Last updated: September 10, 2020

How we pick our products

13Products analyzed

20Hours invested

6Studies researched

77Comments collected

TV antennas are useful devices that allow you to make substantial savings on your entertainment bill. They offer more channels, improve image definition, and increase quality and stability during live broadcasts. A TV antenna can be a real asset to you, especially in areas where the reception isn’t optimal.

Choosing wisely is the key to making a successful purchase, but finding the product that best suits your personal needs can be a real challenge. This is particularly true if you don’t know much about the product you want to buy. Besides, you need to know what to do to set up your new TV antenna. We have designed the following guide to help you answer any doubts you may have.

Key Facts

  • Doing some research is fundamental. Find out the distance between your home and the closest base station or repeater. That way, you can accurately assess the type of TV antenna you need to install. Since there are so many options out there, finding the right one can be difficult.
  • Consider the needs of the place where you plan on placing the antenna. Depending on this, as well as the type of antenna, you may require professional help for its installation. There are other factors to take into account, too. These include the receptive power (directivity) you need or the altitude and orientation of where you live.
  • Your intended use of the antenna is also an essential aspect. There is more to choosing a TV antenna than its appearance or ease of installation, so don’t neglect anything. Criteria such as gain and bandwidth are directly related to the quality and resistance of the device, for instance.

Our Selection: The Best TV Antennas on the U.S. Market

In the following section, you will discover our very own selection of the most popular TV antennas currently on the market. Consider your personal needs and choose your model accordingly. We have included a short description of the main features and functionalities of each product to help you make the right purchase.

Best Long-Range TV Antenna

This Amazon Best Seller by Vansky is an HD motorized outdoor TV antenna with a massive range of up to 150 miles. Designed to support 2 TVs at the same time, it comes with a wireless remote controller that allows you to orient the antenna to maximize its reception. You can assemble this weather-resistant device in a matter of minutes, so you’ll be enjoying HD channels in no time at all!

Best Digital TV Antenna

The Eclipse TV antenna by Antennas Direct is a popular model on the market, particularly standing out for its discreet structure and ability to blend in your home decor. In fact, you can paint its surface to match your walls. Built to grip to any smooth surface, this TV antenna has a range of 35 miles with a greater range of frequencies thanks to its patented loop design. What’s more, this product comes with a lifetime warranty.

Best Yagi TV Antenna

With thousands of positive reviews and high ratings, this Yagi satellite HD antenna by RCA is a high-quality outdoor model made right here in the USA. With a maximum range of 150 miles, this easy-to-install TV antenna can receive both UHF and VHF frequencies so that you can truly watch the best content available in your area. In fact, you can also place this Yagi model indoors.

Best Budget-Friendly TV Antenna

Here is another Amazon Best Seller, and its value for money certainly has a lot to do with it. As the most affordable product in our selection, this digital TV antenna can receive the best Full HD channels out there. Its range of 120 miles is incredible for this price, and you can place it virtually anywhere in your home. Save thousands in the long run with this bang-for-your-buck TV antenna!

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About TV Antennas

Features and functionalities are essential when making any purchasing decision, and having the right information allows us to decide efficiently on a practical and useful product. In the section below, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding TV antennas to help you clear any doubts you may have.

Grupo de amigos disfrutando de programa de TV

A TV antenna is a metal conductor capable of emitting or receiving electromagnetic waves at a specific frequency.
(Source: Dolgachov: 73727108/ 123rf.com)

What is a TV antenna exactly?

A TV antenna is a metal conductor capable of emitting or receiving electromagnetic waves at a specific frequency. These devices have made their way into our daily lives and become real allies, especially for those looking to eliminate the need for cumbersome cables. These electromagnetic waves represent the signal from radios and televisions.

These signals can be picked up in two different ways, which define the type of antenna. It is a transmitting antenna when sending, and a receiving antenna when it receives. The connection can either be established by direct transmission between a transmitting and receiving TV antenna, or the signal needs to travel to the ionosphere and be refracted back to Earth.

What are the different parts of a TV antenna?

