Published March 28th 2019
Written By: Joseph Geizen (Electrician)
When you live in a rural area, TV reception can be tricky. There are even situations where local cable service providers won’t offer their services where you live, making it difficult for you to watch TV. This is where an outdoor TV antenna comes in, and that’s what will enable you to watch TV, without even paying for subscription services.
But before you get an outdoor TV antenna, you’ll want to take a look at your options. Do you get an outdoor one, or an indoor one? What are the important considerations that you should keep in mind? To help, we’ve got a list of some of the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas options on the market today. We’ll also talk about a few specifications and considerations that will make your buying decision easier.
Low on time? Heres a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!
#1. Tree New Bee Amplified
Best overall antenna for rural areas with 360 degree rotaton
#2. Channel master cm-4228hd
*Simplest to set up
A good alternative to our top pick with a simple installation
Excellent when you're surrounded by towers
The Best Overall Outdoor TV Antenna
The Tree New Bee amplified antenna is great for just about everyone.
This antenna by Tree New Bee is an interesting proposition. To begin with, it works with both UHF and VHF signals, and it also receives FM radio ones, too. The reception range is an excellent 150 miles, and it has high sensitivity.
The interesting thing about it is that even though it is a directional antenna and comes with all the benefits of one, it has a motor that allows the entire antenna to rotate 360 degrees. This way, you also get all the benefits of an omnidirectional antenna, without the downsides. The rotation is controlled with a remote, making things as simple as possible.
The antenna supports 720p, 1080i and 1080p signals, which is great. You can connect two TV sets to it, and there’s a built-in amplifier with super low noise. An excellent choice for the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas.
The best multidirectional option
The CM-4228HD is a great pick if you've got a few towers in a similar direction
Our runner-up comes from Channel Master, and is another great pick for people who have a broadcast tower nearby. It performs great, and has also been proven to last a good while as well.
This is a multidirectional antenna which receives signals from up to 180 degrees. There’s a 12dB gain on the antenna which results in up to 80 miles of range. It’s not as good as our top pick’s 150 miles, but if you have a broadcast tower nearby, that won’t be an issue.
Installation is simple, as it comes almost completely preassembled. This is another antenna that works with both VHF and UHF signals, and you’ll receive channels in uncompressed HD.
The most versatile option
The 1byone is simply perfect if you have multiple towers in your vicinity
Even though an omnidirectional antenna isn’t the best choice in all rural areas, it actually works really well if you have a few towers nearby but in different directions. This is a very compact design, one which isn’t impacted as much by things such as rain or thunderstorms. There’s also the anti-UV coating which adds some shielding and reduces interference.
Install it outdoors, and you’re getting 60 miles of range. That’s not really impressive, but as we said, if you’re surrounded by towers, it’s great. You’ll be able to get UHF and VHF channels, as well as FM radio ones, and reception is possible with up to full HD video quality.
A timeless design that works great, but only with UHF channels
The 8 Element Bowtie is one of the most popular outdoor TV antennas nowadays. If you come across a guide on making your own antenna, chances are this is the inspiration for the guide. It comes with a 70 mile range and really easy installation.
Even though the antenna works great and can receive full HD, 1080p signal, it only works with UHF channels. For some, this may actually be enough, but we would’ve liked to see VHF, and potentially FM radio support.
In terms of construction and durability, the Bowtie is a champ. It’s made to last, and the lifetime warranty on parts only confirms that. If you’re after the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas and want one made by a reputable manufacturer, this is a great option.
A very popular model with a great reputation
Another extremely popular option is RCA’s Yagi outdoor antenna. It’s a directional antenna that boasts over 70 miles of range, and has a really great reputation anywhere you look.
The antenna supports 1080i HDTV signals, and it has support for both UHF and VHF channels. The multi-element, cross-phase design gives you better reception, so you can have a better viewing experience.
In terms of build quality, the Yagi is excellent. It comes almost fully pre-assembled, and there’s a fold-out UHF reflector which easy-locks, as well as other elements that all snap-lock into place. Add to that the included mast, all the mounting hardware, and the transformer, and you’ll have the Yagi up and running in no time.
An attractive option with a signal that isn't impacted by the weather
Xtreme Signal’s HDB91X is a similar design to the RCA Yagi, making it a great alternative. The high-gain design allows the antenna to receive signals from over 70 miles away if you’re dealing with UHF signals, as well as from over 25 miles away if you have high band VHF signals.
It’s a completely weatherproof design which won’t be impacted as much from rain and thunderstorms, and you’ll still get the full range. It also has a 60 degree beam width, and you’re getting all the mounting hardware in the box.
An expensive antenna which performs excellent
Last but not least, we have a truly premium option by Winegard. It’s their HD8220U antenna from their Platinum series, a long range antenna which is 4K UHD ready. The range is over 65 miles, and you can receive both UHF and VHF signals. It’s also capable of ATSC 3.0, which will eventually add higher frame rates and 3D.
Make no mistake, this is a large antenna. However, it performs admirably, and is one of the best options if you want the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas that can receive a 4K signal – none of the other competitors on our list can do that.
Even though the price may be a bit too high for some, make no mistake that you’re getting a very durable and high quality product. If you can afford it, it is more than worth it.
You took a look at what the best antennas are, but you still don’t know which one you should pick for your needs. Some of them have a longer rhttps://www.seriftv.com/will-a-tv-antenna-work-in-rural-areas/tv antenna work in rural areasange, some of them don’t. Some have extra features, others cover just the basics. What should you buy? And will a tv antenna work in rural areas?
Many people may make the argument that an indoor TV antenna will do the job just fine. And that would only be true for one or two situations, but generally, an outdoor TV antenna is a much better choice.
To begin with, you have the interference issue. An indoor antenna needs the signal to pass through your walls. That does interfere with the signal, and may impact your viewing experience quite a bit. Then you have interference from other wireless devices – your router, for example, may interfere with the reception. Even though you may think that this won’t have that much of an impact, if the broadcasting tower is far from you, that little bit of interference may mean the difference between watching TV and not getting any signal. An outdoor antenna, on the other hand, is placed further away from other wireless devices, and doesn’t need to go through walls in order to get a signal.
Then, there’s the signal strength thing. With an indoor antenna, you’re often limited with size, and a smaller antenna can’t have the same strength as a larger one. Larger antennas aren’t limited, because they’re often out in the open. This means that you’ll have a much more powerful antenna, especially if it’s amplified. You’ll be able to get signal from much further away, which gives you more options in terms of which broadcasting tower you’re getting your signal from.
To conclude, an outdoor antenna will work much better. The only downside is the installation, which is trickier outside, but that’s a one time thing, and you can always hire a professional to do this for you.
