Are you tired of high cable and satellite bills? Join the millions of Americans who are cutting the cord by investing in the best outdoor TV antenna. Over the years, cable and satellite companies continue to raise their rates while offering declining service quality.
On top of that, they often punish customers who want to end long non-beneficial contracts with high termination fees. The good news is that there is a way to get your favorite channels at a fraction of what you would have to pay these companies.
With the best outdoor TV antenna, you can enjoy the freedom of getting the channels you want while saving hundreds of dollars.
Comparison Of The Best Outdoor TV Antenna
What Can The Best Outdoor TV Antenna Do For You?
Plus, many antennas work well with streaming devices or smart TVs, which allow you to catch your favorite paid channels too.
Another benefit is that you can catch all of your local channels. On top of that, unlike High Definition (HD) signals from satellite and cable providers, local HD signals are not compressed. This feature means that the best outdoor TV antenna can allow you to enjoy better quality resolution for local HD content without the bloated monthly bill.
How Does It Work?
An outdoor TV antenna is just like any other antenna in the sense that it is what is called a transducer. A transducer converts electromagnetic waves into electricity and vice versa. Therefore, an antenna can be both a transmitter and a receiver. However, it is more common for outdoor antennas only to receive electromagnetic waves.
When a satellite or radio transmitter emits a radio signal, the waves induce an electrical current in the antenna. Depending on the radio wave frequency, the current converts the signal to both audio and video, which then displays on the user's TV.
The best outdoor TV antenna models will transmit UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency). Even better, they will also transmit High Definition and 4K signals as well.
Factors To Consider When Shopping For The Best Outdoor TV Antenna
There are a couple of factors to look for when searching for the best outdoor TV antenna. Take note: Not all outdoor TV antennas will have the same range or technology.
For example, some may offer reception of over 100 miles but do not support High Definition broadcasts. On the other hand, others may provide HD and 4K support but have a much shorter range.
To find the nearest TV antenna transmitters near you, try searching the term "tv transmitter distance from me." You should then be able to find a website that allows you to translate your address into longitude and latitude coordinates. From there you can find tower within a specified range from your location.
The map may also give you an estimate on the signal quality of each tower to your position. This information will come in handy when searching for the best outdoor TV antenna for your home.
As a general rule, the best TV antenna models tend to be a bit larger. That's because they have to be able to pick up signals from farther distances while maintaining the highest level of signal quality. Smaller antennas can also produce outstanding quality results if you're closer to a tower.
For instance, if you live in a big city or near a big city, a smaller antenna with a shorter range might suit your needs just fine. However, if you live more than 50 miles from the nearest TV transmitter, you might need to consider a bigger, more powerful model.
Will You Need An Additional Signal Amplifier Or Rotator?
If you live more than 50 miles out from the nearest TV transmitter, you may want to get an additional signal amplifier. However, don't think that a cheaper, smaller antenna will work as well with a signal amplifier as a larger, more powerful model.
If your large antenna can't pull in local stations without picture break-up due to obstructions, distance, or a combination of both, then a signal amplifier may help. A rotator turns your antenna to any direction via remote control. This device is helpful if you want to tune into stations with weaker signals located in different directions.
That said, you may want to see if a fixed antenna will get all of your stations before buying a rotator. The best outdoor TV antennas generally do a fantastic job pulling in signals from different directions, notably stronger local signals.
Channels Near You
Another essential factor to look at before buying the best outdoor TV antenna is the local channels available in your area. Searching the term "channels available antenna near me" will bring up several websites that can offer a list of local channels. You would just need to input your zip code.
Most sites will limit results to around 50 miles or less, so if you buy a more powerful antenna, you may pull in more even more channels.
Antennas will use a coaxial cable (the same used by most cable and satellite providers). This cable will directly from your antenna to your TV, or from your antenna to a splitter then to your TVs.
Additionally, you want to make sure you get a high-quality coaxial cable for the job. The best cables will have a thick layer of plastic insulation to shield the copper wire from interference. Also, for the best signal quality, it is best to purchase cable long enough for a single run to your TV set.
You see, every time you add a cable connector or splitter, it reduces the signal strength. The most common type of cable used for the best outdoor TV antennas is RG-6.
When installing your antenna, you will need to consider the best height to mount it on your home.
If you live in a relatively flat area, you may have a much clearer line-of-sight signal to the transmission tower. That means you may be able to install your antenna closer to ground level and get a high-quality signal.
Of course, indoor antenna installation will always represent the worst spot, unless it is in an attic with minimal obstruction aside from the roof. However, for those who live in areas with a lot of obstructions, such as trees, buildings, and mountains, you will most likely need to install your antenna at a much higher point.
Here's an illustration to give you a better visual.
How We Judged For The Best Outdoor TV Antenna
To discover the best outdoor TV antenna, we consulted a variety of sources. We searched technology forums, blogs, social media pages, and videos to collect a list of the top recommendations. After that, we selected the best of the best by evaluating their user reviews.
