Over-the-air TV is becoming more and more popular.
People are starting to realize that they can save money on their cable bills and still watch entertaining television.
Wouldn’t you wish that TV was free, just like the radio? The truth is that it is – if you have the right antenna.
Eighty-nine percent of Americans can pick up at least five over-the-air television channels, and many can pick up more.
It all depends on how far you are from the closest OTA television transmitter. If you have a good antenna, you can pick up signals from further away.
Following are the top 15 over-the-air HDTV outdoor antennas on Amazon.
Different Kinds of OTA Antennas
There are different kinds of antennas you can get, and it is important to choose the right one.
VHF vs UHF
Like radio waves, there are two kinds of OTA television wave frequencies.
VHF frequencies are lower and their waves are longer, so you will need a longer antenna to detect them.
Of course, it’s best to get an antenna that can detect both kinds of waves.
However, if you know that there are only UHF channels in your area, a UHF antenna will be perfect.
Directional vs Multi-directional
Multidirectional antennas can pull waves coming from all different directions.
While this might seem like a plus, there can also be some disadvantages.
Since they pull waves from all directions, they are more susceptible to cross-signals and multipath distortion.
On the other hand, directional signals can only detect waves from the direction they are facing.
However, they are less susceptible to distortion, and they also have another plus – they can detect waves from further distances.
Without further ado, following are the best 15 long-range outdoor HDTV antennas.
The ANTOP UFO 360, as its name implies, is a multi-directional outdoor HDTV antenna.
It can pick up both UHF and VHF waves.
It has a wide range of detection – around 65 miles.
You won’t have to rotate it, as it will pick up waves from all directions automatically.
It can feed multiple televisions in one home.
The UFO 360 minimizes distractions and multi-path distortions by blocking 3G and 4G signals.
It also has an amplifier. This amplifies the signal so that you can get as much reception as possible.
You will get clear visuals – it has 1080p and 4k reception.
It’s a great antenna that will work in all kinds of weather conditions.
This Stellar Labs Antenna is a powerful outdoor antenna for VHF waves – specifically, high-frequency VHF waves.
If you need to pick up UHF signals, this antenna is not for you.
However, you can always install another antenna to pick up UHF signals.
This Stellar Labs model is 60” long.
This ANI-AV antenna is an all-in-one antenna that will be very useful – you won’t have to buy anything else, as it will detect UHF, VHF, and even FM waves!
It is lightweight and comes in a compact size. It is also easy to install.
This antenna has a detection range of up to 75 miles, which is pretty impressive.
It is 41 inches long, and is water-resistant.
The Channel Master Antenna can pick up free TV signals from major channels, including CBS, NBC, etc. Of course, this depends on your location, so check the resources below to find out which channels are available in your area.
Its detection range is multi-directional.
However, its multi-directional capabilities are only up to 180 degrees, so it may need to be rotated.
It has a nice detection range of up to 80 miles.
You can easily install this antenna on your roof or chimney; it actually comes pre-assembled to make things easier.
The weight of this antenna is 10 pounds.
This Antenna’s Direct DB2 antenna is not being produced anymore by the manufacturer, but you can still get it on Amazon.
It’s a multi-directional antenna, but it only has a range of up to 30 miles.
However, it has a high gain of up to 11.4dBi.
This antenna is great for areas where you need a low-profile antenna to catch UHF signals.
If you want to catch long-range VHF signals, it is not for you.
In fact, HDTV Primer named it as the highest-performing indoor antenna.
Although it was designed to be used outdoors, many people use it indoors due to its small size and high gain.
Together with this antenna, you will also need an HDTV tuner and monitor.
Sometimes, depending on which area you live in, this antenna will work better than an amplified antenna, as explained in more detail below.
This RCA Antenna receives HDTV signals from up to 65 miles.
It comes with a heavy-duty locking mast clip and a few other accessories.
It can be installed outdoors, or in your attic, and will provide an excellent 1080 reception in either location.
This marine antenna delivers Blu-ray quality programming for free.
Keep in mind that it is a marine antenna, and it is intended to be used on your boat.
It is weather-proof and shielded from UV rays.
This is an omnidirectional antenna and can detect waves from different directions.
It has a range of 35 miles, and it can detect VHF, UHF, and FM waves.
There is a one-year warranty, and it can power a few TVs at once.
If you were looking for a way to get free TV on your boat for those lazy Saturday afternoons, this is a good solution.
This is another Winegard Antenna, but this one is designed for the home rather than your boat.