This greatly depends on your specific location and use case scenario. A directional antenna should be pointed in the direction of the broadcast tower you’ll be relying on for your TV signal. You’ll be limited to that tower only, as well as maybe another tower or two that are in the same line of sight, provided they’re in range. However, a directional outdoor TV antenna generally has a better range, which may make a significand difference.
On the other hand, you have omnidirectional antennas. They have a 360 degree coverage, meaning that they’ll receive signals regardless of which side the broadcast tower is located on. Even though this makes them much more versatile, they’re often limited in terms of range.
At the end of the day, it’s no secret that omnidirectional antennas are much better suited for densely populated areas, such as cities, where you’ll be surrounded by broadcast towers. If you’re looking for the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas, though, you’re usually much better off with a directional antenna.
While we’re discussing this, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll want your directional antenna to point towards the right direction. For this, something like Antennas Direct’s transmitter locator service will show you where your nearest broadcast tower is, depending on your location. Just install the directional antenna so it points this way, and you should be good to go.
UHF and VHF are two terms that you’ll find with just about any antenna. These are used to explain the frequency of the antenna. VHF, or Very High Frequency, means the channel is transmitted on channels two to 13. UHF, or Ultra High Frequency, means that the channels are transmitted at channels 14 to 83.
Generally, today’s TV transmission is done in the UHF channel range. VHF is generally used for FM radio and similar applications. However, if you want to be sure, you’ll want to inquire about your specific local situation, so you’re sure you’re getting the right antenna.
One thing to note, however. Oftentimes, an antenna will advertise that it works with both UHF and VHF signals. This is certainly possible, and many antennas do this fairly well, but the optimal design for both types of frequencies is different.
VHF wavelengths are relatively long, and therefore a VHF antenna will require longer elements to work well. However, VHF frequencies are generally more efficient in inducing current, so they require fewer elements.
As a comparison, UHF wavelengths are usually much shorter, so the elements are shorter as well. On the other hand, they do require a lot more elements in order to provide a sufficient amount of signal amplification.
To sum things up, yes, an antenna that works with both types of signals is certainly something you can get. However, judging by the design, you can easily see which type will work better with it.
Arguably the most important parameter when it comes to buying an outdoor TV antenna is the gain, which somewhat directly translates into the range. Gain is basically the sensitivity of an antenna in a particular direction. An antenna with higher gain has a better ability to pick up weak signals.
Also, increasing an antenna’s gain makes the antenna more directive, and it requires that it is more accurately directed towards the broadcasting tower you’d be picking up the signal from. As a benefit, a higher gain will mean that less interference can affect the signal from other directions.
Obviously, this affects the antenna’s range. If you’re in a rural area, you’ll want to get an antenna that can pick signals up from the broadcast tower that you want to use, and that’s not always very near. Therefore, a longer range is usually beneficial.
Now, when it comes to range, you should know that you won’t always get the advertised range. It’s not just a case of manufacturers advertising a longer range than an antenna realistically has, but even something that has the slightest impact on the signal can generally reduce the range by quite a bit. Then there’s the case of weather – bad weather such as rain and thunderstorms can have a significant impact on the range of an antenna. Fortunately, there are manufacturers lately that have found ways to combat this, so many antennas actually work just as well even in bad weather.
If you know what an amplifier is, this should be clear. An amplifier will basically boost the strength of the antenna, impacting both the range at which it can receive signals, as well as the strength and quality of the signals it will receive. If you live in a rural area, It may be a good choice to get an antenna with an amplifier – they usually have a longer range and work much better. This is something you’ll definitely appreciate if you aren’t completely surrounded by broadcast towers.
With all that out of the way, we hope to have given you a few options as to what is the best outdoor TV antenna for rural areas. There truly are a lot of options, but we made sure to only include the best on our list – whichever one you get from the list, you can’t go wrong.
Also, our buying guide should answer any questions you may have about antennas and their specifications, and you should be well informed as to where your money should be spent.
Published March 28th 2019
Written By: Joseph Geizen (Electrician)
When you’re using a TV antenna, yet aren’t really satisfied with the quality of your experience, chances are you need an antenna amplifier. An amplifier will increase the strength of the signal, making things much better.
However, in your quest for the best TV antenna amplifier, there are a multitude of factors to consider. Do you need a preamplifier, or a distribution amplifier? How powerful should the amplifier be? Do you get an internal, or an external one?
To make things even more difficult, even if you do answer all of these questions, you’re left with a huge number of options that you’ll need to pick and choose from. Not all of them are made equal, and some may not make the difference you expect, thus making your investment less worthy than you might’ve thought.
Well, we’re here to help. For starters, we’ve got a couple of options that you’ll want to take a look at. They’re all great amplifiers from respectable manufacturers, and all of them will make quite the difference. However, they do have some differences, so you should choose one that works for you. Then, we have a buying guide, one that will explain some key features and differences, so you can make an informed buying decision. Without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at our options.
Before you choose an amplifier, you should consider some of the options. We've got 7 for you that have all performed admirably, and they're all great for some specific scenario.
Low on time? Heres a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!
Great all-round pick with a high gain and very low noise figure
#2. Winegard LNA-100
*Best for indoor antennas
If you're only using an indoors antenna, this is the best choice for you
*Best budget option
A great pick for the budget-oriented users
The best overall antenna amplifier
The 1byone HDTV antenna is perfect for just about anyone, with an excellent range and great bad weather performance.
Our top pick is a bit surprising, as it’s one of the cheaper options on our list, yet performs admirably. It’s made by ANTOP, and it comes with their Smartpass technology that lets you switch on the amplifier for better reception, or switch it off to avoid overloading your tuner. The clear circuit technology will reduce signal dropout and give you a longer range and cleaner picture. Note, however, that this amplifier only works with a non-amplified antenna.
To add to the features, there’s a built-in 4G LTE filter which blocks both 3G and 4G wireless signals. They’re known to interfere quite a bit with TV antennas, but you won’t have that problem here. It has a maximum gain of 16dB, which is plenty, and a noise figure of less than 2dB, which is excellent. It’s also compatible with both VHF and UHF antennas, so you won’t be missing out.
The amplifier comes with all the hardware and cables you’ll need to get it up and running, and it’s really simple to set up. Considering all the features you’re getting, and of course the price, this is one that’s very hard to beat.
The best indoor antenna amplifier
If you need an amplifier for your indoor antenna, the Winegard LNA-100 is hard to beat
Our runner up comes courtesy of Winegard, and it’s their LNA-100 TV antenna amplifier. It’s a great alternative to our top pick, and it’s made to enhance the signal of just about any non-amplified antenna. One thing to know, though, is that it is made for indoor antennas.
