LiveWave Antenna is an HD television antenna that plugs directly into your wall and has the ability to transmit multiple local stations in your area.
The antenna’s unique shape is what makes it quite different than competing antennas that tend to be square and feature telescoping metal receptors.
The company selling LiveWave is Swell Ecomm Enterprises, a fact that we found while skimming the terms-and-conditions fine print. The company also sells MindInsole, a series of foot care products that focus on compression therapy and dynamic shoe insoles. Both the LiveWave and MindInsole are As Seen on TV products.
If you’ve seen this antenna on TV or via online ads, you’re probably excited about the fact that you get a uniquely shaped antenna that, according to its website, can “convert your hidden house wiring into a giant superpower TV antenna thousands of feet long. Super power!”
How the LiveWave Antenna Works
We’ve researched dozens of TV antennas and nearly all of them claim exactly what this one does: to bring you HD channels for free. Basically, you put the antenna in your outlet and then connect the coaxial cable that comes with your order into your TV and the antenna.
After this, search your TV’s setting for the auto-scan feature, activate it and wait a few minutes while your TV uses the antenna to search and store local TV stations. Once the scan is complete, you can watch TV.
What makes LiveWave different from the typical HD antennas we’ve seen is that they say you can turn your home’s electrical system into a giant antenna by plugging this antenna in your home.
We called around to about a dozen TV installation businesses across the country and a Best Buy in Jacksonville, FL. Some of the people with whom we spoke said they’ve never heard of a plug-in antenna that turns your home’s wiring system into a giant antenna.
One shop owner we spoke with – an antenna installer in Central Florida – said it’s possible to use your home’s ground system as an antenna but that he’s never seen an antenna do it. He told us you run the risk of electrical complications and that he wouldn’t install it in his home.
LiveWave contradicts this claim by saying that their antenna “never interferes with your electrical power and is impossible to cause a shock hazard.”
We believe that this conflicting information indicates that the jury is still about regarding the LiveWave’s ability to turn your home’s wiring system into an antenna.
Now, that being said, we want to point out that HD antennas are only able to provide your TV with local free channels. They cannot capture premium channels like HBO, ESPN, Bravo and other channels you’d have to pay extra for in a cable package.
Also, how well your antenna works has a lot to do with where your home is located in relation to TV towers and obstacles like trees, buildings, and walls that could impede the TV signal coming into your home.
One other factor to consider is that TV antennas are tuned to very specific frequencies that allow you to get local TV stations. One expert with whom we spoke who chose to remain anonymous said that one potential drawback of the LiveWave is that the electrical wires your antenna connects to aren’t tuned for TV stations. Therefore, this method of turning your home’s wiring into a giant antenna may not work as well as you hope.
LiveWave Antenna Pricing and Return Policy
At the time of writing, you had several options for buying a LiveWave antenna. Your main options are to buy one antenna at $39.95 + $8.95 S&H or to buy multiple antennas that become cheaper with free shipping as you buy more at once:
- Two antennas: $73.75
- Three antennas: $92.19
- Four antennas: $110.63
- Five antennas: $132.14
In addition to buying an antenna or antennas, you can choose to purchase a lifetime warranty for $10. The fine print says that the warranty covers your antenna if it has defects in materials or workmanship. If the antenna just stops working one day, then, in theory, you can make a warranty claim.
However, if you spill water on the antenna or break the device through an accident or negligence, it won’t be covered.
“Damages due to improper care or accident may be repaired at a reasonable rate and a fee will be charged for return shipping,” the fine print notes.
Basically, if you want to make a claim, you have to send the antenna back and the company processing the claim will inspect your LiveWave and determine if you’re eligible for a refund or exchange.
In our opinion, purchasing the extended warranty is a bit of a gamble because you won’t know if your warranty claim is approved until the company tells you it is. If they deny your claim, you lose out on the money you paid for shipping, which will most likely cost around $5.
As for returns, you have limited options. You won’t get a refund because the product is sold as-is. However, you have 30 days to request an exchange or store credit in order to get a new antenna. To start the return, you’ll need to email email@example.com.
How LiveWave Antenna Compares to Other TV Antennas
To give you a sense of how this antenna’s pricing and features compare to popular HD antennas, we went to Amazon to find out which HD antennas got the highest ratings from consumers.
What we found is that there were several different antennas that were cheaper than LiveWave. However, none of them claimed to turn your home’s electrical system into an antenna:
- U MUST Have Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna: $27.95, 4.7 stars from 6,053 reviews
- LotusBe Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna: $24.99, 4.4 stars from 270 reviews
Both of these antennas received excellent reviews from customers and both are significantly cheaper than the LiveWave. Also, we noticed that both of these antennas are amplified, which means you can plug them in and boost their range to more than 35 miles.
If you live in a rural area where the closest TV towers are more than 35 miles away, this can be a big benefit.
In general, we’d say that the two antennas on Amazon present better value because they’re more than $10 cheaper and, unlike the LiveWave, their technology is traditional and widely understood to work well if you cut down on the obstacles between your antenna and the HD signals you’re trying to capture.
There’s a chance that the LiveWave could work better because of its claim to use your whole house as an antenna but we don’t feel comfortable backing that claim based on what various experts told us during our research of this antenna.
The Bottom Line: Is the LiveWave Antenna a Good Choice?
This device is intriguing because of the antenna power it claims to harness simply by plugging it into a wall outlet and then connecting it to your TV.
What’s missing from the product's website, though, is details about the antenna’s range and further explanation as to how it harnesses your home’s electrical wires to create a massive antenna.
Because vital information about how the antenna works and because its price tag is higher than competing antennas, we think that there’s a certain amount of risk involved in buying the antenna. If you’re comfortable with that risk, this may be a good fit.
However, if you’re looking for an antenna based on widespread technology that costs less than $25, we believe there are plenty of viable options on Amazon and at Target and Walmart.