Best HDTV Antenna
Best HDTV Antenna Overall:
On February 17, 2009, analog TV broadcast signals were shut down permanently due to Federal law. TV stations are now required to broadcast exclusively in digital format, which is something that most consumers may find somewhat confusing. You might think you need a cable box or satellite dish to receive high def, digital content but the fact of the matter is that HDTV is now available free of charge, same as it ever was.
Consumers can choose to get cable or satellite for all of the benefits they each offer, namely a wealth of channels in high definition. But there are plenty of people who didn't have cable before February 2009 and just because the FCC has mandated all broadcasts to be digital doesn't mean you have to buy cable.
Those same free stations that were available before are still available now, for the most part. Since most HDTV broadcasts are UHF, you'll want an antenna that can handle that band primarily, but a product that can do both UHF and VHF just as easily is also beneficial.
When choosing your antenna you also want to consider the reception range and whether or not the product is multi-directional, which means it can pick up signals from any and every direction. If the antenna is directional, then it must be pointed in the direction that the signals are coming from.
Range varies with as low as 35 miles all the way up to 80 miles. Depending upon where you live, you want to pick the antenna that has the best range for your needs. This involves considering how far you live from the broadcast towers and what environmental obstacles may interfere with the signal.
We've chosen HDTV antennas that offer a good combination of reception range and signal quality, some even including built-in amplifiers. Most of our picks are relatively easy to set up and install, and will pay themselves off in cable bill savings within a few months.
This outdoor/attic HDTV antenna offers a unique design and excellent range. Since the Mohu Sky 60 is multi-directional, you only need to set it up once with no need to constantly adjust the direction for a better signal. Read Full Review
Capable of picking up VHF and UHF bands with ease, the RCA ANT751 has some of the longest reception range of any antenna on our list. Despite not being multi-directional, this HDTV antenna is easy to install and offers an excellent option for those looking to cut the cable. Read Full Review
Winegard's circular shape antenna is multi-directional and does a great job with finding and receiving channels on both VHF and UHF channels. The reception range isn't as strong as some of the other picks on the list so this one is probably better suited for consumers who live closer to their nearest broadcast towers. Read Full Review
This thirteen foot long antenna is not only the largest product on our list, it also has the longest reception range. If you live further away from towers, the Channel Master CM-3020 is an excellent HDTV antenna to choose. Read Full Review
You get a few trade-offs with the ClearStream 5 from Antennas Direct. It's a bit bulky and somewhat limited in the amount of channels it can pick up, but reception range is excellent. Also very easy to set up and install, this is an excellent HDTV antenna if you primarily want VHF channels or if you're willing to add a second antenna for UHF. Read Full Review
Best Indoor HDTV Antenna:
Cutting the cord has never been easier these days. You no longer need to pay those hefty and ever-increasing monthly cable bills in order to receive your favorite high definition television programs. Just like back in the days of analog television, a variety of channels are broadcasting high definition content over-the-air for anyone with an antenna to pick up. You won't have unlimited access to cable channels like ESPN, MSNBC, or Food Network, but many of those networks now have "On-demand" versions of their content on streaming devices such as Roku or through your laptop or tablet.
Some of these networks may charge a small subscription fee, but considering the low, onetime cost of these HDTV antennas you're still ahead of the game. They can give you access to the regional affiliates of the major networks like CBS, NBC, and so on, in addition to local access channels and nightly news.
We've chosen five of the best HDTV antennas for when you're ready to cut the cable, providing variety in terms of both range and price. Although there are antennas available that have longer reception range than the ones we've included, we've opted for popular antennas that meet average needs. We've ensured that they all have excellent signal strength and picture clarity, with easy installation and setup.
This ultra-thin and multi-directional HDTV antenna is barely larger than a standard piece of paper. This allows the Mohu Leaf 30 to be easily and discretely mounted almost anywhere. Made in the USA, this popular and highly-rated indoor antenna is an excellent overall choice. Read Full Review
Very similar in functionality and installation capabilities to the Mohu Leaf, the Winegard FL-5000 is easy to hook up (simply plug the cable into the coaxial on the back of your TV) and a run channel scan. Signal range is wide-reaching and a 15 foot cable gives you a lot of choices for placement. Read Full Review
This HDTV antenna from AmazonBasics is an excellent choice for those who want a powerful and relatively affordable option. This multi-directional antenna is similar in size to a letter-size sheet of paper and comes with a long cable, making installation simple. Read Full Review
The Terk HDTVa is designed to receive both UHF and VHF channels. A high-gain mode lets you adjust the amplifier to extend an already wide-reaching reception range. While it's not multi-directional, the antenna is powerful enough to perform very well once properly set up. Read Full Review