In the era of online streaming platforms and smart TVs, antennas may not sound like the best option to anybody. Regardless, antennas are still popular and widely used. An antenna may not provide all the channels or Stream-on-demand features, but for primary entertainment and news requirements, these are the perfect solution.
Antennas will provide you several channels from BBC, NBC, and more without the need of paying any extra money. One can purchase either an outdoor or an indoor antenna. However, people prefer outdoor antennas over indoor antennas for a number of factors, such as better signal reception due to their high altitude.
But picking the best outdoor antenna from hundreds of brands is overwhelming for some people, especially when buying it for the first time. Also, an extensive amount of information and suggestions available online makes it impossible to decide which information to rely on. Hence, we have compiled together only the necessary information so that you can enjoy free channels as soon as possible.
Why Should I Purchase An Outdoor Antenna?
Before getting into finding the best outdoor HD antenna, understand why you should buy it in the first place. When you know how buying an outdoor antenna will be beneficial for you, it would be easier to stay motivated even though the process of picking an antenna may not be easy.
The first and the foremost perk of using an outdoor antenna is that it is free. Using online streaming platforms or satellite tv may provide you with many features, but they also come with hefty monthly subscriptions. Most people now do not have much time to sit in front of the TV, and paying monthly subscription fees just to watch a few hours of news or your favorite one-hour long evening show doesn’t sound like a great deal.
Having an outdoor antenna will provide you quick access to a multitude of local channels. Depending on the distance and number of broadcasting towers, you can get a suitable antenna that can receive from most if not all broadcasting towers and hence, more channels.
During cloudy weather, watching TV with a satellite subscription is impossible. But this problem can be solved with an outdoor antenna. An antenna is not influenced by weather conditions so that the user can view channels without interruptions.
Last but not least, outdoor antennas are also superior to cable TV in terms of picture quality. No one can deny that while watching TV, the picture quality is the first thing we notice. Without good picture quality, the whole purpose of watching TV is ruined. Cable TV uses compressed signals that result in poor picture quality. On the contrary, antennas do not have this issue. Once you switch from cable to antenna, you will notice a remarkable improvement in picture quality.
The above reasons are enough to decide whether or not investing in an antenna is a good choice or not. If you have a significant number of broadcasting towers near your area, an antenna can be highly beneficial.
7 Best Outdoor HD Antenna Reviews
1. TV Antenna – RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD Antenna with Over 70 Mile Range – Attic or Roof Mount TV Antenna, Long Range Digital OTA Antenna for Clear Reception, 4K 1080P Silver – Best Yagi Antenna
This antenna from RCA is one of the best outdoor antennas available in the market. It is a compact, yagi-style outdoor or attic antenna. This antenna is designed to maximize signal reception while integrating seamlessly into any home environment.
Viewers can receive local high-definition television and both UHF and VHF signals. These antennas are built for the future, can receive 1080 broadcasts today, and as technology advances, they can also receive next-gen 4K and 8K broadcasts.
Why is it Unique?
Users can download the free RCA Signal Finder app, which acts as a digital compass and guides them to the highest definition channels and aligns the antenna perfectly. This antenna complies with all the Homeowners Association rules.
Most buyers are delighted with their purchases. They have liked the features offered by this outdoor antenna. The antenna can last for a long time as it is made using suitable quality materials. Plus, the antenna can be installed and used efficiently. Some people living away from the towers have received fewer channels.
Best Fit For
If you live in areas with harsh climatic conditions, this is a suitable outdoor antenna for you. The high-quality picture gives you a good viewing experience. The antenna is made using appropriate quality materials and can last for a long time.
2. Vansky Outdoor 150 Mile Motorized 360 Degree Rotation OTA Amplified HD TV Antenna for 2 TVs UHF/VHF/1080P Channels Wireless Remote Control – 32.8′ Coax Cable – Best Amplified Outdoor Antenna
This outdoor HD TV antenna is designed to receive digital TV UHF/VHF and FM signals while providing the viewers with a high-quality 1080 P HD picture. This TV antenna can receive a large number of channels, depending on the location.
