Did you know that the average cable user barely uses a tenth of the channels they pay for, and a lot of those channels are available for free via public broadcasting? If you didn’t, you’re late to the party.
A lot of people have been choosing to eliminate their expensive cable bills in favor of broadcast television. All it requires is an antenna that you buy once, and most of the antennas available are surprisingly cheap.
If you remember the 90’s, you have probably already experienced broadcast television. It required those funny-looking bunny ears on the back of your old television, and you had to constantly move your antenna around when you changed channels. It never went away, though. It was simply re-worked to make the process of viewing it more pleasurable.
Now, you need a digital antenna and a television with a broadcast tuner to pick up signals. The majority of televisions are built to include tuners that can receive signals, but you still have to buy an antenna to amplify those signals to a usable strength.
There are a lot of different antennas that you can buy, and each one performs drastically different. That can make it nearly impossible to pick one that you’re certain will work for you. That’s why we’re here.
Today, we’re going to review twelve antennas, and we’re going to help you find the best TV antenna for you.
The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- 1byone TV Antenna
- Antennas Direct ClearStream 2MAX TV Antenna
- Mohu Leaf Metro TV Antenna
- Mohu ReLeaf Indoor Antenna
- RCA Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
- ANTOP Antenna with Smartpass Amplified
- U MUST HAVE Digital TV Antenna
- AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna
- Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna
- Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Digital Antenna
- Mohu Leaf Indoor Antenna
- Winegard FreeVision FV-30BB Indoor Antenna
1. 1byone TV Antenna
The 1byone antenna is an HD antenna with an impressive range and discreet form. It's also an inexpensive option.
The 1byone can pick up 4K television signals that remain crystal clear at all times. It does this by using a number of aluminum shields and PVC coatings to protect the antenna from picking up radio interference. In addition, the coaxial cable it uses to connect to your TV is also protected against interference, and it's designed to lock into place to ensure that it is always connected properly.
The integrated chip and signal amplifier in the 1byone allows it to pick up signals from up to 100 miles away. That's enough range to reach all of the local broadcasters that you've grown to love.
A lot of other antennas are bulky, and they can be difficult to maneuver in order to find the perfect signal. The 1byone is a slim antenna that looks like a paper-thin sheet of plastic. It doesn't take up a lot of room, and it's very easy to move the antenna around to get a better signal.
2. Antennas Direct ClearStream 2MAX TV Antenna
The ClearStream 2Max is a flexible option that allows you to use it indoors or outdoors. However, it's a bit bulkier than the products in our other indoor TV antenna reviews.
It has a 20-inch stand that resemble a narrow pipe, and it has a somewhat large dish with several antennas extending from it. That gives it a 60-mile range that is optimal for most users, and it can be mounted to your roof if your house doesn't receive signals very well.
The hardware that attaches the antenna to your wall or roof is designed to survive the harshest weather conditions. So, you never have to worry about it getting ripped off by a slight breeze if you decide to use it outside, and it's strong enough that you don't have to worry about gravity pulling it off of your wall.
The only drawbacks that the 2Max has is that it's large, and it doesn't come with the coaxial cable necessary to install it. Those are fairly common in most households, though. It's a great option if you want a flexible unit that performs well in most situations.
3. Mohu Leaf Metro TV Antenna
The Mohu Leaf Metro is great for city dwellers looking for free television service. It has a 25-mile range, and it's a user-friendly digital indoor TV antenna.
The paper-thin design of the Metro makes it easy to move around, and it doesn't require any fine-tuning like other antennas. In addition to the materials being paper-thin, they can also be painted over without damaging the unit. That makes it great for families that really care about their home's aesthetic because it can be hidden in virtually any part of their home.
The coaxial cable on the Metro is made from premium-grade PVC and aluminum to keep outside signals from interfering with it, and it can be removed for easy storage.
The 25-mile range is a little shorter than other options on this list, but it's more than enough for people who reside in urban areas due to how close broadcast stations tend to be to those areas.
