Published April 15th 2019
Written By: Joseph Geizen (Electrician)
Choosing the right outdoor TV antenna does require that you keep a few things in mind. You’ll want to note things such as signal strength and maximum range, are you getting the channels you need, as well as anything else that may be an issue for your situation.
Potentially the largest issue with choosing an outdoor TV antenna is choosing one that won’t demand that you readjust it constantly to get a good signal. The ideal solution? An omnidirectional outdoor TV antenna.
Considering there’s a host of options in that category alone, we’ll try to help. We have a list of the best omnidirectional TV antenna options out there, and all of them are excellent in their own regard. Let’s take a look at what our options would be, and which one to choose.
Here are our three picks, for those of you who don't have a lot of time.
Great all-round pick with wireless remote and noise reduction
An excellent runner-up with built in noise reduction
Built like a tank and really simple to install
The best overall omnidirectional antenna
With great signal reception, range and build quality, as well as wireless control, this is the best overall omnidirectional TV antenna.
The ViewTV amplified TV antenna would be our top pick in this category. You’ll get a range of features and excellent quality, as well as a great long range signal from any tower in your vicinity. When you’re looking for free broadcast of HD signals, you have up to 150 miles of range with the ViewTV.
It supports 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolution, comes with a wireless remote to make using it easy, and is completely weatherproof. An interesting addition is the lightning-proofness of the antenna.
With the ViewTV antenna, you can use two TVs on the same line, and installation is extremely simple if you follow the instructions. For better range, you can mount it on a pole, and you can rotate it 360 degrees, as it is convenient for you. The automatic noise reduction is another interesting feature which results in a cleaner image.
The only potential downside to the ViewTV amplified antenna is that there are some (albeit not many) manufacturers that don’t include a power supply. Also, you may find that a mounting pole is not included either, but this is something you can easily find in a local hardware store.
A really close runner up
If you don't need a wireless remote, the Tree New Bee is just as good as our top pick.
Our runner up is a remarkable antenna. It’s really simple to install and set up, and it also includes a radio. The antenna comes with a host of features, but most importantly, it allows you to see quite a lot of channels in HD resolution. The range you can expect is 150 miles, which is excellent.
The built-in noise reduction is great, and there’s a button that lets you rotate the antenna 360 degrees. Regardless of where its pointing, you’ll have excellent signal and great range, and setting it up is as easy as it gets. You get a very simple instruction manual inside, making it impossible to get wrong.
When compared to our top pick, the ViewTV antenna, the only downside it has is the lack of a wireless remote. This is why it’s usually a bit cheaper. However, with the built-in button that lets you control the antenna, this isn’t that much of an issue, to be honest.
The durability champ
If you prefer excellent build quality, but don't mind a few miles less on the range, the BoostWaves may be right for you.
The last antenna on our list is the BoostWaves Outdoor Amplified TV antenna. It has a variety of features, and chances are it’s going to be perfectly suitable for you and your needs. You’re getting a waterproof antenna that is simple to install, and comes with everything you need included in the box.
To begin with, this is constantly and continuously reviewed as one of the highest quality omnidirectional antennas on the market, which speaks volumes. It supports a complete 360 degree range, and you’ll be able to get all the channels available in your vicinity. It comes with 50 feet of cable in the box, and the range you’re getting is up to 125 miles.
The manufacturer’s priority was obviously stability and build quality – the BoostWaves is built like a tank, and performs admirably. Since safety is another concern when installing an outdoor TV antenna, installation here is extremely simple. You’ll be getting all the pieces, ties and cable clicks that you need to install the antenna. Oh, and the antenna is completely weatherproof, so bad weather shouldn’t significantly impact your signal reception.
It’s no surprise why this antenna was rated so good in all of the reviews of it. It’s built really well, it’s durable, it’s simple to install, and it just works, and works very well. The only drawback it has compared to the other two antennas we have on our list today is the range. The others have a range of 150 miles, while this one only goes up to 125. However, 25 miles shouldn’t really be too much of an issue. Except if you have a broadcasting tower you need in those 25 miles, and chances of that are very slim.
Even though this may sound like a simple question, you would actually be surprised at how many people don’t really know the answer. According to Cisco’s definition, an antenna is actually a passive device which doesn’t add any power to the signal. It only redirects the energy it receives from the transmitter. That redirection can provide more energy in one direction, and less in all other directions.
