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Best Outdoor HDTV Antenna

Is your TV signal spotty? If your indoor antenna just doesn’t cut it anymore, it might be time to upgrade to an outdoor one instead. These offer a clearer line of sight to a broadcast tower and can significantly improve the quality of your signal, plus they don’t have to cost the earth.

We’ve rounded up five of the very best outdoor HDTV antennae so you don’t have to. With our help, you can find which is best for you, put your feet up and enjoy watching TV with no fear of losing connection.

Outdoor HDTV Antennas – Helping Guide

In the table below, you’ll find the name of each product we’ll be reviewing, as well as its range. There’s a lot more to these antennae than just this, though, so don’t go making a decision just yet.

AntennaReception Range
Mediasonic HW-560AN60 miles
1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor / Roof HDTV Antenna80 miles
1byone Amplified Outdoor Antenna60 miles
ANTOP UFO Amplified Outdoor HD TV Antenna65 miles
ANTOP Flat Panel Outdoor/Indoor Digital TV Antenna80 miles

Now that you’ve gotten a feel for the products we’ll be discussing, let’s go a little more in-depth. We’ll be comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each, and also speculating as to who they’d be best suited for. Let’s being with the least expensive model, the Mediasonic HW-560AN.

1

Mediasonic HW-560AN – Best Budget Outdoor HDTV Antenna

The Mediasonic HW-560AN is an inexpensive outdoor HDTV antenna that has an impressive range of around 60 miles. If you find yourself unable watch even local channels, this will not only fix that right up but will likely actually allow you to receive stations from much further away.

It retails for around $20, however, this model doesn’t come with a mounting pole and you’ll need to spend another $10 or so on a mounting kit. Once you have the brackets, screws, and pole, setting it up is simple: just clamp this unit to the pole and connect the coaxial cable.

This antenna is optimized for use with ultra-high frequencies (UHF). Since the majority of transmitters send out these signals, you’ll receive multiple new channels, and although there are still some (generally smaller) stations which use very high frequencies (VHF), if they are nearby, you can get those too, although if they’re slightly further afield, you may not be able to.

The unit is made of aluminum and is very sturdy once attached, despite its light weight. There’s no movement even in strong winds (around 40 miles per hour), which is great since any movement can lead to a loss of contact between your antenna and the signals it’s picking up. There are ten elements, and it can pick up any signals in the 470-862MHz range, so you can access roughly 90% of all broadcasts in your area.

The antenna is 12” tall, 2.8” thick and 18” long, so make sure that there’s a spot on your roof (ideally, although it can also be mounted to a wall) where it’s not being blocked by a chimney or anything. It might take a little time to find the direction which works best for you, but once you get it, you don’t have to mess with it again. It’s also important to keep an eye out for other things which might block the signal, like woodlands or hills, and adjust the angle of the antenna accordingly.

There’s no problem with connecting multiple TVs, although you will need a splitter. If your coaxial cable is going to be longer than 50 feet or you want to connect lots of TVs, there’s a chance you’ll lose signal. In this case, you’ll likely need to pay a little more for a signal amplifier. These vary pretty wildly in terms of price, so consider this before you make a purchase.

Overall, this is a pretty good antenna. We wish that it came with a mounting pole, since the low cost means less if you have to buy additional parts, but it has a job and it does it well. Sixty miles might be a little short for those in very remote areas, but for most people, and particularly those who live in a city, this will be all you need.

PROS
  • Low cost, high performance
  • Receives 90% of broadcasts
  • Relatively compact
  • Sturdy build
CONS
  • Doesn't come with a mounting pole
2

1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor / Roof HDTV Antenna – Best Outdoor HDTV Antenna for Remote Areas

If you want to try out an over the air antenna, but aren’t sure if you’ll actually receive anything with it, there’s no better model for you than the 1byone HDTV antenna. Thanks to its increased range, it’s also perfect for those who live out in remote areas – you might be used to not getting cell coverage but that’s no reason to accept limited TV and radio service.

Firstly, it has a range of 80 miles, which is a range not often seen in low-end antennae. Usually, you’ll find that with a product in this price range (around $30), you’ll get around 60 miles, so it’s an improvement of 30% over the average. This means that you’ll likely receive channels from the nearest cities and maybe even some which are further away, no matter where you’re located.

The manufacturers know that the weather is more severe in isolated places, and that’s why they’ve built this unit with hardier parts than the competition. The individual parts are secured to one another more tightly and all of the screws you need are included, as is the clamp. You will need to buy a mounting pole, as with the last model we saw, but these aren’t expensive.

Like the last model, this one picks up frequencies in the UHF ranges, from 470-862MHz, so you’ll have access to the vast majority of stations and only the smaller, less well-funded ones who still rely on VHF will be inaccessible to you. Make sure to check that your TV has a built-in tuner before you buy too – if it doesn’t, this antenna isn’t going to help you.

This unit is nice and compact, just 5.7” tall and 2.4” wide. It’s a little longer than normal, at just under 19”, but the larger the surface area of the antenna, the more waves hit it, leading to increased reception. Setting it up is nice and easy, it’s just a case of attaching it to your pole and connecting the cable – simple.

