The best TV antenna delivers free, high definition, trouble-free broadcast TV channels, offering significant savings over outrageous monthly $140 Comcast cable bills. Our scoring criteria focused on the number of available channels, range (in miles), construction, and signal quality. We also look into auxiliary features such as dedicated smartphone apps to discover new broadcast channels.
After more than 20 hours of research and testing, our best TV antenna pick goes to the 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna. It offers a commanding 80-mile range, solid selection of HD shows, and lightning-quick assembly with an ultra-thin profile.
- 1 Top 7 Best TV Antennas Compared
- 1.1 #1 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HD TV Antenna – Top Pick/Best for Indoor Use
- 1.2 #2 TV Antenna – RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD Antenna – Honorable Mention/Best for Outdoor Use
- 1.3 #3 Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Digital HD Indoor Amplified TV Antenna – ATSC 3.0 & 4K Ready
- 1.4 #4 Vansky Outdoor 150 Mile Motorized 360 Degree Rotation OTA Amplified HD TV Antenna – Best Value/Motorized Antenna
- 1.5 #5 pingbingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna – 150 Mile Range
- 1.6 #6 HDTV Antenna, 2020 Newest Indoor Digital TV Antenna – Best Budget/Easy Setup
- 1.7 #7 Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna Long 120 Miles Range – Great for Small Apartments
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 Product Category Buying Guide
Top 7 Best TV Antennas Compared
#1 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HD TV Antenna – Top Pick/Best for Indoor UseWHY WE LIKE IT: This TV antenna features a large selection of channels thanks to an ultra-thin profile, 80-mile UHF and VHF reception range, ang a signal booster that helps to improve signal strength and quality in areas farther from broadcast towers. All of these criteria make it the ideal choice for anyone looking to replace their cable TV with reliable service.
One of our favorite 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HD TV Antenna’s features is its signal booster to improve reception range and an ultra-thin profile which allows it to be mounted vertically on your wall, window, table or flat against a surface.
It uses a 2.5C 2V coax cable which has thicker copper writing for better reception. During testing, many users reported crisp and clear reception with 30 plus available channels despite living more than 30 miles away from the nearest broadcast tower.
#2 TV Antenna – RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD Antenna – Honorable Mention/Best for Outdoor UseWHY WE LIKE IT: This indoor/outdoor HD Antenna features a whopping 150-mile range and UHF/VHF channel reception, emitting digital TV signals using 2 different frequency ranges. Thisoffers a greater choice of channels than 30 to 80-mile-range indoor antennas, ideal in remote areas far from broadcast towers or close to mountainous regions or large buildings blocking over-the-air signals.
The RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD Antenna comes with easy installation for some users, with a fold-out design and snap locks to “pop” it into place.
It comes with a dedicated smartphone app, RCA Signal Finder, which gives detailed instructions on how and where to mount your antenna for the best reception within its 150-mile range. Lastly, it can be used indoors, unlike the Vansky TV Antenna Series with its recommended mounting height of 30 feet.
#3 Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Digital HD Indoor Amplified TV Antenna – ATSC 3.0 & 4K ReadyWHY WE LIKE IT: The compact 13″ x 12″ Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Antenna is a solid choice for every day TV watching, featuring a 50-mile range, VHF/UHF signal reception, and Clear Circuit technology to help boost signal power. It offers all of the major broadcast networks, including NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC along with other local and regional stations not available on Cable TV to keep the news junkie on his or her game.
Installation is a breeze, directly mounting to the back of your TV using the included 15-inch long coaxial cable and two 3M Command adhesive strips, allowing for optimal positioning to reach the best signal. Channel scans also take no more than a few minutes.
The Winegard FlatWave TV antenna has its dedicated smartphone app, which allows users to search for free HDTV towers in the area and use an augmented reality map to find the best angle to point your antenna towards and check for obstructions. It can also be paired with a Roku, Chromecast or Fire TV stick to stream even more content, making it a better option for movie fans.
#4 Vansky Outdoor 150 Mile Motorized 360 Degree Rotation OTA Amplified HD TV Antenna – Best Value/Motorized Antenna
The Vansky HD TV antenna is strictly an outdoor antenna, which may not be the best option for ‘quick and dirty’ folks looking for a plug and play solution like the 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HD TV Antenna, which takes no more than 5 minutes to set up
It requires mounting 30 feet above the ground and uses an infrared remote control for full 360 degree turning and a 32.8 foot digital antenna Coax cable, ideal for signal hunting on roofs or attics, which may not be reachable for some users. However, it lends support to 2 TVs at a time without a special adapter or splitter required, which may be worth the trade-off of an indoor antenna.
#5 pingbingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna – 150 Mile RangeWHY WE LIKE IT: This HDTV antenna is solid workhorse, boasting a 150-mile range, Dual-TV outputs, VHF/UHF support, low noise amplifier, and an infrared remote-controlled, 360° motor rotor for signal optimization. It is highly recommended for users that want more content than indoor antennas at a comparable cost.
