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Do you live in an area that makes it difficult to pick up television stations? Or are you just tired of paying expensive cable bills every month? Stick around and we’ll show you 10 of the best TV antennas that are sure to make your life better.
Whether you live out in the country or in the heart of the city, we’ve got just what you need to start enjoying free TV. We reviewed some truly fine units and narrowed down what we feel are the best of the best. Before we get to our main reviews section, we’d like to share a couple of our favorite picks.
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If high cable bills have you down, ClearStream’s 2Max will help you break free. This outdoor antenna was our favorite overall. It sports a 60-mile range and picks up several HD channels. All the mounting hardware you need is included to make installation easier.
If you’re looking for something you can just put in your window, Mohu’s ReLeaf is all you need. This compact indoor antenna provides clear HD channels and comes at an affordable price. It has a 30-mile range and is a breeze to set up.
We have eight more great units to show you. We’re confident there’s one that will best fit your needs and help you break free from cable for good.
ClearStream’s outdoor HD antenna is an excellent choice for those who have trouble picking up stations. This uniquely-shaped unit has a range of 60 miles, allowing it to pull in all kinds of channels, many of which are HD.
The 2Max works best when mounted outdoors, although some users have stuck it directly behind their TVs with great success. ClearStream gives you just about everything you need for proper outdoor installation.
If you live out in the country, we recommend you take advantage of this for best results. The only thing you’ll need to supply is coax cable. If you live in the city, you shouldn’t have to worry about mounting outside. Put it anywhere in your home and you’ll be good to go.
You should be aware that the 2Max is a bit more expensive than most other entries. But if you live in the country or just want to cut the cords, you’re likely to be very pleased with what it has to offer.
Installation is a lot more involved, but it’s definitely worth the effort. The durable materials used in the antenna’s construction will withstand the outside elements. In the event that any of the parts should fail, ClearStream includes a lifetime warranty. Simply contact them for replacements.
Mohu claims their ReLeaf antenna will provide you with free high-definition television for life. Sound too good to be true? We took a closer look to get the skinny on how it all works.
Setting up the ReLeaf was pretty straightforward, although some of the components felt a little cheap. The antenna is just a large, flat square. There are two holes along the top for mounting. You can easily stick the antenna to your wall or window.
You get 10 feet of coax cable with the ReLeaf. One end screws into the base of the antenna while the other screws into the back of your television. You may need to provide more cable to pick up the best signal.
So, how did it do? Well, the answer is, it depends. If you live within acceptable range to broadcast towers, you will pick up a good deal of channels. We were able to pick up 40+ channels, 8 of which were HDTV.
Testing the ReLeaf in a rural, hilly area proved less effective. Around 10 stations came in, but none were in high-definition. If you live on the outskirts of town, you’re likely going to be disappointed. But if you’re closer to civilization, the ReLeaf does a fine job.
Other tests in bigger cities claimed to have picked up over 60 channels. It’s important to know that the ReLeaf has about a 30-mile range. Do your homework to see how close you are to TV stations and broadcast towers. If you’re in the clear, you should have a good experience and get your money’s worth.
The ReLeaf antenna is two-toned, with a dark gray color on one side and beige on the other. It matters not which side faces out. This lets you better match your walls, although you could certainly paint over it if you like.
The quality of the images we picked up was excellent. For the price, the ReLeaf does well as long as you’re within the proper range.
The Mohu ReLeaf can be set up and ready to go in less than five minutes. There’s no need for pointing or positioning, and there are no settings to fight with.
If you’re having trouble picking up any reception with an indoor antenna, it may be time to try an outdoor model. You get much better range, thereby giving you a better chance of getting stations.
That’s where Winegard’s Elite comes in. This outdoor antenna is capable of reaching towers over 70 miles away. That’s more than double what Mohu’s ReLeaf offers. Our testing (which takes place in identical locations) showed that there was an increase in channels in the hilly, rural area. Still nothing in HD, though.
