Product of the Day, Day 32: Monoprice HDA-3700 Indoor HD Antenna


Monoprice HDA-3700 Indoor HD Antenna

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Monoprice is well known for their very affordable, extremely high quality HDMI and audio/video cables.  Monoprice HDMI cables typically sell for $5 or less,  vs. the extremely high prices charged in big box stores.  Monoprice is no one-trick pony.  They sell a wide variety of other products from plasma TV wall mounts to Wii accessories and now, antennas.  The $16.56 Monoprice HDA-3700 Indoor HD Antenna was brought to my attention by a reader from California. She could not find the Silver Sensor antenna I have touted so frequently and bought the Monoprice antenna, and reported being quite satisfied with it.  Given the current scarcity of the Silver Sensor (sold as both the Zenith Silver Sensor and Philips Silver Sensor) I decided to order the Monoprice antenna and give it a whirl… after all, lots of readers will be needing antennas in the future and the digital changeover is almost upon us.  How did the Monoprice HDA-3700 fare, and how does it compare to the amazing Silver Sensor?  Read on and find out!


The Monoprice Indoor HD Antenna is a small, amplified antenna with a smooth, thin, square form factor.  It does not draw attention to itself the way the exotic-looking Silver Sensor does.


Hardware out of the box (instruction sheet not shown.)

There isn’t much to the antenna, as shown above, and this is a good thing for those looking for simple setup.  A U-shaped foot is provided for support, along with a wall wart power adaoter and a length of coaxial cable.


Vertical orientation


Horizontal orientation

Three holes are provided for the U-foot so it can be placed either horizontally or vertically.


Antenna connections

Above you see the HDA-3700 connected and ready to go.  I would like to comment here that the 75 ohm coax cable and the antenna connection were of very good quality and attachment was extremely easy, no fussing with the thread line-up or fit.


Ready to go!

Here’s the HDA-3700 all set up and ready to go.  So far so good… but could it tune stations?

Most small antennas, in a word, stink… even expensive ones.  What makes the Silver Sensor so heroic is not only does it outperform all the small antennas out there, it even outperforms some of the outdoor-mounted, relatively expensive amplified Terk antennas!  Just finding a competent small antenna is a reason to celebrate, even if it isn’t a Silver Sensor killer.

The terrain around my home makes it extremely difficult to tune over-the-air stations and in the days of analog, I could not get a single channel with a set-top antenna.  When I went to HDTV I had a large  directional roof top antenna installed on a rotor on the top of my house, and it has guaranteed good reception with my main television.  I do have a small flatscreen in a utility room on the top floor of my home and I had been using a Silver Sensor with it.  The Silver Sensor tuned every local channel, which is as good as it gets.

Here’s a good illustration of how good the Silver Sensor is.  I loaned the Silver Sensor to a friend recently.  He had been griping about the digital transition and said his converter box didn’t pick up anything, given he lives 30 miles from town.  I got the Silver Sensor, told him  to try it and get back to me, confident it would change his mind about digital TV.  A week later I get a text: “Dude!  I hooked up that antenna and now I get 16 channels, and they look like DVD, it is awesome!  Where can I get a couple more of these?”  He did not like the answer, that it is extremely hard to find right now!

Given my Silver Sensor is out on loan now, it provided a perfect opportunity to test the Monoprice antenna.  I connected it to the flatscreen in the utility room and lo and behold, it tuned EVERY station I received with the Silver Sensor.  Given the terrain surrounding my home, this is no mean feat and a reason to stand up and cheer.

Is the Monoprice HDA-3700 Indoor HD Antenna as good as the Silver Sensor?  I can’t say for sure, at least not until I loan it to my friend 30 miles away and let him compare them back to back.  For now it’s easy to say we have two winners, and given how hard it is to find the Silver Sensor (nigh impossible) the Monoprice antenna should be one of the first set-top antennas on your shopping list. I am prepared to give it two thumbs-up as a very effective antenna that should work well in the majority of homes when used with a converter box or an HDTV tuner.  It’s typical Monoprice… extremely inexpensive, high quality, and it works great doing the job it was meant to do.

Stop by tomorrow for another Product of the Day!

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