The price of widescreen high definition TVs has fallen significantly in recent years, and chances are you have at least one in your home already. But with the way that cable and satellite companies structure their expensive and inflexible television packages, your overall TV expenditures can leave your budget in shambles anyway, which is why the recent cord cutting movement has become so popular.
Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video are great, but if you have no access to live TV, you’re inevitably missing out on the newest episodes of network TV shows, live sports, local and national news coverage, and more.
And since the FCC mandated that all US-based television signals be transmitted digitally starting in 2009, those old rabbit ear antennae you might have stashed away in the attic won’t work anymore. Fortunately, you can still get high quality HDTV signals over the air for free (the old fashioned way), if you have the right equipment.
Different Types of HDTV Antenna
Not every HDTV antenna will suit everyone, so it’s important you have some considerations in mind throughout your search. As you look for the best TV antenna, you’ll find an equal split between indoor and outdoor devices, so which one should you choose?
We recommend choosing an indoor antenna if you live close to a TV tower or if you’re living in an apartment or city where installing an outdoor device isn’t permitted are a great option. Although indoor versions tend to be smaller, they’re powerful and a great way to securely keep in a room without anyone noticing.
When it comes to installing the indoor antenna, it’s important to consider that some materials and household items can affect the signal so you’ll need to carefully choose a place to store it. For example, position the antenna near a window facing in the direction of the tower or move the unit around until you receive the best, clearest signal.
Alternatively, you may purchase an outdoor antenna if it’s possible to install it. Most are positioned on a rooftop to avoid any obstructions with walls, nature, and buildings, so you’ll need to consider the highest point possible outside of your home.
Should you live fairly far from your local broadcast towers, you’ll need to purchase a TV antenne with a large range, though you may need to adjust its positioning once it’s set up to ensure you’ve found the best and correct place to install it.
Finally, most modern houses install a TV antenna in their attic as this is the highest point in the home to connect to a broadcast tower. This is a great way to follow any guidelines and laws in your area as not everyone can mount an outdoor antenna onto their property.
Before purchasing this type of antenna, you should consisder the attic’s materials used as some can strengthen or weaken your signal. Bear in mind the distance of your nearest broadcast towers too, as many can’t extend farther than 15 minutes. Plus, if you’re installing the antenna indoors, it’s best to purchase one with a powerful signal and long range to compensate for this loss.
Directivity and Gain
Another important factor to consider when choosing a TV antenna is the directivity. Generally speaking, the higher the gain on the TV antenna, the more powerful it will be at collecting weaker signals. As the gain increases, the antenna become more directive which means it can direct the signal towards the TV, helping to reduce any interference.
When looking for the gain, this is referred to in decibels, such as 10dB or 20dB.
The Top 10 Best HDTV Antennas To Buy
if you’ve looked into purchasing a new HDTV antenna, you may have noticed that there’s no one-size-fits-all option. Thus, you’re probably wondering, which one should you buy? Fortunately, our experts here have broken down the pros and cons of what we consider the top 10 best TV antennas in 2019 on the market right now, so you can make an educated decision and enjoy high definition TV for free.
Table of Contents
- Different Types of HDTV Antenna
- Directivity and Gain
- The Top 10 Best HDTV Antennas To Buy
- 10. EnergyPal AN51 Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
- 9. Sobetter LYSB01F7327EG-ELECTRNCS 50 Mile Range Amplifier Digital HDTV Antenna
- 8. RCA ANT111Z Durable FM Antenna
- 7. Clear TV Digital Indoor Antenna
- 6. Mediasonic Homeworx HW110AN Super Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna
- 5. ViewTV Outdoor Amplified Antenna
- 4. 1byone 25 Miles Super Thin HDTV Antenna
- 3. 1PLUS TV Antenna 50 Miles Range Amplified Digital TV Antenna
- 2. 1byone 50 Miles Amplified HDTV Antenna
- 1. 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna
- Which TV Antenna Should You Buy?
10. EnergyPal AN51 Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
This sleek looking matte black antenna from EnergyPal is an affordable and simple option that can receive signals from broadcast towers up to 50 miles away. Receive channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and Fox in full HDTV (720p, 1080i, and 1080p supported).
