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The Televes Dat Boss Mix LR (model 149884) is the best outdoor TV antenna we’ve tested. It delivered an excellent performance, pulling in strong signals from local and distant TV towers. It’s a great choice in areas with medium to low reception levels. Wireless Extend
The Televes Dat Boss Mix LR is great outdoor TV antenna. It’s big, but its size is one of the reasons its performance is so impressive.
The antenna is designed to work on the high-VHF and UHF bands, which are those used by most major TV stations in the U.S. We tested model number 149884, which doesn’t pull in low-VHF channels. If you need low-VHF, choose model number 148383 instead.
If you’re unsure of the channels in use where you live, check out the Rabbit Ears website and look for your city and the “Physical Channel” number. This antenna will work with stations on channels 7 through 36. Remember, the channel number announced on air, “CBS 2,” for example, is no longer necessarily the physical channel in use, so check the site.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best TV antennas.
The author mounted the Televes Dat Boss Mix LR to his rooftop for testing, strapping it to the home’s chimney for added stability.
The UHF portion of the antenna is peaked for the new, smaller TV spectrum that’s been in use since some TV frequencies were given to 5G wireless carriers in 2020. That design and a built-in 5G filter should provide a good chance at filtering out any strong, local cellphone signals that could hamper reception.
The antenna also has an powered amplifier, which also helps reception. Boosting signals at the collection point avoids the inevitable loss that occurs when the signal travels through the coax cable to your living room and can make the difference between watchable and unwatchable stations. The amplifier is powered by an indoor unit that also doubles as a splitter with two outputs. You’ll need to plug the indoor unit into an AC outlet.
To test the antenna, I first scanned broadcast TV stations using my existing antenna, a Channel Master CM-5018 installed with an amplifier. Nothing I’ve tested has beaten this for reception, so it’s stayed on my house for the last six years.
After scanning and recording signal levels, I took down the existing antenna and installed the Televes Dat Boss Mix LR in the same place. The results were immediately impressive.
The antenna comes disassembled and it can be confusing to put together correctly. Pay close attention to which bolts go where.
I live in the Washington, D.C., television market but an outdoor antenna pulls in many stations from the Baltimore market, which is about 40 miles away. Reception of all the major D.C. stations and some of the Baltimore stations is reliable, but there are problems receiving some low-power D.C. stations as well as some of the Baltimore stations.
With the Dat Boss Mix LR antenna, a lot of those problems disappeared.
Many of the marginal signals were boosted to be stable and free of picture breakup, and it managed to pick up two new stations. One is a local station that suffers from interference from a distant channel on the same frequency but this antenna managed to sort out that mess and deliver the local one.
The other signals either stayed as strong as they were or were improved. This is equally important, because sometimes a large antenna can deliver too much signal, resulting in loss of picture due to overload. That didn’t happen in this case.
The Televes Dat Boss Mix LR comes with a 5G filter to eliminate any interference from strong cellphone signals.
It appeared to be a little more directional than my existing antenna, which is one reason it might have been more successful. The built-in amplifier also helps, but most of the heavy lifting was probably done by the antenna’s design. It has a unique look with three UHF director bars extending out of its front. These focus reception to the area directly in front of the antenna, and that helps improve sensitivity.
Because reception can vary from day to day, I also conducted an extended test over a week and didn’t encounter any issues.
The antenna comes in a pretty large box and requires some time to assemble, but assembly is pretty easy. It can be accomplished with a screwdriver and an included wrench; putting the whole thing together took about an hour. The instructions are illustrated with few words, so you need to pay attention, particularly to the using the correct bolts in the correct places.
Some pieces bolt together and others snap into place, and it’s not always entirely clear how to do that. I spent a few minutes trying to jam one of the reflectors into position before realizing I had it the wrong way around. It was simple when flipped.
This is a high-quality antenna, and I have no worries about it staying on my roof through the winter.
The Televes Dat Boss Mix LR is the best outdoor antenna we have tested. The inclusion of a built-in amplifier and two-way distribution amplifier in the house makes it even more useful. It will work well in areas of medium to low signal strength, but it’s overkill for areas with strong signals.
4g Repeater Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.