If we were to translate this into outdoor TV antenna talk, you’ll realize that there isn’t a single best choice. Some will prefer an omnidirectional antenna, while others will stick to a regular one. Let’s take a look at the differences, so you have a better understanding of which one you should go for.
We’ll start things off with regular, directional antennas. They pull from 3 and 4G signals, and even though they’re very good performance, their angular reception field is not more than 45 to 90 degrees. Unless you rotate them completely, they won’t be able to receive signal from an antenna that’s, for example, behind them. On the other hand, the advantage they have is a longer range in the direction they’re facing compared to an omnidirectional antenna.
Directional antennas are best for users who live in rural areas. If you have a nearby city that has a lot of broadcast towers, you can have your antenna pointing towards the city, and you’ll receive a signal from all the towers in that direction. A glaring downside here is that a directional TV antenna requires to be set up properly – if you don’t do this, your signal reception won’t be as good as you expect it. Find a more detailed guide on why an omnidirectional tv antenna is better than a normal one here.
Omnidirectional antennas also pull from 3 and 4G signals, and have overall better performance than a directional antenna. You have a complete, 360 degree reception field, which allows for good reception from a variety of directions. This is a big advantage when it comes to installation as well, as you don’t have to bother too much with it pointing in the right direction – any direction is the right direction. This makes finding a signal much easier, and such antennas are often more cost effective.
These antennas are much better suited for people who live in urban areas, such as a city. You’re surrounded by broadcast towers, and being able to receive signals from all of them can be excellent. The range should have you covered well, even if you live in a large city, and these antennas often have all the features you may need. The fact that you’re receiving signals from more than a single tower translates into better image quality, which is always a benefit.
With all the options you have out there, it can easily get confusing. And even though we’ve narrowed things down to only three truly great options, you still may not know which one to get for your specific needs. Next, we’ll discuss a few of the specifications and features of omnidirectional TV antennas. This should give you a good understanding of what features you should look for, and where it’s really worth it to invest your money.
Before you make your choice, you’ll want to know what channels are available in the area you live in. While you may think this is difficult, it’s actually really simple. All you need is a service that allows you to input your address, then shows you what kind of channels you have available around you, as well as the location they’re coming from. Two excellent and very popular options are TV Fool and AntennaWeb.
We would suggest TV Fool, as it will give you a graph and a color-coded channel list which are very well organized. It will also tell you which ones are UHF and which ones are VHF, their distance, their signal strength, everything. This gives you an idea of which channels you’ll be able to see clearly, which will have noise, and which ones are just too far or too bad.
Once you have an idea of what channels are available, see where they are and what kind of antenna you need for them. For example, if you notice that your favorite channel transmits from more than 125 miles away, the BoostWaves antenna won’t give you enough range, so that’s out of the question.
This is the next decision you’ll need to make before you buy. Sure enough, you may think that “both” is the best option. However, most of the models out there that advertise both are usually good at one of them, but not both. The FCC does a great job at explaining the channels. Lower numbered channels, the ones between 1 and 13, are usually VHF. Higher numbered ones will be UHF. Even though most of the popular antennas receive both, they’re usually much better at receiving UHF channels.
Fortunately, most of the VHF channels you’ll run into are network affiliates. Regardless of your antenna, the fact that they broadcast very powerful signals means that you’ll be able to pick them up well, provided you’re close to the source. A rule of thumb is to choose a VHF-specific antenna if these are the channels you’ll want to see (TV Fool’s service tells you whether they’re VHF or UHF), and choose one that does both for everything else. If a company doesn’t specify what kind of channels it receives, it’s usually safe to assume it’s UHF.
An amplifier in the antenna is something that’s not that significant nowadays. Most of the antenna manufacturers will charge you a significant premium for an amplified model, but whether you’ll notice the advantage is a completely different thing.
Amplifiers should do two things. First, they should allow the antenna to pick up channels from further away. Second, they should allow for closer channels to have a cleaner signal and better image quality. However, from our testing, we found that an amplifier is usually not worth the price premium.
As we said above, an antenna is actually a passive device, so there’s no such thing as power in a conventional form. However, manufacturers still mention power in their spec sheets, and they’re actually referring to the antenna’s gain. The gain has a direct impact on the reception, so a “more powerful” antenna will often allow you to get better image quality, for example.
The range is the other big thing here. Sure, it matters much more if you only have a directional antenna, but it does have an impact with an omnidirectional as well. If you live in an area which doesn’t have broadcast towers around you in a close vicinity, you may want to get something that has a longer range. On the other hand, if you’re surrounded by towers, range isn’t all that important, and even the BoostWaves antenna will get the job done.
