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Ah, the good old days, when candy bars were a quarter and TV was free. Now I have to pay $1.29 for my Twix fix? Come on!
At least TV is still free -- the local channels, anyway. All you need is a decent antenna and you can tune in all your nearby stations in glorious high-def.
For many folks, that "decent antenna" has been the tough nut to crack. In my edge-of-suburbia neck of the woods, for example, I had to put a powered set of rabbit ears in my attic and run a cord through walls and floors to my TV. Quelle hassle!
Then I found the Mohu Leaf, which I've featured in the past for around $30. Today, however, and while supplies last, DealFisher has the refurbished Mohu Leaf indoor HDTV antenna for $14.99. Amazon Prime subscribers get it shipped free; non-subscribers will have to pay for shipping or pad their carts to at least $35.
Update: This is now showing a higher price. I'm investigating and will see what I can do...
Update No. 2: Hang in there, cheeps! I spoke with a DealFisher rep who said the deal will be reinstated shortly.
When I first tested the Leaf a few years back, I had very low expectations. It's almost laughably insubstantial, an iPad-size plastic sheet that's black on one side and white on the other. It comes with a pair of sticky Velcro tabs so you can hang the antenna on your wall.
Unless you're able to get creative, this can and will destroy your decor. Picture a big black (or white) rectangle adorning your wall, a coaxial cable extending downward from it. The horror.
But, wow, the Leaf works like magic. In my basement, no less, my TV picked up every local station and tuned them in at nearly full signal strength. Your mileage will almost certainly vary, but I'm absolutely astonished by how well this thing works. And you don't have to take my word: over 500 Amazon customers rated the Leaf 4.2 stars out of 5.
If you grabbed that amaze-balls TiVo deal a couple weeks ago and need an antenna for local-channel DVR goodness, this is definitely a great place to start. I'm not saying it'll work miracles for everyone, merely that it does a surprisingly good job -- and for a pretty unbeatable price.
Have you tried a Leaf before? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with your fellow cheeps.
Update 8/27/2015: I was asked by DealFisher to share this news regarding Leaf orders:
"We at DealFisher believe in complete transparency and integrity on all levels and would like to acknowledge that we are regrettably experiencing some shipping delays from our vendor on a significant number of orders for the Mohu Leaf Antenna.
"We are doing everything in our power to ship these orders out as quickly as possible. We expect all orders to ship out no later than Wednesday, September 2nd.
"We know this is not ideal and we can assure you that the proper steps are being taken to ensure that this scenario does not repeat itself.
"If any of our customers wish to contact us regarding this matter or if anyone wishes to cancel an order for a full refund, please contact us so we can resolve this matter to your satisfaction.
"We can be reached at email@example.com
"Please accept our sincerest and utmost apologies for any inconvenience caused."
Bonus deal: Calling all parents! If your youngsters use an Android-powered phone or tablet, here's an app bundle you won't want to miss: the Humble Humongous Mobile Bundle. Pay $1 or more and you'll get four classic Humongous educational games -- including Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo and Spy Fox in Dry Cereal -- for Android. That first-tier collection alone has a combined value of $20. Beat the average (currently $7.55) to get four more titles, with a least one more bonus game TBD. My kids played (and loved) these when they were younger, and I'm so glad to see them resurrected in app form (the games, not the kids).