need a distribution amplifier. I suggest you set it up install the signal splitter and check the reception. If the signals fall below an acceptable level once the splitter is installed add the HDA 100 on the antenna side of the splitter after the power inserter and before the splitter. There's not much difference from one splitter to the next. We offer two types of splitters standard and pro grade. The performance of these two splitters is the same. The difference is the pro grade is better suited for outdoor use.
11/4/13 Comment by Mike: Denny, I installed the Winegard Flatwave Air and had tremendous results! I was able to install it in the attic and still receive 13 OTA channels from the transmitter almost 40 miles away! The HD picture quality is better than my cable connection at my other home in Urbandale (suburb of Des Moines, IA). I’m so impressed I’m thinking about “cutting the cord” from that home as well.
11/18/13 Comment by Jeff: Dear Denny's Antenna Service Team – Just wanted to drop a quick thank you note.
I recently purchased the Winegard FlatWave Air indoor/outdoor HDTV antenna FL6550A and couldn’t be happier. I live in the NW side of Chicago (60641) and have a fairly straight view of the Willis Tower. A quick check confirmed I should position the antenna at 134 degrees ESE. Leveraging an iPhone with compass app made this a breeze.
Your prices were very good, shipping was super fast, and the product was installed in no time and we had in excess of 60 digital channels. I can’t say that we’ll ever watch most of them, but we’re happy to have the local broadcasts coming in crystal clear, including WBBM -2.1.
Thanks for a fantastic customer experience. Jeff _____________ Chicago, IL 60641
11/27/13 Comment by Ken: Hi, I’m finding that nobody has the FlatWave FL6550A in stock. However, I found your site and was very impressed with your reviews and thought I would like to purchase from you to support your efforts. So I’m wondering if you have any estimate of when you will have more in stock. Thank you, Ken
11/29/13 Comment by Denny: Hello Ken, I wish I could give you a definite answer when to expect the Flatwave Air to be available. We have been told by the manufacturer they should be available around the first of December. Since the shortage is industry wide I suggest you order one now and get in line if you want a FlatWave Air anytime soon. When a product such is the FlatWave Air is backordered by the manufacturer it can take some time to fulfill the backorders orders and they may continue to be out of stock for some time even after supply begins again.
12/14/13 Comment by Denny: The Flatwaves have arrived! All backorders will be shipped Monday 11/16/13. Thanks for everyone's patients.
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