When discussing height, we should mention interference. Interference is basically the hindrance that makes it difficult for your antenna to receive signals. It’s a major issue in urban areas, thanks to all the high buildings that get in the way. You also have electronic interference, from the wireless devices and electrical equipment inside your home.
The antenna height can help with interference, as well as with the range. A higher antenna, or one that’s placed higher, allows you to overcome some types of interference. It’s not just the buildings – trees and hills can also impact the signals. Sure, a strong signal will get to your antenna, but a weaker signal is already struggling, and interference can make it worse.
With an omnidirectional TV antenna, you should try to get one that’s pole-mounted. This allows you to place it higher, and considering its outdoors, you won’t have electronical interference from the devices inside your home.
When you take everything into consideration, the ViewTV is the best omnidirectional TV antenna you can get.
It has all the features and specs you'll want, along with a great range and support for a host of resolutions.
The included wireless remote is a nice bonus, and you also get automatic noise reduction.
At the end of the day, once you consider the features and reviews of the best models, choosing an omnidirectional TV antenna for your use case should be a simple ordeal although there are many models like the lava. If you get one, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of signals coming in from different directions.
All that’s left for you is to take a look at our top three picks, and see which one works best for you. They’re all excellent, but come with slightly different features, so make sure you choose what works for your use case.
It doesn’t matter where you live or how often you watch TV, chances are you’re relying on some kind of subscription service for your TV needs. But even though many people think they’re “old and useless”, outdoor TV antennas can still do quite a bit. They’re actually a fairly useful thing nowadays, and for some people they may just be the ideal solution.
Before we start discussing why you may want one, let’s get one thing out of the way. An outdoor TV antenna isn’t for everyone. There are certain situation where it won’t do much, if anything at all, so make sure you’re one of those people who can actually make use of it. We’ll discuss this later, but we did feel like we should mention it.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at what outdoor TV antennas have to offer. We’ll talk a bit about how they work, and we’ll move on to the benefits of owning and using one. Without wasting any more time, let’s begin our benefits article.
An outdoor TV antenna, just like all other antenna types, is a transducer. It’s a device that takes electromagnetic waves and converts them into electricity, as well as vice versa. This is the reason why an antenna can be used both as a receiver, and as a transmitter. An outdoor TV antenna, though, usually only receives waves.
With a signal that’s emitted from a transmitter or a satellite, the signal’s waves will induce electrical current inside the antenna. That current is then converted into video and audio, depending on what the radio waves’ frequency is, and is displayed on your TV set.
An outdoor TV antenna can be used for more than one thing, but the main purpose is to receive TV signals, and that’s what we’ll focus on. You can have a service like TVFool tell you what signals you can receive, for example.
The main reason why you have a lot of people still using an outdoor TV antenna is to save some money. Satellite receivers cost quite a bit to install, and you also have subscription services that cost quite a lot in the long run. Many of us don’t really spend too much time in front of our TV, so paying that much for satellite TV or a subscription isn’t really worth it. Instead, with an outdoor TV antenna, you usually receive local channels for free.
Another big one is the fact that depending on where you live, you may actually receive a lot of channels. You may find yourself in an area that has a lot of broadcast towers around you. An omnidirectional antenna can receive signals from most, if not all of them, and you’ll be getting quite a lot of free TV.
The weather problem is another one you could potentially solve with an outdoor TV antenna. Anyone who’s ever used a satellite subscription knows that bad weather can make watching TV nearly impossible. However, if you have an outdoor TV antenna, that’s not as much of an issue. A good antenna won’t be affected by the weather, so you should be good to go. If you want to be sure, get a high-quality antenna.
Last but not least, we have the signal quality, which directly translates into image quality. Any signals that are locally transmitted are not compressed, which means that you’ll get an image quality that’s significantly better than the compressed signal you would be getting from your cable provider. High definition channels are where this difference is most obvious, and you will notice the difference immediately.
All things considered, there are quite a lot of benefits with an outdoor TV antenna. If you get a high-quality model, and place it carefully, you’ll be able to enjoy all of them.
You’ll find many people who will suggest that you could get an indoor TV antenna as a cheaper and simpler solution. However, there are a lot of compromises you’ll need to make with an indoor TV antenna, and most of them make it a bad choice.
For starters, an outdoor TV antenna has the placement advantage. With the fact that it’s outside, usually on a higher point, you don’t have a lot of interference. With an indoor antenna, you have walls, as well as other objects that will impact the signal – something you want to be avoiding.
