For years, cable television ruled supreme. If you wanted to stay in the loop with water cooler discussions and catch up on the latest shows and movies, some form of satellite or traditional cable service was a necessity. And while streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have changed that, there’s a viewing option that’s often overlooked.
Traditional network broadcasting has become more popular than ever before, and it’s a free alternative to streaming or cable. Most Americans have access to dozens of free channels and may not know it. All you have to do is invest in an outdoor antenna to access them. But picking the right antenna is a sensible choice. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the twelve best outdoor antennas available today.
Quick Look: 12 Best Outdoor TV Antennas
- RCA ANT751E Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna
- Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V
- Vansky Outdoor Digital HDTV Antenna
- Pingbingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Antenna
- GE Pro Attic Mount TV Antenna
- Channel Master CM-4228HD EXTREMEtenna
- ANTOP Omni-directional 360 Degree Antenna
- ANTENNAS DIRECT DB8e 8 Element Bowtie
- 1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor Antenna
- GE Pro 33685 Outdoor Yagi TV Antenna
- 1byone Amplified Omni-Directional Antenna
- Mohu Sky 60 TV Antenna
1. RCA ANT751E Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna
Best Outdoor TV Antenna for Price and Features
Despite its compact nature, RCA's compact TV antenna can actually outperform many significantly larger alternatives. The fact that it takes up less than a meter of space makes it one of the best TV antenna choices when you're looking to hook up a TV antenna in a small, urban environment. The RCA Outdoor Yagi Antenna boasts of a range of up to 70 miles. It's also a versatile HD antenna as it supports 1080p, VHF, and UHF signals.
Together, these features should give you access to an impressive range of channels regardless of where you live. Its durable construction is meant to withstand extreme weather conditions including storms and rain. And its strong signal capacity means that it should suit you well even if you decide to mount it in an attic space.
2. Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V
Best Outdoor TV Antenna for Performance
The Antennas ClearStream 4V doesn't sport the longest signal reception of models on the market, but it's one of the best outdoor TV antennas for models in its range. That's because it does an exceptional job of picking up signals even when impediments like roofing or foliage are blocking it. This is largely accomplished through its unique design.
Even with its 70 miles range, this outdoor antenna has the capability to provide you with high-quality HD channels that other models in this range cannot provide. The ClearStream 4V makes use of double loops that look like a rotated infinity sign to produce a greater range of frequencies without having to make use of rotational energy.
This is further complemented by a reflector that minimizes the interference from physical objects in its way. While local customers may want to opt for an antenna with a greater signal range, this model is hard to beat if you're in a more dense environment like the suburbs or city.
3. Vansky Outdoor Digital HDTV Antenna
Best Outdoor TV Antenna for Value and Range
Vansky's outdoor television antenna may be one of the cheapest options available on our list, but it doesn't cut any corners in terms of features. The dual TV outputs allow you to wire up two displays to the antenna without the need for a splitter and without loss of quality. This antenna has the capability to receive signals of both UHF and VHF receptions.
While the mounting pole isn't included, you still get a remote that allows you to ensure that you always have the best reception at any given time. A built in amplifier helps boost the performance of this compact outdoor antenna, and it runs incredibly quietly regardless of weather conditions.
And while it supports a full rotation of 360 degrees, it's designed to move in both directions to avoid tangling the coaxial cord. The whole antenna can be assembled and mounted in a matter of minutes. You can install this antenna in your attic or on the roof for better reception.
4. Pingbingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Antenna
Pingbingding's outdoor antenna looks interesting, to say the list. There's no way you won't love the functionalities that comes with the package of this amplifier. It's simply one of the best outdoor HDTV antennas on the market. With a design that looks more like a 1950s ray gun than a TV antenna, it makes a nice impression. But one thing you can't fault is its performance.
The Pingbingding offers 150 feet of range at 360 degrees. That's a hard feat to match, especially given that this amplifier retails for less than $50. The TV antenna amplifier is built in, and it's designed to minimize noise. It achieves its range of movement through a motor rotor and even comes with a remote control you can use to adjust its direction.
The frame offers strong protections against UV rays, lightning, rain, and snow. You get VHF 170-230MHZ as well as UHF 470-860MHz. This antenna is one of the best choices to go for if you're looking to improve your local TV experience.
5. GE Pro Attic Mount TV Antenna
Looking for a well built outdoor antenna that can provide your TV with superior UHF and VHF signals? Well, you just found one of the best choices on the market. The GE Pro Attic Mount TV Antenna has the capability to hep you reduce the amount you pay for cable without sacrificing picture quality. This antenna can provide you with access to local channels while displaying them in clear, vivid colors. You'll be able to watch every TV program you love while making just a one-time payment on this antenna.
A lot of the antennas on this list sport bold and ostentatious designs. If you want something a little more muted that can blend into the surroundings without sacrificing signal quality in the process, the GE Pro might be to your liking. GE has focused on taking the traditional fundamentals of antenna technology and making the most of them through consistently high-quality materials throughout the construction of this model.
It offers transmissions up to Full HD, and signal enhancing reflectors are built in to maximize the range of the antenna while minimizing deprecation in signal quality. The installation process is simple and clearly laid out in the included guide.
6. Channel Master CM-4228HD EXTREMEtenna
If you're looking for one of the best outdoor TV antennas that can provide you ultra high frequency beyond 60 miles, this tech right here is one of the best you can choose. The EXTREMEtenna has a name that suits its capabilities. Channel Master's omni directional outdoor tv antenna may look like a beast, but it's lightweight and very easy to install even for a single person. This device can pick up signals at a distance of up to 80 miles.
If you're positioned between two cities, that multi-directional design will get you a lot more coverage than you would with a unidirectional antenna. And while it doesn't offer the same range as super-powered alternatives like the amplified 1byone, it's consistently ranked high in TV antennas for outdoor use reviews. Just keep in mind that it offers a much more powerful range in the direction it's pointed, so you will want to properly target it to get the best signal and TV experience.
7. ANTOP Omni-directional 360 Degree Antenna
Whether you're dealing with the dusty deserts of the southwest, the snowy terrain of the north, or the persistent rain of the gulf coast, the Antop Omni-directional antenna can suit your needs. One of the reasons why this antenna is considered to be one of the best outdoor TV antennas is because of its build quality. Durability is a huge selling point with this antenna, as it boasts an incredibly level of weather resistance that you won't find in many competitors.
In addition to the sturdy design of the antenna itself, it comes with an adjustable cap to protect the coaxial cable port from water and other contaminants. It makes use of the latest in amplified signal boosting technology and comes packed with a built-in Smart IC Chip for better broadcasting. Despite the complexity of its design, it can be set up in five minutes, and it costs well under a hundred dollars. With its 65 mile range and 4G LTE filter, you're surely going enjoy using this Antop antenna.
8. ANTENNAS DIRECT DB8e 8 Element Bowtie
The DB8e has been promoted as the "most powerful HDTV antenna in the world," and while that proclamation can be a source of debate, there's no doubting that this is an incredibly powerful HD antenna. The unique design, looking better suited for a weather tower than a private residence, is more than just an aesthetic choice. The bow tie pattern on this model lends it a multi-directional signal, allowing it to pick up signals from 360 degrees.
This makes it an ideal choice if you're looking for a TV antenna for areas where you get strong signals from multiple directions. The multi-directional design and signal distance of over 70 miles also makes it one of the best TV antennas to go for if you need to mount it in an attic rather than outdoors.
You get local US channels 14-69 on this antenna as well as UHF 470MHz to 698MHz. The mount and coax cable are sold separately. But that doesn't top the company from offering you a full lifetime warranty.
9. 1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor Antenna
1byone's antenna is one of the best omni-directional outdoor TV antennas on the market. Just like the DB8e, you're sure to enjoy this device if you are in a populated space and simply looking for an incredible range of power. There's no need for constant rotation or adjusting via remote control. This antenna receive signals from every direction, while providing you with the best, HD quality TV experience. It offers a staggering range of 150 miles, and it supports every modern format of broadcast.
Whether you're looking for 1080p, Ultra HD, or 3D programming, you can count on crisp and quality reception through this antenna. You get clearer and crispier pictures, low noise, as well as more TV channels including FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS. The fifty foot coaxial cable length means you don't have to worry about comfortably connecting it to your TV. And it comes with quality waterproofing features to ensure that it will continue to broadcast quality signals even during inclement weather conditions.
10. GE Pro 33685 Outdoor Yagi TV Antenna
GE is one of the most trusted antenna manufacturers in the world, and if you want a workhorse of an antenna that's reliable and consistent without banking on buzzword technologies to get the job done (and a unidirectional antenna is capable of meeting your needs), this Yagi antenna might be the best choice for you. This isn't an antenna that stands out in any particular way, but that's something of an advantage.
It manages to be balanced around the board without being exceptional in any specific quality. It's durable, compact, and it can provide consistent reception at distances of 70 miles. And while it doesn't come with an amplifier like the Pignbingding above, which may cause to lose out on the range of direction, Yagi antennas like this are notable for the quality of the signals they do pick up.
You are sure to enjoy the local channels channels you love in clearer and vivid images, including FOX, ABC, CBS, and PBS.
11. 1byone Amplified Omni-Directional Antenna
The compact design of this 1byone makes it easier to handle and maneuver, but it actually improves the quality of its performance as well. The reduced wind load gives it the means to perform admirably well on windy and rainy days, and it also offers UV-resistant coating and a design that's resistant to both snow and water.
And the omnidirectional design works as is, with no need for a motor or a remote control to adjust it with changing conditions. It's easy enough for anyone to install, and it doesn't even require tools to be mounted safely and securely on your roof.
12. Mohu Sky 60 TV Antenna
The Mohu Sky 60 wins the award for the most unusual TV antenna design on our list, but it's an approach that actually works remarkably well. Despite the incredibly low profile of this Mohu TV antenna, it offers crisp performance at up to 75 miles. The Clean Peak Filter embedded in this Mohu TV antenna ensures that you get a crystal clear picture without interference from FM or cellular signals, and that makes it an especially strong choice if you're looking to use an outdoor antenna in a crowded city or suburb with a lot of signal noise.
