The 10 Best HDTV Antennas

Updated April 07, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

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We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If avoiding the expense of satellite or cable television while maintaining local programming in crystal-clear picture quality are top priorities, one of these HDTV antennas is definitely for you. Depending on the location and number of televisions involved, there is an option for every household, including those suitable for indoor or outdoor use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hdtv antenna on Amazon.

10. 1ByOne Digital

Free yourself from cable and satellite costs using the 1ByOne Digital. Simply connect it to a television using a coaxial cable and experience uncompressed picture quality up to 4K. The cross-phase, multi-element setup is both durable and weather-resistant.
  • 80-mile reception range
  • fast channel scanning
  • it's rather bulky
Brand 1byone
Model O0000-0555
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Rocam FD-097

Thanks to a foldable, snap-in design, sturdy ABS plastic shell, and a speed of up to 6 rotations per minute, the Rocam FD-097 is a reliable choice for most roof installations in areas prone to extreme weather conditions. Mounting it is a bit cumbersome, though.
  • wireless remote control
  • supports 2 televisions
  • suffers from some signal noise
Brand ROCAM
Model pending
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. RCA Compact

Surf your favorite local or network hi-def stations with the affordable RCA Compact. The combination of a mast, mounting kit, fold-out UHF reflector, and snap-lock components will ensure a quick and easy installation on almost any large wall, rooftop, or in an attic space.
  • pairs well with streaming devices
  • price is affordable
  • connectors are fragile
Brand RCA
Model ANT751Z
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. McDuory Outdoor

In addition to its impressive 150-mile operation range and dual TV outputs, the McDuory Outdoor comes with a built-in motor and convenient infrared remote, giving you 360 degrees of wireless rotational control. It's backed by a one-year warranty.
  • resistant to lightning
  • built-in high-gain amplifier
  • tends to wobble in high winds
Brand McDuory
Model WA-2608+POLE
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Antennas Direct DB8E

The Antennas Direct DB8E is equipped with specially-designed brackets and two main panels that support the multidirectional targeting of major broadcast towers, making it ideal for use in rural areas where interference from vegetation and other obstructions is common.
  • reflector for improved signal range
  • a gain of over 17 dbi
  • assembly instructions are confusing
Brand Antennas Direct
Model DB8e
Weight 12.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. King Jack

The King Jack boasts an enhanced range for receiving ultra-high frequencies in locations where nearly 80 percent of new HD signals are broadcast. Its aerodynamic profile is up to 70 percent smaller than many traditional RV antennas, making it super easy to install.
  • integrated signal meter
  • available in black or white
  • coaxial connection is finicky
Brand KING
Model OA8500
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Winegard Sensar IV

The Winegard Sensar IV is fully-optimized to pick up digital channels in standard and high-definition formats, including networks like ABC, CBS, and other stations that aren't offered by satellite, transforming a recreational vehicle into its own entertainment hub.
  • powder-coated for durability
  • resistant to uv rays
  • plastic lifting gears are flimsy
Brand Winegard
Model RVW-395
Weight 9.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Channel Master CM-4228HD

Capable of receiving both analog and digital signals, the 8-bay Channel Master CM-4228HD offers a two-foot turning radius. Attaching easily to most antenna masts, the lightweight, frameless design can be mounted seamlessly to any roof or chimney, or placed in the attic.
  • arrives fully assembled
  • 75-ohm output for coaxial cable
  • sleek bowtie-shaped design
Brand Channel Master
Model CM-4228HD
Weight 13.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Free Signal Marathon

Eliminate the need for multiple antenna sources around your home with the Free Signal Marathon. The powerful design features integrated signal amplification technology capable of picking up and distributing high-definition video content to as many as four televisions.
  • customized reception map
  • good for indoor and outdoor use
  • low-pass filter circuitry
Brand Free Signal TV
Model CA-2600
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. ClearStream 4Max

The ClearStream 4Max lets you receive free television signals for many of the major networks from up to 70 miles away. Its dedicated VHF and UHF multidirectional elements are designed to respond to a wide range of frequencies without having to constantly rotate the unit.
  • all-weather mounting hardware
  • lifetime warranty against defects
  • sturdy pivoting base
Brand Antennas Direct
Model C4MVJ
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Television: The Real American Pastime

Broadcast television has come a long way since its popularization in the 1950s. Rabbit ears and horizontal scan lines are things of the past, fading ghosts on the dim edges of entertainment history. Incredible developments in video capturing, signal strength, and playback quality make today's home theater systems barely comparable to the TVs of yesteryear. In fact, did you know that viewers once had to actually stand up and physically walk to the TV set in order to change the channel? Those were dark times indeed!