It has Winegard’s amplified clear circuit technology with an extremely low noise figure of around 1dB, which is miles ahead of most of the competition. The typical gain is also 20dB, which means that it can get signals that you could barely receive, and make them into a great viewing experience.
If you have a non-amplified indoor antenna, this is one of the best options. Even though it’s a bit pricier, it has good gain and an incredibly low noise figure, making it definitely worth its asking price.
The budget-oriented top pick
Even though the price differences aren't that big, the 1byone is definitely our budget winner
1byone is a very reputable player in the antenna game, and they also have some excellent amplifiers as well. This specific model is extremely easy to set up and allows you to significantly boost your antenna’s signal.
It has a 20dB gain, which is fairly high. This is why 1byone don’t recommend using the amplifier if you live close to a broadcast tower – it can easily overpower your tuner and cause damage. The downside to it, and the reason why its third on our list and not higher, is the fact that it comes with a noise figure of around 4dB. This is far from low, and may cause more interference than you’d like.
On the other hand, the clear circuit technology will give you more channels and a better range than you’d get with just your antenna, and you’re also getting a power saving USB power supply. All things considered, it’s a great option for the budget oriented users that want 10 to 15 miles of extra range and a few more channels.
The best distribution amplifier for people who have more than a single TV set
We’ll talk about distribution amplifiers in a bit, but the CM3414 is a great example. It has four output ports, with 7.5dB gain per output. If you live in a household with multiple TV sets, this can mean that you have a significant quality loss. The CM3414 can help with this. It won’t only counter the effects, but also make things even better.
It has a forward frequency range of -54 to 1002 MHz, and a return path frequency range of -5 to 42 MHz. You can use it in CATV, HDTV, off-air, analog and digital RF distribution, making it a fairly versatile option. If you’re in need of a distribution amplifiers, this is the one to get, and it doesn’t cost too much.
Ideal if you have plenty of 3G/4G/LTE interference
Many TV antennas suffer from a popular issue lately – mobile broadcast towers interfere with their 3G and LTE signals. The Channel Master LTE Filter is meant to combat this, especially when you have pixilation or channel loss.
This is a highly effective filter, especially for US users, where frequencies above UHF channel 51 are used for services other than TV broadcasting. Note that this won’t really amplify any of the signals you are receiving – you may still need a preamplifier or an amplifier for that. However, you can connect it between the antenna and the amplifier, and it will filter the problematic signals, making the amplifier more effective.
If you're on a really really tight budget and have two antennas and TV sets, this might be ideal for you
Antenna users on a budget will love this 2-pack from EEEKit, as you get two amplifiers for less than the price of one higher quality one. If you have multiple antennas and want to amp the signal on both, without spending a lot, this could be a good option.
The amplifiers have a very high gain of 25dB, but unfortunately, that also comes with a noise figure of around 4dB. This is less than impressive, but it will get the job done. They’re powered via USB, so they won’t take up outlets, and they’re pretty small. If you’re on a budget, they’re a great pick.
The PCT 1-Port amplifier is great if you want to reduce pixilation and snow, and doesn't cost too much
Last but not least, we have a somewhat expensive, yet very good amplifier – the PCT 1-port amplifier. It significantly reduces pixilation and snow when you’re watching a channel with a weak TV signal, and it’s compatible with just about any over-the-air antenna signal.
You’ll be getting 15dB of signal boost, which is plenty, but still not too much so it overpowers your tuner. One thing to note though – this isn’t compatible with satellite TV, and it will cause more harm than good if used with one.
If you’re using splitters or long cable runs, you’ll want to install the PCT before them, as this is what gets you the best results.
If you took a look at our options, you’re noticing that they vary greatly, and this may make choosing one a bit difficult. Let’s take a look at the key things to know, so you can choose the right amplifier for you.
This is the first question you’ll want to ask yourself. There are three types of amplifiers, and they’re all made for a different scenario. An amplifier generally amplifies the signal in general, but preamplifiers and distribution amplifiers are made for specific situations.
Preamplifiers are used to compensate for the loss of a signal due to a long cable run. These situations often happen in large houses, or areas where you have quite a lot of cable going from the antenna to the TV set. When you have a signal that is weak, a long cable can make watching TV impossible. If this is the type of issue you have, a preamplifier is the device you need. They’re commonly placed outdoors, right next to the antenna itself.
A distribution amplifier is used in a completely different scenario. When you’ve got multiple TVs or receivers that all get their signal from a single antenna, you’re losing quite a bit. For example, a two-way splitter results in a loss of around 4dB of signal, whereas a three or four-way splitter will result in losses of around 8dB. You’re in a hotel? An 8-way splitter loses around 14-15dB. A distribution amplifier will increase the signal to overcome any losses that may come out due to the use of splitters.
Even though the two types are distinctly different and choosing which one you need shouldn’t be difficult, there’s always the scenario where you actually need both. Imagine this – your antenna is on a 100-feet tall tower. You’re 30 feet away from the house, and you have four TVs inside your house that all need a signal from the antenna. Only if you get both will you be able to watch TV on all of them, without noticeable quality drops.
When you’re looking at amplifier specifications, you’ll come across a variety of numbers. Yet, none of them are as important as the gain. We already spoke about signal loss due to cable length or splitters, and you’ll want enough gain to compensate for that.
For example, if you have 100 feet of cable, with an RG6 cable, that’s more or less 8dB of loss. To compensate for that, you’ll want an amp that is at least 8dB, or stronger. They usually range from 12 to 30dB, so get what’s most appropriate for you.
One thing to know, though, is that a higher-gain amp isn’t always better. If you have a 15dB loss, and you use a 30dB amp, that can be counterproductive and can overdrive your tuner with too much signal. Your safest bet would be to get a rough estimate on your signal loss (or an exact number, which is even better), and get an amp that has 2-3dB more than that.
When you have a digital signal, the noise figure is just as important as the gain is. Whenever you add any kind of amplifier to a system, you’re introducing a certain amount of noise. The higher the noise figure is, the lower the tuners sensitivity to picking up the signal is. Therefore, you’ll want to get something with a low noise figure, for example 2dB. Something with a noise figure that’s 4-6dB is something you should definitely stay away from if possible.
With your antenna, it’s either receiving UHF or VHF signals, or both. When you’re buying the best TV antenna amplifier, you’ll want to match your antenna. For example, if your antenna receives both, you’ll want an amplifier that passes both as well. Using such an antenna with an amp that’s only UHF or only VHF will result in the other frequency being blocked. Most of the amplifiers on the market actually pass all frequencies, but make sure you read the specs well.
