The 7 Best Outdoor Antennas

Updated September 16, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

7 Best Outdoor Antennas
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Tired of paying outrageous cable or satellite television fees? Cut the cord today and channel surf for free with one of these modern outdoor antennas. They're perfect for picking up over-the-air 1080p HDTV signals as well as UHF, VHF, and FM broadcasts. We've rated them here by ease of installation, signal strength, and value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best outdoor antenna on Amazon.

7. HDFrequency CC-17 Cable Cutter

The HDFrequency CC-17 Cable Cutter comes with an adhesive mounting hook that makes it easy to use both indoors and outdoors. A coaxial cable is also included, but the antenna is not compatible with televisions made before 2006.
  • comes with matching transformer
  • easy-to-read instructions
  • relatively weak signal
Brand HDFrequency
Model CC-17
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. 1Byone Digital Amplified

Free yourself from the restrictions and fees of cable and satellite television with the 1Byone Digital Amplified. It is capable of picking up free local UHF HD and standard definition signals, but adjusting it is cumbersome.
  • cross-phase multi-element design
  • 12-month warranty
  • it's on the bulky side
Brand 1byone
Model OUS00-0551
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Mohu Sky 60

Featuring dual power options, the Mohu Sky 60 provides your entire house with over-the-air broadcast television in 1080p resolution. Both a 30-foot-long, low-loss cable and mounting bracket are also included, making for a fast and effective installation.
  • cleanpeak filtering technology
  • includes 15db amplifier
  • signal is hit or miss
Brand Mohu
Model MH-110585
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Winegard Flatwave Air

Designed and assembled in the USA, the Winegard Flatwave Air features an industrial-strength housing and a powder-coated mount to ensure long-lasting performance and signal reliability. However, it takes a long time to set up.
  • sleek and lightweight design
  • built-in clear circuit technology
  • the amplifier needs fine tuning
Brand Winegard
Model FL6550A
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Channel Master CM-5020

Capable of receiving broadcasts even in wooded areas, the Channel Master CM-5020 comes fully assembled and picks up UHF, VHF, and FM channels. Its durable construction also helps to prevent loss of signal in extreme weather conditions.
  • reception range of up to 100 miles
  • compatible with preamplifiers
  • classic rooftop design
Brand Channel Master
Model CM-5020
Weight 12.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Antennas Direct Enhanced DB8e

The Antennas Direct Enhanced DB8e multidirectional bow tie is one of the most powerful in its class and has been specially designed to target broadcasts coming from towers in almost any location within a wide, 70-mile radius.
  • comes with a lifetime warranty
  • quick and easy installation
  • great for attic use
Brand Antennas Direct
Model DB8e
Weight 12.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Audiovox ANT880R FLT

With no special orientation required, this Audiovox ANT880R FLT offers a 360-degree reception pattern designed to amplify weak signals and simplify installation. Its compact design adapts well to almost any housing environment.
  • low-noise circuitry
  • sleek and powerful
  • supports 1080p hdtv signals
Brand Audiovox
Model pending
Weight 10.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

What Is An Outdoor Antenna?

Have you had enough of paying outrageous prices for cable or satellite just so you can watch your favorite sports or catch a popular prime time show? We feel your pain. It seems that so many of us forget that there is a simpler and cheaper way to watch the television we want without promising our firstborn children.

The outdoor antenna is one solution to all of these problems. It will save you money in the long run because you pay one time to pick up signals from stations that broadcast locally. You're not stuck in a binding contract, you don't have to make any irritating monthly payments, and you don't have to promise your love, loyalty, and future friend referrals to the emperor (cable company).

Some current outdoor antennas can be used both outdoors and indoors, but there are several that cannot be used with TVs made before the last decade. Most are very simple to install and will have you picking up local stations in no time. Depending on where you live, though, you might get a weak signal from the wrong antenna. Many are made to withstand all types of weather and are just as reliable as a cable antenna or satellite dish. You can even use some outdoor antennas to pick up local radio signals.

Many antenna's are currently sold with HD capabilities. If the channel you are watching has upgraded to HD, then the outdoor antenna you buy will most likely be compatible. To receive the proper signal, your antenna will have to be pointed in the direction of the nearest signal tower. You can spin in circles until you figure it out, or you can do some quick research about your local area before you buy and find out what kind of range you need on your new antenna. We recommend the latter.

What Do I Need To Know Before I Buy?

Perhaps you have found yourself in the midst of a conundrum. You have voiced your consideration for purchasing a high quality outdoor antenna but have been told that an indoor antenna will work just as well.

"Plus, it's cheaper!" the critics say.

So, should you bend to the will of the naysayers and purchase an indoor antenna, or go with your gut and your original plan and purchase one of the outdoor antennas you have been eyeing?

The answer is actually pretty simple. If you live within close proximity (usually thirty miles or less) of the nearest broadcast towers, an indoor antenna will pick up a few local channels.

However, if you live in a rural area or live a significant distance from the nearest broadcast tower, you will want to go with the outdoor antenna. They generally have a longer range and will pick up clearer signals and more channels.

If you are an avid television viewer and hate paying for cable or satellite, the outdoor antenna is clearly the way to go.

You're obviously not going to get the premium channel packages and 400 different channels to choose from that you would get from a cable or satellite subscription, but you will get a range of local channels and a clear, crisp signal.

Digital, outdoor antennas are the way to go for both standard definition and high definition viewing. Depending on your local station selection, you will likely get to watch most of the popular network television shows and a variety of local and professional sports casts.

A Brief History Of The Outdoor Antenna

Do you remember a time before television was a common part of daily life? Neither do we. Within the past decade technology has advanced to the point that we can take television with us wherever we go. While it seems to many of us that this has always been the way of things, it has only been within the past seventy years that television has been such an integral part of American life.

In 1953, Marvin Middlemark invented the dipole antenna, also known as Rabbit Ears. Many consider this invention to be the reason that television viewing and popularity soared in 1950s and 1960s. Middlemark's invention made television available to a wide audience allowing for a better signal in many areas of the United States.

Rabbit Ears enhanced the signal reception people were already getting on their televisions, and sometimes they worked to pick up the signals that the built-in television antenna could not. Without rabbit ear antennas, many households would not have been able to watch television at all. This invention revolutionized the television industry and brought TV into nearly every household in the United States.

In fact, early televisions could only operate on antenna signals. Viewers didn't pay for cable plans for several years, and even then, they used clunky cable boxes. In later years, cable and satellite services were developed where households could and can have access to multiple channels at their fingertips at any time. Some subscription services provide hundreds of channel options.

Despite the options available for television, many people are deciding to cut costs. That's why indoor and outdoor antennas (including the traditional rabbit ears) are rising in popularity once more and being used in multiple households across the United States.

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Last updated on September 16, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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