Over-the-air TV has been a well-kept secret for almost a century. The big cable and satellite companies won’t tell you that you can actually get to view most of their channels on your TV, without committing yourself to the monthly subscription, which can be very expensive. What if we told you could sit at your home and enjoy channels such as PBS, CW, Univision, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, and many others (and it’s completely legal)? That’s right! All you need to do is invest in the best outdoor TV antenna.
We can guess your thoughts. “No way I am sacrificing high-quality visuals from my cable TV and go for the bizarre quality.” So you say. Now, welcome to the modern age, where TV antennas are built to deliver outstanding quality, with some even capable of giving crystal clear 4k and 1080p visuals! Better yet, they have outstanding range. Some even go that extra mile to allow you to control or rotate the antennae using a remote from the comfort of your seat. Amazing, right?
Don’t just take our word for these amazing things that we tell you about antennas. Read through our reviews and buying guide on the best outdoor TV antennas, get yourself one, and experience them yourself!
Top 10 Outdoor TV Antenna of 2020 Reviewed
1. TV Antenna – RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD Antenna[wt_products id=”3466″ template=”5″]
2. HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna[wt_products id=”3468″ template=”5″]
3. Vansky Outdoor[wt_products id=”3470″ template=”5″]
4. GE Pro Attic Mount TV Antenna[wt_products id=”3472″ template=”5″]
5. Mediasonic HD TV Outdoor Antenna[wt_products id=”3474″ template=”5″]
6. Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX TV Antenna[wt_products id=”3476″ template=”5″]
7. PingBingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna[wt_products id=”3478″ template=”5″]
8. HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor TV Antenna[wt_products id=”3480″ template=”5″]
9. TV Antenna – HDTV Antenna Support[wt_products id=”3483″ template=”5″]
10. 1byone Amplified Outdoor TV Antenna[wt_products id=”3485″ template=”5″]
How to Choose the Best Outdoor TV Antenna – The Ultimate Buying Guide
One of the best ways to say goodbye to your Pay TV is choosing the best outdoor HDTV antenna. Pay-Tv costs hundreds of dollars a year that would otherwise have gone into something much more productive, yet, there are hundreds of TV stations that come for free. If you want to cut down your costs, you need to invest in the best outdoor TV antenna and enjoy its benefits.
Choosing an over-the-air TV signals antenna can, however, be confusing especially when you do not have the right facts at hand. Good thing we understand this, and that’s why we have compiled a few points that we think might be helpful to you. Follow-through
What Channels are Shown Within Your Area?
One of the first steps towards purchasing the best outdoor TV antenna is finding out which of the channels are offered within your locality and of which you would be most interested in watching. The best way to find out this information is by looking it up online on various sites. A good example is TV Fool, which pairs topographical maps with the FCC’s broadcast TV database.
Remember that different outdoor antennas come with different range of capabilities. This database lists various channels available to your locality as well as the strength of the signal and also the distance of the broadcasting company or mast from your location. This information helps guide you in deciding on which antenna is best suited to pick up the signals to the channels you prefer. Usually, when you use the online database, you’ll find the strongest signals at the top of the database and the weakest ones at the bottom in that order.
Mode Of Installation
While purchasing an outdoor antenna, you have several options to choose from. There’s the rooftop installation, the attic, and even mounting on the side of the house, an option with a few models. While the rooftop option iso considered as the best option because of the strength of the signal, the attic is no less an ideal option. However, in this case, you’d have to confirm whether the signal is strong enough to penetrate through the roofing materials. Should you have an aluminum roofing, boy, oh boy! You’d better have the antenna mounted on the rooftop.
What Frequency Should The Antenna Support?
Signals are broadcasted either via the VHF or UHF frequencies. They usually come with either one or both options. It is recommended that you go for the one that comes with support for both of the signals. This allows you to receive most of the channels that are within the vicinity. If you opt for an antenna with support for either one of the two frequencies, then you might end up missing most of the channels.
Multi-directional or Directional
Is the antenna multi-directional or directional? A directional antenna only points towards one direction with efforts of trying to catch the signals from a certain direction. However, a multidirectional antenna only needs to be fixed facing upwards as it can receive signals from all directions. If the channels you prefer are coming in from different directions, then it only makes sense of investing in a multidirectional antenna.