These include NBC, ABC, PBS, THE CW, FOX, CBS, QUBO, UNIVISION, RTV, THIS TV, ION, ME TV, and the weather channel. Both standard definition and high definition channels can be accessed. This antenna comes with a control box with dual TV outputs.
Why is it Unique?
This antenna can sustain two TVs at the same time without using a splitter or an adapter. This antenna comes with a built-in motor that can turn the digital antenna in 360 degrees. This motor can rotate in both directions, thus avoiding tangles.
The features offered by this antenna have attracted a lot of customers. Most of the customers have liked the durability and the quality of the materials used to build the antenna. Some of the customers have complained that this antenna is not worth the money spent.
Best Fit For
If you are looking for an outdoor antenna made using quality materials and is durable, then this antenna is the perfect choice for you. The antenna can be installed quickly, making it an attractive buy.
3. GE Outdoor TV Antenna, Long Range Antenna, 4K 1080P VHF UHF Digital HDTV Antenna, J Mount Included, Also Indoor Attic Mountable, Weather Resistant, 29884 – Best Long Range Antenna
GE is one of the most popular and trusted brands offering good-quality accessories for television. This antenna allows you to watch your favorite HD channels like ABC, PBS, Fox, NBC, CBS, and many more without paying any additional fees. With this antenna, you can watch high-quality pictures along with high-quality audio.
The antenna comes with a J-shaped mounting bracket for easy installation of this antenna. If you want to improve the reception of signals in your area, you can use an amplifier. You can install this antenna on your attic as well as on the building top. A manual is available with this antenna, and it will help you with the installation.
Why is it Unique?
This antenna from GE can receive signals up to 70 miles from broadcast towers. With this antenna, you can watch shows in 4K and 1080p quality. The antenna can receive high-quality signals of both VHF and UHF frequencies. This antenna ensures that there is no breaking of signals.
Most buyers have given good reviews about this outdoor antenna. Plus, the antenna is durable, making it an attractive buy for customers. Some buyers have complained about the quality of the material used.
Best Fit For
If you live in places with extreme climatic conditions, this antenna is the perfect accessory to your television set. This antenna provides high-quality pictures, thereby giving you a good viewing experience.
4. ViewTV Outdoor Antenna Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna Motorized 360 Degree Rotation Wireless Remote 1080p 4K Ready up to 150 Miles Range with 40 ft coax Cable, Mini Indoor TV Antenna – Best Choice
This antenna supports most of the HDTV signal formats like 1080i, 720p,1080p and can receive signals from as far as 150 miles. This antenna can pick up all local broadcasts from many networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, and more. Viewers can enjoy unlimited access to a 4K 1080 P HDTV with high-quality pictures and sound.
This antenna comes in a complete package of a ViewTV outdoor TV antenna along with one wireless remote, a 40 feet coax cable, one power supply adapter, and a mounting pole, and one mini antenna, absolutely free. This antenna can be easily assembled with its snap-on feature.
Why is it Unique?
This outdoor TV antenna can support 2 TVs simultaneously without a splitter, special adapter, or another HDTV antenna. The antenna is made using long-lasting plastic and anodized aluminum. It is resistant to corrosion and can withstand poor climatic conditions.
Most buyers have given positive reviews and ratings about this outdoor antenna from ViewTv. They have recommended this product to their friends and relatives as well. In addition, the antenna can withstand harsh climatic conditions.
Best Fit For
This outdoor antenna is a perfect choice for people living in areas with extreme climatic conditions. The antenna can be installed and used efficiently, making it an attractive buy. Most customers have recommended this antenna to others.