In our urban location, the Elite yielded the same results in clarity as the ReLeaf. We did, however, get several more stations. As outdoor antennas go, we can say this one is a winner. Just be ready to pay for it. The Elite costs more than double what you’ll pay for Mohu’s ReLeaf.
Also, there’s a lot more to the installation. You’re going to need some hardware to properly mount the Elite. It comes with a mounting bracket and a power adapter, but you’ll have to supply your own coax cable. And, if you use a splitter, you can run the antenna through multiple televisions.
Get your tools ready, because you’ll need them to properly install the Elite. It is weatherproof, so you can mount it on your roof or deck, worry-free. You’ll also need to have plenty of coaxial cable handy, as it isn’t included with the antenna.
Mohu makes the list again, this time with the Leaf Metro. This paper-thin variant is best-suited for those who live in the city and/or are on a budget. The price is great, and the channels come in crystal-clear.
If you were to try this outside of the city – and we did – you will likely be disappointed. Its range is much less than other entries, coming in at only 25 miles. But for the right person and area, the Leaf Metro is a fantastic value.
The antenna is made much like Mohu’s ReLeaf, only smaller and rectangular-shaped. You get 10 feet of coax cable with this unit, as well. One side of the antenna is white, while the other is black. Once again, it doesn’t matter which side faces out.
You can use several methods to hang it on your wall or window. We used temporary tape and the unit worked just fine. For whatever reason, the coax connector pieces that come with the Leaf Metro are 10 times better than the ones that come with the ReLeaf. These are so much easier to use and they look better, too.
In terms of performance, in the heart of the city we were able to pick up around 40 stations. At our rural location, none. If you use the Leaf Metro as it was intended, you are sure to be very pleased with what it has to offer.
Installation is fast and easy. Tools are optional, as you can use Velcro or nails to mount the Leaf Metro. The coax connectors are a cinch to use, too. We really like the new design; it’s much easier on your hands and fingers.
Mohu is back yet again, offering up the Curve. This attractive antenna looks great anywhere you put it. As its name implies, it sports a curved design. It comes with a stand, too, allowing you to set it on a bookshelf or end table.
This model boasts a 50-mile range, so you can use it in both urban and rural areas. We were pleased with the clarity and reception that the Curve pulled in. Channels looked great and even offered a few in HD.
In the city, we had no problems at all. But in the rural outskirts of town, things were hit and miss. We had to place the Curve in areas it wasn’t intended for. After some tricky – and downright ugly – mounting, we were able to pick up a handful of fuzzy stations. None were in HD, of course.
We have to believe that if you lived in an area less hilly than our testing location, you’d be able to get better reception. Other users have even said so. But for us, the Curve wasn’t worth the hassle. But if you live in the city, you should be just fine.
We really appreciate the design and the 16-foot cable that comes packed in with the antenna. It’s so easy to attach, and it is quite convenient. After screwing it into the unit, the cable splits off into two parts. One is coaxial and the other is USB. Since the antenna has a built-in amplifier, it requires a power source.
The USB end simply plugs into a standard charging block or other power source. Installation is a breeze, and the provided cable makes it even easier.
You’ll have to trouble getting the Curve up and running. It’s a very straightforward process that doesn’t require any tools. Just plug it in and stand it up.
If you own an RV or like to travel often, Antop’s HD antenna will serve you well. Installation can be a bit of a bear. But for the quality in channels, the extra work is worth it.
The great thing about the AT-800SBS is that it’s made for both indoor and outdoor use. This is what makes it such a great choice for on-the-road use. It boasts an impressive 85-mile range. And since you’ll be on the move, you stand a greater chance of picking up more channels.
We like that Antop includes an amplifier with the unit. It is equipped with a dial that can be adjusted to pull in the clearest signal. We were mighty pleased with how well this antenna picked up.
If you’re going to be using it indoors, Antop includes a handy stand. This way you can forego running lengthy coax cable and mounting. If you choose to mount it outside, however, Antop provides you with the proper hardware. You also get 40 feet of cable to help you with installation.
