New antenna a boon for channel surfers
March 27, 1996
Web posted at: 4:40 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Dick Wilson
BOYLSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Two British-American
inventors are unveiling MegaWave, the first development in
antenna technology in nearly 50 years, designed to improve
television reception for cableless TVs.
Glynda and John Benham designed MegaWave to alleviate the
hassle of older "rabbit ear" antennas, which require the
viewer to manually adjust the antenna to a different position
for every channel.
Even if one has the patience to manipulate older antennas,
there is no guarantee that a clear picture will result.
The Benhams, who have many years of antenna design experience
with major communications companies, decided to introduce
their new design on their own.
The inventors await patent approval for the MegaWave, but the
partial secrecy surrounding the device did not restrain them
from discussing its advantages over traditional antennas.
(196K AIFF sound or 196K WAV sound)
While nearly two-thirds of all American homes have cable,
most rely on antennas for their second TVs. In addition,
homes with direct satellite hookups do not receive local
channels, so they use antennas as well.
Unfortunately, say the Benhams, neither of these options
provides the viewer with a quality picture. They speculate
that people would be more likely to pay for direct-broadcast
satellite (DBS) services if they could get local stations
with an antenna.
"A lot of people are looking at their local TV stations and
saying, 'if I had a decent antenna, maybe I'd use DBS and an
antenna with the DBS dish to receive local stations,'" John
The Benhams plan to market the antenna to television viewers
who enjoy accessing channels with a remote control.
"We think our antenna is ideal for people who like to sit
with their remote control and surf the channels. You don't
have to get up and fiddle," Glynda Benham explains.
While the MegaWave has its limitations, it seems to be a huge
leap from the antennas of old. The antenna will be released
late this year and will retail for as little as $40, just
above the price of a standard antenna.
The MegaWave isn't the only project the Benhams have in the
works. They are designing a car antenna that combines
antennas for radios, cellular phones and two-way radios into
one device that is installed in the car's body, hidden from