5. WillBrands HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna 4K/1080p High Reception-40FT RG6 Coaxial Cable-150 Miles Range-360 Degree Rotation Wireless Remote-Snap-On Installation Support 2 TVs – Best Picture Quality
The Willbrands HDTV antenna is designed to receive digital TV, UHF, and VHF signals while providing high-quality HDTV pictures. This HDTV antenna is UV protected and can even work during snow and rain. It works well even when it is placed indoors. The antenna weighs 4.6 pounds. This antenna has a noise figure of less than 2.5 dB.
The package contains one outdoor antenna with a built-in amplifier, a remote control, one power supply, one RJ6 Coaxial cable, a UL adapter, and one motor. This RJ 6 cable can be used for heavy-duty and is made with three-layer shielding, ensuring efficient performance and allowing the viewers to enjoy a crisp signal without electromagnetic and radio frequency interferences.
Why is it Unique?
This outdoor TV antenna works at 40 – 300MHz for VHF frequency and 470 – 890 MHz for UHF frequencies. The antenna works at temperatures of -ve 10 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius. It comes with a motor base that rotates at an angle of 360 degrees.
The features offered by this outdoor antenna have impressed a lot of buyers. The majority of the buyers have given positive ratings about this product while some customers have complained about the electric box not being waterproof.
Best Fit For
If you are looking for an efficient outdoor antenna available at a reasonable price, this is the ideal choice for your house. You can install this antenna both outdoors and indoors.
6. Digital Outdoor Amplified HD tv Antenna 150 Miles Range, Support 4K 1080p and 2 TVs with 33 ft Coax Cable, Adapter, Mounting Pole – Best Overall
If you live in a suburban or a rural area, this might be the best outdoor HD antenna you can purchase. It can support two televisions simultaneously and does not require any splitter. You can easily install it on the roof or in the attic of your house. This antenna can quickly receive signals from 150 miles away. It gives full HD support and provides a good TV watching experience.
Why is it Unique?
This antenna is relatively easy to operate and install. All required to install this antenna is a coaxial cable, which you need to connect with your TV. It comes with an amplifier that does cancel out all the noise. You can easily enjoy a high-quality image quality with this antenna.
This antenna has many satisfied customers around the globe. It provides a good picture quality and is easy to assemble as well. You can easily mount this antenna on the roof of your house. The remote control of this antenna also works perfectly and is considered the ideal choice for many people.
Best Fit For
If you are looking for an antenna that does not require much effort to install, you can go for this one without any doubts. Moreover, the remote control of this antenna works quite efficiently. It can also catch signals from a reasonable distance.
7. Outdoor Antenna Amplified Digital HDTV Antenna 150 Miles Range 360 Degree Rotation- Support UHF/VHF 4K 1080P with Mounting Pole & 33 Ft RG6 Coax Cable – Highly Durable Antenna
The last outdoor HD antenna on the list is this one, which comes with dual television support simultaneously. To connect it to two TVs, no adapter or splitter is required. The range for this antenna is around 150 miles.
It can pick 32db, 1080p, and 4k reception, which is of high gain. Plus, it has 360 degrees, which is in-built. This is highly durable as it can easily withstand some harsh weather conditions. The package comes along with a remote, an adapter, a coaxial cable of about 33 feet, and a pole for mounting it.
Why is it Unique?
This antenna can easily pick up signals from far away. As it is weather-resistant, you can easily mount it on the roof of your house. Moreover, it has a sturdy build so that you can use it for a long time. It can easily give you a high-quality performance depending upon the location of your house.
Almost all the consumers of this antenna are pretty impressed with the quality and range it has. It’s relatively effortless to assemble and mount. Plus, it is the most recommended antenna available.
Best Fit For
If you are looking for an outdoor antenna that can withstand harsh conditions, then this might do the work for you. It is highly durable, catches signals from 150 miles, and gives a high definition quality.
How To Install Your Shiny New Antenna?