We spoke about gain, and how too much can actually overdrive your tuner. An amplifier with auto gain control will reduce the gain of a signal that is too strong. You have some amplifiers that have advanced auto gain control that amplifies weak signals as much as possible, yet limits the strong ones to prevent any potential damage. Also can be adapted to omnidirectional tv antennas.
At the end of the day, if you have weak signal, it is more than likely that you can solve it with an amplifier. We hope to have cleared all the terminology that you’ll come across when looking for the best TV antenna amplifier. All that’s left for you to do is to choose the one from our list that is most suitable for you, and set it up. Voila, no more weak signal issues! If your still not sold on these models check out a guide on how to make a amplifier.
Published March 28th 2019
Written By: Joseph Geizen (Electrician)
Buying a long range TV antenna may sound like a trivial task. However, there are a lot of factors to consider, some of which may make or break your TV viewing experience. Therefore, you’ll want to get the best long range TV antenna you can find, one that won’t make too many compromises and will work well no matter what.
The thing is, choosing which one to get isn’t all that easy. You’ve got plenty of factors to consider, and even when you think you’ve got the specifications figured out, you have a host of options to choose from, not all of which are good.
All of this can make an informed buying decision difficult to make. Fortunately, we’re here to help. To begin with, we’ll give you a short buying guide on all the factors that constitute the best long range TV antenna. We’ll discuss antenna types, gain and range, frequencies etc. Afterwards, we’ll talk about a few options that are all excellent in their own regard. Whichever one you choose, you won’t be making a mistake. You can find a more general guide to the best outdoor tv antenna here.
Without wasting any more time, let’s start things off with our options.
Low on time? Heres a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!
#1. Free Signal tv marathon
Excellent as an overall outdoor TV antenna with a lot going for it
#2. Xtreme signal hdb91x
A good alternative if you don't need too much range, but need durability
1plus hdtv antenna
A champ in terms of range
The Best Overall Long Range TV Antenna
The Free Signal TV Marathon antenna doesn't have the best range, but it's respectable and has a host of other features.
Even though the design is somewhat unconventional, the Free Signal TV Marathon may very well be the best long range TV antenna. Sure, there are others that offer more range, but they lack quite a bit in terms of other features.
To begin with, the promised range is 100 miles. The great thing is that you’ll actually achieve this promised range in good conditions. And even when the weather is subpar, you’ll find that there’s minimal quality loss. There is 40dB gain, and less than 3.5dB noise, which makes this one of the best long range options on the market today.
The built-in signal amplification allows it to receive 4K signals, and there’s an LTE filter that deals with all the noise from any LTE/4G towers nearby. It’s really easy to set up, and you can even connect multiple TV sets to it. All things considered, a great option!
The Most Durable Long Range TV antenna
Xtreme Signal's HDB91X is as durable as they come, and it still has a good range
Coming in at a range of only 70 miles, it’s obvious that the range of the HDB91X isn’t its strongest suite. However, it is still very respectable, and very much qualifies for a long range antenna. You’ll get those 70+ miles with UHF signals, and you’ll also get around 25 miles of range for high band VHF signals. This is a great combination, one that should cover most of the users out there.
The design and construction of the HDB91X make it weatherproof and very durable. There’s a strong back reflector which improves the overall signal quality by reducing the interference from the back. You’ll also get a built-in pigtail transformer which helps with the signal. With a maximum gain of 16dB, this is our runner up for the title of best long range TV antenna and can be great for rural areas aswell.
The Best Range On Our List
The 1Plus HDTV Antenna is the pick with the best range, but it doesn't perform as consistently as our top two.
Our third option is the one on our list that has the most range. It comes courtesy of 1Plus, and you can expect an impressive 150 miles of range for HD TV signals reception. It works with 720p, 1080i and 1080p, and you can receive both VHF signals at 40 to 300 MHz, as well as UHF signals at 470-890 MHz.
It is completely weather resistant, including the motorized part. Yes, there is a motorized part that allows it to rotate 360 degrees, and you control it with a remote. This means that even though this is a directional antenna, changing the direction, and therefore the broadcast tower you’re receiving from, is very easy.
The 8 Element Bowtie is a very popular option, and it does great as a long range antenna
The inspiration for many DIY guides on outdoor TV antennas, the Antennas Direct 8 Element Bowtie is an excellent long range option. With a 70 mile range, out of all options on our list, this is the antenna that is least susceptible to things such as rainy weather and thunderstorms.
The antenna allows for easy installation, and you get all-weather mounting hardware. You can receive channels in full HD, where available, and the beam angle is 24.5 degrees at 470 MHz, to 16.3 degrees at 698 MHz, which is the UHF range for this antenna.
If you need a durable option, you should definitely consider it – it does come with a lifetime warranty on parts, after all.
Another Antennas Direct option, this time for both indoor and outdoor use
While most of the best long range TV antenna options are meant to be used outdoors, the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4 can be used both indoors and outdoors. Like the 8 Element Bowtie, it also has a 70 mile range, but unlike it, this one is more susceptible to interference.
The multidirectional elements do allow you to receive a signal from more locations, though, and you can get 1080p TV where available. It’s also 4K ready, but there aren’t many channels that you can get in 4K. Also like the 8 Element Bowtie, the ClearStream 4 has lifetime warranty on the parts, so you can be sure that you’re getting a very durable antenna.
Somewhat shorter range compared to the competition, but the promised range is what you're really getting
Compared to the competition, which usually has at least 70 miles of range, the 1byone’s 50 miles may not seem like much. But the thing is, most of those 70 mile antennas won’t get 70 miles of range, which isn’t the case with the 1byone. Regardless of the weather and how bad it is, or other interference, you’re still getting 50 miles of range, much thanks to the built-in amplifier.
It has reception for UHF and VHF channels, as well as FM, and has 28dB of gain. There’s also a noise figure of less than 3dB, which is excellent. It’s powered via a USB power adapter, and if you care about your home’s outside looks, you’ll be happy to know that you can safely paint it without affecting reception or losing signal.
A very durable option with both UHF and VHF support
We’re wrapping up our list with another antenna by Xtreme Signal, this time their HDB8X-NI. It has a range of over 60 miles for UHF signals, and around 25 miles for high band VHF ones. Even though it’s a large antenna by design, it is one that’s very durable and weather resistant, and will last you for a good while.
An interesting addition is the fact that you can have each side aimed independently to pull broadcasts from two directions at once. If you wanted to add some versatility to the antenna, this is how you do it. All things considered, it’s a great option for people who have two broadcast towers nearby, in a different direction, and want to get the signals from both.
