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Friday
Nov032017

Podcast #816: Mohu Airwave Review

Last CES Mohu introduced a product that we really were excited to get our hands on. The Mohu Airwave is wireless device that integrates live, local TV with free streaming channels. The Airwave costs $150 and right now is only available at Best Buy.

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Mohu Airwave Review

Last CES Mohu introduced a product that we really were excited to get our hands on. The Mohu Airwave is wireless device that integrates live, local TV with free streaming channels. The Airwave costs $150 and right now is only available at Best Buy.

The Airwave is a combination Indoor Antenna/Tuner/Wifi Transmitter in one unit. The thinking here is that most homes have a spot or two in the house that has the best reception but it is not necessarily the spot where you can put a television. The Airwave solves this problem by allowing you to place the Airwave in the optimized location and then it can transmit the TV signal via wifi (or Ethernet) to Set top boxes or mobile devices thereby making your over the air TV available to any room in the house.


Product Features

  • Compatible with most streaming boxes, smartphones, and tablets Watch movies, TV shows, sports, news and more on all your devices via Mohu TV app. (Roku, AppleTV, FireTV available now. Coming soon to iOS, Android, and SmartTVs)
  • Receives digital signals Possible available channels: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, The CW, Univision, and more.
  • Wirelessly stream movies, TV shows, sports, news and more Via the Mohu TV app, AirWave allows viewers to combine live, local broadcast TV with free streaming channels.
  • Free TV everywhere Just download the Mohu TV app on your compatible device, and it will automatically discover your AirWave device and walk you through a few simple steps to get set up.
  • Free Broadcast TV Watch free live, local and streaming television on your favorite devices.
  • Mohu ClearPix technology Dynamically responds to over-the-air signals and adjusts them in real-time, automatically improving image reception.
  • Extended-range wireless provides smooth, fast streaming High-efficient wireless connection streams video with ease and speed.

 

Setup

Finding the best location in the house for placing your Airwave can be trial and error. But if you know where the transmitters are located and you have a window nearby start there. If you live within 30 miles of the transmitters you can pretty much place the unit anywhere. The first step is to log onto the Airwave’s wifi network and give it your wifi settings so it can join your wireless network. Our unit immediately notified us of a firmware update which we applied.

Once the update was complete we scanned for channels and we were surprised that it found about a hundred digital channels. This test was conducted in the Fresno area because we both live beyond the 35 mile limit of the product. Then the Airwave went ahead and populated the channel guide and we were done! The entire process took about 45 minutes to complete. By the way, our evaluation was performed on an AppleTV.


Performance

Getting around the guide was a little tedious while using the scrolling mechanism of the AppleTV remote. This can be minimized by choosing favorites which can eliminate all the ridiculous digital channels that are out there. The guide shows what’s on and what will be coming up for up to two weeks out. If you select a currently airing program the Airwave will tune to and start streaming the program.  



But this is where our frustration really started. It should be noted that while we conducted this evaluation we also had a TV with and Indoor antenna (Mohu) as a check on the TV signal. When we tuned to an HD channel we got nothing on the screen. Then we’d switch to the TV’s tuner which showed us a glorious HD picture. So it wasn’t a signal thing. Then we selected a .channel which was SD and we did see a picture but it was very choppy.  

Thinking that it wasn’t the antenna, since Mohu makes some really good antennas and that the other Mohu antenna did not have problem with the TV signal, we connected the Airwave to the router via an Ethernet cable. And there we had better luck. The HD signal came in and it was pretty much stable. However, it still would have dropouts where the TV did not. Watching the SD .channels were quite good. No pixelation no dropouts.

Mohu has acknowledged issues and is pushing out updates almost daily for both the Airwave and the apps. At this point the mobile device app is still being reviewed and was not available for testing.

The following was posted on the AirWave Product Page

The response to the AirWave launch has been overwhelming! We've received reports that some Best Buy stores are sold out, but units should be back on the shelves soon. And you can still order online!

As with many new first-of-its-kind products, AirWave has a number of bugs and challenges. We are working diligently to address each issue as we discover it and are thankful to the users who have communicated with us to help us make AirWave the best it can be. We appreciate your patience with us throughout this whole process.

For info on known issues and patch releases, visit the AirWave Software Updates page.


Conclusion

The Airwave is a great idea, one that really resonates with cord cutters. We have two issues with the product as it stands right now. First is that there is no way to watch the OTA signal outside your home. It would be really cool if you could use the mobile app to do that. For now we will stick with our Plex server for this. The second and main issue is that the product is just not ready for prime time. Mohu is a really good company and we have no issues recommending them for antennas. But we really can’t do that for a product that costs $150 and has the number of issues that it does. We will give it another month and check and try again.


 

 

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