Mohu Sail review: This antenna can be mounted in your attic or outdoors, but it doesn’t beat our top pick

The Mohu Sail is a gently curved, smart-looking TV antenna that is intended to be mounted either indoors, probably in an attic space, or outdoors on the side of a house or chimney.

Inside the antenna are reception elements for VHF/UHF channels and an amplifier.

The Sail is one of the first Mohu antennas to feature an amplifier at the antenna rather than at the end of the cable. The advantage is that signal can be boosted immediately after being captured rather than sent down the cable—where it can get weaker—and then amplified. This is especially advantageous over long cable runs.

Mohu gives the antenna a 75-mile rating, but don’t rely on that when choosing an antenna. TechHive has already written about how these distance ratings assume ideal conditions—something many of us don’t have—and we also have a comprehensive guide to selecting an antenna. Read it so you won’t be disappointed. 

mohu sail Martyn Williams / IDG

The Mohu Sail is desgined for either outdoor installations or inside your attic if you don’t want objects poking out of your home’s roofline.

Performance 

TechHive tests antennas by performing a number of scans to see how many channels are received. A pattern emerges over the course of the scans, and we get to see how well an antenna pulls in the various strong and weak channels on air in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas.

The Mohu Sail did an average job for an antenna of its size, successfully receiving signals from six broadcast channels in San Francisco for a total of 33 TV stations (each digital broadcast channel carries several TV stations), and another six channels when orientated to face Sacramento for a total of 37 channels. While facing Sacramento, however, all the channels received were the same stronger signals as when facing San Francisco, which makes me wonder how directional the antenna is.

The curved design might contribute to this, because the antenna is bent and probably receives signals from a wider angle than traditional antennas. If you live in an area with several strong signals coming from different places, this could be an advantage; but if you’re dealing with weaker signals, as I am, it can also lead to more noise and interference being received.

The antenna includes elements for reception of VHF TV stations. While not as common as UHF stations, there are many on the air across the country, so check our TV antenna selection guide before buying one without them. In our tests, the Mohu Sail failed to receive any VHF stations with a good enough signal level to watch.