We then compared the features, warranty, and user reviews to determine the best outdoor TV antenna.
Honing In On The 8 Contenders For Best Outdoor TV Antenna
Our research led us to eight products that make up our list of the best outdoor TV antenna models available. Each antenna picks up UHF and VHF signals, as well as HD. Some models also offer 4K reception.
These antennas come in different shapes and sizes, and ranges vary from 60 miles to over 100 miles. Also, the warranties for these models range from six months to lifetime.
- Enjoy top-rated HDTV network programming and your favorite shows for Free with no monthly...
- Use the brand new RCA Signal Finder App to find broadcast towers in your area and the best...
- Supports 1080i HDTV broadcasts for high-quality picture and sound with a 150 mile total...
The Compact Indoor/Outdoor Yagi TV Antenna offers a quick and straightforward installation with a pre-assembled design. Furthermore, the antenna offers an easy-lock fold-out UHF reflector and snap-lock elements for a quick install. With this antenna, you can pick up TV broadcasts on UHF and VHF stations in 1080P High Definition and 4K resolution.
Its durable construction withstands severe outdoor conditions thanks to its superior materials. Also, you can also use the brand new RCA Single Finder App to locate broadcast towers in your area, to help find the best placement for your antenna. Lastly, this model features a 150-mile total range or over 70 from broadcast towers and includes a 75-ohm matching transformer.
On Amazon, customers gave this antenna 4.5 out of 5 stars. A 40-year-plus broadcast engineer praises the product as the best antenna ever. He said this model receives excellent reception even in non-line of sight hilly backcountry areas. That said, another customer claims that he could only pull one channel, and the antenna broke quickly during a storm. RCA offers a one-year warranty with the purchase of this antenna.
- Free for Life - Never pay your cable or satellite fee for television again! You can get...
- The Best Picture and Sound Quality - You can now experience HDTV in the highest quality...
- Included Mounting Pole and Built-in High Gain and Low Noise Amplifier -J-shape pole for...
The 1byone Amplified Outdoor Digital HDTV Antenna promises the highest quality picture and sound for over-the-air broadcasts. Also, the broadcasts are uncompressed in full High Definition 1080P, ultra HD 4K, and 3D resolution. That means picture quality with this antenna far exceeds that which most cable and satellite companies currently offer.
You can digitally capture many local broadcasts in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, which delivers the ultimate listening experience. Additionally, the antenna offers super long distance reception up to 150 miles as well as superior weather-resistant construction.
With this antenna, you can receive free local VHF, UHF, and HDTV at the highest resolution standard your TV allows. Finally, the product includes a mounting pole and built-in high gain and low noise amplifier, and a J-shape pole for antenna installation.
Amazon customers rate this model 4.1 out of 5 stars. One Amazon customer raves over the antenna's value and performance. He describes how, despite living 55 miles outside of New Orleans, he is now able to pick up channels he never knew existed. However, another customer complains that the antenna's performance is inconsistent.
He says that the antenna is subject to various forms of electronic interference. The manufacturer, 1byone, offers a 2-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee with the purchase of this product.
- The Most Powerful 8-Element Bowtie Antenna Available - 70 Mile Range [NOTE location...
- Receive free TV from networks like ABC CBS NBC Fox CW PBS Univision MeTV and more in...
- Multi-purpose arrangement provides flexibility and easy installation in areas with...
The Antennas Direct DB8e 8-Element Bowtie Attic/Outdoor HDTV Antenna features a 70-mile range. Additionally, this antenna picks up UHF between 470 Megahertz to 698 Megahertz and U.S. channels 14 through 69. And, this model features breakthrough technology which allows it to be smaller while delivering twice the power.
Also, it has a reflector that focuses the antenna's power for extra range and protection from multipath interference. It offers full High Definition and 4K reception and offers multi-purpose arrangement for more flexibility and easier installation. At last, it comes with a DB8e antenna, all-weather mounting hardware, and instructions. The mount and coaxial cable are sold separately.
Amazon reviewers gave this model 4.1 out of 5 stars. One customer says he researched many different antennas before picking this model. He notes that this antenna was easy to install and delivered clear pictures when appropriately configured. Then again, another customer said that the antenna offered abysmal reception and only a few channels. Antennas Direct offers a lifetime warranty on parts for this model.
- The future of Free HDTV replaces large unsightly outdoor antennas
- Antennas will vary on reception in regards to placement of the antenna & distance from...
- Dual band VHF/UHF driven element with integrated reflector
The Winegard FlatWave Air features a state-of-the-art ultra low noise split band digital amplifier. It is made from durable aluminum steel with a compact, sleek design. Plus, it has a flex mount system for hassle-free installation. You can receive both VHF and UHF signals from up to 60 miles away in full High Definition.
Also, it separately amplifies both signals to reduce intermodulation, which helps it deliver the purest signal path possible. Additionally, you have the option of pairing your antenna with a streaming device for even more content. Even better, you can use the Augmented Reality app to see nearby towers and check for obstructions.