Installing an antenna can feel like a daunting task when you don’t know how to go about it. The better option is to understand the installation process beforehand rather than trying to guess what goes where. The installation process of each antenna differs slightly, but generally, it goes as follows:
Locating The Transmission Towers
The first step is finding where and how many local transmission towers are available. There are plenty of online websites that can provide you a list of transmission towers near you and the kind of bands they broadcast in, whether UHF or VHF. This will help you decide the optimal direction for the antenna from where it can receive signals from maximum transmission towers.
Finding The Suitable Position For The Antenna
Preferably, the antenna should be mounted as high as possible. This way, its path remains free from obstacles such as trees, buildings, etc. However, if you line in a flat area with minimum interference, you don’t have to mount the antenna on the roof but any place where the signals are strong. Note that if you have roof metal, ensure that either the antenna is fixed on the mast or one meter above the roof.
Get All The Required Tools
Gather all the required tools in one place beforehand. Make sure that all the mounting equipment is delivered by cross-checking with the instruction manual. Check that both the equipment and the tools are not damaged and in good condition.
Mounting The Antenna
The final step is mounting the antenna. There are several places an outdoor antenna can be mounted, such as the chimney, rooftop, or the wall. Whatever is your preferred location, ensure that you have the necessary equipment for it. Many brands are now providing all the equipment you will need, while some don’t. Hence, check whether you need to buy the mounting equipment separately.
Connecting The Antenna To The TV
Once the antenna is set up properly in place, the next step is to connect the cable to the TV. This cable is usually a coaxial cable. Try to find the shortest route for the cable from the antenna to the TV, as a cable is itself a source of interference and distortion. The longer the cable has to travel, the greater the interference will be.
Moreover, do not bend or turn the wire at sharp angles. If you have to, using a right-angle connector is a good solution. Besides that, the cable should also be weatherproof. This can be done using sealing tape or silicone grease.
Grounding The Antenna
Due to their high altitude, antennas are susceptible to lightning strikes. Hence, grounding it becomes crucial. Once the antenna is set up successfully, you should take the necessary measures to protect it against lightning by grounding it.
Tips For Using Outdoor Antennas
Here are some tips for using outdoor antennas that many first-time users tend to miss out on but can come in very handy.
1. Finding The Perfect Spot
An antenna’s performance can be affected by nearby appliances. Hence, find a spot where there is no such interference.
2. Pointing The Antenna In The Correct Direction
If you have a unidirectional antenna, ensure that it is pointing towards the transmission tower and is straight.
3. An Antenna Should Be Kept At Least Three Feet Away From Metal
If it is a UHF band antenna and even more than that if it is a VHF band antenna.
4. Taking Help From An Expert
This is rather an obvious tip, yet some people try to avoid it because they are not willing to spend more money. But remember that antennas sometimes cannot be set up on our own and require professional help.
Factors To Consider While Purchasing One
Before you begin worrying about how an antenna is installed and the do’s and don’ts, your focus should be on getting the best outdoor antenna for yourself. Several high-rated outdoor antennas are present in the market, but ratings are not the only factor that one should consider while purchasing an antenna. Below is the list of all the essential factors when purchasing an outdoor antenna to ensure that it meets your demands.
The range refers to the distance up to which the antenna can receive transmissions. It is not necessary to pick the antenna with the longest range because it depends on the number of the broadcasting towers and how far apart they are from you. First, determine the location of the transmission towers and find an antenna with a matching range. There is no good in investing in an antenna that has a much greater range than you require because it will only increase the price.
2. Multi-Directional Or Unidirectional
Multi-directional are capable of receiving signals from more than one direction at a time. Conversely, unidirectional antennas only receive a transmission from a specific direction. Both are used for different purposes. Unidirectional antennas are great when you live in an area where interference is high, maybe due to the presence of hills, trees, or buildings, and the broadcasting tower is situated quite far. This is because their signal reception is strong.
