GE Enlighten HD Antenna with Bias LED Lighting Score
The GE Enlighten HD Antenna with Bias Lighting is a nice looking, compact indoor antenna with built in bias lighting that makes watching TV in the evening easier for your eyes. The antenna has a small stand so it can sit on top of a flat screen TV, which makes installation a breeze.
Unfortunately, both the bias lighting and the set-top stand cause the two main problems with the antenna. The function itself is fine, but the light is only effective on a smaller TV and the stand limits placement so you need a good TV signal that your TV is set up on for it to work.
If you have both, this could be a worthwhile investment. If not, your best bet is probably looking at other competing antennas.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the Best TV Antennas, which is where you can find reviews of what the competition is offering, as well as guidance for buyers on the features to consider when purchasing these types of products. Martyn Williams / IDG
The LED lights on the back of the GE Enlighten clip stand.
Since reception was limited to the top of my TV, reception was mediocre. The GE Enlighten managed to use two local VHF channels and one local UHF channel for a total of 15 television stations. At my location, this meant ABC, CBS, and Univision among the national networks, as well as a handful of digital channels. The other channels, including the normally reliable and strong public television signal, were missing.
Of course, that’s not great. The antenna can be swiveled around on the stand and that helped attract the local Fox partner, but nothing more. I had to physically move the antenna to a higher position on the wall above the TV to receive a few more channels. But that ruined the bias lighting function.
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If you’ve ever used an indoor antenna, this is known. The antenna often has to be moved around a room to find an optimal location. Even then, you are probably missing some channels. For this reason, TechHive always recommends an external antenna whenever possible.
However, the GE Enlighten does not allow you to move it if you want to use the bias lighting feature. Your chances of the antenna working well will be increased if your TV is on an outside wall of your home, upstairs, and on the side of the house towards the local television towers. You must also be in an area with strong or very strong TV signals. You can check out the latter on Rabbit Ears.
Martyn Williams / IDG
The GE Enlighten can be swiveled to improve reception
Bias lighting function
Bias lighting illuminates the wall behind a television to reduce the contrast between the television screen and the wall, thereby reducing eye strain. It’s a good idea and also helps create a nice ambience in a room in the evening, but it has to be done right.
This is usually achieved with an LED strip of around 50 to 80 lights, so the 10 embedded in the antenna are already small in comparison. Coupled with the positioning in the stand at the top of the television, this means that the light is not as bright as a suitable bias lighting set and does not spread as well behind a larger television.
I tried this on a 55 inch TV and the result was unsatisfactory. This works best on a smaller TV, perhaps in the 20 to 30 inch class. Read this story to learn more about oblique lighting and to rate some of the best products in this category.
Martyn Williams / IDG
The bias lighting on a 55-inch TV didn’t even produce any lighting.
The GE Enlighten is a good looking antenna with an innovative design, although ultimately it is hampered by the requirement that it must be placed on top of a television. Because of this, your success in using it will mainly depend on having a strong TV signal in that particular location.
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