Thankfully, some things change. But some things stay the same.

Network broadcasts have, since the early days, been the easiest way to tap into the beauty that is television. Of course, the standards, languages, frequencies, and equipment have all been drastically altered for the better as technology has moved at blinding speed. Still, to this day, some of the highest-quality and most popular shows are beamed en masse through the air, through our walls, and through our very own bodies. But we're a long way from being our own TVs. Currently, our brains lack the ability to capture and decode reruns of Laverne & Shirley on the 700 MHz band (that's channel 64, by the way).

As cool as that would be, it is still a matter of science fiction. In the mean time, television stations have emerged from the dark ages of analog transmission, and maybe right now there is a live air-hockey championship streaming in full 1080p glory straight through your skull. If you would like to actually watch that video while listening to the accompanying audio, there's one tool you'll really need: an antenna.

Commonly known as HDMI antennas, these digital descendants of the antiquated bunny aerials are the key to viewing what some would place among our society's greatest achievements: free broadcast entertainment and advertisements.

But Doesn't Everybody Have Cable Nowadays?

For a few years before digital television was commonplace, cable and satellite TV subscriptions increased at a rapid rate. At that point, the quality of video and audio entertainment was generally higher with these systems than what was available on the UHF band. But as technology kept relentlessly marching forward, the speed and compact size of newer chipsets meant that digitally processed video would soon be available to the masses. By 2016, it was estimated that as many as 20 million US households did not subscribe to a paying TV service, relying on over-the-air broadcasts for new programming.

An evolution of time-tested analog broadcasting methods, the modern signals are nothing more than blazing-fast data streams being pumped out by huge transmitters over designated ranges of wavelengths. By the time the FCC entered the conversation in 1990, forces were already at play laying claim to which standards should be adopted in the fresh field of digital broadcast. Rather than set one standard of video, the regulatory body took a laissez-faire attitude, allowing the industry to sort itself out. As a result, consumers will encounter a number of different resolutions and display methods used across the various channels.

The maximum quality image you'll find beamed to your HDTV antenna is 1,080 lines per screen made of 1,920 pixels each. It's worth noting that this is also the highest resolution found on standard blu-ray releases, and higher than that of DVDs. While videophiles and engineers claim that progressive-scan technology offers a better viewing experience than interlaced mode, industry heads have been reluctant to adopt this in practice. Furthermore, some networks are satisfied with providing a maximum of 720p video. While this may not take full advantage of the most state-of-the-art TVs or projectors, it still competes with the quality of cable, and it's more resistant to interference than satellite.

Each of the companies licensing these high-speed wireless transmissions is afforded 19 megabits per second of bandwidth across its assigned frequency range. That's a large enough pipeline to support not only one crystal-clear HD channel, but also additional subchannels that the studio may have to offer. Some companies also utilize these sub-frequencies for the one-way streaming of data feeds, an early example of using the UHF range to access broadband wirelessly.

Taking Advantage Of Broadcast HDTV

So, the idea of tuning into America's favorite hobby sounds better than ever, and you're ready to get started. If you live in a densely populated area, this can be as easy as sticking a cardboard-thin receiver on the wall in your den and plugging it into your HDTV. Even some popular unamplified antennas can pick up dozens of channels in perfect clarity, and those options are especially affordable. There are also plenty of situations where the simplest choices may not be enough.

If you live in a rural area, you might be located pretty far from the broadcast stations of the channels you'd like to watch. For these cases, there are long-range units that help to pull faraway signals out of the air that normal indoor antennas just can't detect. A lot of these are outdoor options designed to be mounted on the roof or exterior wall of your home. Many of them can even be adjusted to point directly at the tower you're trying to reach. Orienting these models in the right direction can provide entertainment even to those who live well away from urban areas.

Of course, there are also millions of RVs roaming the highways across the country. For these travelers, over-the-air TV can be as much of a blessing as it is to homeowners, if not more. Both the homebody and the wanderer can use it to access not only the newest entertainment, but also helpful local news, weather, and, in the worst of scenarios, disaster information. With no subscription costs and a wide range of fun and informative programming, HDTV broadcasting helps to further the tradition of American television, and keeps us up-to date and entertained better than ever.

Just make sure you have a good antenna.


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Last updated on April 07, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.


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