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TV subscription adds plenty to your bills. That’s why investing in a TV antenna is wise.

The best thing about TV antennas is that you don’t have to compromise on picture quality. It’s no surprise to get better picture quality because you’ll be getting compressed TV signals. Some in HD, and others even in 4K, if you’re on the ATSC 3.0 wagon.

You don’t want to buy just about any TV antenna. It’s a matter of determining which channels you want, your living situation, and your location. After that, you can catch local news and prime time shows as if you were live streaming from Amazon or Roku.

Omnidirectional antennas are the first option for most people with multiple network sources. But if you are sure that all the channels available to you come from one direction, then a directional antenna is your best choice.

It’s good to assume that you are receiving a UHF signal if the broadcast company does not specify it. This is because VHF signals are powerful and easier to pick on most antennas.

In Short

Don’t feel like going through all our antennas, consider ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor Antenna. It is a multidirectional antenna with a 60-mile range.

If you need indoor performing antennas, the Winegard FL5500A FlatWave has got you covered. It has a 50-mile range, it is multi-directional, and comes with a digital TV amplifier embedded into it.

1. ClearStream 2V HDTV Antenna - Best Multi-Directional Indoor/Outdoor TV Antenna

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  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Clear picture quality on UHF and VHF
  • Cool loop design
  • Extremely easy to install
  • Lifetime warranty on parts
  • Complaints about bad performance in poor weather
  • Coaxial jack sockets are hard to tighten
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Featuring exclusive ClearStream Tapered Loop technology, the ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna allows for a wide range of frequencies in VHF and UHF. It is well suited in places with reduced signal reception such as around crowded buildings or trees.

Design and Durability

With a simple loop design, this antenna does not look like a typical outdated antenna. Instead, it allows for multi-directional picking of signals whether installed indoors or outdoors. It is ideal in places where TV signals come from different directions, hence no need to keep rotating the antenna.

This antenna is quite compact as it is only 20 inches tall and 12 inches wide. The raised dipoles for VHF reception increase its height to 35 inches.  You’ll like that it has a clamp at the back which allows it to be mounted on poles, fences and the attic; you do not have to drill holes in your roof.

ClearStream 2V is built to endure the outdoors. It is weatherproof, which makes it withstand winds and rain. It is also rustproof. Since it is nonamplified, it does not need to be placed next to a power outlet.

Reception Capability

ClearStream 2V can receive signals from up to 60 miles away. With the help of its integrated diplexer, it does an excellent job of combining UHF and VHF signals. You get to enjoy free HDTV picture quality and 5.1 digital surround sound thanks to modern broadcast transmissions.

Signals that are difficult to receive, like ABC, together with the simple ones, like PBS, look completely clear.

Mounting Hardware

You get basic mounting parts such as the 20-inch mount, u-clamp and roof sealant strips. All the parts are weather-proofed for a lifetime of good use. You, however, have to buy the coaxial cable separately.

Stuff to Consider

The coaxial jack sockets are placed in an awkward place and present a challenge when tightening. Luckily, if tightening is not done frequently, by doing it correctly the first time, you may not need to keep repeating the process.

Summary

At a price that matches the quality, the Clear Stream 2V antenna gives you clear signals free of charge. It overrides common obstructions and frees you from cable television. Its cutting-edge loop technology and weatherproofing prove it is a reliable antenna.

2. Winegard FL5500A FlatWave TV Antenna - Best Indoor Amplified TV Antenna

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  • USB cable and plug-in power options
  • 35-mile range without an amplifier
  • Offers versatile mounting options
  • 50-mile multi-directional range
  • Only 1dB noise level
  • Needs additional rooftop antenna in rural areas
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With hefty cable bills, more and more people are taking on antenna TV, which is cheap to acquire and easy to install. Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Antenna provides great performance without being obtrusive. Moreover, it is an indoor antenna, which makes it safe from outside elements.

Design Features

While most antennas are too big, this one can sit behind the TV without being noticed. Being a multi-directional antenna, where it faces doesn’t matter, as long as the 3ft USB cable is connected to a power outlet and the TV. It also gives you a choice between using a USB cable or power adapter.

Its embedded amplifier uses clear cut circuitry for the best signal quality at low noise. You’ll find that with the stick pad, you can mount it on a wall or window and it can still work when mounted on a flat table.