4. Mohu ReLeaf Indoor Antenna
The Mohu ReLeaf is perfect if you like to do your part to keep the world clean. It's made from recycled materials, and it uses less energy than other top rated indoor TV antenna options. The trade-off is that it has a lower range than most units.
As we've said, the ReLeaf is made from recycled materials. In fact, it's made entirely from other TV components. So, the product line has helped get rid of a lot of electronic waste, and it has lowered production costs for Mohu. You can watch HDTV for a low cost, and you can help the environment.
Like the other Mohu products we've reviewed, the ReLeaf is made to work well with paint. So, you can easily stick it to your wall and paint it to make it look as if it isn't even there.
The 30-mile range isn't the best, but it's enough to pick up broadcasting stations for the majority of people, and the unit does a great job of blocking radio interference. So, it can work extremely well with uncompressed HD signals, and you don't have worry about a phone call or nearby CB destroying your television experience.
5. RCA Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
This RCA indoor TV antenna is similar to the TV Bandit that's heavily marketed during major commercial breaks, but it's cheaper, and it has a modern design that won't look out of place on your entertainment center.
This RCA model features an amplifier that boosts its signal to cover more than a 40-mile range. It also features antennas that can be adjusted to pick up both digital signals and analog signals.
It isn't compatible with 4K signals, but it does support 1080p, and that's all that is really necessary because a lot of broadcast stations aren't actually using 4K signals, yet. It is worth noting that if you have a 4K TV that scales images to 4K, you can still watch your favorite shows in 4K resolution with this antenna. The antenna doesn't do it on its own, though.
6. ANTOP Antenna with Smartpass Amplified
This long range indoor TV antenna by ANTOP is an impressive unit. It's not the strongest indoor TV antenna on this list, but it comes close, and it's other features allow it to compete with the very best models on the market.
It has a range of more than 65-miles, a detachable coaxial cable that extends to 10-feet long, and it uses SmartPass to automatically adjust its range for different signals. It also features a filter that blocks out 4G LTE signals that disrupt other antennas.
The ANTOP is a great antenna, but it's one of the more expensive models that you can buy. That being said, it's still under $80, and that's a reasonable price for the quality of this unit.
7. U MUST HAVE Digital TV Antenna
This digital TV antenna has an impressively long range, and it can receive 4K signals without interference. This is due to its integrated chip and shielded coaxial cable. the cable is a generous 18-feet long, and it uses aluminum plates and PVC to shield against interference from outside radio frequencies.
One of the features that we think sets this unit apart is the customer support that U MUST HAVE offers. It comes with a lifetime warranty, and the company offers 24/7 support online to help you get through any issues that you have with the unit.
8. AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna
AmazonBasics is known for providing customers with high-quality items at a low price. The AmazonBasics antenna is a prime example of that. It has a great range, and it has a lot of protective features that prevent interference from ruining your TV experience.
The unit can receive 1080p signals, and it has a 16-foot coaxial cable that is shielded against interference. That makes it a great low-price option for people that want free HDTV that isn't easily interfered with.
To add to the value that the AmazonBasics antenna has, it's also able to be painted over to allow you to make it match your home decor perfectly. It won't affect the signals that you receive at all.
9. Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna
The ClearStream Eclipse takes the paper-thin design of other TV antennas, and it adds the ability to stick it to walls. It has a 35-mile range, and you can easily stick it to any wall in your house without leaving any residue behind. It's the perfect unit for people that don't want to worry about mounting their TV antenna, and it has plenty of range to satisfy most people.
In addition to its great range and sticky backing, it can be painted to match your decor, and it has a 12-foot coaxial cable that allows it to be placed far away from your TV.
10. Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Digital Antenna
The FlatWave is another long range antenna that can receive 4K signals. However, it's less expensive than most of the other 4K options we've reviewed.
Unlike other antennas we've reviewed, the FlatWave doesn't require a box receiver or any other hardware. It connects to your TV via a USB cable, and it immediately receives beautiful 4K programming. It also accepts less than a third of the amount of interference that nearly every other antenna does. So, you're always guaranteed crisp visuals.
Finally, the FlatWave doesn't even have to be mounted. It's a multi-directional antenna with a paper-thin design, and it can be simply be laid on a table. If you want to hang it on a window or wall, that can help with receiving signals that are blocked by natural barriers, but the FlatWave can work without doing that.
11. Mohu Leaf Indoor Antenna
Like other products in the Mohu Leaf family, this unit is built paper-thin, and it's one of the best indoor antenna products that you can buy. It has a range of 40 miles, and it's made from materials that won't become damaged if you decide to paint over it.
However, this one goes a step further than other Mohu products. It's derived from the same technology that the military uses for their own communication systems. The more advanced technology used in this Mohu Leaf ensures that you will always be able to access more HDTV channels for free than you would with other antennas.
The cable that it uses is a 10-foot coaxial cable with aluminum and PVC shielding. That provides you with plenty of cable to place the Mohu Leaf wherever you want.
12. Winegard FreeVision FV-30BB Indoor Antenna
The Winegard FreeVision isn't paper-thin, and it's not small, but it's the best performing antenna on this list. It's large, and it resembles the old roof-mounted antennas the we all used before digital TV became a thing. However, it can be used indoors, and it's great for homes that have an attic or somewhere else to keep it out of the way.
It has a 30-mile range, but its large receptors allow it to perform much more gracefully than other antennas in its class, and its known for being able to receive every signal in a user's area without any static. It's compatible with 1080p, 4K Ultra-HD, and ATSC 3.0 signals.
The only drawbacks to using the FreeVision are that it's very large, and it doesn't come with a coaxial cable. So, you'll have to purchase one separately. If you have room inside of your house or on top of your roof, and you can afford to buy a coaxial cable separately, this is the best indoor TV antenna available in terms of performance.
Best Indoor TV Antennas Buyer’s Guide
If you’re reading this, you’re probably tired of paying exorbitant amounts of money for cable or satellite television every year. A lot of people are, and they’re turning to broadcast television to remove those bills entirely.
Broadcast television is free, and the average person can receive around 100 different channels if they buy the right antenna. However, a lot of people don’t know how to buy the antenna that is best for them.
If you’ve read our HDTV antenna reviews, you’ve probably learned a little bit about the different things that make a particular antenna great, but how do you find out which features will maximize your experience with broadcast television?
That’s what we’re here for. This guide has been built from the ground up to teach you about the different features that are commonly found in antenna products, how they can help you, and which ones are best for different types of people.
What Channels Can You Get?
Broadcast television relies on air waves to transmit signals. So, not everyone can get the same channels, and your location plays a big part in what you can actually receive for free.
There are a few ways that you can determine what channels you can realistically receive via an antenna. The first way takes a little bit of time, but you can simply look up what broadcasting stations are in your area, and find out where those broadcasting stations are. If you compare the distance you are away from those stations to the range of the antenna you want to buy, you can get a good idea of whether or not you’ll be able to receive signals from those stations.
The second way is much easier. There are a number of free online services that you can simply type in your address and receive a detailed report that will tell you what channels are likely to be picked up in your area. I recommend using this method. It’s much faster, and you don’t have to do any of the work yourself.
What Channels Do You Want?
After you figure out which channels you can get, you need to figure out which channels you want. Broadcast stations are placed all over the place, and you’ll need a really good antenna to pick up signals from the ones farthest away from your home. If you don’t want any of the channels that originate from far away, you can usually buy a cheaper antenna with less range, and that’ll save you a little bit of money.
What Type Of Antenna Can You Have?
The FCC has set a number of guidelines into place to protect your right to use indoor and outdoor antennas. Those guidelines keep home-owners associations and city regulations from keeping you from receiving free television. So, you can usually put up an antenna without any issues, and you can fight for your right to place an antenna if someone does try to prevent you from doing so.
