UFO Dual-Omni AT-415B Outdoor Antenna Works in the Attic
The UFO Dual-Omni AT-415B does a great job as an omni-directional attic antenna or one mounted on a roof.
Not everyone can get on their roof and install an outdoor TV antenna. But that shouldn’t stop you from cutting the cord and trying to pull in free over-the-air channels.
For this review, the UFO Dual-Omni AT-415B was set up about 30 miles north of Boston. The ranch-style house was in a hilly area surrounded by woods.
The UFO Dual-Omni was set up as an attic antenna because it was the easiest way to start.
I was able to get roughly 44 channels from UHF and VHF bands. Most of them came from towers west of Boston including NBC, CBS and PBS stations. The antenna drew in an ABC station in New Hampshire about 35 miles north of the house.
What is an omni-directional antenna?
An omni-directional antenna can draw digital signals from a 360 degree range. Multi-directional antennas are more common, and can pull signals from more than one direction.
If your home is surrounded by towers from every direction, then an omni-directional antenna might be what you want to buy. Using an online tool such as the Antop Signal Maps is a good starting point to determine what style of outdoor antenna will work for you.
But keep in mind that like all TV antennas, the placement of an omni-directional antenna matters. So let’s say most broadcast towers that you hope to reach are west of your house.
A spot on the west side of your roof free of obstructions is going to be ideal.
You don’t want the antenna to be on the opposite side of a chimney. Having a spot that’s free of trees, mountains and power lines will get you the best results.
Over-the-air signals travel by line of sight. That’s why antenna placement matters.
The general rule of thumb is that the higher you can get an outdoor TV antenna, the better chance you’ll have at getting the maximum number of over-the-air channels available in your area.
UFO Dual-Omni AT-415B Specs
|Usage||Outdoor, Attic, RV, Marine|
|Signal Strength||Moderate Signal Areas|
|Received Band||HI-VHF, UHF|
|Frequency Range||87-230MHz, 470-790MHz|
|Gain||Switch OFF: 20dB; Switch ON: 30dB|
|Max Output level||100dBuV|
|Dimensions||15.16 × 5.91 × 15.35 in|
The AT-415B looks like a saucer — or a UFO from an old sci-fi movie. It measures 15 inches in diameter. The antenna and coaxial cord are coated with a weather resistant finish. The end of the coaxial cable that connects to the bottom of the antenna has a rubber hood to keep moisture out.
The amplifier has a built-in filter that blocks 3G and 4G signals from bleeding into your over-the-air bandwidth.
Setting up AT-415B as an attic antenna
There are two main pieces to assemble once you get the antenna out of its box. The vertical antenna rod screws to the top center of the saucer-shaped antenna. A bracket is attached with a screw and wingnut that is included in the box.
The bracket can be attached to a wall. If you’re setting this up outside of your house, a roof peak is probably the best spot.
Since I was putting the antenna in the attic, I didn’t commit to a fixed location right away. The antenna was screwed onto a board. I did this for two reasons: so I could make the setup stable, and move it around on the attic floor as I tested out the placement.
It took only a couple of scans to find the best location in the attic.
Scanning for channels
Once you have the antenna placed in your attic or on a roof, you need to connect the coaxial cord to your TV and scan for channels. The coaxial port used for your cable box is also the same place to plug in the antenna.
Under the menu settings of the TV, you want to look for the “Air TV” mode or something similar. Choose the “scan for channels” option. The scanning process can take anywhere from five to thirty minutes. After the scan is complete, you can see what channels your antenna is pulling in.
How many channels did I get?
I already knew that the Antop AT-415B worked really well as an outdoor antenna. It’s performance is on par with the Antop 400-BV, one of the best outdoor TV antennas that I’ve tested.
So I wanted to see how the Antop AT-415B would perform in a less ideal situation. According to a couple of online tools, I could receive up to 58 channels from 21 stations. This includes sub-channels.
The antenna pulled in 44 channels from just outside of Boston, including local NBC, CBS, PBS and ABC stations. I was also able to pull in a local ABC station from the neighboring state of New Hampshire. That tower was about 35 miles north of the house.
The one channel that eluded me was the local FOX station. And it had the furthest tower at 44 miles away. There was a clue that told me that the FOX station could be attainable with some tinkering. When I performed multiple channel scans, the FOX station would always be included in the channel lineup but have pulled in a signal strong enough to produce a picture.
Tip for getting the most channels
The UFO Dual-Omni comes with a built-in amplifier. When you’re trying to figure out the best placement of an antenna, it’s best to perform channel scans with the amplifier off, and another scan when it’s on. One of the unique features of Antop amplifiers is the on/off switch. So you don’t have to deal with completely removing it from your cable run.
You’ll want to try both this test no matter whether you’re mounting antenna to a roof, or installing one in the attic. The reason? You can easily sabotage yourself by over amplifying your cord, which will impact the signal.
I ended up using the amplifier after placing the antenna in a couple different spots around the attic.
Is the UFO Dual-Omni AT-415B worth it?
The UFO Dual-Omni is a powerful option for receiving local channels. You should consider buying it if you need UHF and high VHF channels.
Setting one up on a roof will definitely bring you the most amount of channels, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend trying to use this UFO Dual-Omni antenna in the attic as well.
Have you tried out this antenna? How has it worked for your home? Tell fellow readers in the comments below.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble