A TV is a necessity in every standard home. But for it to work, you need cable. However, all the paid cable subscriptions are becoming more and more expensive every day and often, you don’t even use all those extra channels. Well, the good thing is that you don’t have to spend that much. Free over-the-air broadcasts might seem like a good solution for you, provided you’ve got a good outdoor TV antenna that can receive reception even in remote areas. You will get free access to between 20 and 60 channels.
Contrary to common belief; the image quality you’ll receive from outdoor antennas is as good as cable – sometimes even better. This is because; cable providers tend to compress the video signals to get more channels in. Outdoor antennas today are also made with high-quality materials which enable them to capture more signals and at a longer range. They feature nice attractive designs, are easy to set up, and will look equally good on your roof side.
Now, perhaps the only struggle left would be getting the right antenna for your particular needs. To help ease your burden, we’ve done our research and have put together our list of the best outdoor antennas out there today.
Top 10 Outdoor TV Antennas Of 2020 Reviewed
1. RCA Yagi (ANT751R)Best Outdoor TV Antenna For The Money
The RCA Yagi (ANT751R) isn’t the sleekest looking outdoor TV antenna you’ll ever see. But it is quite a popular one and for good reason. This antenna comes with a pre-assembled design for easy installation. It can support up to 1080i HDTV broadcasts from towers that are 70 miles away. The cross-phase, the multi-element design enables the antenna to receive UHF and VHF channels so you never have to worry about having nothing to watch on TV.
But what really is so great about this antenna is its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. However, this is somewhat of a “directional” antenna. You need to aim it in the right direction to get all possible channels. Also, some report that the adapter that connects the RG-6 cable to the antenna is of poor quality. And there are some reports from users that state, not all UHF stations have a clear picture.
- Receives UHF and VHF channels
- Supports up to 1080i HDTV
- Compact design
- Requires you to point it in the right direction
- Poor quality adapter
- May not pick up UHF stations clearly enough
2. ViewTV wa-2608Best Outdoor TV Antenna For Multiple TVs
The ViewTV wa-2608 has the longest range among consumer-level outdoor TV antennas. It can pick up signals from up to 150 miles away. Assembly is quite easy. It has dual TV outputs; you don’t need a splitter to watch from two TVs. And it has full HDTV support. The antenna comes with a wireless remote, a power supply adapter, and a 40 ft coax cable. However, it doesn’t seem to be very durable as just a bit of damage can already affect the range and reception of the antenna.
Also, it seems to be negatively affected by windy conditions. It does not come with a mounting pole; you’ll need to find one of your own. And it is a directional antenna so you need to make sure you point it in the direction of the signal.
- Longest range – 150 miles
- Dual TV output
- Wireless remote
- Directional antenna
- Durability issues
- Wind can cause reception interference
3. Winegard FlatWave Air FL6550ABest Outdoor TV Antenna For An Apartment
The Winegard Flatweave Air doesn’t look like any outdoor TV antenna we’ve come across. This is an amplified antenna that uses Clear Circuit technology to get the best signals. The design is sleek and won’t look like an ugly monstrosity on top of your roof. And you have the option to use the USB power attachment or the A/C adapter. However, the instructions on roof mounting are poorly written.
You’re better off looking for a how-to guide on YouTube (there is one). Setting up takes a bit of time as well especially since you have to locate the best place to put it and get the best signal. And it does better mount outside without any obstructions nearby. Also, the signal reception is affected by bad weather – rain, wind, or snow.
- Sleek, modern design
- Clear Circuit technology
- Works both for indoor and outdoor use
- Poorly written instructions
- Set up takes time
- Bad weather creates signal interference
4. AirDiff HDTV Digital Outdoor AntennaBest Outdoor TV Antenna For Long Range
The AirDiff HDTV is one of the most budget-friendly outdoor TV antennas you can find. And despite this, the digital antenna‘s range in this baby is amplified to reach up to a whopping 150 miles. With a frequency of VHF 170-230 MHz and UHF 470-862 MHz, the antenna will pull in most of the local broadcast channels. This includes ABC, CBS, NBC and the like. And they will come to you in crystal clear picture too. So, with no compromise on quality, you the AirDiff will save all your monthly costs on cable.
The antenna is 2 multi-directional, meaning it can receive signals from up to 180 degrees. It comes inclusive of a mounting pole, 40ft RG6 cables a UHF/VHF Dipole and others. This happens to be the updated 2019 version, so it will be much easier to install and assemble. It also features a light indicator that will tell you if you are using it right.
The AirDiff is weather resistant, made with sturdy material that will allow it to work under all sorts of weather conditions for years. In fact, to prove this, it comes with a 1-year warranty and a 45-day money-back guarantee. Since it will be in the outdoors, the antenna comes fully lightning protected to save you from the elements.
- Crystal clear signals
- 5-star Amazon review
- Relatively costly
- May seem a bit bulkier than your average directional speaker
5. 1Byone 0555Best Outdoor TV Antenna For RV
While this does not have the same long-distance range as the other 1byone model on our list, it can still capture UHF and VHF signals as far as 85 to 100 miles away. Pretty impressive for a small outdoor antenna.
The antenna is optimized for 1080P digital reception and is constructed to withstand tough outdoor weather conditions. The unit comes with a J-pole for mounting as well as a built-in High Gain and Low Noise Amplifier. Plus, it comes with the company’s comprehensive 24-month warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee. However, the included coax cable seemed flimsy and short.
It is directional so you need to check if you’re pointing in the right direction. This is not the antenna for you if your channels are in opposite directions. Also, the build quality of the pole is not that great.
- Comprehensive warranty
- Built-in amplifier
- UHF and VHF channels
- Poor quality pole
- Coax cable is too short
- Directional antenna
6. GE 33692 Outdoor TV AntennaBest Outdoor TV Antenna For RV
The GE 33692 outdoor TV antenna may not have the long-range as some of our other picks (it only has 60 miles) but it features Signal Enhancing Reflectors that improve signal strength and significantly lowers signal dropouts. In addition, this antenna has a broad-spectrum reception for both VHF and UHF stations and it can receive up to Full HD 1080p. Not only that, this antenna is prepared for the future because it is also 4K ready. And unlike other models on our list, it comes with all necessary equipment for mounting on top of your roof as well as instructions.
Plus, the manufacturer backs this product with a limited lifetime warranty. However, the included mounting screws are pretty cheap and can easily get stripped. The mast included is a bit on the short side. You may want a taller one if you’re installing this on a pitched roof. Also, the antenna itself doesn’t feel very durable so you might not want to use this if you live in locations with strong wind or rain.
- 4K Ready
- Improved signal strength
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Cheap mounting screws
- The mast is a bit short
- Not for use in windy or rainy locations
7. Antennas Direct DB8eBest Outdoor TV Antenna For Rural Areas
The DB8e Bowtie antenna from Antennas Direct is one of the best we’ve ever tested. And it’s not just because it can catch signals from 70 miles away. Its because it has specially designed brackets that you can point in multiple directions, enabling you to get the best signals even if you live in a rural area surrounded by heavy foliage.
The antenna can receive up to full HD 1080p and it’s even UHD 4K ready. However, this does not get VHF channels so if one or more of your preferred stations are still broadcasting on that band, you won’t be getting it through this antenna. The antenna is also on the expensive side.
- Multi-directional antenna
- Great for rural areas
- 70-mile range
- Does not pick up VHF signals
- Very expensive
8. Xtreme Signal HDB91XBest Outdoor TV Antenna For Mountain Areas
The Xtreme Signal HDB91X has a high gain design (16dB) which enables you to get reception from UHF signals as far as 70 miles away. It can also receive High Band VHF signals as far as 25 miles away. Picture quality is amazing so you definitely won’t be missing out when you cut the cord.
However, this antenna only comes with a 6-month warranty which is concerning since the fins seem a bit frail and might bend when the snow comes around. Because of the Yagi style, this is a directional antenna so you need to make sure you’re pointing it at the right location. And this is a fairly big antenna, measuring nearly 8 feet long. You need to make sure you have the space to install it.
- Excellent picture quality
- Can receive UHF and High Band VHF signals
- Very big antenna
- Directional antenna
- Only comes with a 6-month warranty
9. Channel Master CM-4228HDBest Outdoor TV Antenna For Mountain Areas
The Channel Master CM-4228HD is another 8-bay bowtie antenna. It has a reception range of 80 miles and a multi-directional reception angle which allows you to get more signals compared to Yagi style antennas. The antenna receives UHF signals and HD signals clearly and it comes pre-assembled which makes it easy to install.
Another highlight with this antenna is the large reflector which reduces interference with an 18dB front-to-back ratio. However, it does not get VHF signals and it is quite big which can be an issue with your HOA. And some of the rods feel fragile, easily bent.
- Multi-directional antenna
- Easy to install
- 80-mile range
- No VHF signals
- A bit too big
- Some rods feel flimsy
10. Antennas Direct ClearStream 2VBest Outdoor TV Antenna For A Wooded Area
The ClearStream 2V features dedicated UHF and VHF multi-directional elements where the incoming signal is somewhat poor due to trees such as suburban and rural areas. The antenna captures signals from towers as far as 60 miles.
Watch your favorite shows on crystal clear Full HD 1080. And it isn’t even a huge eyesore like most other models. However, there is no built-in amplifier and it doesn’t come with a coax cable, just the mount. It is quite expensive.
- VHF and UHF signals
- Fairly small
- No coax cable
- No built-in amplifier
Choosing The Best Outdoor TV Antenna – The Ultimate Buying Guide
With the ever-increasing cost of cable and satellite TV, the drain on family finances can be a bit too much for a lot of Americans. But can you really cut the cord to save yourself some much-needed cash? Well, you should. Because network channels are actually free and you can get their signals by simply installing an outdoor TV antenna.
Of course, there are a lot of factors you’ll need to consider when choosing the right antenna for your home. We’ll talk about each one to help you figure out which one you should get so you can start saving hundreds of dollars each year.
Before you start looking at antennas…
There is start browsing through Amazon’s selection of outdoor TV antennas, there are some things you need to look at first.
#1: What channels are available in your area and how far are the towers from your home?
The reception on your antenna will depend on what towers are near your home as well as what channels are available in your location. Now, the closer your home is to the local TV tower, the better the signal will be. Of course, you also need to see if the available channels are those you actually want to watch.
So, where do you get all that data? You can check the DTV signals available near you by visiting the FCC’s DTV Reception Maps online. This enables you to know what range your antenna should have. If they are farther than 70 miles, you can opt for a long-range antenna.
You can also check the TV Fool website. The latter is actually a great tool for letting you know in what direction the signal is coming from for the channels. This enables you to see whether you want an antenna that faces one direction like the RCA Yagi (ANT751R) or is multi-directional like the Channel Master CM-4228HD.
#2: What kind of antenna do I need?
When you check TV Fool, you’ll also see the strength of the signal power at your location for each channel available. Green channels let you know that an indoor antenna is sufficient while a yellow one will require a large antenna in your attic or roof. Red channels indicate the need for a really good roof-mounted antenna. The Winegard FlatWave Air FL6550A is the only model on our list that works well in your living room, in the attic, or on top of your roof. All others are attic/rooftop only models.
Another factor that affects your choice of antenna is the frequency bands of each channel. Low VHF are channels 2 through 6, high VHF are channels 7 through 13, and UHF are channels 14 through 50. Because not all channels are able to receive signals from all three bands, you need to find the model that is able to get reception for the ones you want to watch.
Are there Other Factors that I Need to Consider?
Aside from distance, other factors that can affect the type of antenna you get our weather and terrain. Despite their name, not all outdoor TV antennas are built for extreme weather conditions. There is a handful that you can be sure were designed to withstand rain, snow, and wind. But you will have to check the manufacturer’s website before you make the purchase. Keep in mind that wind and rain can interfere with the reception which can mean signal dropouts and less-than-ideal picture quality.
Like the weather, the terrain surrounding our location can interfere with the signal received by your antenna. We’re talking about trees, hills, mountains, buildings, and other obstacles that can block stations. If you live in a rural or suburban area where the signal can become obstructed, you’ll need to look for an outdoor TV antenna such as Antennas Direct DB8e which was specifically designed to deal with such a situation.
One Last thing…
Remember all those times when you had to adjust the bunny ears on your TV just to get a decent signal? Hmm.. maybe not all of you. But some of you do. Anyway, the same principle applies to an outdoor TV antenna.
We already mentioned that you’ll need to point it towards the direction where the tower is located. But you’ll also need to experiment on the location of the antenna. Even just a step towards the left (or right) can make a huge difference between a crappy reception and a clear one. Our advice? Be prepared to do some experimenting. It’s not going to be perfect on the first try unless you’re really lucky.