However, the FCC does not allow you to go overboard with your antenna deployment. If there are rules in place that are against putting up antennas, you can only use an antenna that is sufficient enough to give you a decent signal. So, you can’t mount a 50-foot antenna on the roof of your house in a gated community. You can use what you need to watch television, though. As long as you’re reasonable, you’re usually okay.
You also have to consider a few rules when you try to use one in an apartment. You have every right to use an indoor antenna within the confines of your own apartment space. However, mounting one on the roof requires you to have exclusive access to that roof. If it’s open to the community or your landlord’s property, you cannot randomly throw an antenna on top of it.
Indoor Or Outdoor?
There are two main types of antennas that you can buy. You can buy an indoor antenna, or you can buy an outdoor antenna. Some indoor antennas are also made to work outside, but they don’t tend to be as good at it as antennas that are solely designed for outside use.
Indoor antennas are great for receiving local signals without having an ugly mass of metal rods on your roof. They typically won’t pull in signals from far away places, though. This makes indoor antennas more useful for urban residents, and they can function pretty well in suburban areas, too. This is because the majority of broadcasting stations are near city environments.
Outdoor antennas can pull in signals from extreme distances, and they will usually grant you access to a lot more channels. However, they are harder to maintain, more expensive, and horrible on the eyes. They’re best used for rural applications and for people who really enjoy tinkering with broadcast television technology.
Do You Need An Amplifier?
An amplifier is a device that you attach to your antenna to boost its signal capabilities. They can help you pull in signals that are a little too weak to use, but it isn’t preferable to rely on them entirely. They won’t suddenly open up every channel in the area if you attach them to a cheap antenna that doesn’t receive a lot of channels.
To truly maximize your channel-receiving abilities, you want to buy an antenna that is strong enough to receive the channels you want on its own. However, if there is still a channel or two that won’t come in, it might be a good idea to buy an amplifier. It can give you the extra signal strength you need to view what you want.
Do You Need A Rotator?
Antenna rotators are pieces of equipment that allow you turn your antenna remotely. If you grew up before we all made the switch to digital broadcasting, you probably remember turning the bunny ears on your old television. That’s essentially what a rotator does, but it doesn’t require you to fuss around with the antenna.
You usually won’t need one of these unless you’re trying to pick up weak signals from multiple broadcasting stations. If you’re really wanting to receive every channel possible, you will need one, though. It will allow you to use a remote to automatically turn your antenna to face the broadcasting station that you want to receive signals from, and it will make it easier for the antenna to pick up those weaker signals. If there’s only one station with a weak signal that you want to view consistently, you can simply rotate your antenna by hand and leave it there.
Rotators are also good if you want to place your antenna far away from your home. This is typically only something that rural residents will have to consider, but you won’t want to have to walk across a big field every time that your antenna needs to be adjusted. With a rotator, you can just aim a remote at it, and adjust it as much as you want.
The Cable You Need
All antennas use coaxial cables to transmit power. You want one that is long enough to reach between your television and where you want the antenna to be, and you want one that is made from high-quality materials. PVC insulation is must-have feature, and gold connection points are the best kind to have.
You also need to try to limit the amount of televisions that you connect to your antenna. Every television will require a splitter and another coaxial cable, and each one will reduce the effectiveness of your antenna. It’s best to limit the number of televisions you use with a single antenna to one or two.
Everything that we’ve listed so far will help you decide which antenna is theoretically best for you, but it’s not a certainty. Geology and distance has a lot to do with how well an antenna will perform. That often means that a single building can obstruct your signal drastically, and it won’t matter what type of antenna you have.
To get around that, you need to experiment with different mounting locations and aiming directions. You’re usually not very far from receive a specific signal, and slight adjustments can usually do the trick. For instance, you can have your antenna on your window, and a slight slide to the right might open up two new channels for you. It can also help to move it to a different room. When it comes to making an antenna work for you, you have to prepare yourself to try different things until you get the result you want. That’s a fair price to pay for free television, though.