It is made both for attics and for outdoor installation.
It is 4-K ultra-HD ready and can detect both high-frequency VHF and UHF waves.
It has a detection radius of 45 miles.
The Winegard Platinum antenna has a high gain, so you can watch TV without any interruptions.
The antenna itself is not amplified, but it can be boosted and amplified with the Wingard Boost XT LNA-200 for a wider range and more reliability.
Your antenna can also be paired with a streaming device such as Chromecast or Fire TV so that you can watch your favorite TV shows on your favorite devices.
This is another ANTOP antenna. It is amplified and can detect waves from all directions as it has 360-degree reception.
It can be used on your roof, in your attic, or even in your RV.
It comes with a signal splitter so that you can use it for two TVs, as well as a 16-foot long coaxial cable.
The SmartPass amplifier has two modes: You can switch it on for long-range detection, at which point a green light will turn on.
When you turn it off, the light will turn yellow.
Free Signal TV claims that their Marathon Antenna is the most powerful on the market, with a detection range of up to 100 miles – indeed, a bold claim.
This high-performance antenna can be connected to your existing cable system to power all the televisions in your home.
You won’t have to install multiple antennas.
You only need a standard cable and a 110V outlet to set up this antenna.
This HD Innoo Tech Antenna supports 4K and 1080P display.
It boasts a range detection of up to 130 miles.
It comes with a 16.5-foot coaxial cable, as well as an amplifier signal booster.
It can detect both VHF and UHF channels.
The antenna also has a built-in Smart IC Chip Next Generation and CleanPeak Filter technology.
This filters out cellular and FM signals so that your pictures are clearer, you have fewer disruptions and distortions, and less noise.
It also has an upgraded reception area so that you can receive more channels from towers that are further away.
It has a white color, so it can be installed inside, even if you have white walls.
Innoo claims that its antenna can detect signals up to 130 miles away even when it is installed inside.
This powerful ANTOP Omni Wing antenna has a 70-mile detection range.
It can detect both UHF and VHF signals and is range-enhanced to support 4k and 1080p channels.
It is omni-wing and automatically receives signals from all directions.
There is no need to use a remote to rotate it as you would with a traditional outdoor HDTV antenna.
It is made of durable material and is weather resistant so that the signal quality is protected.
It uses SmartPass amplifier technology to deliver the correct balance between short and long-range reception.
It also has a built-in 4G filter to block 3G and 4G signals so that you get improved TV reception.
ANTOP even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
This flat-panel ANTOP antenna can detect waves within a 70-mile radius.
It has a built-in 4G filter to block out noise so that you get an enhanced experience.
It has a multi-directional reception and can receive both UHF and VHF waves.
It comes with a massive 61-foot detachable coaxial cable.
This antenna, sold by Mexonga, has an 80-mile reception and can be installed either indoors or outdoors.
It supports 4k and 1080P channels and can receive VHF and UHF waves.
It also works with your Fire TV Stick.
It comes with a high-performance coaxial cable that is protected with pure copper material.
This Pingbingding antenna has a claimed detection range of 150 miles. It has a multi-directional reception, but only through rotation.
It comes with a mounting pole and a 40-foot cable. Two TVs can be supported.
It supports 1080i and 1080p channels and receives both VHF and UHF signals.
It is protected from lighting and other bad weather conditions.
The 150-mile detection is only when it is installed outside.
Tips for Buying an Over-the-Air Antenna
Getting an outdoor antenna can help you save a lot of money by giving you entertainment free of charge.
However, it is important to choose the right antenna.
How To Find the Channels In Your Area
A lot of factors come into play when determining which channels you have access to.
It’s not just the channels around you – it’s also how far they are and whether there are any obstructions such as mountains.
There are a number of ways you can find the local OTA channels that you can access. Here is how:
- Go to Antenna Web and enter your street address, as well as how high your antenna will be for more accurate information
- Go to TV Fool. You can either enter your address or see available OTA stations on a map.
- Go to the FCC website to learn about stations in your area.
- Use an app. For example, Winegard has an HDTV Tower Finder app that lets you find the nearest towers. You can use this app if you purchase a Winegard antenna, some of which are featured below.
- Ask your neighbors! If any of them have an OTA antenna, they might be able to tell you about available stations in the area.
- Call local stations for more information about which frequencies they use and where they are located.
Should You Buy an Antenna?
As mentioned, 89 percent of Americans can access at least five channels, and 99 percent can access at least one channel.
You may even find dozens of channels in your area, depending on where you live.