Best long range TV antenna 500 miles
When it comes to long range TV antennas for very long ranges, you will find that even the best long range TV antennas top out at around 150 miles. Chances are you won't find anything with a better range, and the 1Plus HDTV antenna we mentioned earlier, at position number 3, is our top pick here.
But, why can't you find something with a range longer than 150 miles? The thing is that you won't need anything more than that. Wherever you live, chances are there is a broadcast tower within 150 miles (often much closer). This basically negates the need for a longer range.
Now that we got the options out of the way, let’s take a look at how to choose the antenna, and what all those numbers, benefits and terms mean.
The first thing you’ll notice when shopping for the best long range TV antenna is the different antenna types. There are three main types – directional, multidirectional and omnidirectional. They’re all good in some specific situations, but which one you go for can depend on your exact requirements.
The first antenna type are directional antennas. They only see in one direction, so you’ll want it to point towards the broadcast tower you’ll be receiving your signal from. Something like OTA DTV’s service should allow you to get that right. Even though they require a bit of set up to get everything working well, directional antennas can receive signals from much further away, making them possibly the ideal choice for the best long range TV antenna. Thanks to them only seeing in one direction, they’re also fairly resistant to distortion and noise from other directions.
Next, we have multidirectional antennas. They have a wider range in terms of signal reception, which allows them to receive signals from multiple directions. Even though this can be useful in a populated area which has multiple broadcast towers, a multidirectional antenna will usually be susceptible to distortion and noise from those other directions as well. They’re not really great if you need something with a long range and minimal susceptibility to interference.
Last but not least, there are omnidirectional antennas – they have 360 degree coverage and can receive a signal from just about any direction. These are the best choice for densely populated areas, such as cities, where there are plenty of broadcast towers surrounding you, and they’re all nearby. However, when it comes to range, this is the weakest type of antenna you can get, so it’s not a good choice for the best long range TV antenna.
With a long range TV antenna, this is usually the most important factor you’ll want to consider. A few things to note here, though. First, not all antenna manufacturers advertise the real range. Some may add a mile or two to it, to make the antenna seem like a more attractive choice. The catch is that even if the antenna can achieve that range, chances are that you’ll only get that in absolutely perfect conditions – ideal weather, no interference, etc. Most of the users also need the antenna to work when conditions aren’t ideal, so take the advertised range with a grain of salt.
On the other hand, many manufacturers lately have seemed to figure out ways to reduce how much of an impact weather and other interference has on the range, especially when we’re talking about directional antennas. We’ll talk about the range later on, when we take a look at the options, but you’ll want the range to be your top priority when you’re choosing the best long range TV antenna.
When you’re looking at antennas, you should definitely consider the maximum video quality that the antenna can pick up. There are two main types. Generally, a good antenna will be able to easily pick up a Full HD signal at 1080p. Most TV sets are 1080p today as well, which means that you should be able to take advantage of your TV set’s full resolution.
However, if you have a more expensive TV set, it may be an ultra high definition panel, where the resolution is 4K. If you want to best take advantage of it, you should invest a bit more and get an antenna that can receive signals in 4K.
The decision is up to you, but you should be aware that antennas that receive 4K signals may cost quite a bit more than ones that don’t.
Whatever antenna you’re looking at, you’ll find it being advertised as either UHF or VHF, or both. These are terms that are used to explain what frequencies the antenna works at. VHF channels, which stands for Very High Frequency, are usually transmitted at channels 2 to 13. On the other hand, UHF, or Ultra High Frequency, transmits signals at channels 14 to 83. As a general rule, today’s TV transmission is done on the UHF channels, but you might want to inquire about your specific situation before you order.
Yes, you’ll come across antennas that are advertised as ones that work with both VHF and UHF. They do, it’s not a marketing thing, but the main design requirements for both types are somewhat different. According to the design of the antenna you’re looking at, you can recognize what type of signals it works better with.
For example, with VHF, the wavelengths are usually fairly long. Therefore, a VHF antenna requires longer elements in order to work at its best. On the other hand, those frequencies are more efficient when it comes to inducing current, therefore requiring less elements.
With UHF, on the other hand, you have shorter wavelengths, and therefore you need shorter elements. They require a lot more elements, though, making them a bit more complex.
The last thing you’ll want to consider when you’re shopping for the best long range TV antenna is whether the antenna has a built-in amplifier. With an outdoor TV antenna, an amplifier will usually boost the range by a significant amount, but you also get better reception at shorter ranges. To the end user, this translates into higher quality, and an overall better TV viewing experience. When it comes to longer ranges, you should get an amplified one if possible.
Finding the best long range TV antenna can be tricky, but we hope to have given you a few options, as well as an informative guide on how to choose the right one. Good luck with your shopping!
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.
Published March 28th 2019
Written By: Joseph Geizen (Electrician)
Regardless of whether you’re looking to supplement your TV subscriptions, or take advantage of live TV, an outdoor TV antenna can be perfect for you. It will give you a few more channels without the charges, or the trouble of subscribing to a plan.
Even signals that an antenna would pick up from far away can be 1080p quality, which makes it an excellent way of keeping to a budget or having a backup TV source when your other services are down.
Now, before you go out and buy, there are some things that you must know. There are a ton of options. To help you with these, we’ve assembled a list of outdoor TV antennas that we have tested and pitted against each other. Most are not the best at everything – instead you have leaders in their own respective categories, range, price, signal type. Let’s take a look at our top options according to reviewers best recommendations.
Low on time? Heres a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!
#1. 1byone hdtv
Excellent as an overall outdoor TV antenna, especially in foul weather
#2. 1byone amplified
A good alternative to the 1byone HDTV which supports both UHF and VHF
RCA Compact Yagi
A champ in terms of durability
The Best Overall Outdoor TV Antenna
The 1byone HDTV antenna is perfect for just about anyone, with an excellent range and great bad weather performance.
The 1byone is an impressive, high quality antenna with a lot of features to appeal to just about anyone. From the build quality, to the multi-element cross-phase build, it will withstand any tough conditions and perform admirably even in bad weather.
In any location we tested it, and no matter how much dirt we throw at it, the antenna just didn’t give up which is where it stood out to other reviews. It was the best performer in situations such as strong winds and heavy rains, and even in snow storms. Reviewers noted signals were picked up with ease and we got the high quality we expected.
The range of the 1byone is up to 150 miles. And we aren’t talking about the advertised range – we’re talking about the range you will actually get. This is not one of those promises that manufacturers don’t deliver on. Even when we had stations that were around 140 miles away, in ideal conditions, we could pick up their signal.
