SetWave Antenna Review
The SatWave is an HD antenna that can provide you with free standard-definition and high-definition TV stations simply by plugging the antenna into the back of your television.
Real Cheaps, the company who sells the antenna, says that SatWave also has the ability to turn your entire house into an antenna if you plug it into the wall.
The SatWave is one among many products that Real Cheaps sells. Their lineup includes several electronic devices like magnetic charging cables, emergency flairs, a four-in-one iPhone adapter.
When it comes to antennas like this that claim to offer a feature like turning your whole house into an antenna, it’s important to not only examine the basics the antenna offers but also assess the bigger claims.
We’ll do that in this review by giving you our analysis of how the antenna works, if it’s possible to turn a house into an antenna and what the antenna costs. We’ll do a quick comparison of other antennas that offer the same features, then wrap up with a quick conclusion section.
How the SatWave Antenna Works
SatWave is a bit different in how it looks but not much different from other antennas in how you set it up and get it working.
While most HD antennas are a flat panel or a base with rabbit ears, the SatWave antenna is a single, long black antenna that extends upwards.
Aside from the striking look of the antenna, there’s not much difference between it and other HD antennas.
TO set it up, you can either plug it straight into your TV or, if you have an older TV that needs a digital converter box, you can plug it into the converter box.
Once the antenna is plugged in, you’ll want to go into your TV’s channel settings and find the option for doing a channel autoscan.
Your TV will use the antenna to identify available channel signals, store those signals and then finish the scan. Depending on where your TV and antenna are located and how close the nearest TV towers are will dictate, in most cases, how many channels you get.
Our research on this topic has helped us understand how to get the best reception out of your antenna.
First, you want to reduce the number of obstacles between your antenna and the outdoors. Ideally, you’d be able to put your antenna on a window. If that’s not possible, tray and attach your antenna to a wall facing the outdoors.
Finally, use a site like Antenna Web to see where the TV towers are in your area and in which direction you need to point your antenna to get which channels.
There are factors, too, that are beyond your control. For example, the topography of the area around your home can influence TV channel signals. Mountains, forests, hills and the like.
Pro tip: HD antennas can provide free local channels available over the airwaves but cannot provide premium channels like ESPN, HBO and Bravo.
Can the SatWave Turn Your Home Into an Antenna
Imagine being frustrated with the fact that you live in an area with bad reception and it’s hard to get more than a few of the best free channels you can find.
The thought that an antenna like SatWave could turn your whole house into an antenna is appealing because the idea is that, with all that antenna power, you’ll get more channels than you would with just a normal antenna.
By plugging the SatWave into an electrical outlet and then connecting it to your TV, the SatWave turns your home’s wiring into an antenna.
“Plug it into any electrical outlet, and it safely and instantly changes your house into a GIANT TV ANTENNA with the hundreds of feet of wire inside your walls! WOW,” the site says.
This is a claim we saw with the LiveWave antenna, too. In our research for that antenna, we reached out to local antenna experts, a Midwest antenna shop as well as the National Association of Amateur Radio.
The input we received across the board was that the idea a plug-in antenna could turn your house into a giant antenna is one they’d never heard of.
One shop owner told us there could be grounding issues with the electrical side of things, although SatWave says there’s no danger of electrical shock.
“It never interferes with your electric power and is impossible to cause a shock hazard,” the site says.
As for the claims that your home becomes an antenna, one shop we spoke with on the condition of anonymity told us that TV antennas are tuned to specific frequencies that match TV channels. A home’s wiring isn’t tuned to any specific frequencies and, therefore, probably won’t provide the crystal-clear channels you’re hoping for.
In our opinion, these various expert insights indicate there’s a good chance that you shouldn’t significantly better reception by plugging the antenna in.
SatWave Pricing and Return Policy
At the time of writing, you could buy one SatWave for $29.95. Two antennas cost $56.95 and three costs $80.95.
You have the choice of paying $5.95 for tracked shipping or select free shipping without a tracking number. Packages will take between two and six weeks to arrive, the fine print noted.
If you make it to the payment page, you might also get a pop-up offer to get 15 percent off your purchase, too.
Finally, you have the option of buying lifetime protection for the antenna(s) for an additional $6.95.
We read through the site’s FAQ and could find no information about this lifetime protection plan. We tried to click on the Terms and Conditions link at the bottom of the order page and the link was broken. The same thing happened when we tried to click the “Contact Us” page.
Based on this experience, we hesitate to recommend the lifetime warranty simply because there is no additional information about it and no way to call the company and learn more about it.
As for returns, Real Cheaps offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee. The return policy is very strict, though. You need to return the item in original condition with unbroken or untorn packaging materials and instruction manuals.
You’ll need to send the antenna to China, a move that will cost you at least $15. The return address is: No.1 Level 2, Block 41, Zong Tong II, Yiwu, Zhe Jiang District, 322000 PRC.
Comparing SatWave to Other Antennas
We did some quick research on Amazon and found that there are dozens of antennas that are cheaper than the SatWave.
None of them feature the Sat Wave’s slim design, though, which could be a benefit to you if there isn't much space to place an antenna near your TV, or you don’t like how wall-fixed or rabbit-ear antennas look.
Aside from looks, another crucial difference between the top-rated antennas on Amazon and the SatWave is we could not find any reviews about the antenna anywhere on the internet.
So, from a customer-review perspective, aside from what you read here on HighYa, you aren’t going to get a lot of input from people who actually used the SatWave.
Amazon antennas, on the other hand, tend to have hundreds or thousands of reviews that reveal a lot of about how the device actually works. For example, an HD antenna from U MUST HAVE had nearly 10,000 reviews at the time of publishing with an average review of 4.7 stars.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of SatWave
The advantage to SatWave, in our opinion, is that it offers a unique, inconspicuous shape that some may find stylish. Most antennas are a flat panel or have silver antennas, features that you may not like from a visual perspective.
However, we believe that our research and the advice of experts indicates that the antenna has more drawbacks than it does benefits.
First, our research revealed there are numerous antennas on Amazon that provide the same benefits as the SatWave but at a lower price and with hundreds (if not thousands) of customer reviews.
Second, the conversations we had with experts indicate that the antennas claim that it can turn your home into a giant antenna could be true but would be relatively useless considering how antennas and frequencies work.
Because of this information, it is our opinion that you may be better off going to your local Walmart or Target, or going to Amazon, to find an antenna that suits your needs. We believe these options provide you lower-price antennas that have extensive customer reviews you can comb through to get a clear sense of how well they work.
1 out 1 people found this review helpful
This company is crap. I paid for the antenna and the extended warranty. After waiting over a month they delivered it to the wrong address in the wrong state. When I tried to contact them they do not respond. I cannot find a phone number for them so I'm out 50 bucks. Don't buy into there BS.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend