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outdoor antenna

How Far Can an Outdoor Antenna Reach

Updated On June 29, 2021

The reception of an outdoor antenna is essential for people living in remote areas. Not all antennas can provide the same range. Different designs must be considered, so we answer this question below.

If you're looking for the best outdoor TV antenna that is fit for rural areas, you may click here for the guide.
TV antenna

How Far Can an Outdoor Antenna Reach?

You can find commercial over-the-air TV antennas that have different ratings of distance on the market. Those antennas are indoor models with a range of 20 to 60 miles.

When it comes to outdoor models with the highest distance rating, some models offer more than 150 miles. Some real-world conditions must be incorporated into this rating. Thirty-five miles is the distance for ideal reception areas for television. This is the perfect distance for good reception with local transmission towers.

Good signal reception can be obtained on televisions up to about 70 miles away. From this distance onward, the earth's curvature will begin to be a problem for the signal. OTA reception starts to be affected due to the curvature of the earth and other intervening obstacles. (1)

Even if it is an extreme message-rated TV antenna, you will not get a good signal over 150 miles. These antennas can provide an acceptable level of signal up to 100 miles or less. Even for that, you need a professional installation, some ideal conditions, and luck.

How can I extend the range of my antenna?

Besides the range of each outdoor antenna, it is possible to take a few simple steps to optimize signal reception.
  • Test different locations: You can try various home points to install the antenna to get better reception.
  • Antenna orientation: The antenna should always be oriented towards the TV transmitting towers.
  • Antenna position: The antenna should be positioned horizontally as recommended by experts. This position allows avoiding some obstacles for the same reception of the TV signal.
  • To obtain a great height: As the antenna is installed at a greater height, the reception improves considerably.
  • Use the ideal cable: Having a robust and efficient cable can allow the signal to be stronger. Many people recommend using an RG6 coaxial cable. This will enable it to take care of the signal received by the antenna and that it arrives with a high efficiency until each television of the home. 

Here, you may check how many TVs can you hook up to an outdoor antenna.

Does Aluminum Foil Improve Radio Reception?

Aluminum foil, which is very common for any home, can optimize the front reception. It is not a 100% effective method, although it can help the range of each antenna. It can function as an excellent mirror on the radio wave frequency as this foil material is an excellent conductor. (2)

There may be a blockage that prevents the antenna but the transmitter. The aluminum foil reflects in the line of sight, allowing a result more in line with the expectations of each user. This same aluminum foil can block interference from other transmitters that do not interest the user. 

How to Choose the Proper Outdoor Antenna Range?

outdoor antenna range
The distance of a home from the local broadcast towers should be considered. Considering the actual space, some TV antenna options with higher mileage ratings should be chosen.

It is essential not to exceed the mileage rating of a TV antenna. This could lead to tuner saturation by sending too strong a signal to each TV set.

Final Words

There are outdoor antennas that can reach a great distance. These antennas are not superior to others, as each option is tailored to the specifications of a home. Knowing how the differences work allows a person to get the precise antenna for their home.
(1) OTA -
(2) Aluminum foil -

About the author 

John Temple