You don’t need cable
to watch network TV. In fact, you don’t even need a media streamer. If you just want the basic, big-name networks — NBC, CBS, Fox, et al. — you can get them in clear HD without any recurring fees, with a good HDTV antenna.
And if you do live off a Roku or Apple TV, it makes for a good complement, particularly for live events.
Mohu’s Leaf series has been one of the more popular variants of this tech, and recently, the Raleigh-based company released its latest addition to the group. Dubbed the Mohu ReLeaf, the $50 antenna shares the same flat, multidirectional design its predecessors popularised, but is notable for being partially made of disposed set-top boxes.
So, yes, it’s a cord-cutting tool made from the remnants of cable.
In an interview, Mohu CEO Mark Buff told Tech Insider the company went to multiple local recyclers to procure the set-top boxes, and that those suppliers had enough material for the company to only buy the plastic in “no less than 10,000 pound bales.” The plastic was then ground up and moulded to make the ReLeaf’s clamshell (the round black base at its bottom). Mohu says the rest of the antenna was made from post-consumer recycled paper.
Now, traditional HDTV antennas aren’t exactly known for their wastefulness, and typically retain their usefulness for several years. (Though an ongoing FCC spectrum auction might affect things.) Plus, while the ReLeaf performed fine in my own testing, it’s based on the same technology as standard 30-mile-range Leaf, which costs $10 less.
Nevertheless, it’s the environmentally-certified, anti-cable symbolism of the ReLeaf’s design process that Mohu is hoping will sell the product. “I think it’s just [a] statement about who we are as a company,” Buff said. “We’re an eco-friendly company. It matters to us.”
If you particularly loathe the concept of cable boxes, too — and they might not be long for this world anyways — the ReLeaf is available now.