With the high price of cable and satellite service, it’s no surprise that many customers are moving away from traditional television in favor of streaming services. When people make the switch, however, they aren’t always necessarily satisfied with their TV programming. After all, local channels are still important to people. This is where they get their news or weather reports. It is also where some of the more popular television programming airs. However, you can cut off cable and stay up to date.
HDTV antennas allow you to get that programming without having to spend an arm and leg on cable every month. You can still watch channels like NBC, the CW, ABC, FOX and the list goes on. Before you start looking into antennas, it’s important to keep in mind that not every neighborhood has great reception. You should always check in advance before you make a purchase.
Below, we have put together a list of our top 10 favorite HDTV antennas, along with our guide on why it might be beneficial to you to have an HDTV antenna.
Why You Should Consider an HDTV Antenna
Cable is slowly turning into a thing of the past. With cable prices rising and people turning to streaming services, cable is becoming outdated. Unfortunately, when you disconnect your cable, you also lose the local channels.
As we said, this is where HDTV antennas come in handy. Here are five reasons to consider an HDTV antenna.
An antenna is a one-time purchase. No bills every month to worry about, just a single payment and you have free TV. Cable companies can charge you over $10 just to use their service or to have channels that would have been offered for free if you had the antenna.
You still get a variety of programs when you have an antenna. The local channels can give you access to popular television programs, sports and the news. During the day, you will witness a lot of talk shows, but prime-time programming plays on basic cable.
Instead of standard-definition, HDTV antennas give you high-definition without any extra fees. Even if you have HD with cable, it won’t be as high-quality as the antenna.
If your cable goes out during a storm, there is nothing you can do until the company manages to get it back up. When it comes to antennas, you’ll always have TV.
Cable Isn’t Worth It
Cable overcharges people for channels. You are paying for channels that you could easily get for free.
When it comes down to it, antennas are not only convenient, but they are also affordable in comparison to cable. You don’t have to worry about hidden fees or the expense of cable, period.
HDTV Antenna FAQs
If you have never had an HDTV antenna before, then there is probably a lot that you want to know about it. Before you go out and buy any type of technology, you should at least understand the basics. Here are some of the more common questions.
Are HDTV Signals Free?
If you have a high-definition television, then once you have an HDTV antenna, the signals will be free.
What Channels Can I Expect to Get?
This all depends on where you live. If you live in a more rural area, your channels could be limited. However, if you live in a suburb or metropolitan area, then you may have stations like ABC, NBC, Fox and PBS. There might
What Signals Will I Pick Up?
An HDTV antenna will allow you to pick up UHF and VHF channels. In addition, they will let you pick up FM signals.
Where Should I Place My Antennas?
This question is a little harder to answer. It all depends on your situation and the type of antenna that you purchased. For instance, you can install an outdoor antenna on your roof or on the ground level outside. If you have an indoor antenna, then you may decide to mount the antenna to the wall; they manufacture most antennas for this. However, you can also set your antenna up on the TV stand or a shelf, if it is the appropriate size and design.
Are Indoor Antennas Easy to Install?
Yes! Not only do indoor antennas come with instructions, but they are also generally simple to understand. The antenna usually comes with a cable and attaches to your wall. In some cases, you may have an antenna that you can place on a stand. They are not complicated to set up, and most people have no trouble setting them up in their home.
How We Reviewed
In our reviews, honesty matters. Many companies boast their antennas are among the best, but we do not take only their word for it. We look at the consumer reviews, at what people are saying about the product. When it comes down to it, reputation and word of mouth still matter, especially when it comes to technology. We spend a lot of time looking at the pros and cons of each product. We've only listed those products that have advantages that outweigh the disadvantages.
Top 10 Best HD Antenna Models
To help you know some of the best antennas on the market, we have compiled our favorite 10. Most of these you can purchase online at antenna retailers or through Amazon.
- Free for Life - Never pay expensive cable or satellite fees again! 1byone TV Antenna can...
- High Performing Slim Design - Slim, soft and lightweight so you can hide it behind the TV,...
- Included Detachable Amplifier - Use the amplifier for the tv antenna’s full 50 mile...
If you want inexpensive and beautifully designed, then this antenna is there for you. It’s an amplified antenna and can pick up high quality picture from several different local stations. As said before, it has a great design. Not to mention, you can mount it on the wall! Now, while it does pick up high quality channels, it may not pick up as many as other antennas on the list. It has a one- year warranty.
This is a non-amplified antenna. So, while it might not be able to pick up as many channels as its amplified counterparts, it still picks up a fair number of stations. Not to mention, it upholds a great picture quality. This one makes the list because it is also affordable. It can keep you well within your budget. With a 40-mile range, it does perform well. On the other hand, you can’t mount it to your wall, and it lacks a sleek design. It has a one-year warranty.