Interference Within The Environment
Interference refers to various hindrances that make it almost impossible to watch your favorite shows in comfort. Interference is caused by various objects like buildings and trees and even electronic interference.
For example, some of the appliances and devices within our homes are the major sources of interference for the TV signals, including mobile phones, microwaves, and other equipment. The best way around this problem is by placing your antenna above the ground level for a better network reception.
What Is The Best Antenna Height?
The height of your antenna has a direct impact on its range. Obviously, the shorter the height, the lower the range, and vice versa. This variable height helps lessen the interference by nearby objects like devices within our homes and therefore boosting the overall signal. Should the channels you are interested in becoming from a far distance, then you may have to consider mounting your antenna on a mast.
Again, since, buildings, trees, and even hills are all sources of signal interference and deflection, you should consider having your antenna mounted on an elevated area. Make sure that you position your antenna on the highest place if you are going to mount it on the rooftop.
Amplified or Non-Amplified?
One of the best ways to overcome the size and height disadvantages of the antennas is by using an amplifier. The amplifier improves the reception by amplifying the signal and comes either built-in or as a separate device. The amplifier installs in-line between the TV and the antenna. However, recommended the amplifiers are, they come with their drawbacks, including amplifying noise together with the signal. They also tend to be overdriven by the much stronger signals, which make the reception even worse.
Antenna Rotors. Do They Add Any Value To You?
Yes! Rotors come in handy, especially for Directional antennas, in changing the angles of the antenna for the best reception. They are usually operated from inside the house and can be adjusted when watching channels that are being transmitted from towers in opposite directions. They are adjusted up until the signal of the channel comes on.
This seems like a great solution; however, it also comes with its drawbacks.
- It becomes very tiring, trying to change the direction of the antenna every time.
- You always have to wait for the antenna to finish up adjusting before you continue watching the show
- It is impossible to record two different channels transmitted from different stations using the DVR
- Motorized antennas are more prone to breaking down and may not hold up during the adverse weather conditions
Does It Come With A Mast?
Before you purchase the antenna, you should check whether it comes with a mast. Since it is an outdoor device, it will most likely need to be mounted on something very stable. Some models will include a mast among the accessories, while others will come without. Look for the models that come with a mast included that way, you won’t have to spend much more buying another one and having to look for the specific dimensions.
How Long Is The Coaxial Cable?
There is no certain limit to the length of the coaxial cable that comes with an antenna. It is entirely dependent on the distance it will have to cover to connect your antenna and the TV. The details are usually indicated on the packaging. Go the one that will offer the most flexibility.
What About The Range?
All antennas come with different range dimensions listed on the packaging. This dimension indicates just how far the device will reach to grasp the signal. The higher the dimension range, the more channels you will get and also more stable signals. The vice versa is also true. This doesn’t nullify the fact that the device will still need to fight its way through the various interference to reach the signals.
Things To Avoid or Pay Special Attention To
While you invest in these devices, it is good to keep an eye on the range of the antenna. This is probably one of the most crucial factors which determine the number of channels you will be able to watch. You should also pay keen attention to the nature of the device. Is it multidirectional or directional, and is it compatible with both the UHF and VHF? Avoid purchasing appliances whose details are not provided for.
Alternatives To The Product Type
There are so many ways of receiving broadcasting television signals, including through the outdoor antenna. But if you are not down with these type devices, perhaps the are other ways to look at including the indoor TV antenna, cable TV and Satellite TV. All this will deliver equal results, but the difference will mainly be in the quality of service. You might have to subscribe to various packages being offered for you to access the signal through the latter means.
Like many other products, finding the right outdoor antenna for your TV does not come easy. There’s so much to keep in mind starting with knowing which channel signals are within your vicinity down to the nitty-gritty details like the coaxial cable length and more. Outdoor antennas come in handy in so many ways, including delivering high-quality pictures and audio and picking uncompressed signals in contrast to the cable and satellite TV, which by the way, work with compressed signals.