Another piece of good news for those who live in remote areas: this product comes not only with a full 12-month warranty, but also a 30-day money back guarantee. If you’re interested in trying an antenna out, but aren’t sure you’ll actually pick anything up, you can purchase this product, give it a try and return it if it doesn’t work out. If that’s not satisfaction guaranteed, we don’t know what is.

As with the Mediasonic, we’d have liked to see an antenna pole included. This product costs a little more than the last, and whilst the increased range is wonderful, it wouldn’t have cost the company much to include one. That said, we love their warranty and money back guarantee and would like to see more companies offering these in the future.

PROS
  • Longer range than its competition
  • Very sturdy construction
  • Great warranty
  • Comes with screws and clamp
CONS
  • Doesn't come with a mounting pole
3

1byone Amplified Outdoor Antenna – Best HDTV Antenna for Central Locations

With a lot of the standard “metal arm” style antennae, positioning is everything. If you don’t have one of the fancy versions that rotates using a remote control, that means climbing up on the roof to adjust it. With this model from 1byone, there’s no need for adjustments, manual or otherwise.

It has a circular shape, not unlike a satellite dish, but mounted horizontally. This means that it picks up signals from a full 360° – no matter which direction they come from, if they’re within a 60-mile radius, you’ll receive them.

There are other benefits to the shape of this product, though: firstly, it’s less likely to lose signal due to the wind. With a smaller exposed surface, there’s less resistance, and it’s less likely to turn. Plus, even if it did turn, your signal would be fine. It also has an anti-UV coating to protect it from the sun, and on top of all of that, it’s water and snow-proof too.

Installation is quick, painless and can be done without using any tools. Whilst it doesn’t come with a mounting pole, the beauty of this model is that due to its small frame (11.7×11.7×8.3”), it can be mounted anywhere from a balcony railing to a truck’s bumper (you can take this fishing and tailgating – if that doesn’t convince you, nothing will).

1byone have included a 20-foot long coaxial cable, so if your TV isn’t near a window, you can still connect it without any problems. Even a cable longer than that would be okay, as long as you had an amplifier handy. The great news about this model is that it not only picks up channels on ultra-high frequencies but also some on VHF bandwidths. You can pick up any station that broadcasts between 87.5-230MHz and 470-862MHz – whilst this doesn’t cover the full VHF bandwidth, it’s more than half of them, and so you’ll be pretty well catered to.

This unit is a little more expensive than the other two we’ve seen so far; it costs around $70, but we believe it justifies its higher price by being far more versatile. It’s far more resistant to the elements so you know it’ll work come rain or shine, plus it can be attached to a wider range of surfaces and even picks up more frequencies than its competition. If you’re located in the middle of a city or even between cities, you’ll reap the biggest rewards. The direction is irrelevant with this antenna – as long as there are signals, you’ll pick them up.

PROS
  • Picks up signals from all angles
  • Weather resistant
  • Attaches to just about anything
  • Picks up some VHF signals as well as UHF
CONS
  • Pretty pricey
4

ANTOP UFO Amplified Outdoor HD TV Antenna – Best HDTV Antenna for RVs

If you have an RV or boat, you’ll know the struggle of trying to get a good TV signal on the move. Luckily, ANTOP have created a product that’s perfect for this – the UFO Amplified HDTV antenna.

It has a circular shape, similar to the last product we covered, but comes with a slightly longer range: 65 miles instead of 60. When it comes to picking up TV signals on the road, a standard aerial shape just won’t cut it. They have a tendency to lose connection when you go around corners or whenever the antenna is pointed slightly differently, but the UFO shaped antennae receive signals from every direction, so this isn’t an issue.

This model comes with a built-in filter which blocks out 3G and 4G wireless signals. This means that these waves won’t interfere with your TV signal in any way – your images will be clear and free from noise or distortion. The inclusion of this tech is likely why this unit costs a little more, at around $95. We’re conscious that this might be a little steep for some people, but when you’ve had a long day and just want to relax and catch your show, the last thing you want is a sub-standard TV antenna.

The casing of this antenna are coated to prevent damage or interference from UV rays and it has a weather resistant finish, so no matter how hard the rain is falling, you won’t see any difference in video quality. It’s relatively compact at 15×15” deep and wide, and just 3.7”, plus it can easily be mounted to the top rail of your RV without the need for a pole (although if you have a pole, it can obviously be attached to this too).

When you buy this product, you are given a 12-month warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as access to a 24-hour live chat service which can help you with any problems you might be having. This ensures that you’re never left waiting until 9 am on Monday, unable to get your product to work as intended.

This unit picks up both VHF and UHF signals, although it doesn’t receive quite the full range of very-high frequencies. We found that we were able to get the majority of VHF channels in our area, but a few remained unavailable. It does come with a 33-foot long coaxial cable, which is longer than you usually get, and also a 2-way TV splitter in case you want to connect multiple TVs to it. Since these accessories usually cost a little more, we were glad to see them included.