In poor conditions, the signal quality decreased, as we’d expect, but not by as much as we thought it would. One of the reasons may be the fact that the 1byone comes with a built-in amplifier, one which significantly increases both its range and the quality. Fortunately, that amplifier doesn’t create any noticeable noise, so you shouldn’t worry about it. You’ll be able to receive UHF signals, and it’s optimized for 1080p reception, to make sure you get high quality video.
All things considered, this is an excellent choice for the overall best outdoor TV antenna, especially if you want one that works great in foul weather.
The Most Versatile Outdoor TV antenna
The 1byone amplified mounted antenna is perfect for just anyone who needs good range and both UHF and VHF signals
Yes, we have another outdoor TV antenna by 1byone. This time it’s their amplified mounted TV antenna, which is another high quality outdoor product. As per reviewers it performed almost as well as the other one we spoke about in bad weather, but both of them are made for different things.
In terms of receptions, we also found that the other 1byone antenna we spoke about performs better in dense areas, such as downtown Chicago, and in tough natural conditions. However, for the few extra bucks you’ll spend on it, you’re getting both UHF and VHF high-definition reception. It’s optimized for 1080p, but can still receive standard definition signals.
The built-in amplifier helps quite a bit, yet makes little to no noise. It’s barely noticeable, and since it’ll be on your roof, you won’t hear it. The advertised 150 mile range is almost true, as we found the antenna working close to that. In good conditions, you can easily get 120 miles of range. In the city it still works great, and many of the received signals are in high quality. The tests we did were more or less in line with the other 1byone antenna, but the range and performance in bad weather was a bit better on the other one.
Setting it up is really easy and doesn’t require a lot of work. You’ll get a mounting pole, as well as a J-shape pole for installation, so you have everything you need. Even though it performed slightly worse than the other model by 1byone, if you want both UHF and VHF, it’s an excellent option. It’s durable, it’s high quality, and it still performs admirably as per reviews best in UHF.
The Most Durable Outdoor TV antenna
The RCA Compact Yagi Outdoor HDV antenna is built really well, making it a great choice for people who fear it may get damaged easily.
The RCA Compact Yagi is another durability champ. It’s built like a tank, and it withstood all kinds of weather in those two weeks we tested it. In ideal conditions, it easily delivered on the promise of a 70-mile range, which is more than we can say for some of the other contenders. In wind and rain, there was some quality loss, but nothing too serious.
Our reviewers ran some of our tests in an area that is fairly hilly, which was no issue – we still had a clear, high quality image of signals that were 50 miles away. In a heavily obstructed area, such as downtown Chicago, it also performed great.
Surprisingly, most of the available signals were received in very high quality. The RCA Compact Yagi antenna can receive both VHF and UHF channels, so you’ll get all the channels that you’ve ever needed.
Another thing we have to discuss here is the simplicity of installation. The antenna basically comes pre-assembled, so setting it up is as easy as it gets. You also get an easy-lock fold-out UHF reflector, as well as a mast, all the mounting hardware you need, and a 75-ohm transformer.
If you’re looking for something that’s compact and works great, and is as simple to install as possible, this is what you’ll want to get.
Mediasonic's HW-560AN is a great choice for people who live in areas that don't have a lot of obstructions.
For those of you who want something that excels where there is little to no obstructions, you should give the MediaSonic HW-560AN a chance. It’s excellent when you live in the suburbs, or in a city which doesn’t have a lot of tall buildings.
The promised range is 60 miles. Even though less than the other antennas we spoke about earlier, it’s still more than enough for many users. We also found that in ideal conditions, you’ll get those 60 miles. However, if the weather isn’t ideal, you might suffer a performance hit. In terms of numbers, heavier winds and rain meant that the range drops to around 30 miles. This is half the range in ideal conditions, which isn’t really impressive.
When it comes to performance with obstructions, our reviewers noted the MediaSonic is quite honestly, average. Some of the signals were received with excellent quality, and others were merely average.
One thing that should be noted is that you won’t get an antenna pole with the MediaSonic. You’ll need to purchase one separately. However, once you do, setting it up is very easy, and you won’t have any trouble with it.
If you’re looking for a budget-oriented solution, live in an area without any obstructions, and don’t need a lot of range, it might be perfect for you.
To Check the Mediasonics latest price Click Here
The Antop Flat Panel TV antenna is a small, compact solution with great weather resistance and coatings.
The Antop is the first somewhat unconventional design. However, it looks more modern, it looks different, it’s a bit more compact and is certainly more visually appealing. The small, compact design allows it to perform very well when the conditions are less than ideal.
To add to that, it has an anti-UV coating which makes it even more reliable. The waterproof coating will make sure that snow and rain don’t damage it, and will shield the signal from interference. These are all things that you won’t find on most other antennas.
In terms of durability, all of the features we mentioned above make it one of the most durable antennas reviewed on the list. The compact, square, box-like design works well in this regard, and it manages to outperform its competition when we’re discussing durability.
Unlike some of the other products we discussed, the Antop doesn’t come with a built-in amplifier. That’s why it misses the top 3 positions on our list. Some of its power is therefore lost, but fortunately, there’s no hit on reliability. The range remains consistent throughout varying conditions and atmospheres.
If you were to use it in ideal conditions, the range of 115 miles is consistent and works great. If conditions are bad, or you have hilly terrain, or a heavily obstructed location, you’re only suffering a minor performance hit. We found the range can drop to about 95 miles, but that’s it.
If you want an overall very reliable antenna, regardless of the conditions, this may be perfect for you. It will also look different than everything else, and comes with a couple of features you don’t find with the competition.
If you disregard the name, the Pingbingding is a great all-round option with all the necessary features.
If you put the funny name aside, the Pingbingding Amplified TV antenna is an excellent all-round performer. To begin with, it has a promise of 150 miles of range.
Our reviewers found that in a hilly area, with ideal conditions, you’ll get around 110 miles. However, that range is very consistent, and considering the hills, fairly close to reality. Once the weather stops being so perfect, it becomes just average. The range can decrease a bit, to around 85 miles, but it stays there and the quality is still consistent.
The other benefit of the Pingbingding TV antenna is the installation. It comes with a mounting pole in the box, which allows you to raise the antenna, and significantly eases the process.
If you’re looking for an overall performer, but you don’t need it to excel at one specific thing, you’ll be more than happy with the Pingbingding. Decent range, decent performance, and a decent price, you get everything.
The ClearStream 2V HDTV Antenna is somewhat pricey, yet a really good performer in densely populated areas.
If you’re prepared to spend a bit more, the ClearStream 2V is an excellent option for you. It has an interesting design, somewhat different, yet performs really well in certain situations. If you’re living in a location that’s less than ideal, with a lot of obstructions, this might be the solution you’re looking for.