Last, it has built-in bandpass filters to remove unwanted RF interference for outstanding performance. Reviews on Amazon rate this antenna 4.1 out of 5 stars. One reviewer calls the antenna absolutely amazing. He notes that a station engineer for a local tv station recommends this brand. After installing the antenna inside his home as a test, he says he was able to lock into 28 channels, plus 5 more outside.
Be that as it may, another customer says the antenna receives horrible reception and does not pick up any channels. Winegard gives you a 1-year warranty along with a 30-day money-back guarantee with the purchase of this model.
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The Channel Master Digital Advantage 100 features a reception range of 100 miles. Plus, this antenna can receive high VHF and UHF as well as FM and High Definition signals. Installation is easy, and you can add a Channel Master preamplifier (sold separately) for maximum performance.
Additionally, with this antenna, you can pick up channels 7 through 69 from up to 60 miles away from a broadcast tower. This product received 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. One very excited customer states that this antenna surpassed his expectations. He details how this antenna picks up all the stations that his old antenna picked up from a tower 30 miles away.
Even better, he says that it also picks up stations from a tower 90 miles away after dark with crystal clear clarity. He also notes that it was super-easy to install. Meanwhile, another customer describes the antenna as highly overrated. He complains that it is too big and does not pick up all the stations his old antenna picks up. This antenna comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
- ABSOLUTELY FREE HD CHANNELS – Ditch expensive cable and satellite bills and continue...
- FULL HD CRYSTAL CLEAR TV AND HD SOUND QUALITY – Our attic / outdoor TV antenna has...
- LONG RANGE ANTENNA – This HDTV antenna can reach up to 70 miles from the broadcast...
The GE Pro Outdoor/Attic Mount TV Antenna features support for full High Definition 1080p reception offering crystal clear resolution. This long-range compact, high-performance antenna can pick up HDTV, VHF, and UHF uncompressed signals from up to 70 miles away.
Also, with signal enhancing reflectors, you get a stronger signal and fewer signal dropouts. Set up is simple with its mounting bracket, mast, and easy-to-understand assembly instructions. Amazon customers rate this antenna 4.4 out of 5 stars. Additionally, this model earned praises from several customers.
One customer declares that he is much happier after cutting the cord and going with this antenna. He says he even catches stations that his old satellite provider didn't get. At the same time, one customer notes that he is unable to pick up a lot of VHF channels with this antenna. GE provides a limited lifetime warranty with this product.
- Best performance among all antennas rated in the 60 mile 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 Antennas Direct ClearStream 2MAX UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna features an integrated diplexer which offers reliable multi-directional UHF and VHF reception. Plus, it comes with a 20-inch mast, adjustable mast clamp, mounting hardware, and a base stand for convenient installation on any tabletop.
Even better, you will be able to pick up High Definition signals right out of the box with no assembly necessary. At last, the range for this antenna is over 60 miles. This product receives 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Many customers are delighted with the performance of this antenna. One customer says that it liberated him from the "tyranny" of cable.
He further explains how he was able to tune into his favorite channels even through other buildings obstructing the signal. Then again, another customer complained that he could not get any channel clearly. This model comes with a lifetime warranty on parts.
- High-gain design allows for 70+ miles reception for UHF and 25 Miles for High Band VHF...
- Mounting hardware is compatible with masts 1.6" outer diameter and smaller. Also allows...
- Uses built-in transformer for direct 75 ohm (coax) connection, that is more weather proof...
The Xtreme Signal Long Range Yagi Style features a high-gain design that allows for over 70 miles of reception for UHF and 25 miles for high-band VHF. This design ensures that you get the most non-cost HD broadcasts available in your area. Plus, it includes mounting hardware compatible with masts 1.6 inches and smaller, and you can adjust the antenna angle.
This model uses a built-in transformer for a direct 75-ohm connection, which makes it more weatherproof than older antennas. Finally, this model comes with a heavy-duty reflector that blocks unwanted signal interference.
This antenna has a 4.2 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. Most reviewers continue to sing the antenna's praises. One professional antenna installer says that he would recommend this model over many of the better-known brands.
Another customer says the antenna's performance blew away his expectations, and now he is enjoying channels he could not get before. Meanwhile, there were also a few complaints, as one customer notes that he could not get a clear signal. This antenna model has a six-month limited warranty.
Tune In With Our Pick For The Best Outdoor TV Antenna
After exhaustive research, we now have a clear picture of the best outdoor TV antenna on the market. We chose the Compact Indoor/Outdoor Yagi TV Antenna as our top pick. This antenna not only has the best range out of all other models, but it comes from one of the most respected manufacturers of television equipment in the world.
Not to mention, over 5,000 customer reviews rated this model higher than any other model on our list. These reviews include an endorsement from a 20-plus year television engineer.
Was this guide helpful in your search? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, get ready to send your cable or satellite provider their pink slip now that you can finally enjoy the freedom that only the best outdoor TV antenna can offer.