10ft coax cable allows you to place the antenna in an elevated position above your tv, or near a window, so you can best position the antenna and maximize signal reception. Multi-directional antenna filters out cellular and FM signals so the other devices in your home won’t interfere with your picture or access to channels.
• Full HDTV Support
• Multi-directional antenna filters out cellular and FM signals
• 10 ft coax cable allows optimal antenna placement
• Channel reception may vary depending on you location and distance from broadcast towers
• Signal strength may depend on terrain and obstructions.
9. Sobetter LYSB01F7327EG-ELECTRNCS 50 Mile Range Amplifier Digital HDTV Antenna
This indoor digital HDTV antenna boasts high performance in a compact and lightweight design, making it easy to hide this antenna within cabinets, high upon a window ledge, or on the wall behind your HDTV. The advertised 50 mile range may extend to ~55 miles depending on your location and surrounding terrain, but should be generally reliable in the 35-55 mile range from broadcast towers.
Installation couldn’t be easier and the antenna comes equipped with an amplifier that can be used optionally if necessary. Due to its lightweight and compact design, this antenna holds up nicely on the double-sided tape that is included and should remain where you place it until you are ready to reposition your TV and/or antenna.
• Lightweight, compact design
• 9.8-ft. cable allows flexible antenna positioning
• Capable of receiving signals up to 55 miles from broadcast tower (35-50 more common)
• Includes amplifier to boost signals
• Digital receiver only
• Amplified signals may be more susceptible to occasional interference
8. RCA ANT111Z Durable FM Antenna
This is an inexpensive and durable option for anyone who doesn’t need to elevate their antenna and may prefer a more “retro” look with the classic “Rabbit Ears” style of antenna. All RCA antennas are optimized to reliably receive both UHF and VHF broadcasts, meaning you will be able to watch as much high quality over-the-air HD content that is available in your location.
The 8” x 7” x 9” product is made of the highest quality materials and the base comes with no-scuff pads that will protect the surfaces of your furniture. Antenna is easy to assemble and set up is complete in a matter of minutes.
• Energy Star Certified
• Easy to assemble
• Supports up to 1080i HDTV broadcasts as well as FM radio broadcasts
• Low-cost option
• Classic Rabbit Ear style and 4-ft cable may limit placement options
• Separate converter needed for older TVs
7. Clear TV Digital Indoor Antenna
This easy set-up “as seen on TV” digital indoor antenna works with any TV: Connect it directly to TVs with an internal digital tuner, or use with a set top converter box if your older television does not have an internal digital tuner.
Simple design means no wires and no unsightly antennas, allowing you to keep your TV area clean and organized. Plug-and-play design connects directly to the back of your TV; no cable or positioning necessary.
• Crystal clear picture
• Plugs into any TV
• Fast & Easy set up takes just seconds to get started
• Does not include a cable for elevated positioning
• Lower range than some other options in this list (25 miles from broadcast tower)
6. Mediasonic Homeworx HW110AN Super Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna
One of the most aesthetically pleasing HDTV antennas that is currently available, this ultra-thin design allows you to position this antenna almost anywhere, and requires minimal power to operate. Universal suction-cup stand can be attached to most surfaces and this Mediasonic option includes both VHF and UFH frequency range. At just 3.2 ounces and .1 inches thick, this is one of the best options for anyone looking to minimize their TV equipment.
• Ultra slim and lightweight design
• Requires no additional power
• Frequency range includes both UHF and VHF signals
• Broadcast signal range up to 25 miles
• 4-ft. cord may not be long enough for optimal placement
5. ViewTV Outdoor Amplified Antenna
This is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t mind mounting an outdoor antenna outside their home, typically on their rooftop. If you’re handy and don’t mind doing a little bit of set up, the increase in range, quality, and broadcast reliability is more than worth the effort. For starters, the range of this outdoor amplified antenna triples the highest range of most indoor antennas.
It also rotates a full 360 degrees using a built-in motor, that turns in both directions to avoid tangles with cables and optimize signal reception. Wireless remote controller is included to adjust antenna as needed. ViewTV recommends mounting this antenna 30 feet above ground on a pole up to 1” in diameter, although the mounting pole is not included in your purchase.