The antenna has a directional design. This allows it to not only receive the signal from the source it’s coming from, but also to receive signals that are rebounding off of the obstructions. If you live in a densely populated city, this results in a much better signal quality.
On the other hand, if you don’t have too many obstructions, and live in somewhat of a close range to the stations, you’ll get an advertised range of 60 miles, and get somewhere around 55. In ideal conditions, this is close to the promise, which is fairly good.
What’s surprising is that the antenna performs great in heavily obstructed areas, even though it has no amplifier. This is very likely thanks to the directional design, which means it does work really well.
One downside, and the reason why it is so low on our list, is the performance in bad weather. The range and quality significantly decrease – we’re talking bad picture and a range of 35 miles. Fortunately, this only happens in rural areas. We had no issues in downtown Chicago.
Overall, our reviewers note it’s not the best solution for someone who lives in a rural area. But if you live in a city with a lot of buildings and obstructions, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that’s better than the ClearStream 2V.
With the Antennas Direct High Gain Bowtie TV, you're definitely paying a bit more, but it is worth it for many.
Even though it’s priced a bit above the other options on our list, the Antennas Direct High Gain outdoor TV antenna will be more than worth it for most of you. For that extra price, you’re getting a lot of reliability and performance.
For starters, the promised range is around 60 miles, with claims that it could go as high as 70 miles. We found that in ideal conditions, the average range is around 55 miles for a HD signal, which is close enough to the advertised range.
In bad weather conditions, though, it does drop a bit. When you have rain or strong winds, you could be limited to around 40 miles, and you’ll also suffer a quality hit. This isn’t surprising, though, as the majority of the outdoor TV antennas do have this issue.
If you’re looking for a good performer but you don’t need insanely high range or a bulletproof construction, this option could very well be ideal. In city conditions, it works great, and the obstructions don’t really mess with it too much.
The Philex Amplified TV Antenna is a compact, circular device with 360 degrees of reception.
Another unique design, the Philex has a compact, circular design. This lets it get 360 degrees of reception, regardless of where its pointing. Given that many of the antennas we spoke about only pick up a signal from one specific location, this is very helpful. If you want to watch channels that are broadcast from different sides, the Philex allows you to do so.
In terms of design, it’s smaller and looks better than the “regular” outdoor TV antenna. The anti-UV coating protects it from bad weather, and allows it to perform better if that does happen. Installation is very easy, and you’ll get a 33 feet coaxial cable in the box, which lets you put it in a higher place so you can get a better reception.
The Philex also has a built-in amplifier which does do a lot to improve performance. Noise is imperceptible since the antenna is outside, and you’ll barely notice that it’s there. In terms of performance, you’ll notice it, since you have a promised range of 65 miles, with the realistic number being around 49 to 50 miles, depending on the conditions. However, the image quality is absolutely great.
One thing to note is that some signals can have a lower quality than others. This is simply due to the fact that you don’t have the exact same obstructions and conditions on all sides, and that is a factor.
On the other hand, if you’re living in the suburbs or a rural area, you’ll find that it works really well. Bad weather doesn’t really do much to hurt the signal or range, and you’ll get a lot of signals from it. This may very well be the best omnidirectional outdoor TV antenna on our list.
The GE-29884 Outdoor TV antenna is a great option which includes a weather resistant mounting bracket and signal enhancing reflectors
Another great option, we have the GE-29884. It comes with an interesting design that’s really simple to install, and a promise of a 70-mile range. You can set it up in a few different ways, whichever you find works best for you, and has a durable build that will last a good while, regardless of the conditions.
One thing that we have yet to see with any other product is the weather resistant mounting bracket. It is a part of what helps the antenna withstand bad weather conditions. It also adds to the reason why bad weather did absolutely nothing about the signal quality or the range.
To further improve the signal strength and deal with any dropouts, you have signal enhancing reflectors that do make a difference. We tested them, and they improve the overall range, as well as the reception quality, even though not by a huge margin.
In ideal conditions, the reception is actually fairly good. We received most of the signals we had available in our rural testing location. We had more or less the same results in a hilly location, but the antenna doesn’t perform as good in downtown Chicago. It’s not made for signal reception through a lot of obstructions.
So, if you need it for rural areas, or for a city that doesn’t have a lot of obstructions, the antenna actually performs really well. If, however, you want something for highly populated areas, you may want to look elsewhere.
A high-quality directional antenna, the ANTOP is compact, modern, and works very well
Last but not least, we have the ANTOP. It’s another very high quality directional antenna that is very much worth the higher price tag. It’s compact, it looks sleek and modern, and works very well. Setting it up is a breeze – just about anyone can do it, regardless of how “handy” you are. One of its best traits is that it doesn’t look like a typical device– many people can’t stand that look, and this one is great.
To begin with, the ANTOP does have a fairly strong amplifier. It’s not as quiet as some other ones, but it’s still fairly imperceptible since the deviceis outside. It does play a big role in the range and quality of the reception, and so does the anti-UV coating which helps in bad weather.
While we’re at it, the device performs great in bad weather. The promised range is around 65 miles, and we consistently got around 55 miles, which is good. If the weather is bad, the range did not decrease too much, which is a sign of a quality antenna.
This is another 360 degree device, which can receive signals from just about anywhere. This is very convenient. To add to the convenience, you can use the antenna with two different TVs without needing any kind of adapter. If you have more than one TV set at home, this will come in handy. Overall, a solid performer.
Our reviewers testing consisted of over 20 hours of testing from our professional reviewers (mainly Joe as our expert), for over 20 antennas. Each antenna was set up in two very different situations. One was in downtown Chicago, and the other was in a rural part of Illinois. They were set up as good as possible, and we made sure to test everything, from range and reception, do durability and signal quality.
We tested in various environments. Aside from what we mentioned, our reviewers also did tests in mountainous regions, flat plains, or very hilly areas. We wanted to be sure that we have just about every variable covered in our tests. The tests were also ran in ideal conditions, as well as in rain storms and strong winds.
The tests were run with and without amplifiers. We wanted to make sure that the promised ranges were something that the manufacturer can deliver on.
We found that downtown Chicago has a lot more channels and signals available than the rural area. This is simply due to the fact that you have a lot of stations and signals that are coming from all around. However, many actually came with very bad quality, which isn’t something to brag about. A lot of obstructions are present in such a situation, so it’s somewhat expected, but still.
Our testing told us that using an amplifier gives you more channels. You also get a bit more in terms of quality, because the signals are picked up much better. However, this isn’t always the case, because some stations simply send out low-quality signals. The results may vary greatly in your specific area, so take our measurements and results with a grain of salt.
