Mohu Curve 50 TV antenna review: Pretty, but not powerful

This interesting-looking antenna is good for the ‘burbs, but it’s not the best at pulling in broadcast channels.

191023 mohu curve 3
Martyn Williams / IDG

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At a Glance
  • Mohu Curve 50

The Mohu Curve 50 is one of the best-looking antennas we’ve tested in a while. It’s suitable for use in areas with strong to medium-strength signals, but don’t consider it for weak signal areas. Even with its in-line amplifier, the antenna didn’t outperform our current top-ranked indoor antenna, the Winegard FlatWave Amped.

The Curve 50 is well made and sturdy. It can be carefully balanced to stand up on its own, although it’s much more stable with its included stand. It’s white on the front, black on the back, and won’t look too out of place in a home, although its size means that visitors will notice it. Because of its unique shape, it will need some shelf space as it cannot be hung on a wall.

Performance

Mohu says the Curve 50 is suitable for use in the suburbs, and our testing supported that, but it will perform better in some suburbs than others. If distance is the only thing separating you from a TV transmitter, the amplifier will help pull in stations. It might even live up to Mohu’s promise on its Amazon listing of pulling in stations within a “60-mile radius of your home.” Mohu makes the more modest claim of “50-mile range” on its own website.

[ Further reading: The best over-the-air TV antennas for cord cutters ]

191023 mohu curve 2 Martyn Williams / IDG

The curved shape of the Mohu Curve 50 means it cannot be hung on a wall or suction-cupped to a window.

At TechHive’s testing site, about 30 miles from San Francisco, a range of hills complicate reception and provide a tough environment for antennas. Many Bay Area-market stations can only be pulled in by the best antennas, and in this location, performance was mediocre compared to our current top-ranked indoor antenna: In a side-by-side reception test, the Winegard outperformed the Mohu antenna.

The FlatWave Amped pulled in five physical channels and a total of 25 TV stations, while the Mohu Curve 50 only received four physical channels and 19 stations (One physical broadcast channel carries several TV stations packed together). The Winegard additionally managed marginal reception on an additional broadcast channel that the Mohu antenna didn’t pick up at all.

In deciding whether you should buy this antenna, you’ll also want to be wary of other things that can affect TV reception, such as nearby trees or large buildings. Based on our reception tests, TechHive continues to rate the Winegard FlatWave Amped as our pick among indoor antennas.

Parts and installation

191023 mohu curve 1 Martyn Williams / IDG

The Mohu Curve 50 comes with a 16-foot coaxial cable, but you can provide your own if a longer or shorter cable would be more suitable.

Installation was easy and no different from other indoor antennas. The Mohu Curve has an antenna socket on its rear, so you can use existing coaxial cable, if you have it. Mohu provides a 16-foot long cable, or you can buy your own cable as needed. There is also an included in-line amplifier that is powered by a USB connection. If your TV has a spare USB socket that includes power, you can connect the amplifier directly to it. If not, you can use the supplied wall wart, but that means you’ll need an outlet nearby.

Should you buy the Mohu Curve 50?

The Mohu Curve 50 looks great, but its performance is mediocre. If you’re after a stylish TV antenna and live in an area with strong to medium-strength signals, this will look a whole lot prettier than our top-ranked Winegard FlatWave Amped. But if you need the best performance, go with the Winegard antenna; or, better yet, ensure perfect reception with an attic or roof-mounted antenna.

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At a Glance
  • The Mohu Curve 50 is a good-looking antenna, but there are other, perhaps less-attractive indoor antennas that perform better.

    Pros

    • Stylish design
    • In-line signal amplifier
    • You can connect a longer cable if need be

    Cons

    • Average performance
    • No VHF reception
    • Cannot be mounted to a wall or a window
  
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