- Best performance among flat HD Antennas in the 35 Mile range category [NOTE: Certain...
- Sure Grip guarantees the easiest installation of any indoor antenna; grips to walls and...
- Multi-directional element and double-sided black or white design: no aiming necessary and...
This amplified antenna has a 50-mile range, so if you live far from a TV tower, this may be one of your best options. It has an attractive, circular design and you can mount it easily to your wall. One of its best features is it picks up a lot of channels. Also, it has a lifetime warranty. Now, on the other hand, you do have to have it plugged into a power source, and wall mounting is your only option.
- Watch free HDTV for life. World's first recycled TV antenna made using recycled materials...
- UHF/Hi-VHF multi-directional elements are reversible and designed to blend with your home...
- The included 10 ft. detachable coaxial cable, hooks & loop tabs and push pins allows for...
If you’re interested in an eco-friendly option, this is the HDTV antenna for you. It’s made with recycled packaging and recycled paper. It has a 35-mile range and a 20-foot cable attachment.
- Watch free HDTV for life. Receive TV signals 50-miles from the broadcast towers in full...
- UHF/Hi-VHF multi-directional antenna is designed to blend with your home decor. Use the...
- The included 16 ft. detachable coaxial cable and indoor base stand allows for easy...
The first thing that we can say about the Mohu Curve is that it’s one of the most attractive antennas on this list. It is sleek, curved and will fit on any shelf or stand and fit in with the rest of your décor. While it’s a little more expensive than some of the other antennas, it does perform well. It comes with detailed instructions so that setup is quick and easy.
- Winegard's best performing indoor antenna with a 35-mile range
- No assembly required; just connect it to the back of your TV, run a channel scan and in...
- Extra long coaxial cable (15') included so you can position the FlatWave in the strongest...
You can position this stylish, flat antenna however you want. It’s only 0.2-inches thick, which keeps it from getting in the way. Don’t let its size fool you, however. Even though it’s small, it can perform almost as well as bulkier, older antennas. One of its biggest flaws, however, is that despite how good it looks on a wall, the black cable attached to it is bulky. Also, you will get your best reception if you keep it near a window.
- Allows connection of an audio video component to a TV without a jack
- High performance circuit design provides accurate picture reproduction
- Converts audio and video to RF using channel 3 or 4
The RCA Compact Antenna is an indoor and outdoor antenna. It comes with a mounting kit so that you can install it on any large wall, attic or rooftop. One of the biggest benefits is that it’s affordable and you can pair it with streaming devices. Unfortunately, you do have to be careful with the connectors. They tend to break easily.
- Long-range signal acquisition gets more channels
- Built-in KING SureLock signal finder for simple signal acquisition
- Upgraded technology enhances UHF signal reception while still receiving remaining VHF...
- The #1 Whole-House Digital HDTV Antenna - The Free Signal TV Marathon Antenna is a...
- The Marathon Antenna Saves You Money - Eliminate expensive cable and satellite services...
- Highest-rated Long Range HDTV Antenna on the Market - No other 100 mile amplified HDTV...
When you use the Free Signal Marathon, you’re able to choose between indoor or outdoor use. It uses integrated signal amplification technology and can deliver content to four televisions. The biggest benefit to this antenna is that eliminates the need for other antennas.
- Best performance among all Antennas rated in the 70 Mile range category [note: location,...
- Receive free TV from networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, PBS, Univision, MeTV and more...
- Dedicated UHF and VHF multi-directional elements deliver range and reception in less than...
The ClearStream 4Max is an outdoor antenna that reaches up to 70 miles away! The factors that make this antenna so capable are its VHF and UHF multidirectional elements. These allow it to respond to frequencies and eliminate the need to rotate.
1byone 50 Miles Amplified HDTV Antenna
Insignia Fine Tuning Indoor HDTV Antenna
Direct ClearStream Eclipse
Mohu Releaf HDTV Antenna
Mohu Curve 50 Antenna
Winegard Flatwave FL-5000
King 0A8200 Jack HDTV
Free Signal Marathon
ClearStream 4Max TV Antenna
Our Final Thoughts
The Winegard Flatwave FL-5000 gets our pick for the best HDTV antenna. For a lot of people, the most important part of a TV antenna is that it works. The aesthetic comes last. However, with this particular device, not only does it have a modern appearance that flatters most home design, but it can also boast being able to get the job done. With a signal that is supposed to reach at least 35 miles away, it’s a fair distance to pick up a lot of different stations.
In addition to being one of the better antennas, it’s also more affordable than some of the others. When we look at the products we review, we pay close attention to what everyone is saying about it. A product may look good by specs alone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. If you look up the reviews online, you’ll find that people have a lot to say when they’re unhappy about a particular product.