When it comes to TV antennas, there’s often a few dilemmas. Do you go for a cheaper one, with less range, or do you spend a bit more but get something that has quite a lot of range? Do you get an omnidirectional antenna that gets a lot of different signals at the cost of range, or do you get a directional one that has a lot of range but can only receive a signal from one tower?
The answers to all of these questions often depend on your specific situation, but there’s one thing that’s often more common than you’d think – the love for a long range TV antenna. It’s particularly a favorite of users who live in rural areas, where the broadcast towers are often far away and you do need the range.
But why so much love for that particular type of TV antenna? Well, there are a lot of benefits to it, and little to no downsides, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a long range TV antenna, and see why people favor it over the other types.
The first benefit is very obvious – it’s the range itself. There are a lot more users who live in rural areas than you’d think, and not all of them have a broadcast tower in their near vicinity. Some even live as much as 120 miles far from their nearest tower. In
these kinds of situations, unless you have a long range TV antenna, you’re practically getting no signal at all.
When it comes to long range TV antennas, there’s somewhat of a standard for the good ones, where the range is usually 150 miles. Take this with a grain of salt, though, as you’ll only get those 150 miles in absolutely perfect conditions with no interference at all. Since this is seldom the case, the more realistic number you can expect is usually around 110 to 130 miles, which is still outright impressive.
Let’s say you aren’t one of those users who lives 120 miles away from their nearest tower. Let’s say you’re receiving the signal from 60 miles away. If this is you, you might be thinking “I’ll save some money and get a 75 mile range antenna – it still has 15 miles to spare for bad weather and interference”, and to some extent, you’d be right.
However, what happens when there’s really bad weather, or there’s truly a lot of interference? You’ll be pushing your antenna to the limits, and chances are you’ll have a less than stellar TV watching experience. Enter the long range TV antenna. With a 150 mile range, even truly bad weather or plenty of interference can take out no
more than 50 miles of range from the maximum, which still leaves you with 100
miles. If your broadcast tower is 60 miles away from you, you’ll be receiving
the full signal quality with absolutely no losses. Wouldn’t you prefer this, to
having a wobbly connection that might drop any minute?
When you’re looking at the good, higher-end TV antennas, the price difference between a short-range antenna and a long-range TV antenna is often fairly small. With the benefits we just discussed above, it’s actually not a tough choice to make.
Even if you don’t really need the range, and the broadcast tower is close to you, you still get the peace of mind of knowing that even if the weather is disastrously bad, you won’t notice a difference when you’re watching TV. This makes the price difference very well worth it.
And even if you aren’t looking at the high-end models, you can still find good long range TV antennas that don’t cost too much. They may not have 150 miles of range – they’ll top out at 100, for example, and they may not have additional features such as a built-in amplifier or a motorized, rotating base. But they’ll still perform admirably
and you’ll get the benefits we just discussed.
While debating whether to get a short range or a long range TV antenna, there aren’t actually hundreds of benefits. There are two main ones, but both of them are a very compelling reason to spend the extra money. If you want your peace of mind, and think you may use the extra range once in a while, the benefits of a long range TV
antenna far outweigh the minimal price difference.
Joseph is an electrician with 10 years of experience he moonlights as a writer and works for Serif TV on some key articles.