The 15dB amplifier of the Mohu Sky 60 TV Antenna further bolsters its performance, and despite its reliable multi-directional design, it weighs in at a scant three pounds. For enhanced signal strength and better reception range, you can install this outdoor HDTV antenna on your roof or attic. While the reception depends on where you place it, you are bound to get get both UHF and VHF signals.
This antenna features US military technology so be rest assured that it's going to last for a long time. The built-in amplifier allows you to access local TV channels like FOX, ABC, and NBS for free. While it doesn't come with a mount pole, you're surely going to love all the features that comes with this antenna.
Best Outdoor TV Antennas Buyer’s Guide
Finding the perfect outdoor TV antenna is a tricky proposition because there are a number of considerations you have to keep in mind. We’re here to help you identify those factors and settle on an antenna that’s right for you. If you simply want to get things done and over with, you can just select one of the products in our review that matches your budget and specifications.
However, if you’d like more details on what to look out for before choosing a product for your house, our guide below is going to help you identify the most important factors to consider when choosing the best TV antenna for outdoor use.
The antennas on our list cover omnidirectional, multi-directional, and unidirectional options. While you might assume that an antenna that gets signals from any direction is ideal, that’s not always the case. You’ll want to consider where you live in relation to broadcasting sources before making a decision.
Omnidirectional antennas, as the name would suggest, can pick up signals from a full 360 degrees at once. That means that if you’re in a dense environment like a city and you have broadcast towers in multiple directions, it’s a great choice. But the problem is that they tend to have poorer range and you’re likely going to deal with more interference.
Unidirectional antennas, by contrast, have the advantage of a focused signal. They often incorporate technology like boosters or reflectors to maximize the quality and focus of their signal. You’ll generally get better quality video through unidirectional antennas, especially the further away the signal gets. That makes them worth it if you’re looking for an outdoor TV antenna type that’s perfect for rural areas. All you have to do is point them at the closest city. Omnidirectional antennas generally offer a range of 30 degrees.
Multi-directional antennas offer the ability to pick up signals in multiple directions, usually two. They don’t offer the focused quality of unidirectional antennas or the breadth of range that omnidirectional antennas have, but they’re probably the most practical choice if you’re equidistant between two major sources of broadcasting.
1080i vs. 1080p
One of the primary factors we evaluated for our specs was whether an antenna could broadcast in 1080i or 1080p resolution. If you have the TV to support it, the difference can be noticeable.
1080i was once the standard for HD televisions. It offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and it works fine for slower moving images. But it tends to blur and lose quality at high movements, so it’s not ideal when you’re watching sports, action, or nature documentaries.
1080p also offers a 1920 x 1080 resolution, but the main difference is that it features a progressive scan rather than interlaced. That’s a subtle difference, but it’s one that allows for crisper quality and smoother performance at high speeds. 1080p is often referred to as Full HD.
Obviously, 1080p is going to be a preferable choice with all things being equal, but whether or not it’s necessary for you will depend on two factors: whether your TV supports the 1080p format and whether your local stations broadcast content in the format.
Some of the antennas on this list boast remarkably long distances exceeding 100 miles. That’s an indication of advancing technologies. Antennas pick up signals in a straight line, and due to the curvature of the Earth, it can be hard to pick up signals at an excess of about 70 miles. And while you can rely on longer reach antennas to go further than that, they tend to lose visual quality the more distant they get.
Whether you need a long or medium range signal is ultimately going to come down to your geographical location. Before you consider making a purchase, you’ll want to sit down and consider the distance of your home to broadcast stations. An antenna that well exceeds the distance of stations in your range may be impressive on paper, but it won’t do you any good in practical terms.
Are Outdoor Antennas Better Than Indoor Antennas?
Indoor antennas are great if your home is close to TV broadcast towers. Also, an indoor TV antenna can be a great option if you reside in an environment where you cannot use an outdoor antenna, such as cities and apartments. This antenna type are usually very small in size and can blend with the background of your room without trying to stand out. However, they are more susceptible to interference than their outdoor counterparts. You may have to place them near the window or try to shift them around your home to decide the best position for them.
They provide you with better signals and they usually have a longer range than their indoor counterparts. Unlike indoor antennas that are typically placed inside your home, outdoor antennas are usually installed on rooftops. This allows them to have a better line of sight as well as better connection to the broadcast towers. Also, they experience lesser interference than their indoor counterparts as they usually don’t have to deal with obstructions, which includes fridges, kitchenware, electronic devices in your home, buildings, walls, trees, etc. However, you may also need to shift or rotate them around to find the best signal strength or perfect position for them.
Whether you’ve cut the cord or not, you can’t go wrong with an outdoor TV antenna. The modest cost, small size, and ease of installation on these models make them an eminently practical choice, and they can significantly improve the variety of content you have access to. In many cases, antenna signals can even provide you with crisper HD performance than you’d find from a traditional internet or cable provider. But you’ll want to do your research especially in regards to where the broadcast towers in your area are located.