Signal Reception

This antenna can receive VHF and UHF signals within a 50-mile range. It gives clear signal reception in HD and works better with Digital TVs. It is especially lively to watch from Roku or Chromecast as it brings programming to a maximum. This means that you can access apps like Hulu and Netflix for a fraction of the cost of cable TV.

Installation Hardware

Winegard FlatWave is careful to give you an easy time during installation. It comes with an amplifier, coax cable, 3ft USB cable, an adapter, and two brand strips for attaching. You just need to mount it as high as you can get and look forward to watching top rated shows free of charge.

Stuff to Consider

While it has the option of a flat surface installation, the reception may not be as clear as when it’s at a high location. You may have to stick to mounting it on a window or wall.

Summary

Winegard FlatWave is a top option for those who want crisp, clear signals on a compact device. It offers HD and Digital TV reception, thus increasing the number of programs. For the price, you’ll want to need it as there are cheaper unamplified options.

3. Channel Master CM 2018 HDTV Antenna - Best Medium Range Directional Outdoor Antenna

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  • High VHF (7.5dB) and UHF (9.3) gain
  • It has both HDTV and FM signals
  • 60-mile, unamplified reception range
  • Lightweight at only 3 pounds
  • Comes with hardware for clamping to a mast
  • Instructions could be better
  • Receives fewer channels than multi-directional antennas
  • Does not come with a coaxial cable
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At a glance, the Channel Master CM-2018 looks simple and unwieldy, but it’s nothing like it. This medium-range outdoor antenna is perhaps the only one you’ll need for a lifetime. It addresses all your outdoor installation concerns.

Design Features and Installation

The Channel Master CM-2018 is long, showcasing a beefy design to deliver equally powerful results. The exterior is sleek and made of aluminum. But, it can pick up rust after some years, that’s why using rust paint on it should save you from replacements later.

The antenna is easy to assemble and install out of the box. Some of its spikes may arrive bent, but that should not worry you. It straightens fast and easy before heading to the next step, which is sliding the pieces together. After that, you only need to open the elements, connect the coaxial balun and earth wire, and find a nice position for it.

The best places to install Channel Master CM-2018 is on the roof, chimney, mast, eave, or the attic. You may want to involve a friend for directional testing before getting down from the roof though.

Reception Capabilities

Channel Master CM-2018 is designed for both VHF and UHF signal reception. It has a 45-degree beamwidth capable of receiving HDTV and FM signals.

Since it is a directional antenna, you’ll have to establish where the signals are coming from. You may have to use an amplifier if they are out of the 60-mile range. Even so, it is still likely you’ll use a preamp if your home is in a valley or close to a hill or mountain.

Stuff to consider

This is a directional antenna that picks only midrange signals. This is not a significant drawback as you can use a compass to set direction. The instructions are also not clear, and you have to keep checking and matching pictures to the antenna you receive.

Summary

If saving is your focus, then go for it! Cut the cord for pay TV and enjoy free channels with the Channel Master CM-2018 antenna. It is very basic in design, and functionality only calls for a little keenness when setting the direction.

4. Winegard Elite 7550 - Best Long-Range Outdoor VHF/UHF HDTV TV Antenna

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  • Uses a low-noise pre-amp
  • Includes an LTE filter
  • Can receive lots of clear HDTV signals over long distances
  • Easy to assemble and install
  • Can be routed to multiple TVs
  • It can rattle in the wind
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Receive all your favorite channels including ABC, PBC, NBC, Fox, and many others on the cheap. Winegard Elite 7550, an outdoor HDTV antenna, is the one to pick for clear signals from over 70 miles.

Design Features

Weighing only a pound, the Winegard Elite Antenna wraps all its features in a sophisticated design. Its long-range performance is ideal for multiple television sets. It comes with an ultra-low noise amplifier which offers better performance over long distances.

Armed with an integrated LTE filter, this antenna cuts out cellular network interferences from the most populated urban neighborhoods. It uses six reflector elements that sit behind the antenna. They reflect the signals to the antenna, which makes its reception better when it’s installed in the direction of a tower.