Next, outdoor TV antennas operate at higher frequencies. At an identical range, this means a better signal quality, as well as a better image quality. Also, you’ll get a lot more range than an indoor antenna. If you live far away from a broadcast tower, you may find that you don’t get any kind of signal with an indoor antenna.
If we’re being honest, we must mention the advantage that an indoor antenna has – it’s much easier to install and set up. All you’ve got to do is plug in a couple of cables, and that’s about it. On the other hand, an outdoor antenna is straight up risky to set up, and you must be careful in order not to hurt yourself.
We were pretty upfront – they aren’t for everyone. If you’re spending a lot of time in front of the TV and watch movies and shows religiously, a subscription may be a better option, even if it costs you more.
On the other hand, if you don’t have good reception where you live, or if you don’t spend that much time in front of the TV, an outdoor TV antenna may be the right choice for you. Using one is simple enough, and the benefits are obvious. Just make sure it's grounded well, and you'll be safe and good to go.
You can find more great benefits article and recent articles by going to our homepage.
Even though there’s actually quite a lot of services that completely replace the way we watch TV, it’s no secret that TV reception is actually hit and miss lately. There are a lot of people who actually prefer watching TV in a traditional way, with an antenna there are a ton of benefits. But, getting a signal isn’t always easy, especially if you live somewhere where you have quite a bit of interference. You may think that an antenna or a satellite dish will help, and even though they might, the price of admission is quite high.
So, how do you solve this? What if we told you that you can actually make an antenna out of things you’re very likely to have in your household? To add to that, it won’t cost a lot, and it’s very far from being difficult.
Not a doit yourselfer? Well we also have a guide for you to purchase the best outdoor tv antenna. A Guide for installing an outdoor tv antenna.
Below, we at SerifTv have developed a guide that will show you how to make one. It is loosely based on the Antennas Direct DB4, which is discontinued, but was an antenna that had incredible reception. Now, before you begin, you’ll want to read through the entire guide. This will ensure you have the tools and materials at the ready, and you know what to do.
The first step is to see where you’ll be putting the antenna. Ideally, you want it on a rooftop. If you can’t do that, you may put it on a balcony, but try to have it as high as possible. Also, make sure you have access to the place where you’re putting it, as you’ll need to work there, too.
It may be smart to gather all the materials before you get started. The essentials are a piece of wood (3.5 feet long, 1” x 3”) as well as eight screws and washers, as well as eight coat hangers. Start with the screws, you’ll want two rows of four. Each row should be .75 inches from each side of the wood, one from the left, one from the right. The screws at the top should be 2 inches from the top, and the second, third and fourth in every respective row should be 5.25 inches apart from one another. Don’t screw them all the way in, though.
This is where the eight wire coat hangers come in. You’ll want to cut their tops off, and unfold them into what is basically a piece of wire. It will be around 14 inches long, and you should fold it in the middle, so you have a V-shaped piece of wire. Each arm will come out at roughly 7 inches long, and the tips should be 3 inches from one another.
The wire coat hangers should be attached to the screws. All you need to do is slide them down until you get to a point where the screw is basically resting at the base of the “V”. All of the hangers should be sticking out directly, and they must not be touching each other, as this can cause problems.
The next part is to grab two lengths of insulated copper wire. This is how you want to run it: the wire should cross over between the screws at the top, and the second topmost screws. Then, it should go back between the screws at the bottom, and the second bottom-most screws. Since the wire is insulated, make sure you strip the insulation where it touches the screws, and also strip a piece of insulation at the center of both wires, between the second and the third screw. At this point, you can go ahead and tighten the screws we said you shouldn’t tighten earlier. Make sure both the hangers and the wiring are kept firmly in place.
When you’re done attaching the hangers and wire on one of the sides, it’s time to go to the other side. Here, you’ll need a pair of 15” x 9” metal grill screens, along the length of the wood. Make sure the hangers don’t touch the grill screens.
Back to the first side of the wood. You’ll need to connect an ohm transformer to the stripped part of the wire, at the center. This is basically the last step of the way, and the only thing that’s left is to mount the antenna.
With a DIY antenna, you don’t actually have a mounting bracket to make things simple. You’ll need to find a way to attach it to the roof. If you have some kind of a pole on the roof, the simple method is to attach it to that. If not, you’ll need to find a way of securing it to the roof, and making sure it doesn’t fly off with the first wind.