Multi-Directional antennas, on the other hand, are ideal for places where many towers are located close by. Due to the closeness of the towers, the signals are stable, and a very strong reception is not required. Thus, it is able to spread its reception in multiple directions. Whatever sounds similar to your situation, you should opt for that kind of antenna.
3. Audio And Video Picture
Picture and audio quality are the two main components on the basis of which the entire TV experience is judged. The picture and audio quality depend a lot on the antenna and the signal strength. When there is too much interference, the picture quality is often reduced, and more distortion is observed. Hence, it is important to get an antenna with better reception and even an amplifier, if needed, to enhance its performance.
Every antenna has a specific picture quality. There are antennas that can support up to 1080p, while some are confined to 240p. However, it also depends on the quality supported by the TV. If you have a TV that can only support up to 240p, buying a 1080p antenna is not practical. Hence, try getting an antenna with a similar picture quality compatibility as your TV set.
4. Installation Process
Installing an outdoor antenna is already a complex enough process. Some brands have tried their best to simplify the process for their customers by providing all the mounting equipment or antennas with snap-on or easy-lock mechanisms. These features make the installation more convenient.
5. Amplified Or Non-Amplified Antennas
Amplifiers are used in antennas to improve their signal reception. This might make someone believe that it is always a great option to get an amplified antenna. However, this is not the case. The amplifier improves signal reception, but this improvement is also accompanied by more distortion. Hence, one should only consider it when the reception is very poor. Otherwise, a non-amplified antenna is more than sufficient.
Price is, without second doubt, the factor we notice first, even before the performance and rating. Your first priority, however, should be checking that a product has all the features you require or not. Hence, it is essential you know what features will satisfy your needs. Comparing several units from different brands and also their performance will provide an insight into which products are worth investing in. If you have a fixed budget, then look for products with as many features as you require as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Are outdoor antennas better than indoor antennas?
A1. To say that outdoor antennas are better than indoor antennas at all times would be false; otherwise, we wouldn’t have indoor antennas in the first place. Outdoor antennas are said to receive better signals thanks to their high location.
Such types of antennas stay above the buildings, trees, etc. that are common obstacles in the path of signals. This enables them to provide more channels despite the weak signals. However, installing an antenna on the rooftop can be a daunting task. Also, their durability matters a lot because they are constantly exposed to adverse weather conditions.
Indoor antennas, on the other hand, are appropriate for locations where the signals are always strong. They can be fixed indoors, in easy-to-reach locations, and hence, considered more user-friendly. If you live in an apartment where you cannot install an outdoor antenna at all, then an indoor antenna is your only solution.
Q2. How to find which antenna is best for me?
A2. An ideal outdoor antenna would be able to meet all your requirements. But since there are so many products available, it is normal to feel confused. Hence, following certain criteria will help to narrow down the best products for you. This is explained in detail in the buying guide provided above. Here is an overview of the buying guide:
1. Range up to which the antenna can catch transmissions.
2. Multi-directional or unidirectional.
4. It is amplified or non-amplified.
Q3. Do we need to ground an outdoor antenna?
A3. Yes, every outdoor antenna needs to be grounded. Even the latest version of antennas that have a plastic body must be grounded because they have a small amount of metal inside them. Though the chances of a lightning strike on an antenna are less, it is possible.
Even if the lightning strikes near the antenna rather than directly on it, it is powerful enough to cause damage to an electrical system that is not grounded. Hence, it is a significant step when installing an antenna and should not be ignored.
There is no point in paying for something when you can have it for free. If you haven’t used an outdoor antenna before then, you might be surprised to see the wide variety of local channels are free. Also, the quality of the picture is not compromised. Hence, in every aspect, investing in an outdoor antenna will yield good results.
However, the only obstacle standing between you and free local channels is finding the best outdoor antenna. But we hope that after our detailed guide, this will no longer be a problem. Every product on the list we provided is a high-performing unit, and hence, if any one of these products aligns with your requirements, you can purchase it without any hesitation.