An antenna is nothing more than a receiver or transmitter of signals. Knowing the four fundamental parts required to carry out its role can come in very handy. First of all, the dipole is the active element of the antenna’s reception, responsible for receiving the signal. You then have parasitic elements, one negative and one positive.

They are also referred to as reflectors and directors. Their role is to enhance (reflector) and retard (director) the signals to improve higher gain levels. Finally, the connection box is the place where the coaxial cable is connected and where you can find the circuit that will adapt the impedance to that required by the television.

Antena de tv instalada sobre techo

Choose the type of antenna that best suits your needs before installing one.
(Source: Klaus Hausmann: 1508868_1920/ Pixabay.com)

How many types of TV antennas are there?

We can identify four different types of antennas based on the way they operate. Your final decision will be influenced by the needs, type of signal, or space you have. You can find the main characteristics and features of each type in the list below. Pay close attention to these descriptions to prevent unpleasant surprises upon purchase:

Single dipole antennas: The first thing you should know about this type of TV antenna is that it emits two waves. These models tend to be the simpler ones on the market. They consist of a conductor held together with a coaxial cable that connects to the transmitter. This means that you really have to take the wavelength into account.

The conductor element must measure half the wavelength of the frequency you want to transmit. Single dipole antennas are often used for long-distance transmissions and FM signals. Their main advantage is that you can adjust them to various frequencies by way of a screw system.

Yagi antennas: This is the most common type for domestic use, so you have undoubtedly seen them before. They can easily receive TV channels and are frequently used for radio links. Their reflectors aim at the signal, which means that they offer great direction. This, in turn, increases the gain (signal magnitude).

Pareja disfrutando de televisión

An antenna is basically a signal receiver or transmitter.
(Source: Popov: 24123100/ 123rf.com)

Omnidirectional antennas: This type is mostly used for distant and bidirectional transmissions because it can pick up signals from different angles. There are two kinds of omnidirectional antennas. The antennas designed to resist humidity and bad weather in general are made of fiberglass. They provide excellent performance.

You can also find stainless steel models, whose main feature is that they emit the signal evenly. This makes them ideal antennas for large areas. That being said, the range of their receiver generally remains inferior to that of a directional antenna.

Parabolic antennas: This type of TV antenna is the best option for picking up satellite signals. They work with low-frequency links as well as long-distance connections. The dish with which they receive the signals is their most unique feature. It also reflects all the signals gathered, which accumulate in its center.

Another trait of this type of TV antenna is that it gathers all the signals at a specific point, giving excellent directionality to the signal. In addition, these devices are capable of providing a remarkable gain. While this certainly isn’t the most common option, this type of antenna can offer practical solutions.

Antena moderna

TV antennas create a radiated electromagnetic field that is transmitted in a specific direction; this is called polarization.
(Source: James Timothy Peters: 409209_1920/ Pixabay.com)

Are there differences between indoor and outdoor antennas?

You’ve now seen the types of antennas there are based on the way they work, but we can also classify them with their location and design. In the table below, we have listed the characteristics and factors you should consider before choosing a specific TV antenna for your home or office.

Indoor TV antenna Outdoor TV antenna Multielement TV antenna
Simple and affordable Exposed and elaborated installation Complex installation
Good reception Better reception Excellent reception
Ergonomic design Resistant and durable Signal manager
Portable Discrete design Automatic

Do smart TV antennas exist?

Technology is continuously evolving, and so are all the devices that are part of our daily lives. TV antennas are no different. Known as SAS (Smart Antenna Systems), these TV antennas reduce the limitations of standard signal transmission. Besides, they offer improvements in sharpness and minimize potential interference.

A smart antenna is basically a grouping of antennas that integrate technology designed to optimize communication patterns. This enhances the response during both transmission and reception. That being said, it isn’t the best option for everyone; these models require sophisticated algorithms and are often more expensive.

How can I install my TV antenna?

The first thing you have to do is determine which type of antenna best suits your needs. Start by choosing between low, medium, or high-frequency TV antennas. Remember that you need to set it up in a location pointing south and as interference-free as possible. Once you have selected the appropriate type of connector, you can continue with the installation.

Regardless of whether it is indoor or outdoor, your TV antenna should be attached to a base. While the complexity will vary from one model to the next, there are certain set parameters to follow. Place the dish or dipole in the direction with the best reception before connecting the transmitter to your television. Configure the device if necessary and check the channel availability.

Where should I place my TV antenna?

Several factors will affect the distribution, and therefore the reception, of your TV antenna. However, there are various practical steps you can implement to help you get the best results possible. Picking the right location is critical, which is why we have prepared the following guidelines:

  • Toward the base station: You can get the right information with specialized guides available online. Research the area where you live to find out the location of the nearest base station, which will give you the coordinates to aim your TV antenna for the most reliable signal possible. This might seem like a clumsy technique, but it is incredibly efficient.
  • Near the window: If you place your TV antenna in an open area, like a window, you may get better reception. Since the waves travel through space and can hit objects, it is evident that pointing it outwards will allow for better reception of the signals and reduced interference.
  • In the garden or on the terrace: As we briefly discussed earlier, you can find hybrid antennas that are designed for any surface and environment. This means that exposure to electromagnetic waves increases exponentially, in particular if your TV antenna is capable of receiving signals from various angles. An increase in exposure can lead to an improvement in sharpness while contributing to noise reduction.

Shopping Criteria

You certainly don’t want to make a purchase that you will regret within weeks. To prevent this from happening, you must familiarize yourself with the criteria that define the quality and efficiency of your TV antenna. In the following section, we have summarized the different aspects that you need to analyze in order to find the model that will best suit your needs.

Radiation Pattern

This aspect refers to the graphic representation of the radiation’s behavior. It is important to define this characteristic precisely because it influences how it receives or sends out electromagnetic waves. The antenna will be omnidirectional, directive, isotropic, or directional, depending on the shape of this radiation.

Sala de estar equipada con teatro en casa

The gain is defined as the power with which the antenna radiates over the same distance and at the same power density as an isotropic antenna.
(Source: Loewe Technologies: MOC4wqaasE8/ Unsplash.com)

Gain

This is another vital factor that you need to evaluate before buying your TV antenna. The gain can be defined as the power with which the antenna radiates at the same distance and power density as an isotropic antenna. It is assumed to be equal to the maximum radiation direction when the angular direction isn’t specified.

Polarization

TV antennas create a radiated electromagnetic field that is transmitted in a specific direction; this is what we call polarization. This polarity can be linear, circular, or elliptical. Linear polarization can work in both vertical and horizontal orientation. Circular and elliptical ones, on the other hand, are defined according to the rotational direction of the electromagnetic field.

Directivity

We often confuse this term with the term gain discussed above. The directivity of a TV antenna refers to the attribute that a signal receiver has to pick up electromagnetic waves in a specific direction. If there is no leakage or interference, the directivity and gain are equal and therefore offer optimal performance.

Pareja abrazada viendo tv

A smart antenna is a grouping of antennas that integrate technology designed to optimize communication patterns.
(Source: Worathat: 83163637/ 123rf.com)

Bandwidth

This criterion is connected to the number of frequencies the transmitter can work on. TV antennas operating in a broadband environment usually show a higher frequency. This directly affects other factors such as gain, polarization, or impedance, which are all enhanced in broadband antennas.

Summary

The TV antenna is an indispensable device in most American homes. The reception is irregular in many areas, which is then the antenna becomes our best ally. But choosing a quality product isn’t an easy decision, which is why you need to inform yourself about their different aspects.

Throughout our article, we have tried to give you the answers to any question that might arise during your purchase process. We hope that our recommendations will help you pick the right TV antenna for your home or office. Keep in mind the various shopping criteria we discussed in the final section when you’re making your choice.

If you found our guide on TV antennas helpful, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article on your social media!

(Source of featured image: Dimitris Vetsikas: 2206074_1920/ Pixabay.com)

Why you can trust me?

Jaiden Sattlemeyr Cameraman & Tech Nerd
After a lot of work and studying, Jaiden has achieved his dream of building his own home cinema. Through his profession as a cameraman, he knows his way around technology very well. Meanwhile he regularly gives advice to his friends and family and writes about his technical hobby.