Live Wire antenna, real or scam - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-21, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Chapleau, ON
Posts: 5
Live Wire antenna, real or scam

I have seen ads (including on this forum) for the Live Wire antenna which purports to turn the ground wires in your home's electrical wiring circuits into a large TV antenna. I can't find any honest reviews of the product so I am asking the experts here if this gizmo can possibly work. You'd think that any electrical short to ground would fry the TV.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-21, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Craig Henry (Greenbank/Hunt Club), Nepean, ON
Posts: 3,224
Look down in the comments on this blog post:
Pure scam.

The problem with a line antenna is not necessarily any 60Hz fault frying your TV (it's pretty sure that the antenna is not directly coupled to the ground wire), but that RF ATSC 1.0 HDTV signals are particularly sensitive to electrical noise, which would abound in any ground-wire connected antenna.
Plus, having an antenna grounded at one end might not always work that well...
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-21, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Chapleau, ON
Posts: 5
That's what I thought. Thanks for the great answer. Now I have to shop for an antenna for my off grid cottage.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-21, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Antennas Direct Tech Support - St Louis
Posts: 366

Ironically, we had a lady contact us this week because she was trying to get a refund for an antenna purchase that hadn't worked out that she had returned for a refund. When she finally(!) provided her purchasing information, it turned out she had gotten suckered in by this particular device and had somehow confused us with them. I could tell she wasn't happy about it, perhaps it was those references to the BBB, the cops, and the attorney general, but I finally convinced her that she had a case of mistaken identity and that she had contacted the wrong company regarding her purchase. Didn't hear back from her after that.

Someone in my family bought a similar gimmick back in the 60's as I remember there was one in the old farmhouse when I was a kid back then. It didn't work worth a hoot then and the only improvement now is in the level of hype and "creative writing". It's pretty much impossible for it to actually work as touted.

FWIW, we do quite a few analyses for remote cabins. You're certainly welcome to contact us for an opinion. Unless Google's Maps can find your cabin, you'll need pinpoint GPS coordinates in decimal format so we can run the numbers.

Antennas Direct Tech Support
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-21, 06:09 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mississauga
Posts: 8,065
Many years ago, there was a colour TV adapter scam. The adapter consisted of a sheet of clear plastic, tinted blue at the top, pinkish in the middle and green at the bottom. The sheet was taped to the front of the CRT to provide "colour television". You'd see ads for this in the back of magazines and a friend's father fell for it.

Regardless, it's unbelievable what some people think. A few years ago, someone tried claiming it was illegal to receive TV with an antenna. Many years ago, someone else tried claiming it was illegal to sell a computer without Windows (I was running OS/2 at the time). The nonsense never ends. Next thing you know, someone will be claiming a reality TV host has been elected president of the U.S.!

I haven't lost my mind. It's around here...somewhere...
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-22, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 117
JamesK we enjoyed the color screen for many months. It was worth the money.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-22, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bruce County, ON
Posts: 1,251
I use to enjoy 1970's video games consoles like Odyssey or the Pong clones that would have a "one size fits all" coloured sheet of plastic cling to put on your TV with coloured areas, and various boundaries for the games.

For any antenna, as long as it picks up a signal, is it really a scam? They may oversell the technical specs, but technically if it is an exterior device that picks up a signal (which I guess any piece of metal can), it could be classed as an antenna?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-03-22, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,395
These Customer Reviews conclude that it not only works WORSE than less expensive Antennas....Marketing/Support is also a SCAM:

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc:
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-28, 10:33 PM
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 8
These snake oil scams have been around for 50 years.
What the public needs to understand is that 99% of the gain,frequency range, and mileage claims on tv antennas these days are pure lies.
Winegard is tge only antenna company left that is made in the USA and doesn't publish fake specs
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