Reception Capability

This antenna can lock on to a large number of signals from 70 miles away. It has a dual-band receptor for VHF and UHF signals. This way, it can pull channels from digital TV stations allowing you to enjoy over 70 channels of glitch-free viewing.

Assembly and Installation

Winegard Elite comes with an ultra-low noise amplifier, USB cable with adaptor and mounting brackets. You do not get specific mounting hardware because it offers a variety of installation options.

A few minutes of assembly are required. It has straightforward instructions, so the process goes quickly. The main chassis is all plastic and is home to the two-part antenna bar and flat antenna bars. With this antenna, you’ll get a foot bracket and mounting pole for simplified roof installation.

Stuff to Consider

The plastic material and metal components are a bit flimsy. As such, we don’t expect clear signals in a storm. For multiple TVs, this antenna requires a splitter which is purchased separately. Luckily this is not a requirement for it to be functional as it only applies to those who want to use multiple TVs.

Summary

You do not need a big antenna with limited setup options to enjoy crisp TV channels. The Winegard Elite 7550 antenna is all you need even in small spaces. Its embedded pre-amp and LTE filter are at the center of clear reception in cities riddled with building and cellular networks.

5. Channel Master CM-4228HD EXTREMEtenna - Outdoor, Best Value for Money

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  • Wide reception range of 80 miles
  • It comes pre-assembled
  • Not affected by obstructions like tall trees
  • Inbuilt 75-Ohm PC balun
  • Optimized for UHF
  • It has difficulty receiving VHF frequencies.
  • Balun box is fragile
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Channel Master CM-4228HD comes in a classic 8-bay bowtie design. It is relatively small but goes all out in reception giving you over 80 miles of reception range. For those not after something fancy, this antenna is a viable choice.

Design Features and Installation

This antenna features the complex 8 Bay Bow Tie design. While many companies have tried to replicate it, only a few can offer fringe HDTV reception. Although it is advertised as multi-directional, it favors a directional installation.

The antenna comes pre-assembled, which makes it easy to install. It is approximately 34 inches in size, hence much smaller than antennas with its capabilities. If you follow the instructions and assemble it adequately, you can expect a strong outdoor signal. Moreover, the signal is not affected by wind, trees, or buildings.

You will get two U-bolts for mast installation, and 300-75OHM converter. It works great on the roof or inside of an attic. Its install-upright feature is excellent at preventing birds from perching and leaving droppings on it.

Signal Reception

This antenna appears to be better over the UHF band from 1-69, rather than VHF because of its design. It exhibits impeccable high gain reception of up to 12dB, outperforming Winegard in UHF. Its 80-mile range is quite accurate especially because it is multi-directional over 180 degrees.

It is ideal for digital TV viewing since over 90% of digital TVs are on the UHF band. Not to mention, the capability of adding an amplifier for better reception of VHF signals.

Stuff to Consider

Channel Master CM-4228HD is not amplified. You may want to include a preamplifier if you are not mounting it on the roof.

Summary

Channel Master CM-4228HD is the way to go if you are dissatisfied with subscription TV but still keen on getting quality channel reception. It may have high initial costs, but it comes with a ton of unmatched benefits. From digital TV channels to being unaffected by trees, this antenna is reliable and very convenient.

6. 8 Element Bowtie - Best High-End Indoor/Outdoor Antenna

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  • Bowtie architecture
  • Base designed for different installation angles
  • Life warranty on parts
  • It is not affected by ice or wind
  • Robust plastic and aluminum parts
  • Includes rubber weather boots
  • May require use with an amplifier
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Featuring the classic 8-Bay bowtie design, 8-Element represents an antenna that can pick long range, medium, and very weak signals with no problems. It is a premium model that is all about exceptional performance.

Design Features and Installation

This antenna comes with unique, patented elements alongside proprietary brackets that connect the four panels. It can be turned in different directions, which is why it can pick signals from multiple towers.

The base is well designed for flat, angled, or even vertical installation. It supports both indoor and outdoor use and may not need base adjustments for use in the roof or attic. The design is distinct in that it does not allow birds to perch and bend the antenna making it last longer.

8-Element comes with only the adjustable mounting hardware. As such, you will have to buy the coaxial cable and mast separately.

