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Get a Leaf indoor HDTV antenna for $29.99

Wait, how can a cheap-looking, paper-thin piece of plastic do a better job pulling down TV signals than powered rabbit ears? No idea, but it does.

The Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna works far better than a rigid piece of plastic has any right to.
The Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna works far better than a rigid piece of plastic has any right to.

Remember when TV was free? All you needed was the airwaves to watch all your favorite network shows.

That's still true. In fact, with a decent antenna, you can tune in all your local 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 -- hassle city.

Too bad I didn't know about the Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna. I just tested one in my basement, where TV signals go to die, and it worked better than the powered attic antenna. More on the later.

For a limited time, you can get the Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna for $35.99 shipped. And if you apply coupon code APRILFOOL at checkout, your price drops to $29.99. (That code is good until April 17.)

I'll admit I had very low expectations, as I've yet to find an indoor antenna that was worth a damn. And when the Leaf actually arrived, I almost laughed out loud: It appears to be little more than an iPad-size plastic sheet, black on one side, 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, holy crap, the Leaf works like magic. In my aforementioned basement, my TV picked up every local station and tuned them in at nearly full signal strength. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I'm absolutely astonished by how well this thing works. And you don't have to take my word: nearly a thousand users on Amazon rated the Leaf 4.5 stars out of 5 on average.

If you've been investigating your cable-TV cord-cutting options, this is one piece of equipment you'll definitely want to include. Pair it with a Windows 7-powered PC (equipped with an inexpensive ATSC tuner) and you can enjoy some sweet, sweet free-DVR action.