Tag Archives: indoor antenna

Channels brings Khan Academy to Television

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 11.41.07 AMKhan Academy was founded in 2006 by Salman Khan who started tutoring a cousin remotely using Yahoo! Doodle. After creating a few videos he decided to move them to YouTube. Today, Khan Academy’s mission is to “provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. All of our resources are completely free forever, regardless of whether you’re a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology.”

So why is this so important? The videos are hosted on YouTube and are free to anyone, anywhere, who has a computer or tablet and an internet connection. Most of the courses are pre-college and allow learners to take ownership of their education. Khan Academy is designed for computers and tablets, but with Mohu’s Channels, the lessons can be streamed directly to a TV, turning the TV into a vehicle for learning and the living room into a lecture hall.

The premise is simple. Khan Academy hosts, via YouTube, hundreds of mini-lectures on math, history, finance, Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 11.46.10 AMeconomics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and computer science. One of the simple, but most innovative features of many of the videos is that they abandon a traditional “lecture” format and instead the instructor walks the student through the  problem solving process using just a dark screen, colored “markers” and a voice-over. Listening and watching the instructor demonstrate his thought process (and make mistakes in real time) is less daunting to the viewer and the colored markers make the lectures more engaging.

Khan Academy also includes test prep for several standardized tests including the SAT. The latest development for Khan Academy is its partnership with the College Board to create free online test-prep materials for the redesigned SAT which debuts in 2016. With parents paying up to $900 for test preparation classes this next step could help close the income gap  among students often seen in standardized tests.

In future blogs Mohu will feature the weird and wonderful content available on YouTube. And with Channels coming out soon all this content can be streamed directly to your TV.

ABC vs. Aereo


The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in ABC vs. Aereo. There are two main issues that the Court will need to address. The first issue is whether or not the re-transmission of OTA content constitute a “public” or “private” performance. The second issue is murkier, and concerns the future of “the cloud” where data and entertainment content is moving.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. came down hard when he told Aereo’s lawyer: “Your technological model is based solely on circumventing legal prohibitions that you don’t want to comply with.” In summary, copyright law allows for the private use of the broadcaster’s airwaves. For example, it’s completely legal to hook up a Mohu antenna to a television, or even a Sky to four televisions in one home because that use of the airwaves constitutes a “private” performance (even if you have friends come over to watch the Super Bowl). However, the cable companies pay approximately $3 billion a year in retransmission fees to the networks because their capture of broadcasts and sending them to million of customers is a “public performance.” Aereo claims its performances are “private” because each customer (who pays between $8-$12/month) is assigned a tiny antenna to digitally capture an OTA broadcast and store it in the cloud. The “owner” of that antenna then has the content streamed to a tablet, smartphone or computer.

Continue reading

OTA Show Update, Part 2

Mohu’s antennas–from the tiny Metro to the rooftop Sky–bring cord-cutters great over the air television for free. Here are updates on two new action-packed mid-season dramas.

nbc-crisisCrisis (NBC, Sunday, 10:00 ET ) looks promising. Clearly, something big is happening when a busload of children, including the president’s son, are taken hostage while on a high school field trip. Washington DC is a rich backdrop to fame, money and power. And who doesn’t like bashing rich parents?  The LA Times review, written after two episodes and several plot twists, says, “In the first two episodes, the plot turns and turns again, and the motivation for what is clearly a very elaborate crime becomes murky to the point of nonsensical. Fortunately, the motivating force (and the show’s tag line) — How far would you go to protect your children? — is easily understood.”

Some of the high schoolers are typecast–the vulnerable alpha girl, the scholarship kid. And there are some unexplained plot elements–how did the FBI know about the kidnapping when the bus was in a part of West Virginia with no cell phone reception? Suspend your disbelief but pay attention to the plot twists and turns. With Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County, Jobs) NBC has added some star power to this mid-season drama.
Continue reading

What We Love About the Mohu Leaf and Curve

HDTV Antenna, HD TV AntennaMohu makes three great HDTV antennas: the Leaf,  the Curve designer antenna and the Sky attic antenna. The Leaf and the Curve are indoor antennas and the Sky can be used either inside or outside. For now, we’re going to focus on what makes the Leaf and the Curve such great antennas. The Mohu Leaf is Mohu’s first product and remains one of the best selling indoor HDTV antennas on Amazon. The original Mohu Leaf was handmade and had the electronics sandwiched between two laminated sheets of paper and was first sold at a weekend flea market here in Raleigh, NC. The original flexible, paper thin design worked so well that the paper thin design remains one of the Leaf’s key features. As an added bonus, it is still made in America.