Overall, this is one of the best TV antennae, period. We’d have preferred it if the whole VHF range was receivable, but given that the performance was great otherwise, we’re willing to let that slide. The customer support is excellent, so whilst this model is a little more expensive, it’s well worth the money.

PROS
  • Picks up signals from all angles
  • Includes 3G/4G filter, two-way splitter
  • Easily mounts to RV's top rail
  • Picks up some VHF signals as well as UHF
CONS
  • More expensive than most
  • Doesn't receive full VHF range
5

ANTOP Flat Panel Outdoor/Indoor Digital TV Antenna – Best High-End HDTV Antenna

If you’ve got a little more room in your budget and want to get the best of the best, we’ve got just the product for you. Like the last one we reviewed, it’s from ANTOP, and it even shares some of the features of that model, but it improves upon it in several ways in order to justify its higher price tag.

First and foremost, the range exceeds that of any of the other outdoor antennae we’ve seen so far except for one. You can receive signals from both VHF and UHF stations up to 80 miles away – if you’re in New York, in perfect conditions, you can watch TV stations broadcasting out of Allentown, Pennsylvania. If you only want to focus on local stations, there’s a convenient long/short range switch, although unless you’re receiving a distorted signal, you’re probably best leaving it on long range.

This model also has a weather resistant coating that’s resistant to UV rays, as well as ANTOP’s 3G and 4G filter. It comes with a massive 40 foot-long coaxial cable, and most of the time, your signal will be strong enough to feed to multiple TVs without an amplifier.

Where this antenna differs from the last model is in its size. It receives signals from all angles, just like a circular model would, but it’s considerably taller at 23.5”, wider at 10.2” and thicker at 4.7”. This does mean slightly higher wind resistance, but given that the unit is so heavy (7.5 pounds), there’s unlikely to be any significant movement, even in high winds.

Again, you have access to the online customer support web chat, and of course, the 12-month warranty is included too. Everything you need to mount it is included and setting it up is a very simple process. It’s worth noting that this is the only model we’ve seen that comes with a mounting pole – it’s inexpensive but goes a long way towards building trust with potential customers. People are already paying for the antenna, so why should they spend more on a product which is essential?

At a little under $130, this product isn’t cheap. The good news is that when you purchase this, you can set it up in an afternoon and won’t have to run to the hardware store for a mounting pole or brackets. This is a high-quality product with a high-quality price tag, but the range alone puts it ahead of its competition.

PROS
  • Picks up signals from all angles
  • Durable and noise resistant
  • Extremely long range
  • Picks up both VHF and UHF signals
CONS
  • Quite expensive

Best Outdoor HDTV Antenna - Buyer's Guide

At first glance, antennae can be hard to compare. There are a whole range of different specifications and a lot of stores will try to overestimate the importance of some of them to sell you a product you don’t need. To help out, we’ve put together a short guide to finding the best outdoor antenna based on your requirements and budget. Stick with us and you’ll be just fine.

Environment

Firstly, where are you located? If you live in the city, you likely won’t need a super long-range antenna unless you’re trying to get stations from other cities. On the other hand, if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, there’s really nothing more important than range. There are a large number of other specifications, but for the most part, they’re irrelevant unless you want to get into the finer electrical details. If you’re curious, there’s a great article here that explains things well.

Even if you get a product with a long range, there’s no guarantee you’ll receive the signals, though. Environmental features like mountains can block the signals before your antenna has a chance to receive them. For best results, if you have a directional antenna (one of the metal bar style products), try to avoid pointing it towards trees or buildings and mount it as high up as you can. You may have to adjust the angle until you get the perfect picture, but only a multi-directional antenna can avoid this.

Installation

In order to install the antenna, you’re going to need a mounting pole. Most products don’t come with one of these, so make sure to buy one beforehand – again, the taller the better. That said, if you have a nearby railing or bar, you can clamp it to this instead. The majority of antennae come with the brackets and screws you’ll need to attach it to the pole, but double check, just to be safe.  

Next, consider how far your TV is from your window. You may need a longer coaxial cable than the one provided, depending on the layout of your room, and if you need a really long cable, the signal might degrade. If this is the case, or if you want to send the signal to lots of televisions, you’ll need a signal amplifier. These can be bought for around $20 from just about any hardware store, and you can tell in advance if you’ll need one by measuring the distance from your mounting point to your TV – if it’s longer than 30 feet or so, be prepared to set some money aside.

Conclusion


Although each product we’ve seen has its own strengths and weaknesses, we’ve decided that the one which would appeal to most people is the 1byone Digital Amplified Outdoor / Roof HDTV Antenna. It has a very high range, a reasonable price and whilst it doesn’t really receive VHF signals, you’ll have access to the vast majority of stations around you.

These products don’t have to be confusing; although there’s a lot of information out there about outdoor HDTV antennae, it’s often not explained very clearly in simple terms. Hopefully, we’ve demystified them a little for you, so now you can make an informed decision as to which is best. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and have a great day.

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