The AT-800SBS is well-made and can withstand the outside elements for this very reason. To sweeten the deal, Antop equipped the antenna with AM and FM radio capabilities. Whether in your home or on the road, you’ll always have some form of media to keep you connected.
Installation can get a little hairy if you’re mounting it to your home or RV. But Antop supplies you with everything you need to properly do the job. We appreciate seeing plenty of cable included with the antenna, too, as it comes in awfully handy.
This HD antenna from 1byOne is simple yet effective. It sports a design that is very similar to Mohu’s ReLeaf. Installation is a breeze and the results are commendable. Although we didn’t pick up as many HD channels as other entries, we were pleased with the clarity.
We found that we got the best reception when we placed the antenna in a window. For this, just use some mounting strips or Velcro. The antenna itself is paper-thin, so it takes very little to get it to stick.
With around a 50-mile range, you should pick up plenty of stations in the city. Those who live outside city limits or in the country will have a harder time getting a signal. Again, it largely depends on where you live and the surrounding environment.
You get 16.5 feet of coaxial cable included with the antenna to ensure you get the best reception. There’s also a small signal booster that can be used as needed. Not all locations will warrant its use. But it’s easy to use and simply attaches to the coax cable.
The booster has a USB cable that branches off to be plugged into a charging block. Since it has to draw power to function, you’ll need to make sure you mount it near a power outlet.
Installation of 1byOne’s HD antenna is simple. You likely won’t need any tools unless you plan to screw or nail it to the wall. You get an adequate amount of coax cable to help with the process.
ClearStream’s Eclipse breaks the mold and delivers a nice twist on the flat square antenna. Now you can get a flat round antenna! It’s a lot smaller than the competition and much less obtrusive. This one is also reversible, with black on one side and white on the other.
The Eclipse has a range of over 50 miles and does a really fine job of pulling in several HD channels. We were able to get around 30 standard stations in the city. But what impressed us the most was how well this one did at our rural location.
We could pick up between 8 and 10 standard-definition channels, although we had to play with the positioning fairly often. A small price to pay when you generally can’t pick up much at all.
This unit is a bit more expensive compared to other similar models. But if you’re in need of free TV, it’s worth the price of admission.
The Eclipse is a snap to install and get running. We found that we got the best reception when mounting the antenna to a window. Just use some Velcro for easy removal.
Amazon is trying their own hand at personal home antennas. It doesn’t have the greatest range compared to other models, but it does a fine enough job with what it’s working with. This antenna is also made like other entries in that it’s just a plastic square.
You can mount it to your wall or window, depending where you get the best signal strength. It’s able to pull in HD channels as high as 1080p resolution. You get 10 feet of coaxial cable to get you started. But you’ll have to supply your own if you need more to get optimal reception.
We were pleased with our city tests. We got a few HD channels and around 20 standard-definition channels. We couldn’t pick up anything at our rural testing location, though.
There isn’t a built-in amplifier, so don’t expect to pull in as much as other entries. This antenna is pretty inexpensive, however. If you’re on a budget and live in the city, it should serve you just fine.
Like other similar antennas, Amazon’s is a cinch to install. You shouldn’t need any tools, other than maybe supplying some extra coaxial cable.
Channel Master’s Flatenna is another indoor antenna that’s best-suited for urban/suburban use. By now, you’ve seen this style several times. It’s a two-toned paper-thin square that can be mounted on walls or windows.
The Flatenna has a 35-mile radius and does a wonderful job at picking up local stations. The main catch here is it can’t get HD channels. But if that’s not important to you, we think you’ll find the Flatenna to be a great investment.
The standard-definition (SD) reception is really good, and the price is very affordable. You’ll have to supply your own coaxial cable, however, as none is provided.
The Flatenna is lightweight and compact, making installation effortless. No tools should be needed unless you plan on nailing it to your wall. Take our advice and Velcro it to your window for best results.
You might think that TV antennas are an ancient relic of the past that should remain in the past, but that is far from the truth.
Modern TV antennas provide you with free OTA(over the air) reception, which could lower your monthly cable and/or satellite bills.
