An outdoor TV antenna is a great alternative to costly cable TV or spotty satellite television subscriptions. If you are ready to make the switch and save yourself some money, then a quality outdoor TV antenna can be a great option for you.
We have reviewed countless outdoor TV antennas of all types and styles and found that the RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna is the best overall product out there if you want quality HD video on everything from local channels to major TV networks.
Outdoor TV Antenna Reviews
There are so many television-fans out there that find they are overwhelmed by costly satellite TV and cable television fees—which is why they turn to outdoor antennas to get all of the channels that they want. Today’s advanced outdoor TV antennas are not the complicated, spotty antennas of the past. These technologically sound and impressive devices can receive HD video, work with 4K TVs and make sure that you get access to the clearest Dolby Digital sound.
Whether you are looking for your local news stations or premium television channels like HBO, an outdoor TV antenna can be a great choice. However, with so many options available in today’s market, choosing the right outdoor TV antenna can be a challenge. With products like this, it is important that you take the time to really look at reviews and feedback as it can be difficult to simply try out different antennas to see which one you like the best.
When it comes to choosing a quality outdoor TV antenna, it is important to find one that is easy to install, has HD or better video capabilities and has a long enough signal radius to reach your local tower.
We took all of these considerations into account and ranked our best overall outdoor TV antennas as well as our top choice for best budget-friendly antenna and best long-range outdoor antenna as well. Here are our top choices.
Best Overall Outdoor TV Antenna
5/5 Product Rating
We chose the RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna as our top pick for best overall product, because this antenna truly does do it all. This antenna is compact, comes pre-assembled and won’t take up a bunch of your valuable roof space or look bulky outside your home. Plus, it comes with all of the mounting gear you need for anywhere you want to install this compact antenna. There is even an indoor installation set with this antenna, should you choose to install it in your attic.
This HDTV antenna delivers crystal clear sound and the highest quality images so you can really put your TV’s HD capabilities to use. We also love that it has a durable construction and UHF reflector, which will ensure you can enjoy clear images, even during inclement weather conditions. Despite its compact size, this outdoor antenna has a wide signal radius and can receive TV signals within a 70 mile radius—making it a smart addition to your home, no matter where the nearest tower may be.
– Darius Spieth
Best Budget Friendly Outdoor Antenna
4.8/5 Product Rating
This outdoor TV antenna proves that these antennas don’t have to cost a lot in order to deliver outstanding visual quality. Despite its affordable price point, this antenna has an impressive 85-150 mile radius—meaning it can operate even if it is far away from your nearest broadcast tower. It can catch all HD channels and can work with 1080p, Ultra HD 4K and 3D channels that are broadcast in your region. It also works with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
Another great feature of this affordable outdoor antenna is that it receives UHF signals, cross-phase and multi-element features meaning you can get a quality signal even in inclement conditions and tough outdoor conditions. Plus, it is easy to install so you can quickly get it set up and start receiving the highest quality channels right to your home television.
– Darius Spieth
3. Tree New Bee
Best Long Range Outdoor Antenna
4.5/5 Product Rating
If you live out in a rural area or know that you live far away from your closest TV antenna, then you may want to invest in a long-range outdoor TV antenna. This outdoor television antenna has an impressive 150 mile long range, which can be difficult to find in standard antennas. Another impressive feature of this outdoor TV antenna is its motorized 360 degree rotation feature that makes sure that you can effortlessly point your antenna in the exact direction you need to pick up a signal.
This long-range outdoor antenna is easy to install, comes with a wireless remote control to adjust the device as-needed to pick up a signal and has a dual TV output so you can connect to two displays at the same time. Other features we love is the fact that it has a low-noise amplifier and an amplified antenna that will boost your signal to ensure better audio and video signals.
– Darius Spieth
Summary of Our Top Picks
As we looked into all of the different outdoor TV antennas on the market, we found not only our best choice for budget-friendly, long range and overall TV antenna, but found a variety of other high-quality antennas out there. Take the time to consider any of our top 10 options when you are shopping for a new TV antenna. Remember, outdoor TV antennas need to be installed outside your roof, and can be complicated to uninstall, so you want to make sure that you take the time to really research the product you are buying to make sure it is a smart option to fit your needs. In addition to our top three picks, here are our other options for easy to install, reliable TV antennas that will deliver outstanding video and audio quality.