Unlike the Vansky Outdoor antenna, it does include a pole mount and is slightly easier to assemble with a 40 foot RG6 coaxial cable, mounting pole, snap-lock elements to quickly put pieces into place. Its wireless remote control is also easy to use, with a simple on/off switch and a red Rotation button offering a smooth, quick swivel to adjust and capture the best signal.
This antenna works best when it is mounted 30 feet above ground. The higher the antenna and the stronger the signal, the better the number of channels and reception quality. Retuning after antenna placement is easy, taking up to 5 minutes.
#6 HDTV Antenna, 2020 Newest Indoor Digital TV Antenna – Best Budget/Easy SetupNewest Indoor Digital TV Antenna” description=” template=”horizontal” tracking_id=”television-antennas-20″] WHY WE LIKE IT: This indoor antenna offers a little bit of everything, leading off with a 130-mile range, ultra-thin profile, and a signal optimizer which helps prevent signal interference and provide clearer reception.s. It is a solid choice for families living in remote areas, far from broadcast towers with nearby obstructions that prevent clear signal reception.
This TV antenna offers different mounting options with its slim profile, easily placed behind your TV, on a flat surface, or against the window. A second-longest 17-foot long coaxial cable also empowers users to find the best reception spot.
An included signal switch also allows users to discover more channel by turning on a yellow light. Setup takes less than a minute , with a quick connect of the coaxial cable to your HDTV’s CABLE ANT IN input and numerous mounting options, including flat on a surface, on a table, or against the wall.
#7 Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna Long 120 Miles Range – Great for Small ApartmentsWHY WE LIKE IT: This antenna is a jack of all trades, master of none, offering a budget option with 120 miles of range, 18-inch coaxial cable, compact size,and a signal booster. This amplifies signal reception for a cleaner picture and allows for several mounting within the home, making it an excellent pick for smaller apartments.
This antenna comes with CleakPeak filter technology to prevent FM interference for improved reception, picking up more channels including difficult-to-reach lower frequency channels.
Installing this antenna takes less than 3 minutes with a quick connect to your coaxial cable port and TV setting to aNtenna mode for a scan taking no more than 5 minutes. It includes a detachable antenna amplifier, which is suited for homes 20-30 miles farther away from broadcast towers.
How We Decided
Cutting the cable TV cord for a TV antenna can result in hundreds of dollars saved each year on cable bills.
In determining which TV antenna to buy, you should consider your distance to the nearest broadcast tower, nearby obstruction, indoor vs. outdoor replacement, assembly, ease of use, and mounting options. Our evaluation criteria looked into <80-mile range for indoor antennas, 100+ mile range for outdoor antennas, and mounting flexibility using longer coaxial cords, a thin-profile design for indoor antennas, and built-in rotors that rotate outdoor antennas to adjust the signal. This also prevents users from having to climb for manual adjustments.
Our evaluation also prioritizes outdoor TV antennas that are easy to assemble including mounting poles and fold-out construction and snap-lock features. Additional features, such as signal boosters and filters eliminating FM interference also contribute to improved reception and picture quality, a bonus in remote areas with obstructive topography.
Product Category Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Signal Strength
It is simple. The greater the signal strength, the more available channels. Note, this could be impeded by several factors, such as topography and distance to transmitters, so it is important to purchase antennas that receive signals in multiple directions as opposed to directional. All antennas on our list are multi-directional.
- Signal Amplifiers
Signal amplifiers are useful in remote areas with obstructive topography to provide better TV reception and picture quality.
- Antenna Types
There are 2 antenna types – indoor and outdoor antennas. Indoor antennas usually carry a 30 to 80-mile range, best for urban areas with several broadcast towers. Outdoor antennas with longer 150-mile ranges are best suited for remote areas far from broadcast towers, with the added bonus of including wireless-remote, built-in rotors which rotates the antenna to adjust the signal.
- Set Up and Install
Setting up a TV antenna should take no more than 10 minutes for indoor antennas and 20 minutes for outdoor antennas, including the time needed to access a roof or attic.
The best TV antennas feature an ultra-thin profile for indoor antennas and built-in rotors to rotate outdoor antennas, which helps capture the best signal. Ultra-thin indoor antennas allow for greater mounting options against a window, flat surface, or on a table. Outdoor antennas should also prioritize a fold-out construction with snap locking ability to quickly set it into place on a roof or attic, a godsend versus cheaper units taking upwards of 20 minutes to assemble.
- How do I know which broadcast television signals are available in my region?
Visit http://www.tvfool.com/ and type in your address and antenna’s height in feet above ground level to find all the local channels in your area. They are rated based on signal power.
- What is the difference between UHF and VHF?
UHF and VHF antenna signals are sent out from your television broadcast towers. Low band VHF frequencies use channels 2-6, high band VHF frequencies use channels 7-13 and UF uses channels 14 to 69.
- What is the monthly cost of antenna TVs?
Antenna TVs have no monthly cost. The only cost associated with antenna TVs is the upfront cost of purchasing the antenna and optional professional installation. Note, the Winegard can be paired with a Roku or Fire TV stick for greater content choices, optional subscription services paid separately that are not included in the cost of the antenna.