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!
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 top 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.
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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 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.