Continue reading

Why We Love Broadcast (Over-The-Air) TV

indoor hdtv antenna, ota, antennaYou may not know it, but rabbit ears on your TV are cool again. And our 21st century Mohu antennas are not your father’s rabbit ears. Our HDTV antennas are slick and stylish. The Mohu Leaf can be painted to match your décor, hang quietly on a wall or hide behind a picture. And while it’s “hanging out” it is bringing you top-notch 1080p HDTV. As Wirecutter said in a recent review of several antennas, “But there was one antenna that actually looked good when it was in plain view. The one that really nailed the whole aesthetics/performance combination is the Mohu Curve 50, an amped antenna that looks like a little sail or a curved, blank picture frame.”

So that’s the antenna part of OTA TV. What about what’s on TV? According to TV Guide, 18 of the top 20 2012-2013 season were all OTA. And even more recently, the 2014 Super Bowl (Seahawks vs Broncos) was the most watched Super Bowl in history. And it was available over-the-air. Free on Fox to anyone with an antenna.
Continue reading

What the CBS/ Time Warner blackout misses about antenna users

The CBS/Time Warner Cable blackout is nothing new. 2012 had more blackouts in its first six months than any year prior with 53 markets affected, according to the American Television Alliance.

The unseemly squabbles of these television CEOs stands in marked contrast to another CEO in the news: Jeff Bezos. Rather than twisting the arm of some company that deals with Amazon, Bezos chose to invest in The Washington Post, which has a lot of people excited. Instead of doing something that hurts consumers and deprives them of services, Bezos selected an option that is at the very worst neutral.

The irony is that cable companies badly lack the affection of their customers, which, as the Harvard Business Review recently noted, might be intentional. Editor Justin Fox wrote, “Subscription television services and internet service providers, both dominated in the U.S. by the cable industry, make up two of the three lowest-scoring categories in the American Customer Service Index (the other is airlines).”
Continue reading

Why don’t Pay-TV providers sell indoor hd antennas?

One thing that Apple does well is cannibalizing its own product lines. Cannibalizing—which we’ll apply to indoor hd antennas—is a strange word with negative impressions, but in this case it means to not merely come up with a better version of your product, but to make a completely different product that will consume all of your current product’s sales.

Apple figured out that when you cannibalize your own products, you control the evolution of the market. Thus the iPhone to some extent made MP3 players and laptops (iPods and MacBooks) irrelevant, and the iPad made the desktop (iMac) seem like a heavy relic of ancient history.

As a result, Apple left behind the computer industry to become one of the most profitable companies in any industry in the entire world.
Indoor HDTV Antenna, HD Antenna, HD Antennas, Indoor Antenna
So why aren’t cable/satellite/telco providers cannibalizing their current services?

Granted, indoor hd antennas aren’t quite as groundbreaking as the iPhone was in 2007. However, antennas do take customers away from Pay-TV companies just the same as if it was a brand new technology.

Instead of offering a new experience like the iPhone, antennas offer emancipation from a monthly bill in exchange for a smaller selection of channels, which is exactly what 7 million households had done by 2012, up from 5 million in 2011, according to The 2012 Ownership Survey and Trend Report by GfK Media.
Continue reading

Why isn’t an HDTV antenna built into every TV?

If you think about it, a TV is like a giant smartphone.

It has a large glass screen, lots of hidden electronics and a back made out of plastic.

HDTV antenna, HD Antennas, Indoor antennaSmartphones have their antennas on the inside—that’s how they receive calls—but for a TV, the hdtv antenna has to be hooked up on the outside.

Why is that? If a mobile phone can use an internal antenna, then surely a TV ought to as well, particularly since they’re stationary.

A bit of research yielded the following: placing antennas inside the mobile phone is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea. But it happened because of consumer preference.

Once upon a time mobile phone antennas protruded outside the phone body. They stuck out like a sore thumb. And the reason for that was good engineering: all the metal and electrical guts inside the phone interfere with reception.

You might recognize an early design like this: [photo of a 1980s cell phone]

As designs changed, external antennas became considered ugly. Cell phone makers banished the antenna to deep inside the phone, never to be seen again, and suddenly consumers began to complain about poor reception and lots of dropped calls.
Continue reading