The 10 Best HDTV Antennas
Our Picks in Detail
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* Last update of prices was on 2019-01-18 09:38:38 via PA API. Prices or conditions may have changed in the meantime.
13 Best HDTV Antenna Alternatives
HDTV Antenna Buying Guide
When you’re seeking to save money or discover ways to cut cost, it’s not so obvious to check into reducing the price of optional satellite or cable television services. So, if you’re looking to reduce your cable television or satellite service you should consider the purchase of a good over-the-air HDTV antenna to continue to watch your favorite television shows. It can seem like buying a TV antenna is a by-product relic of earlier eras, but it’s important to understand that HDTV antennas can receive the best and most current television channels at a greatly reduced price.
Purchasing a new HDTV antenna often gives buyers the same or better picture quality than cable or satellite services, this is due to digital television analog signals being higher quality signals that provide a crisp, clear pictures. Buying a new HD antenna will give you crisp clear pictures of local digital broadcasts, great picture quality, possible out-of-town service channels and even better, many over-the-air channels are free.
Buying a new HDTV antenna isn’t a one size fits all process, so the potential buyer may need to factor in the following to get the best HDTV service for the best price:
The channel line-up you want to receive
Your living situation
Once you’ve decided to purchase a new HDTV antenna, you’ll need to discover what channels are available in your area.
Finding what’s hot for your HDTV service:
Finding which transmitters are available in your local area is an important first step to getting the best service from a new HDTV antenna. Take into account when seeking the best transmitters in your area to include any line of sight issues such as mountains or tall building that could block reception of broadcast signals and then plan accordingly.
Living in a metro area will give a better channel access line-up than more rural sites, this line-up can include major networks like Fox or CBS and more. To discover which channels might be available, look into reviewing online sites like TV Fool or AntennaWeb to look for what’s area in your local area.
These television antenna channel listings can be used to generate television channels that are in service, where the broadcast originates from and the strength of the signal being transmitted. When you understand the channels available you’ll then be able to discover callsigns to the network the signal represents.
Choosing the best antenna:
Once you understand channels available in your area, you can start narrowing down your selection for the best HDTV antenna for you. Understand that while there isn’t a one size fits all antenna for great reception, potential buyers can narrow down their choices by factoring in:
Distance to transmitter
Direction of the transmitter
Transmitter power and height
Physical terrain between transmitter and antenna
Location and size of buildings in the transmission path
If a review of TV fool shows transmitter signal coming in from every direction, consider investing in an omnidirectional antenna. An omnidirectional antenna allows reception of channels from every direction, but at the cost of some signal quality. This type of antenna allows for easy placement without the need for adjustment every time the channel is changed.
If it appears that channels listed that you want to have are coming toward you from a single direction like a major city, then your best option for your new antenna would be a directional antenna. Directional frequencies come in two different frequency ranges that need to be factored into an HDTV antenna purchase.
Those frequencies are VHF and UHF, here’s what you need to know to the spot the difference:
VHF Frequency stands for very high frequency. VHF’s range of frequencies lays within the 2-13 range while UHF stand is short for ultra-high frequency range comes closer to the 14-51 range. Lower numbered channels from 1 to 13 are generally VHF, UHF channels generally are the higher numbered channels on listings.
Antenna sizes in VHF or UHF depend on the frequency waves they can receive with VHF frequencies needing a larger antenna due to their lower, longer waves. So, consider a larger HDTV antenna box for VHF signals while UHF waves can be easily received by an ultra-thin antenna model.
Do you need an indoor or outdoor antenna?
While purchasing indoor HDTV antenna can save on space, there are times that it may be necessary to invest in an outdoor model. When choosing a new HDTV antenna understand that indoor models are smaller compact units that are designed for placement near or on your current television. Outdoor HDTV antenna models are larger units that need a place on top of a roof or an attic, larger antennas will give a stronger signal than an indoor unit.
If you’re wanting to receive frequencies at a distance of over 70 miles and above, investing in an outdoor antenna can gain signal at over 165 miles making them the best bet for long distance channel reception. Also, try to consider if there is a need for a strong signal or to enhance signal gain for a new antenna, to purchase an antenna with a preamplifier. But, understand that amplification has its drawback such as potential signal noise that comes from creating a stronger signal.
Mounting an antenna on a roof also requires consideration for cabling needs, be sure that there is an available high-quality UL rated dual or higher RG-6 cable to be used at the time of installation.
We hope you’ve found our guide to what to look for when purchasing a new HDTV antenna useful. There are tons of great HDTV antenna models available, these are some of the most important things you need to know when purchasing a new antenna model. So, remember to do a little research, check out reviews from buyers who’ve purchased the HDTV unit you’re considering and start to enjoy great quality HDTV television services at an affordable price.
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