9.88
/ 10
9.43
/ 10
8.83
/ 10
8.78
/ 10
8.38
/ 10
8.10
/ 10
6.98
/ 10
6.90
/ 10
6.20
/ 10
5.90
/ 10

Signal Quality

PreviousNext
Signal Pickup Quality
A
A
B-
B
C
C-
B
B-
C-
C-
Number of Channels (downtown office)
32
26
18
26
12
16
22
24
12
12
Number of Channels (suburban apartment)
33
39
36
30
31
21
26
26
33
28
Antenna Range (miles)
50
30
50
50
50
50
40
35
40
35
Best HDTV Antennas: High-definition television antennas can reach the signals put out by TV stations and bring them right to your screen for colorful and detailed television.
These antennas mean you’ll gain access to some of your favorite TV channels without having to pay for a premium cable package.

Design

PreviousNext
Amplifier
Coaxial Cable Length (feet)
12
9
18.5
10
16
20
5
10
6
6
Dimensions (H x W x D)
10 X 9 X .03
11.3 X 9.5 X 2.5
12 x 13 x .6
13.5 x 13.5 x 3.5
13 x 12 x .2
11.2 x 10.1 x .2
8.1 x 4.3 x 6
13 x 12 x .2
11.3 x 10 x .5
13 x 9 x .3
Included Mount

Help & Support

PreviousNext
Warranty
Lifetime
Lifetime
Lifetime
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
90 Days
Email Support
Phone Support

Best HDTV Antennas

Choosing the Best HDTV Antenna

We spent over 40 hours testing both amplified and non-amplified HDTV antennas in two locations – our test lab which is surrounded by other tall buildings, and a nearby second-floor apartment without any large obstructions outside. The area is served by two TV towers, one that's 35 miles away and one 50 that's miles away.  

Based on its incredible reception, our pick for the best antenna overall is the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna. This antenna picked up on more channels than most, and the picture was super clear. It also comes with a 12-foot cable, giving you some leeway to find the best reception in your home. Antennas Direct covers the antenna with a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to worry about your antenna failing.

It looks outdated next to other sleek, square models on the market but the Insignia Fine Tuning Indoor HDTV Antenna gives you access to a fair number of channels at a reasonable cost. In our tests, this budget pick found 20 channels or more depending on location.

The 1byone Amplified had the best design of any antenna we tested, in part because it’s so compact. It is a sleek, white, wall-mountable unit that comes with a 20-foot connecting cable so you have lots of leeway to put it wherever you get the best signal.  Less than a foot tall and only 10 inches wide, this is one of the smaller, more discrete antennas on the market.

Channel Reception 

Before buying an HDTV antenna you need to consider the location of your home in relation to a TV tower. You can enter in your location here to find out if there is a TV tower near you. If you are within range, the next thing you need to think about is the surrounding area. If you’re in an area surrounded by a lot of trees or tall buildings, these obstacles can break up and weaken the signal you are trying to capture.

While it can be a pain to climb on the roof to install an outdoor HDTV antenna, you might be better off with that option if you live in a rural area or are surrounded by large buildings and other obstructions.

The antennas we tested have a range between 30 to 50 miles, but a longer advertised range didn't necessarily translate to picking up more channels. Ultimately it is important to understand that the performance of HDTV antennas will vary from location to location. Buildings, trees and the distance from a TV tower all play an important part.

It’s worth noting here that we found differences in our test results based on where we used each antenna. Fewer obstructions make for better reception. The location of your antenna, as well as the location of your home, can impact reception and channel clarity.

Signal Quality

During our tests, we noted whether there was any signal breakup, glitching, audio problems or unexpected loss of signal. After we collected the data, we scored the quality of each channel that the antenna received. This is how we ranked each model on signal quality.

We tested both amplified and non-amplified HDTV antennas, and the amplified antennas all outperformed non-amplified antennas in terms of signal quality. However, amplified antennas are more expensive, so a non-amplified antenna is a good option to stream HD-quality TV to your home if you are near a TV tower. If you're not very near to a tower, it's worth spending the extra bucks to get stronger signal quality.

Design

These antennas are designed to be placed behind your TV or in the corner of a window. After you decide where you want to put the antenna, all you need to do is connect the coaxial cable to the back of the TV in the antenna input. That's all the installation that is needed.

Most antennas are black but we found some are also available in white and come with wall mount kits to blend in with your décor.

HDTV antennas pick up local and major networks without any cost to you. That's right – free TV; no more cable! These include major networks such as CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC and others. With these channels, you can catch local and national programs, the World Series, Sunday Night Football and the Super Bowl.

If you are still paying a fortune for cable, here's one word of advice – stop. An HDTV antenna will give you access to live TV without requiring an expensive cable contract.

Contributing Reviewer: Anna Burleson