5 Best Outdoor TV Antenna Examples to Reach Your Favorite Channels
With cable and satellite subscription that becomes more and more expensive, people decided to try something else instead – an outdoor TV antenna. Instead of paying cable companies a significant amount of money to watch some of the most popular network channels, antenna allows you to do that for free and in a completely legal way.
Although it might sound suspicious, the truth is that the best outdoor TV antenna can help you save a lot of money and provide a top-notch watching experience. You’ll be surprised by the higher quality image you get from broadcast TV; that’s because cable services often compress the video signal to reduce bandwidth, providing more channels people rarely watch.
We have made a list of the 5 best outdoor antenna examples that allow you to watch your favorite channels without paying a dime.
BEST OUTDOOR TV ANTENNA AT A GLANCE:
The Best Outdoor TV Antenna: Basics
To help you get to know more about the benefits of outdoor antennas, we have prepared a section dedicated to their basics, types, and the way they work.
The first and the most important thing to remember is that not every antenna can provide excellent TV reception in every location. The main factors that determine reception are the distance and direction from the TV station transmitters to your home, as well as the transmitter’s power and the height of its tower.
If you live close to the transmitter where the signal path is fairly unobstructed, you may get a reliable reception using a small indoor antenna. However, the further you live, the stable signal becomes questionable – in that case, what you need is a stable outdoor HD antenna.
Overall, the stability of the signal will vary from house to house. That said, it’s recommended to purchase a device from a proven retailer that offers returns and money-back guarantee.
Outdoor Digital TV Antenna: VHF and UHF
Digital TV signals can be broadcasted via two different frequency ranges – very high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF). The main difference between these two types lies in their size and the fact that the VHF signal sends large radio waves, while UHF signals are transmitted on smaller waves and have a higher frequency.
Directional, Multi-Directional, and Omnidirectional Outdoor TV Antennas
Directional antennas are described as those that receive signals from one direction. Such antennas can pull in signals from greater distances, and thanks to their ability to “see” in only one direction, they’re noise-resistant and can avoid a so-called “multipath distortion,” which occurs when antenna receives reflections of the desired signal.
Multi-directional and omnidirectional antennas, on the other hand, can receive signals from multiple directions. Although some of their aspects make them better than the directional ones, they are still prone to multipath distortion since they can see in various directions.
Indoor and Outdoor Antennas
Indoor antennas are generally smaller than those used for outdoor purposes. They’re lightweight and quite simple to connect to your TV – people often place them near their TVs, but the best results are delivered when placed high on a wall or closer to a window.
Outdoor antennas are significantly larger than the indoor models, and they’re often mounted on roofs or attics. Although they might not seem convenient due to their height, they’re much better than the indoor ones – indoor antennas can be affected by the walls of the house or by a movement of the people in the room, which is not the case with outdoor devices.
Amplified and Non-Amplified Antennas
You can always amplify the signal by adding a separate device called an RF distribution amplifier, which is installed between the indoor antenna and a TV.
To boost an outdoor antenna signal, you may use a preamplifier. However, experts suggest using the signal amplifier only when you need to in order to prevent the noise amplification, which can make the signal worse than it already is.
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What is the Best Outdoor TV Antenna: 5 Top Picks in 2020
We have made the list of the 5 best outdoor antennas you can buy in 2020 and reduce the high costs of cable subscriptions. Let’s start.
1. Best Outdoor HDTV Antenna: Eagle Aspen DTV2BUHV DirecTV 2-Bay UHF Antenna ($42.95 on Amazon)
Eagle Aspen 2-Bay Antenna ($42.95 on Amazon) is a quite potent device that picks up all local broadcasts from the most popular networks such as FOX, ABC, CBS, as well as channels for kids, weather, news, sports, and other exciting media. It’s primarily created for outdoor purposes, but you can mount it indoors or in the attic. It’s fully HDTV compatible and receives all channels in the 14-69 range (UHF).
- Both analog and digital reception
- It comes with outdoor balun (it helps you set up the antenna, so it provides a better reception)
- Easy to set up
- Suitable for metropolitan areas.
- Not durable.
2. Best Outdoor TV Antenna for Rural Areas: 1byone Double Panel HDTV Antenna ($31.99 on Amazon)
To eliminate your cable fees and get a high-quality image from a wide variety of local channels, we suggest you go for 1byone Double Panel HDTV Antenna ($31.99 on Amazon). It supports HDTV, but it also comes with a premium coax cable that delivers 4K resolution, bright image, and vibrant colors that enhance the overall program. It’s quite suitable for rural areas, especially since the signal booster is included in the package.
- Double-panel design for more channels
- Amplifier powered by RF technology
- Range up to 120 miles
- Coax cable of superior quality.
- It can be affected by the weather.