On the other hand, you may find that any channel that you have access to you have no interest in.
That’s why it is important to find out which channels operate in your area by going to TV Fool, Antenna Web, or one of the other resources listed above.
This is important not just for knowing whether there are any stations in your area, but also how strong of an antenna you will need.
If they are further away, you may want to think about getting a longer antenna that has a wider detection range.
This is also important for knowing whether you should get a VHF or UHF antenna, or an antenna that can detect both kinds of signals.
Should You Get a Directional or Multi-Directional Antenna?
Multi-directional antennas have the benefit of being able to detect signals coming from all different directions.
On the other hand, they are more prone to multipath distortion.
If you live in a city or an area with a lot of tall buildings, this is going to be a bigger problem.
Waves can bounce off buildings and lead to distortion, so a directional antenna might be a better choice.
On the other hand, if you live in a rural area, you can benefit from a multi-directional antenna.
There are two kinds of multi-directional antennas: The older style, which needs to be rotated, and the newer style, which automatically detects signals from all directions with no rotation.
Some of these kinds are listed above.
Should You Get an Amplifier?
Some antennas come with a built-in amplifier. However, even if yours doesn’t, you can always get a separate amplifier.
However, this might not always be a good idea.
For example, if you live in a city and only get a weak signal, an amplifier might not help much.
In fact, it might even increase any distortion or noise you are receiving.
Should You Get an Indoor Antenna?
An indoor antenna might be better protected from the elements, but it will only work if you are within close range to a station.
The further you are from a station, the less useful an indoor antenna will be.
The range of an indoor antenna can always be widened with an amplifier.
However, if you want to get as many signals from as far away as possible, invest in an outdoor antenna that has good protection from the elements.
Install Your Antenna Correctly
While outdoor antennas can be installed anywhere, they work best when they are as high up as possible.
For this reason, it is best to install your antenna on your roof.
When installing your antenna, make sure there are no things that can block it.
Metal is especially problematic, so make sure that the area around your antenna is clear.
If you choose to install your antenna indoors, your attic is the best place.
If you install it anywhere else, try to install it near a window.
You can also test out different places inside your home and see where you get the best reception.
However, remember that metal can interfere with your reception, so if you install your antenna near a window, don’t do it next to one that has metal bars.
Benefits of Getting an Outdoor Antenna
Why should you get an outdoor antenna in the first place? Following are some of the benefits you can expect.
1. They Are Incredibly Cheap
Outdoor antennas are not expensive. You don’t have to spend a fortune to start picking up TV channels.
Once you have your antenna installed, you basically have access to free television. Radio is free, so why should you be paying hundreds of dollars on your cable bill?
2. Get More Channels
Even if you pay for an online streaming service such as Netflix, installing an outdoor antenna can still be worth it.
Netflix has a limited selection, and it doesn’t offer channels such as PBS, FOX, or NBC.
These are all channels that you can get with an outdoor HDTV antenna, depending on your area.
Of course, you can pay for news channels with other services other than Netflix. For example, you can pay for Hulu, FOX, or ESPN.
At this point, however, you will be paying for several services every month, and costs can quickly add up.
For the price of a few months of Netflix, you can purchase an outdoor antenna and get unlimited free television for life.
3. Installation Is Easy
If you don’t know how or don’t want to install the antenna yourself, you can always pay for someone to do so – it’s not expensive.
However, many antennas are easy to set up and install and come with instructions.
4. Quality Can Be Better
This will depend on where you are and which channels are near you, but picture quality with outdoor, OTA antennas can be much better than what you would get with cable service.
You can pick up pure 1080p and 4k channels and get crisp, clear visuals.
5. Get Reliable Service
Inclement weather conditions can disrupt your cable service at any time. Storms, hurricanes, or weather disasters can wipe out your cable TV.
This can pose a problem, especially since many people rely on weather channels and other news channels for updates about forecasts and emergency announcements.
Many people turn to the radio, but if you have an OTA antenna, you might still be able to get local TV, even if the weather is bad.
6. You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of Missing Out
Are you afraid of missing out on your favorite shows if you cut the cable?
According to Tom’s Guide, a whopping 94 percent of channels that are on cable are already available for free over the air!
This doesn’t mean that all of them will be available in your area, but it does show that cable can be an expensive and unnecessary ripoff.
Wrapping It Up
Investing in an outdoor OTA antenna will pay for itself quickly.
If you’ve been frustrated with the high costs of your cable bills lately, get one of the 15 antennas listed above.