Signal Reception

This antenna offers a max gain of 17.4dB. It is top-tier on the market, thus able to receive signals over a 70-mile range. Its bowtie design is reminiscent of an antenna optimized for UHF. So, don’t expect VHF, at least not without the C2 VHF reflector kit that 8-Element offers.

It is ideal for fringe reception, and because it does not include a preamplifier or a mast, reception can be inhibited by valleys. The exceptional feature is that this antenna can pick signals through thick foliage in rural settings.

Stuff to Consider

This antenna does not come assembled. For the person who has never installed an antenna before, dealing with tools can be intimidating. The directions are also not very clear to follow but are easy to figure out after two or three tries.

Summary

8-Element is a model that favors full HD picture quality, broad-spectrum UHF channels, digital TVs, and reception of very weak signals. Anyone who lives in the countryside where trees are a common form of obstruction will benefit from this antenna.

7. 1byone Indoor HD TV Antenna - Amplified Indoor Antenna, Easy to Install

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  • Amplifier and CleanPeak Filter technology
  • Durable coaxial cable
  • Easily blends with décor
  • Needs sticking rather than drilling holes
  • Works best at short distances
  • The sticky pads are affected by heat and may peel off
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The 1byone Upgraded amplified antenna is a simple and sleek white strip antenna. It looks basic, but you cannot dismiss its utilities until you use it. It locks in some great features like variable signal range to free you from subscription TV.

Design Features and Installation

This compactly designed antenna features an intelligent Integrated Circuit chip and an advanced inline amplifier to boost signal reception. With the help of Filter technology, it can receive clearer signals with less noise.

The antenna is super thin, which enables installation anywhere in the home. It can be stuck even on shelves and windows. It does not need any assembly. Plug it in and scan for channels right out of the box. You’ll find that it is ultra-light and comes with a long, 20ft cord that does not limit your installation options.

The coaxial cable is only 0.2 inches thick. It decreases signal loss by up to 50% meaning better reception and more channels.

Reception Capability

The 1byone antenna may look oversimplified, but it has an amazing reception range of over 50 miles. It allows access to stunning quality TV channels including brilliant HD and 4K. You can expect up to 39 channels that range from TV shows, sitcoms, news, kids’ programs, and weather channels; all enabled by this super small antenna.

Stuff to Consider

If you live close to a broadcasting station, turning off the amplifier works better on this antenna. The signal can self-oscillate resulting in bad reception. Fortunately, this is easy to work since it only requires pushing a button from the comfort of your home.

Summary

The 1byone amplified antenna is an exceptional product. For its small size, it has impressive signal reception owing to its amplifier and filter. It fits right in with those on a budget looking for a minimalistic indoor antenna.

8. ANTOP SmartPass 1080P TV Antenna - Best Indoor with 4G LTE Filter

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  • HD and digital TV reception
  • Blocks 3G and 4G wireless signals
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Only three steps to install
  • Smartpass amplifier
  • 10ft cable can limit installation distance
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With lots of flat indoor antennas on the market, ANTOP defines itself as a model to pick on the cheap. It balances its beautiful aesthetics with a midrange performance that is in line with what you pay for it.

Design Features

A plastic frame and a permanent cable are some of the features to notice on this antenna. The cable is 10ft long, which is midrange at best as it also limits how far the antenna can be mounted. But despite all its physical shortcomings, this antenna comes with a Smartpass amplifier that helps to boost signals.

The amplifier can be switched on and off according to your needs. What’s more, it has an in-built filter which blocks wireless signals to make reception clearer in crowded apartments.

Signal Reception

As small as it is, the ANTOP HDTV antenna can receive signals 50 miles away from broadcasting towers. It can pull both HD and digital TV channels from popular stations like Fox and ABC. This gives you access to local news and weather updates without spending an extra dime.

Stuff to Consider

The ANTOP TV antenna is a fingerprint magnet. You’ll want to have a microfiber cloth nearby or place it high where contact with people is minimal.

Summary

The ANTOP HDTV Smartpass Amplified antenna is a smart choice for apartments and dorm rooms where lots of wireless signals inhibit reception. Buildings and vegetation can impede it, which makes it ideal for suburban locations.

9. ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna - Best Antenna

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  • The cable attaches using knobs
  • Lifetime warranty
  • It mounts by sticking
  • Color is reversible
  • It is paintable
  • Perfect for urban areas
  • Cable seems to be a bit heavy
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The ClearStream Eclipse TV Sure Grip Antenna comes in a new round and flat design. Its unique design makes it possible to mount it just about anywhere with the help of its adhesive back.

Design and Installation

There’s not much going for this antenna since it is pretty straightforward to install and use. As long as there’s a flat surface, it is good to mount. It can stick to walls and windows without you having to deal with damaged paint or peeled stickers. This means you can mount it as many times as you want until you find the best position for crisp, clear signal reception.

ClearStream Eclipse comes with a 12ft long coaxial cable that allows flexible and discrete placement. It is ideal for dorm rooms, RVs, vans, and any other location where you need to keep changing the placement of the antenna.

A nice feature with ClearStream Eclipse is that it has a double-sided surface in black and white. You can mount it either way or paint the surface if you want it to blend with your indoor color preferences.

Signal Reception

ClearStream Eclipse offers a 35-mile range of signal reception. This range is without an amplifier, which means you can improve it and get more channels when you include an amplifier. The antenna transmits HD and digital TV signals thanks to its 70-degree beam angle.

With ClearStream Eclipse, you can expect to get as many as 25 watchable channels in urban settings.

Stuff to Consider

You can choose whether you want a black or white color only during the first installation. There’s only one sticky pad so changing your mind halfway is out of the question unless you paint it.

Summary

If you need ‘take-on-go’ convenience, ClearStream Eclipse offers exactly that. It is user-friendly, powerful, and ideal for those near a broadcasting tower. Its flexible sticky surface makes it easy to change its location, which befits life on the go.

10. ANTOP AT-402 HDTV Antenna - Outdoor/Indoor Antenna– Best Antenna for Digital TV

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  • Long-range reception, up to 60 miles
  • It comes with a long, 40ft. coaxial cable
  • Weatherproofed design
  • Multidirectional signal reception
  • Placing it near metallic objects may affect reception
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ANTOP At-402 HDTV Outdoor/Indoor Antenna stems from the need to provide the best customer experience. Engineered with quality and value in mind, this antenna offers free access to HDTV content.

Design and Installation

The flat panel design is sure to catch your eye. It showcases a product that is sleek and ready to take on the signal reception challenge without being an eyesore. Built to withstand the outdoor elements, you can expect the exterior and signal performance of this antenna to remain unchanged in all weather conditions.

This antenna can survive direct rainfall, low temperatures, UV rays, and even storms.

This antenna comes with an indoor-stand and mounting brackets. It allows versatile mounting on the wall, roof, and balcony, but it can even stand on your table. It also has a 40ft cable that allows you to mount the antenna almost anywhere you want.

Its new-generation Digital Technology is key to getting all the channels you want on your digital TV. It provides multi-directional performance and the ability to feed multiple TVs when combined with a splitter. It is the one to pick for big homes where local news and entertainment keeps the family together.

Signal Reception

The ANTOP AT-402 picks signals from as far as 60 miles indoors or outdoors. It is a dual-band model, able to receive both VHF and UHF signals.  It is shielded for minimal interference and boosted by Antop’s digital technology. That’s why most of the signals it picks turn out to be watchable.

Stuff to Consider

ANTOP AT-402 is unnecessarily large for the indoors, and the cord is also too long when the antenna is placed behind the TV.  We would like to see the option of cable management more so for folks who want it specifically for indoor use.

Summary

With the flexibility of either indoor or outdoor installation, ANTOP AT-402 is an efficient digital TV antenna. Its advanced signal technology, multiple TV support, and flexible mounting options make it easy to see why most people like it.

TV Antenna Buyer’s Guide

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.

What’s Available in Your Area?

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.

Should I Get a Directional or a Multi-directional Antenna?

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 Versus VHF

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.

Indoor Antennas Versus Outdoor Antennas

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

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

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 Versus Passive (Non-amplified) Antennas

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.

How Do I Install a TV Antenna?

Installing an indoor antenna is simple, and it can be completed in a couple of easy steps:

  • Connect the main coaxial cable to the back of your TV.
  • Find a good placement for your indoor antenna.
  • Scan for the available channels.
  • Enjoy!

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: