Ditching the dish and cutting the cord on cable can be a difficult decision. A lot of people labor under the misconception that over the air (OTA) local access signals come through in terrible, fuzzy quality with tons of hisses and blurry images. The cable companies want you to remember this, but it’s simply not true.
While their technology has advanced over the years, so has everyone else’s. Today, antennas can reach hundreds of miles away, picking up signal from every direction. Many of them can deliver every channel in perfect 4K imaging, which even the cable companies fail to do.
Choosing the right antenna can be a challenge, though. With indoor and outdoor antennas all serving different functions and having different ranges and features, how do you know which one to pick?
This guide can help you. Instead of you having to do the research, we finished this step for you. This article will review the 3 best long-range TV antennas on the market for you, letting you know their strengths, weaknesses, and features so you can make the best decision.
If you read the 3 reviews and still aren’t quite sold on them, don’t be worried. This article also contains a buyer’s guide that will help you know what to look for when it comes time to buy an outdoor TV antenna. It will make sure you’re equipped to do some further research and make an informed decision.
The Best Outdoor TV Antennas Reviewed
These are the 3 best outdoor TV antennas on the market. The reviews will reveal their features, strengths, and weaknesses. If you like one, feel free to pick it up now!
The Amplified antenna may look a bit like a UFO, but it’s a great outdoor antenna! It’s seriously packed with some amazing features.
What bothers most people is that antennas can become really impossible to install. A few inches can make or break your picture quality and signal strength. This antenna is omni-directional and can be set up in just 10 minutes.
This is a great option for larger families because it can accommodate multiple TV sets from a single antenna. It’s packed with great features and strong enough to pick up full HD channels like NBC, Fox, CBS, The CW, and more.
One of the great advantages to having an omni-directional antenna is that you don’t need a remote to adjust and rotate the antenna for optimal signal. They have 360-degree vertical and horizontal reception, so you get plenty of signal no matter where you set up your antenna.
This one is also extremely versatile. This offers full HD TV support in 720p, 1080p, and 1080i. It can be used in homes, RVs, and even with marine transportation.
The Lava HD2605 Ultra is a great antenna. Don’t be put off by its intimidating design aesthetic, it’s got tons of amazing benefits – including 4K capabilities!
Unfortunately, this antenna purchase requires some additional investment. To make this antenna work, you’ll need a Lava J-2012 J-Pole Mounting Hardware package. This isn’t included with the antenna, power adaptor, motor rotor, control box, and 3 inch RG6 cable. It must be purchased separately.
This antenna does need to come with a warning, though. It won’t help you in bad weather situations. If it gets too windy, rainy, or snowy you will completely lose your signal and end up with that old school fuzzy picture, or worse, a frozen screen with nothing coming through.
While this is a major disadvantage, we also want to be fair and remind everyone that satellite dish companies regularly freeze and drop during bad weather, too, so this isn’t a disadvantage of the antenna alone.
If you’re looking for a really clear picture, this is a great purchase. Although most people consider antennas to be very old school, providing super fuzzy pictures and no sound, this antenna can actually broadcast in 4K!
The cable companies struggle to offer more than 2 or 3 channels in 4K, but this one will offer everything local, from Fox to The CW in crystal clear picture quality. Sports fans will be able to pick up the local games in such perfect clarity that they can count the blades of grass on the field.
The Acazon antenna is pretty great. This long-range antenna allows you to watch local network in HD TV. Whether it’s Riverdale on the CW or The Rookie on Fox, kids cartoons on PBS or news from CBS, NBC, and ABC, you can catch all your favorite shows and important news.
This antenna has a really compact design, making it extremely easy to install wherever the best reception is in your home. You can stick this in your chimney, to a wall, in your attic, or on your roof. It will fit nearly anywhere without looking out of place or bulky. Chase the best signal and set it out to receive.
Because of this design, it’s also easy to move if signal strength changes. As anyone using antenna knows, a few inches can have a huge impact on what stations you receive and how clear the picture comes through. With this petite model, you can change it day to day to get your best results.
This model also has multi-directional capacity and signal enhancing reflectors. This helps improve the signal strength and eliminate signal dropouts. It is an extremely high performance long-range antenna.
Now that you have looked through the reviews, you’re curious about installation. What antenna range is great? What do all those features mean? This guide will help you figure out some of those answers.
VHF and UHF
VHFs are Very High Frequency channels. They’re on the lower end of broadcasts. The UHF, or Ultra High Frequency signals are higher up on the spectrum. Each one picks up a different frequency range. Knowing which channels are available in your range can help you determine whether you need VHF or UHF antennas.
Boosting the signal
There are some ways to boost the signal strength of your antenna and catch more channels or a clear signal. Here are some ways to avoid weak signals.
Make sure your wires are okay. Cables and wires tend to loosen over time, and making sure they’re fit in properly can help your signal. Each place a cable couples to another cable or device, there is some lost signal. Keeping connections tight reduces the amount of signal loss in each gap.
If you have to use a splitter to send the signal to multiple TV sets, make sure you shell out the cash for a decent splitter. Lower end splitters are cheaper, but they will not fit as well and you will end up with more signal loss than you would by ensuring quality materials.
Pick the right spot to mount your antenna. A few inches can absolutely make or break your ability to receive a clear signal for the channel you want to receive. Make sure your antenna is away from other electrical devices because those will interfere with the signal.
If you have an indoor antenna, this is especially true. While it is tempting to put your antenna near the TV, the best place for it is actually higher up in the house. Put it near a window on the top floor of your home to have the best chance at clear signal with no interference.
Use omni-directional antennas
There are 3 types of antennas: directional, multi-directional, and omni-directional antennas. A directional antenna is only capable of receiving signals form one direction. While it has the distinct advantage of reaching much farther and being impervious to noise and distortion, it’s not great at receiving multiple channels.
Multi-directional transmissions are better. They can pick up signal from several directions. These usually range form 180 to 360 degrees in either a horizontal or vertical circle. They can be susceptible to interference or noise and often require rotation to get all the signals you want to pick up.
Omni-directional antennas can pick up 360 degrees in horizontal ad vertical directions. No matter where the signal is coming from, an omni-directional antenna can pick it up without having to worry about rotating and moving it. While they are more susceptible to interference than directional antenna, it’s well worth it because of how many more stations you can receive from them.
A lot of antennas will sell you on matching amplifiers to boost your signal. Most outdoor antennas don’t really need them because they’re already able to pick up much stronger frequencies at much longer distances than indoor ones. Almost no one living in a major metropolitan area will need an amplifier, either. These are basically made for people in rural areas who need a little bit of a boost to catch some of the minor stations from nearby cities that are just out of range.
If you’re using a directional or multi-directional antenna, then you should consider models that come with rotators. A rotator will let you adjust the direction of your antenna without having to go remount it. Just use a remote control to move the way your antenna is facing. This will let you pick up stronger signals and decrease interference, or grab stations in the opposite direction from where you were facing for your last program.
A lot more people are going back to OTA television instead of cables and satellite dishes. They’re better for emergency broadcasts, stronger in inclement weather (if you get the right product), and much, much cheaper!!
If you’re sick of a huge monthly bill for a ton of channels you don’t really watch, then it may be time to ditch the bill and go for the traditional network television. After all, they still get the largest viewership numbers despite cable being so prevalent. Why pay massive fees for the channels you can get for free?
These are great antennas to start with. They all have really long ranges and are extremely easy to install, so new users won’t be turned off by the complications involved with antennas. Give it a try today!