3. Best Long Range Outdoor TV Antenna: ViewTV Outdoor Amplified Antenna ($36.99 on Amazon)
ViewTV Outdoor Amplified Antenna ($36.99 on Amazon) is quite a superior device that delivers an excellent reception and allows you to enjoy your favorite network channels for free. It has up to the 150-mile range, which means that you don’t need an additional amplifier. It comes with a built-in motor that can turn the antenna 360 degrees to adjust it for the perfect receiving position, and you won’t have to worry about potential inconveniences – just relax and watch your favorite TV shows at any time.
- HDTV (720p, 1080i, 1080p)
- Wireless remote control
- Dual TV outputs (it can support two TVs at the same time)
- 360 degrees rotation.
4. Best Omnidirectional Outdoor TV Antenna: LAVA HD8008 ($89.95 on Amazon)
To fully enjoy the power of omnidirectional antenna, we recommend you check out LAVA HD8008 ($89.95 on Amazon). It’s a potent device enhanced by a built-in dipole that makes both UHF and VHF reception excellent. The range varies from 40 to 80 miles, but the maximum you can achieve is 125 miles, which is also great. This antenna offers 360 degrees reception, which is another significant advantage.
- Omnidirectional features
- Ideal distance
- Shield for minimum interference
- Built-in high gain and low noise amplifier.
- Not the best for rural areas.
5. Best Outdoor Digital TV Antenna: Five Star Digital HDTV Antenna ($89.99 on Amazon)
A reach of up to 200 miles offered by the Five Star Digital HDTV Antenna ($89.99 on Amazon) is one of the reasons why you should go for this device. Thanks to this feature, this outdoor antenna delivers a top-notch image quality from a wide variety of local network channels. You can stream up to 4,000 channels in 1080p HD, which is quite an immersive feature provided by this antenna.
- Supports up to 5 TVs
- Up to 4,000 channels
- FM radio signals
- 360 degrees rotation
- Up to 200-mile range.
- It’s sometimes difficult to rotate.
How to Choose the Best Outdoor TV Antenna: 5 Essential Steps
Once you’ve decided to get rid of cable subscription costs, it’s time you started to think about purchasing the best TV antenna for outdoor or indoor purposes. It may not be easy to find an ideal device immediately, but we are here to offer some help – have a look at the 5 essential outdoor antenna buying tips:
1. Do Not Focus on Antenna’s Gain
Antenna’s gain indicates how well the antenna focuses energy from a certain direction. Gain is usually expressed in decibels, and it determines the maximum recaption intensity. When shopping for the outdoor antenna, consider the gain if it’s available, but don’t omit its other characteristics, which are also essential.
High values of gain usually go from 7 to 12-decibel range, and they’re often better than low gain values. However, manufacturers tend to highlight the device’s gain mostly for marketing purposes – so, don’t focus only on that, but consider the overall performance of the antenna you want to buy.
2. Consider the Installation Location
Outdoor antennas are commonly installed on the roof or attic. The roof is often considered a better place to mount the antenna since the height can deliver a more enhanced reception. The attic is also a suitable spot, but you need to make sure it’s accessible and that you don’t have a radiant heat barrier or a metal roof that could obstruct the reception.
Besides roofs and attics, antennas can be nicely placed on balconies or other outdoor spaces, especially if you live in an apartment or condo.
3. Don’t Ignore the Frequency
We have already mentioned that TV channels broadcast over VHF and UHF frequencies. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best would be to buy the antenna that has both VHF and UHF capability.
Choosing a device with a single frequency may be too tricky, and you can’t entirely rely on that. That said, go for the dual-frequency and enjoy all the offered benefits.
4. Have Interference in Mind
Interferences can happen no matter how good the antenna is, due to a wide variety of tall buildings that obstruct the reception. Another problem that could arise includes electronic interferences, which shouldn’t be ignored.
The appliances in our home, wireless devices, and electronic equipment contribute to interferences, and users can reduce it by placing the antenna above the ground.
5. Consider the Antenna Height
The antenna height significantly impacts its overall range. Namely, the antenna height can reduce nearby interference and improve the reception quality, making sure you get a clear image.
It’s always better to install the antenna in an elevated space. That way, your reception will be much more enhanced, and you’ll avoid the obstruction caused by buildings, heels, or trees. Although signals can pass freely through walls and other kinds of surfaces, weaker signals may result in disruption, which is why it’s recommended to position antenna on the rooftop.
4 Extra Tips on How to Install Outdoor Antenna for the Best Results
Follow these 4 tips to make sure your antenna provides the best reception and an elevated watching experience:
- Find the most optimal spot on the rooftop and mount the antenna there to get improved performance. Although you can place it in the attic, it may lead to a loss of signal sometimes.
- Use online websites to locate the nearest broadcasting towers. Once you’ve found them, make sure you position the front of your antenna towards them to get more reliable reception.
- Read the instructions and the TV manual before performing the channel scan to ensure you are following the right steps.
- Rely on professional help. Even though most outdoor antennas come with a detailed installation guide, it may not be easy to do everything right. That said, don’t hesitate to hire professionals or ask a neighbor or friend for help.