Last but not least, a more powerful, longer antenna does make a difference. When compared to using a less powerful device, one that’s longer and has more power will give you more channels to choose from, and you’ll get them in higher quality.
If your already this far you dont really need to read about the benefits of a TV antenna but just in case you do we have a guide here.
Even though we did give you a few really great options, making an informed buying decision requires that you know what you need, and how you’ll use it. Therefore, we’ll talk about a few of the factors that may affect how usable an antenna is to you, personally.
The first thing you’ll want to know is the location. Whether you’re in a rural area, or a busy city will make quite a difference. You’ll also want to know what the weather is like, as well as be wary of your surroundings. Hills and buildings will mess with your signal quite a bit.
While we’re at the location, make sure you know what stations are available in your signal range – this should tell you what channels you can expect to see.
Next, you should know what you need it for. Different antennas will come with different features and strengths, and with that you’ll get a varying range as well. Some will work best at short ranges, while others go up to 150 miles. Make sure you know how you’ll use it – where you live and where the stations are will dictate the purpose.
If you’re in a suburban area, a mid-range receiver should do the trick. If you’re in an urban, city area, a short range device that doesn’t have an issue with obstructions will work best. There are some receivers that can pick up signals from any side, or 360 degrees omnidirectional antennas.
For cities and urban areas, these are great as you don’t have to choose which side you’ll be receiving the signal from.
As we just said, different locations will get different signals and channels. As you change your location, the towers and channels change as well. Before you get an antenna, make sure you know what channels you’ll be getting. You don’t want to pick one up and be disappointed because you didn’t get the channels you were hoping for.
This is another crucial factor. It’s not just the advertised range you should be aware of. You should have a good understanding of your surroundings and geography, as they’ll affect your antenna’s range. If you’re in a hilly area, that’s interference and will decrease your range. If, on the other hand, you live in a flat place or on top of a hill or mountain, this gives you better range.
While we’re at it, you should be able to receive the signals of the channels you want to watch at the best quality possible. There’s bound to be some quality loss, so you should make sure you grab as much of the signal as possible.
An amplifier is more or less standard with just about any decent outdoor TV antenna. It will make it easier to receive signals when you have a lot of interference, such as buildings or hills. However, even if you don’t have any obstructions, an amplifier can’t really hurt.
Where it really shines is when you have a long-range antenna. It will make things even better, especially if you have a new subdivision being built next to you. If you’re more than 20 miles away from the broadcasting station, it will make a difference. This applies to folks living in rural areas – if you are one, get an antenna with an amplifier. An amplifier will also strengthen the signal when the weather is bad, so that’s another benefit.
However, if you’re in ideal circumstances, close to multiple stations, and you know there won’t be any rain or wind storms, you may do without one. That’s the case with people who live in condensed areas, and don’t really need a too powerful antenna because the stations are close to them.
Quite a lot of factors can impact your range and the quality of your reception. Whether it’s the terrain, the weather, the atmosphere, or the antenna itself, you can get wildly varying results. There are also different locations that offer different TV stations, as well as different TV stations that vary with their quality. On both ends, there are a host of factors that must be ideal to get a perfect image.
To begin with, the TV towers that are available in your area will have the most impact. There are different towers in each area, and they emit different qualities. The common consensus is that the more towers you have in range, the better. It does depend on the signals that they give, but commonly, more towers give you more signals to receive.
How far you are from the towers is also crucial. This is why in some situations, a long range TV antenna is very important. The signal drops quite a bit as you get further. You could remedy this with an amplifier, but even an amplifier will only do so much.
Next, you have the terrain. It’s another big factor, because certain types of terrain, such as hills or forests, can act as big obstructions. Such terrain will impact both the range, and the quality of the signal you’re receiving.
The weather is another big factor. Strong winds, rain, snow and ice storms can have a huge negative impact on your reception. Such situations cause quite a bit of interference, and the only way of combating this is getting an antenna with an anti-UV coating, which isn’t all that impacted by the weather.
Last but not least, if you live in the city, this is another factor that impacts what signals you’ll get and how. Just like hilly terrain can be an issue, tall buildings and other obstructions commonly found in cities will also interfere. They’ll block the signal, making it harder to get to the antenna, thus dramatically reducing quality and range.
When you’re buying a antenna, you surely have some kind of expectations. If you don’t get what you expected, the reception strength, the direction, or the weather are only a few of the things that might be impacting this. Fortunately, there are a few things you could try.
The first and simplest one is to get an amplifier, if your device doesn’t have one. As we mentioned above, it will positively impact the signal reception, as well as the range. In the end, you’ll be getting signals from a bit further away, and the picture will be with a higher quality.
Next, you could try changing your coaxial cable. A longer cable improves the coil, which in turn improves the strength of the signal. If you can, try to make a semi-loose coil between your TV set and the antenna itself, you should see a notable improvement in quality.
Last but not least, you can play with your antenna’s positioning. Your Device should be pointing towards the stations you want to receive. Having it point towards a random location and hoping you’ll pick something up just won’t work. Putting it on a higher place also helps, as it will decrease the interference. If you aren’t satisfied, try one of these things, or you could try to reposition it altogether. Experimenting is a bit boring, but it’s the safest way of getting the best signal.
There’s one word that answers this – placement. An outdoor antenna doesn’t have to go through the walls that an indoor one does, which means less interference from the start. Furniture is another obstruction the outdoor TV antenna doesn’t have to deal with.
Then you have the fact that an outdoor antenna is placed on a roof – it’s higher, therefore it’s above most obstructions. Receiving signals without interference is much easier like this.
Last but not least, there’s the noise of the built-in amplifier. If its inside, you’ll hear it constantly and it will start to bother you eventually. Having it outside will make it imperceptible.
Absolutely not. However, different outdoor TV antennas have differing installation processes and designs. Most of them can be easily explained, but you’ll want to take a look at the included manual for step-by-step instructions on how to install the device yourself.
On the other hand, if you can’t install it yourself, or you just aren’t sure you want to try, there’s always the option to get a qualified professional to help you. Or, you could just read a good in-depth guide on installing outdoor tv antennas. Or you could always test your skills and make one!
Overall, the 1byone HDTV best outdoor TV antenna takes the win.
Even though it's somewhat expensive, and only receives UHF signals, it's still overall the top outdoor TV antenna.
It comes with excellent range that doesn't diminish completely in bad weather, as well as great build quality.
An outdoor TV antenna is an amazing way to save a few bucks. You may thing it’s a complicated thing, but it really isn’t. If you want to watch free TV, or just add a few channels to the ones you have at your disposal, you should definitely check out the antennas we mentioned above.