Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is It Working? I'm Honestly Not Sure! The Newpoint HD Antenna Is Problematic!

The Good: Looks all right, Includes necessary components, Does not require power
The Bad: Controls are not intuitive/clear to read, Large footprint, No manual
The Basics: Underwhelming and bulky, the Newpoint 208110 HD Antenna is a device that performs a necessary function . . . poorly.

Remember how the future was supposed to be different? If you're like me, when you were a child, you were promised a technological revolution - probably supported by programs like Star Trek which included a pretty decent, socialist view where people worked for the overall benefit of humanity instead of for cash - that would make all our lives easier and keep us all living freer. The latest incarnation of that promise is with the introduction of digital television, which compelled virtually everyone in the United States to purchase additional equipment (usually manufactured in countries with political agendas and human rights policies very different from our own) just to be able to continue watching television. Earlier this year, my brother used his tax refund to get a new television and the first thing he was dismayed to discover was that he needed to buy additional equipment for it. He went out and bought a Philips Amplified Antenna MANT510 (reviewed here!) and he has been pretty happy with it since.

Of course, I knew he was going to have to buy more equipment to get a signal where we live. Sadly, though, he bought at a better time than I did. Back when I upgraded to HD, I purchased a Sony Bravia HD-TV (reviewed here!) there were very few HD-receivers on the market. As a result, I picked up the only one that was available at the store I bought my Bravia. That unit was the Newpoint 208110 HD Antenna. Ever since I bought the Newpoint 208110, I've been avoiding reviewing it (if you don't have anything nice to say and all . . .) and today when I found it in the database, I figured it was about time to get over that hurdle.


I've used the Newpoint 208110 Antenna for almost three years now, in two locations, and the fundamental problems with it do not change with the location. This is an inscrutable device that leaves me mystified as to whether or not it is actually functioning, though empirically, I know it is. I now live twenty-five miles outside both Syracuse and Utica, NY and our house gets reception from both cities in the area. The Newpoint 208110 is an antenna intended for use inside to pick up analog and digital television signals.

The Newpoint 208110 HD Antenna is an eyesore that I have to sit atop my sleek Bravia in order to get a reception for my HD-TV. It balances atop my television and it looks awful, but because of where I live and the current inability to wall-mount the Bravia, the 208110 must sit atop my television just so the HD signal will actually be interpreted by my television. The base of the antenna array is 3 1/2" deep, 11 1/2" wide with a height of 3 - 9 1/2". The variable height is because of the inner loop antenna (the UHF receiver); the black plastic base is three inches tall, the full height with the antenna loop is 9 1/2", which is a more useful number if one is trying to figure out if they have room for this receiver. The Newpoint 208110 has two "rabbit ears" antennas and when adjusted for maximum length each one is 3 1/2 feet long. The size of the base and the central antenna make it less-than ideal for wall-mounted televisions, especially the flatscreen high-definition televisions that seek to capitalize on using minimal space and leave less of a footprint. As well, there are no holes on the base or back of this unit to allow for wall mounting, so it is intended to be set next to or atop a television.

The Newpoint 208110 is black with black powdercoated "rabbit ears."


The Newpoint 208110 is completely intuitive to install. It comes with a four foot coaxial cable, which allows one to hook it directly into the coaxial port on the television. There is only one port on the Newpoint 208100 Antenna, so it is intended for use by those who are only getting signals from the air, as opposed to using it as backup for when the cable is out. One cannot run cable through this antenna array. This unit is not powered by any external power source, so connecting the 208110 is as easy as connecting one cable and setting the unit next to or atop the television. Anyone will be able to figure out how to connect this to their television, it is that easy!

The Newpoint 208110 has a rubber bottom to prevent slippage of the unit.


Here is where my gripes with the Newpoint 208110 begin. There is no display on the unit and the only control is a knob on the right side which twists, but does not seem to do anything. Here's the thing: the Newpoint 208110 works as a basic antenna array because when I plug the cable into my HD-TV, I get a picture and when I remove the cable, the picture disappears from my television. My beef with the Newpoint 208110 is that (in addition to not including a manual to suggest how to adjust the unit) it does not adjust in any noticeable way to better receive the digital signals. Experience with working on my brother's Philips Antenna showed me that the quality of digital images can be affected by aiming a received toward the digital signal source. The 208110 does not allow for anything so refined.

In other words, I plug the unit into my television - and I've done this in two homes miles apart and in many rooms within each house - adjust the rabbit ears and when the 208110 finds a signal, that's it. The signal gain cannot be improved and if the rabbit ears fall out of position, I lose the signal. The dial on the right side does nothing!

Moreover, the unit is not helpful for even giving the user a clue as to how strong the signal they are receiving is. There are no panels or even LCDs which illustrate signal strength. This is a trial-and-error device and it has very limited abilities to get anything other than a basic HD signal.


There is something insulting about paying thousands of dollars for a top-end HD-television and having to rely on a ten dollar receiver that does not allow one to get the most out of their equipment. This does deliver the basic HD signals that are in the air around it, but it offers no options for enhancing or better collecting those signals, making it almost completely worthless.

For other television-related reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Playstation 3
Sanyo 19" DP19648
SONY RMT-D148A remote


For other electronics, please check out the listing of my reviews on my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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