5. Five Star
8. Antennas Direct
9. Xtreme Signal
10. Channel Master
Outdoor TV Antenna Product Buying Guide
Television antennas are not a relic from the past, but instead a modern way to start receiving all of your favorite channels without the expensive cable or satellite subscriptions. The benefit of using an outdoor antenna for your home television, as opposed to an indoor option is that they allow you to pick up channels even if you are dozens of miles away from your local broadcast center. An outdoor TV antenna can be a great way to make sure you are still getting the television stations that you need. However, not all TV antennas are created equal. This is why we have not only detailed the best of the best when it comes to outdoor television antennas but a detailed buying guides on how to choose the right antenna for your home.
Benefits of Using Outdoor TV Antenna
Before you invest in a new outdoor TV antenna, it is important to understand why you would invest in one of these antennas and the perks of adding one to your home. The more you understand about these benefits, the easier it is to find a product that meets your specific needs.
The first and most common reason to use an outdoor TV antenna is because it allows you to save on subscription costs. With outdoor TV antennas, you no longer need to worry about paying for cable or satellite subscriptions. These TV antennas make accessing certain channels free.
Another benefit is that outdoor TV antennas can deliver excellent picture quality. If you want to make the most of your HDTV’s image and sound capabilities, then an antenna is a great option. What many consumers don’t realize is that when you use cable and satellite providers, they often use data compression techniques that can compromise picture quality.
Key Considerations to Look For
When it comes to looking for a new outdoor TV antenna, there are a few different things to look for in order to make sure that your new antenna will actually work for you and in your home. Here are some of the most important key considerations to look for when investing in a new outdoor TV antenna.
Longevity of Signal Strength
One of the first things you should do when you are looking for a new outdoor TV antenna is to figure out how far away your home is away from the local transmitter. In addition to actual distance, you need to keep a few other considerations in mind. Terrain, waterways and mountains can all make it more difficult for a signal to reach your home’s HD antenna.
Once you have this information, you can make sure that you choose a TV antenna with the right signal strength to meet your needs. The average outdoor antennas have a strength of between 60-70 miles, while some of the other long range signal antennas allow you to pick up signals as far as 150 miles away from the local transmitter.
If you live in an area with rough terrain, it may also be wise to invest in an antenna with motorized capabilities. This allows you to meticulously turn the antenna to face the exact right direction of your TV antenna and work around difficult terrain that may impact your signal strength.
Video and Audio Capabilities
When searching for a new outdoor antenna, it is important to look for a product that delivers the type of audio and video strength that you come to expect with your home television. Most outdoor TV antennas will deliver high-quality Dolby Digital Sound. However, you also need to be on the lookout for antennas that will deliver the video capabilities that your TV has.
Most standard outdoor antennas have HDTV capabilities. However, if you have a 3D or 4K TV, you will want to make sure that you invest in an outdoor antenna that also has these capabilities so that you can take advantage of the unique technology that your home television has to offer.
VHF and UHF Features
When shopping for a TV antenna, make sure that you pay close attention to the frequency ranges. There are two main features to look for, VHF (Very High Frequency) or UHF (Ultra High Frequency). These are the two main frequency ranges you will find with outdoor TV antennas.
If you have a VHF product on your hands, there are three different options when it comes to frequency, “low band” channels which are between 2-6 and “high-band” which are 7-13. If you have a VHF antenna on your hands, 7-13 is typically the better option. With UHF antennas, the channel range is between 14-51.
The main difference between these two types of antennas is size. If you have a VHF, the frequencies are lower, so the waves are longer, which means you need a larger antenna in order to receive signals. While you can still enjoy clear quality with these larger antennas, they can be cumbersome, more difficult to install and require much more square footage on your roof, which can be difficult to manage for some individuals.
Directional vs. Multi-Directional TV Antennas
Most outdoor TV antennas are described as either “directional,” or “multi-directional.” Directional antennas can pull in TV signals from greater distances, this is because they are only pointed at or “see” in one direction. They are also resistant to noise and can ensure a better, more clear signal. This is great if you know exactly where the closest antenna is. Multi-directional antennas can “see” in many directions, but they are much more likely to be distorted or to pick up noise or interference. Multi-directional antennas, also known as omni-directional antennas may come with a rotating base that lets you better adjust the position of the signal—therefore eliminating potential interference.
You can finally get rid of costly satellites and cable packages and start accessing your favorite television channels for free, all with the right outdoor TV antenna. Take advantage of our detailed buying guide to learn more about the best way to find an antenna that works for you and your home. By taking the time to really research your options, you can add a reliable, lasting addition to your home and to your home’s entertainment system.