Once you’ve found a way of securing it, you should have it point towards the broadcast tower you want to receive the signals from. A service such as TVFool will allow you to find the towers you have in range, and make things easier. Oh, and make sure you ground it.
When everything is set up and mounted, you need a coaxial cable that connects the ohm transformer on the antenna to your TV. Attach the TV end to the “Antenna in” jack, and voila, you’re good to go. You should be able to receive all the new signals that the tower you’re receiving from broadcasts.
If you aren’t really handy with tools and don’t have patience, you may be better off with buying one. However, if you prefer going the DIY route, the guide above should have you a fully functional outdoor TV antenna that works admirably. Good luck, and enjoy watching free TV!
Outdoor TV antennas can be very helpful. They give you a chance of getting a few (or more) free TV channels without making significant sacrifices in terms of image sharpness or clarity. And, even though today’s most commonly used TV services are easy to set up, an outdoor TV antenna does require a bit more than that. There are a few things that need to be done if you want to use an outdoor TV antenna, but they’re pretty simple. We at SerifTV have developed a guide to help you along in the process!
Want to make your own antenna instead? We have a do it yourself guide here.
To help you, we’ve made a guide that explains how to install an outdoor TV antenna. We did our best to keep things simple, so even if you aren’t tech savvy, you can get things done as quickly as possible. One thing to note, though, is that your specific antenna may come with its own set of instructions. If it does (and chances are it will), make sure you have them ready so you can set it up properly, even with our guide. Let’s not waste any more time, and see how to install an outdoor TV antenna.
If you are looking to buy the best outdoor tv antenna click here for a guide.
The first step towards getting those free TV signals is actually done from the comfort of your own home. Your antenna should be pointing towards a broadcast tower (or more) that’s nearby. This is how they work, you can’t just have it point in a random location and expect signals. If you have neighbors that have outdoor antennas, you could ask them where their antenna is pointing. This should tell you where you have an antenna.
Another option is to use a service like TVFool. These services allow you to enter your address, and they’ll tell you where the nearest broadcast tower is. This should give you a good idea on where you’ll want to point it, and with some fine tuning you’ll get it just right.
Oh, and also check out where you would put the antenna on your rooftop. Depending on how high it is, and how your rooftop is built, there are various options. Make sure you pick the one that works best for you and has the right benefits.
Outdoor antennas are commonly mounted on brackets. These brackets are best assembled when you’re indoors, so you only have to install them when you go out. We’re pretty positive that you got assembly instructions in the box, so make sure you follow them, as they vary from bracket to bracket.
Once you’ve got it assembled, you’ll want to grab the tools you’ll need for roof installation, and get to work. The bracket commonly screws in to stay secure. If you want to add some waterproofing as well, you should apply silicone caulk on the screws. This should keep water out of the way.
While most antennas come preassembled, there are some that will require assembly before you mount them. This is another thing that you could do indoors, and you’ll most likely have instructions with it as well. If you want your antenna to work as intended, do follow those instructions. As soon as you have it assembled, you can mount it on the bracket outside.
That mounting bracket has a sleeve that commonly has bolts on it. Those bolts should be loosened in order to slide the antenna in. The pole should get to the bottom of the sleeve for a secure installation. Once you’ve done this, just tighten the bolts to keep everything in place.
The next step is to loosen the bolts on the sleeve of the antenna. The whole antenna should slide over the pole, until you have the pole at the top of the sleeve. This is where you should rotate the antenna for it to face the location of the broadcast tower. A rule of thumb is not to tighten the screws completely until you’re sure you have it pointing in the right direction and you’re getting a strong signal.
It’s a bit too early to finalize everything, as the antenna will certainly require a bit of fine tuning before it works at its best. If you have someone with a few free minutes, now would be a good time to ask for their help. Grab a coaxial cable, and run it from your TV setup to the antenna. You should be adjusting the antenna on the roof, while the other person is in front of the TV, so they can tell you what position works best. When you have it figured out, tighten those bolts you left a bit loose.
Remove that temporary cable, and get the one you’ll actually be using. You’ll want to ground the antenna, as this is a crucial safety step. Use a grounding block that’s connected to your house or building’s ground, and make sure you’re abiding by your area’s electric guidelines and codes. Make sure you take your time to secure all the wires. This should be done carefully, so don’t rush it.
As you can see, installing an outdoor TV antenna isn’t all that difficult. There are some precautions you’ll need to take, and a few things you’ll want to be careful about, but aside from that, you should be able to set it up easily!