• Fantastic 150 Miles Range
• Wireless remote controller included
• Weather resistant
• Full HDTV Support: 720p, 1080i, 1080p
• Outdoor antenna only—Ideal for rooftop setup
• Mounting pole not included and must be purchased separately
4. 1byone 25 Miles Super Thin HDTV Antenna
If all-black electronics aren’t your thing, perhaps the sleek, clean-looking, super thin HDTV antenna from 1byone with a glossy all-white finish is the right choice for your living room. The compact size and extra-long coaxial cable makes it extremely easy to position this antenna wherever you need, whether your primary concern is signal reception, location near a window, or simply concealing the antenna out of view from your guests.
Full HD within 25 miles of a broadcast tower is standard though not exceptional for indoor HDTV antennas, and this option from 1byone supports high definition signals up to 1080p HD. You may also consider purchasing a 1byone High Gain TV antenna amplifier if your signal reception is weak due to location and/or terrain.
• Easy to set up and install
• Easily hidden behind a picture, television, or cabinet
• Extra-long cable (16.5 ft.) allows wide range of placement options among indoor antennas
• 25-mile reception range could be better
• Amplifier sold separately
3. 1PLUS TV Antenna 50 Miles Range Amplified Digital TV Antenna
Beautiful lightweight and super thin design in a glossy all black finish looks great with any entertainment system setup. The 1PLUS TV antenna supports 720p, 1080i, 1080p and a Frequency Range spanning both VHF and UHF frequencies.
This antenna requires a power source to operate, but offers two options for doing so, with an AC/DC adapter or directly via the DTV set-top box via coaxial cable. Extra-long 13-foot coaxial cable allows you to position this antenna wherever necessary, and detachable amplifier allows for a signal boost if needed. One of the best buys for the money, the 1PLUS TV is highly rated among customer reviews.
• 13-foot coaxial cable allows for optimal indoor placement
• Two options for powering antenna
• Detachable amplifier
• Full 50-mile signal reception range
• Slightly more involved set up than other indoor antennas
• Requires power source via set top box or AC/DC adapter
2. 1byone 50 Miles Amplified HDTV Antenna
The 1byone 50 Miles Amplified HDTV Antenna boasts a longest-in-class 20-foot coaxial cable that allows you to place this antenna virtually anywhere in your living room, plus the glossy all-white finish is paintable if you’d prefer to match the color to the other features in your home.
The simple and great looking design is matched with high quality materials and excellent performance, capable of receiving over 40 channels in both high and stand definition signals. You’ll even get several radio stations as a bonus feature with this product.
• USB Power Supply provides additional option for powering antenna
• 20-foot coaxial cable is great for customers whose TVs are not near windows
• Full HD support up to 50 miles from broadcast towers
• Easy to set up and install
• Requires TV to have built-in digital tuner for receiving over-the-air broadcasts
• Subject to signal availability in your area due to terrain and proximity to broadcast towers
1. 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna
This 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna is a bestseller and for good reason. Its combination of a slim build, sleek black design, and high quality performance makes it a perfect fit for just about anyone.
You can choose to mount it on a window or wall, lay it flat on a surface, or stand it up on any table or TV stand. With a 50 mile broadcast reception range and 10-foot coaxial cable you’ll be able to place this antenna wherever you need to achieve the best HDTV signal possible.
• Top of line versatility when it comes to antenna placement and positioning
• Sleek black design fits into any living room seamlessly
• Detachable amplifier is easy to remove
• Amplifier may cause interference if unneeded, but is detachable
• Terrain and distance from broadcast towers can affect signal quality
Which TV Antenna Should You Buy?
In conclusion, each of these affordable HDTV antennas is an excellent choice if it’s the right choice for you. To get started, use any one of a number of tools found online to check your proximity to the nearest broadcast towers and discover which channels will be available over-the-air at your home, such as tvfool.com or antennapoint.com.
With this information in hand you’ll be able to choose the right HDTV antenna and optimize your future viewing experience. From there, it’s a matter of aesthetic preference, and your unique needs regarding the placement and positioning of the antenna. Good luck, and enjoy your free HDTV programming! Click here to see which one we bought.