The problem is that buying a TV antenna isn’t as simple as it used to be. Therefore, we decided to find the best and most relevant information and present it to you. You don’t have to waste time browsing different websites because all of the useful info is in front of you.
The most important thing you need to do before making a purchase is to find out which channels are available in your area. There are useful websites out there that generate a list of channels near your area.
As soon as you enter your address, you will see which channels are available to you and how strong is their signal. You will understand which channels are gonna come in clear, which ones will have some noise, and which ones are not available.
The websites we have mentioned will also show you the direction from which each of the networks broadcasts its signal. The direction is important to note down because it influences the type of an antenna – directional or multi-directional.
The answer to the question depends on the number of networks in your area. But, more importantly, the answer depends on the direction of the TV signal.
If the signal of the channels that you would like to watch comes from one direction, then a directional antenna is a smart choice.
On the other hand, if you notice that there are plenty of different networks around you and their signals come from different directions, then a multi-directional antenna is a sound choice.
UHF(Ultra High Frequency) and VHF(Very High Frequency) represent two ranges of broadcasting frequencies. Most of the time, you will notice that the lower-numbered channels (2-13) are broadcasted on the VHF. Contrarily, higher-numbered channels (14-83) are broadcasted on the UHF.
Plenty of modern antennas can pick both of the signals, and then some. But, make sure that the TV antenna that you are checking out can do both. Bear in mind that some TV antenna manufacturers claim that their product supports both signals, but they don’t mention that one of them won’t be clear as the other one.
The choice between an indoor and an outdoor antenna is not a hard one. It depends on the place of your living and on the distance of broadcasting towers.
Indoor antennas are usually small and lightweight. Connecting them to your TV is a simple process. They are inconspicuous and you can easily move them around.
Some of them boast a flat design, which allows them to be placed on a flat surface, like a wall or a window. Flat indoor antennas are a good choice if you live in the city, and if you are near a broadcast tower. The biggest problem is their range – it goes only up to 60 miles. A solution to the range problem exists in the shape of an amplifier. But, amplifiers are useful only if the signal is weak. The biggest problem with amplifiers is that they amplify the noise, as well as the TV signal. So, sometimes amplifiers cause a problem rather than solving it.
Outdoor antennas are a better choice than indoor antennas, but they are not a good choice for city-dwellers. Outdoor antennas are large and bulky, and they need to be installed on your roof or on the side of your house. Naturally, you will need a lengthy cable to connect the antenna to your TV.
Outdoor antennas are the best choice if you live in the country and your house isn’t surrounded by large buildings. They can receive signals from within 100 miles, so you don’t need to live near a broadcasting tower.
Installing outdoor antennas isn’t an overwhelmingly hard task, but it can’t be done by anyone. If you are unsure of your skills, and you have never grounded a device, then it is better to leave the installation to the professionals. The biggest problem with the outdoor antennas is that rotating them is hard. You need to go outside, climb up to the place where the antenna is, and only then you can rotate it. Luckily, remote controlled antenna rotators exist. They allow you to rotate your antenna via remote control.
The weather is an important factor. If you live in an area where it rains and/or snows often, then the chances are high that you will get fewer channels at a poorer quality. The only solution is to find an outdoor antenna that has been created specifically for areas with bad weather.
Amplified antennas come with a built-in signal amplifier. The amplifier inside of them picks up weak signals and minimizes dropouts.
You should consider an amplified antenna if you live in the country, or if broadcast towers are far away.
Passive antennas are “regular” antennas that can receive local signals. They are a good choice for people living in a city or near broadcasting towers. Basically, if the signal is strong in your location, then a passive antenna could be what you need.
Installing an indoor antenna is simple, and it can be completed in a couple of easy steps:
Installing an outdoor antenna isn’t easy, but the steps are almost the same, there a just a few more steps between the ones we’ve mentioned above.
Our advice is to call a professional. That way you will avoid problems like hurting yourself and/or causing damage to your home. On the other hand, if you are tech-savvy, and you pay close attention to safety, then this video will guide you through the process: