How We Test TV Antennas
All of the TV antennas we review are tested in the same location in New York City, an apartment that receives dozens of channels from a variety of broadcasters. Each antenna is connected to a Samsung 4K TV, so the TV tuner remains consistent, and each one is placed in the same position to generate comparable results.
With more than 100 over-the-air channels available in Manhattan, it provides an excellent testing location for antenna reception of any range, with more sensitive, long-range antennas pulling in a higher number of channels. It also gives us a chance to determine the quality of that reception, by seeing whether or not those channels are clear and watchable. The best antennas will pull in more channels, with a higher number of watchable results.
Your experience may differ from our test results. Depending upon how many stations broadcast in you area, and unique geographical impediments to over the air signal such as buildings, trees and mountains your own channel selection will vary considerably.
Check out some of the best accessories for your TV:
What Are The Best TV Antennas
Our pick of the best TV antennas, based on our testing, is the Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro. It combines that basic flat mudflap design with an extra-wide profile and a built-in amplifier to boost the number of watchable channels. An integrated signal strength meter even helps you find the spot for the best reception.
However, for the very best reception you can get, you’ll want to upgrade to an outdoor antenna, and our favorite is the Winegard Elite 7550 Outdoor HDTV Antenna. With a 70-mile range, it’s perfect for pulling in channels that are harder to get with smaller indoor antennas.
Our budget pick is the 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna. At just $12, it’s a great option for folks who don’t need a lot of range and the low price is great.
Best Indoor And Outdoor TV Antennas For 2022
Watch almost anything you want
Whether youre subscribing to streaming services or looking for ways to watch events like the Oscars without cable, you should consider getting a TV antenna. Yes, HD TV antennas are a thing, and they can save you a lot of money over time.
Antennas are relatively inexpensive, and as long as you live in an area with great TV signals, you can watch your favorite shows and events. In this article, well show you the best HD TV antennas you can buy for any budget. Get one for your smart TV and watch almost anything you want.
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Our Best TV Antenna Advice
Getting an antenna is the first step toward cutting the cord or pulling in free local channels. You don’t need to spend a lot of money the best cheap TV antennas do a great job, and even a $12 set of bunny ears might do the trick and you don’t even need a TV.
But simply having an antenna won’t automatically solve all of your over-the-air TV woes. Better antennas and optional amplifiers will go a long way toward bringing in more channels, but that’s only part of the equation.
We recommend researching beforehand to determine what range of antenna you need, and whether you want an indoor model or an antenna made for outdoor installation. The best place to start is AntennaWeb.org, which lets you enter your address or ZIP code and see what stations are broadcasting in your area, as well as how far away the broadcast towers are.
Worried about future proofing for ATSC 3.0 as it rolls out to new cities? The good news is that your existing antenna will work, and may even pull in more channels under the new standard. The bad news is that you’ll need to buy a new tuner or an ATSC 3.0-equipped TV, and these are only now coming to market.
And check out our other advice for TV antennas to help you get yourself properly equipped and set up for the best reception:
Winegard Flatwave Amped Fl5500a Indoor TV Antenna
WHY WE LIKE IT: This indoor amplified TV antenna comes with a generous 50-mile range and built-in USB socket, an excellent choice for people who would prefer to do away with AC adapters for easier connectivity.
- Larger than the average surface
- Picks up a fewer number of channels compared to other comparatively priced units
This Winegard indoor TV antenna performs well in most areas. It uses Clear Circuit Technology and a low noise amplifier to produce a 1.0 dB noise figure, good for strong signals, especially in urban areas closer to broadcast towers. Kudos for an extra-long 18-foot coaxial cable, which allows for easy mounting in apartments where windows are further away from the television.
Installing this best indoor TV antenna for rural areas is a breeze. It only needs direct coaxial cable and USB connections before performing a quick scan of available channels using your televisions Scan mode. Its biggest draw is a USB-based power adapter, which connects the television to the television to do away with bulkier AC adapters. Its got many features of the best omnidirectional TV antenna on the market.
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Buying Guide For Best Indoor Antennas
These days there are a number of options available for those interested in ditching pricey cable bills, and one of the best is an indoor antenna. Inexpensive and easy to install, an indoor antenna is a great way to pull in digital-quality over-the-air stations such as ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and many more, while eliminating costly monthly bills and long-term contracts. Indoor antennas give you budget-friendly access to news and entertainment and are an excellent complement to your favourite streaming apps.
This guide covers everything you need to know to select the right indoor antenna for your needs. In addition to signal range, how much you should expect to pay, and installation tips, we also examine various indoor antenna features such as amplifiers and cables and answer frequently asked questions like how the weather outside can affect your indoor antenna.
Best TV Antenna For 2022
Installing an over-the-air antenna is one of the easiest ways to get free TV. Here are our top recommendations for the best indoor models.
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Senior Editor / Reviews
Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.
Whether you get it from a live TV streaming service, a satellite dish or the cable company, subscription TV can be pretty pricey. If you’re in the market to save some cash each month, then it might be time to cut the cord and opt for a TV antenna instead. Yes, you heard it right, TV antennas do still exist, and if you’re located in an area with a decent signal, you can get free access to popular TV shows, specials and sports.
An over-the-air, or OTA, antenna is great for live events such as sports and the evening news. Depending on where you live and your signal reception capabilities, you can watch anything on NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS and some other channels like MyNetworkTV and The CW. While a roof-mounted television antenna or outdoor TV antenna would do the job, you can add an indoor antenna to your TV’s built-in tuner for as little as $20 shipped.
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Indoor Versus Outdoor TV Antennas:
Indoor Antennas are compactly designed and are designed to be mounted on your wall in close proximity to your television set. The are typically cheaper, however, reception can be difficult depending on your location.
Outdoor Antennas are often larger in size and are typically well suited for rooftop or side of house mounting. These antennas deliver high performance and whenever possible should be chosen over the indoor variety.
Directional Vs Multidirectional Antennas
Standard HD antenna models can also be called directional TV antennas, as they are contructed to receive signals from a single direction.
Specialized or multidirectional TV antennas, also called omnidirectional TV antennas, can receive digital TV signals from several sources and are designed to receive TV signals from potentially any direction.
In general, directional antennas have fewer options than the multi-directional variety of TV antenna as it is designed to receive signals from one direction. However, since it’s more refined toward a specific place, the directional antenna can increase a signal’s performance and reduce interference better than a multidirectional TV antenna.
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Best For Easy Placement: 1byone Amplified Digital Hdtv Antenna
If you want extended-range but dont have the extended funds to spring for a powerful antenna, 1byones latest amplified model might do the trick. With a considerably cheaper price tag, it offers over 50 miles of range, which is usually enough to pick up all the local stations with high definition clarity. This model adheres itself to a wall or window inside your home, and an included triple-shielded 16.5-foot coaxial cable makes for worry-free placement no matter where your TV is.
Overall, the value here is incredible. Like most newer antennas, the 1byone antenna parses signals across both UHF and VHF ranges and has all the hardware it needs to support forthcoming 4K broadcasts thanks to ATSC 3.0 compliance. The unit also supposedly has a premium amplifier, complete with noise-busting insulation and radio filters to keep smartphones and other competing wireless signals from knocking your picture out. Best of all, the company offers a generous 90-day return period and two years of warranty support, so youll have plenty of time to decide whether its right for you.
Lifewire / Jonno Hill
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor | Range: 25 Miles+ | Direction / Band: Multi-directional, FM,VHF,UHF
“The 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor Antenna offers the best value out of all the indoor antennas that we tested.” Jonno Hill, Product Tester
How Much Should I Spend On A TV Antenna For My Area
Ideally, a tv antenna for my area is going to live with you for years. Paying more for your product will reward you every time you fast open the lid with increased your speed, better quality accuracy and a sweet view. Again, the average cost of a new tv antenna for my area is between $$ and $$$. Sure, you get out on some luxury features.
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Best Outdoor TV Antennas For Rural Areas
But whats thebest outdoor TV antenna available at the moment? In fact, how does one evenchoose a TV antenna that would give them access to wonderful free TV channelsin rural areas? What else do we need to know? This article is our attempt atanswering them.
We have made alist of some of the best TV antennas for rural areas. The list has five topantennas available on the Amazon shelves.
Q: Is A Bigger Outdoor Antenna Better
A: When it comes to modern technology, we’ve often seen that bigger isn’t necessarily better. However, when working with outdoor tv antennas, bigger is actually better. However, much of this will depend on the design. Also, the higher you can get your antenna, the more gain you will get. Smaller antennas simply do not have the power to bring in channels with a weaker signal so choosing a bigger outdoor TV antenna is probably a wiser option.
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Buying Guide For Best Outdoor TV Antennas
Cable and satellite TV packages can be expensive, and if you dont watch TV that much, you may decide to look for a more affordable option. Well, how does free sound? An outdoor TV antenna gives you access to all of the over-the-air channels in your area so you can watch some of the most popular channels without paying a pound.
You cant just buy the first antenna you see, though. There are a number of factors to consider. First and foremost, you should consider what channels you hope to receive, and then use that information to determine the range, channel frequencies, and type of TV antenna you need.
How To Pick The Right TV Antenna For Your Needs
To find the right antenna for you, consider these criteria:
- Which channels are available where you live
- Choose which channels you want to watch
- Figure out which type of antenna you need
- Select the antenna
As a rule of thumb, indoor antennas are suitable for areas with strong or very strong signals, attic/outdoor antennas work in areas of medium signal strength, and larger outdoor antennas are best for areas surrounded by weak signals.
Point your browser to the website Rabbit Ears to find the broadcast channels available where you live. This service pairs the FCCs broadcast TV database with topographical maps to give you a detailed estimation of which signals will reach your house and how strong those signals will be.
Select the Signal Search Map and either zoom in on the map to your house or try entering the address in the search box. I have mixed results with the search box so zooming might be better. Once your house is in the center of the map, click the Move Pushpin to Center of Map View button beneath the map.
A screenshot of the Rabbit Ears website showing television reception in Portland, OR.
The table above above looks complicated, but its really not. The strongest signals are at the top and weakest at the bottom. Keep this page open in a separate browser tab as we move to the next step.
The list also includes the direction of the transmitter, which is important. Not all TV signals you want will necessarily come from the same place!
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Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro Review: Performance
According to Mohu, the Leaf Supreme Pro’s first-stage amplification is designed to reduce pixelation and picture distortion that often makes some marginal stations unwatchable. We found this was generally the case, clearing up some recalcitrant channels and making tuning in stations considerably less frustrating.
Using the amplifier, the Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro registered 42 channels in initial scans. That’s a better than average result the amplified RCA ANT3ME pulled in 33 watchable stations, for example but more impressive was the fact that all of those stations came in clearly. Usually a review of all the channels reveals several that are not actually viewable due to picture or sound breakups. Still, the Leaf Supreme Pro could not capture the challenging CBS affiliate at the bottom of the dial or the local Fox affiliate.
The amplifier also seemed to help. Consider that without the amplifier plugged in, only 36 channels were found in our tests. Most of what was missed were popular Spanish language stations near the top of the dial in New York City.
Compared to other flat antennas, the Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro performed well. The $89 Antop HD Smart Antenna SBS-301 is a smaller flat amplified antenna, but it only received 33 channels, for example, and this larger model did better than Mohu’s own less-expensive $65 Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna, which only pulled in 27 stations in our tests.
The Best TV Antennas Of 202: Tested And Rated
The best TV antennas let you watch local news and sports without paying for a cable subscription, or they can supplement services like Sling TV with content from stations like FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC and more.
If you’re a cord-cutter or a cord-never, that means you can keep the entertainment flowing without hurting your bank account.
So how do we know which ones are the best? Our TV antenna reviews combine careful testing and hands-on evaluation to find the best TV antennas available, from basic indoor antennas to amplified models and larger outdoor antennas.
We consider performance, the number of channels pulled in and whether those channels are watchable, plus the equipment thats included and the ease of setup and use. Looking for top tips on how to get the best reception whichever TV antenna you have? Keep reading to the bottom for our advice.
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Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro Review: Design
Black on one side and white on the other, the Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro is the largest indoor model the company currently sells.
As mentioned earlier, measuring 12 x 21.5 inches, it’s roughly double the breadth of other flat, plastic models. The company includes Velcro-style stick-ons and push pins for window or wall mounting.
It can’t be put in a table-top stand, but its coaxial cable is detachable, should you need to place it farther away from the set than the included 16-foot cable allows. The amplifier, built into the base of the attachment, shows signal strength via 4 LEDs.
Winegard Fl5500a Flatwave Amplified Digital Hd TV Antenna
Winegard FL5500A is a reliable indoor HDTV antenna that can pull many VHF/UHF, digital, and regular tv channels with clear image and sound. It has a 55-mile range, a golden standard for modern-day HDTV antennas. It may sound like its not a special antenna, but it deserves mention because it is reliable and consistent. One of the best features of this antenna is that it supports ATSC 3.0, the feature of the NextGen TV.
Its design doesnt stand out. It is simple, flat-paneled, and with a black and white side. It comes with a 15 ft long coaxial cable and a 3 ft USB power cable with a 110V adapter to help save energy. But if you live in a rural area, this antenna might not be powerful enough to pull in all the over-the-air channels you might want.
Price range: $42.50 $ 57.60
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