It looks like a basic indoor craptenna(tm). The amplifier is the only thing that saves it from being a complete dud. It's a good deal if you happen to live in NY, NJ or other urban locations with nearby stations. I commend Channel Master for selling for US$10. At that price, it's cheaper than coat hangers and a cheap preamp.
I don't see any amplifier on the subject Channel Master. What gives you that impression?
The reason it was reported as working so well, is very likely the fact that it doesn't include any such amplifier.
They did their testing in Manhattan (dense urban), and New Jersey (presumably to cover suburban).
Those morphologys probably cover close to 100% of people who might actually be reading a CNET article.
I agree with schoolbus, any antenna that can hang in a window is quite often all that someone needs to receive what they wanna receive.
Caveat being window in question better be made of clear glass, and not modern UV resistant glass. If it is UV glass, one would probably be
better off hanging it on an outer concrete wall than in a modern energy efficient UV glass window.
If I get bored some day, might get one just to compare to my home made bi quad that sits in my living room window, next to the santa decorations.
It would be interesting if someone doing these so called reviews, also did a tear down of each antenna reviewed to eyeball their designs.
Question their test method, 'cause if ya look at their table of channels available in each market, vs the channels they received, they look kinda light to me.. or maybe I just don't understand what they are getting at with "No of watchable channels (out of 13) "
On the home made biquad (nikiml no-reflector) in my living room window for example here, I receive 44 of the 47 available local channels.
The only ones missing are the 3 channels on rf 15 which is low power and co-channel with Hamilton, ON.