Last Updated on January 19, 2021
Outdoor TV antennas are perfect for those looking to take advantage of live TV and/or supplement their streaming subscriptions without the charges and hassle of subscribing to a cable plan.
These antennas will pick up signals far away in 1080p HD quality. Whether your trying to cut the bill or looking for an extra alternative when your other services are down, an outdoor TV antenna is a great choice.
There is huge variety to pick from. Products are very different in build, performance, and the way they suit your needs. The team and GadgetsSpy has dedicated over 20 hours testing a variety of different high-end antennas.
- Best Outdoor TV Antenna This Year (Top Picks)
- 1. 1byone Outdoor TV Antenna 360°
- 2. RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna
- 3. 1byone Amplified Mounted TV Antenna
- 4. Vansky Outdoor OTA Amplified HD TV Antenna
- 5. MEDIASONIC HW-560AN TV ANTENNA
- 6. ClearStream Tv Antenna
- 7. Pingbingding Amplified 360-degree TV antenna
- 8. Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie TV Antenna
- 9. GE-29884 Outdoor TV Antenna
- 10. Philex Amplified TV Antenna
- 11. ANTOP AT-415B 720° UFO Dual Omni-Directional Outdoor HDTV Antenna
- How we tested our outdoor tv antenna picks
- How to choose an outdoor TV antenna
- How to improve the signal of your outdoor tv antenna
- Why should I choose an outdoor over an indoor one?
- How To Install an Outdoor Tv Antenna
Best Outdoor TV Antenna This Year (Top Picks)
We spent hours researching this list, testing every detail and in multiple different locations ranging from Chicago downtown to hilly rural areas. There are hundreds of different antennas on the market each having a different quality and use.
Out of the hundreds of antennas on the market, we comprised a list of the best ones that we tested, each one being very good in their own right.
|Ranking||Model||Operating Range||HDTV/UHF/VHF||Our Rating||Review||Price|
|#1||1byone Outdoor TV Antenna 360°||150 Miles||yes||Best Value||Read Review||Check Price on Amazon|
|#2||RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV||70 Miles||Yes||Runner Up||Read Review||Check Price on Amazon|
|#3||1byone Amplified Mounted TV Antenna||100 Miles||yes||Also Good||Read Review||Check Price on Amazon|
|#4||Vansky Outdoor OTA Amplified HD TV Antenna||150 Miles||yes||Budget||Read Review||Check Price on Amazon|
Among all the options that exist in the market, this model is the most recommended in general. It is an antenna with a 360° omnidirectional reception. This means that you will be able to receive television signals no matter where they come from. You can also receive signals in HD quality to enjoy better results.
- This antenna eliminates interference and optimizes every signal reception. The 4G cell phone signals will not be a problem when detecting different signals.
- You will have a TV outlet to enjoy signals in HD quality for a TV. In the case of splitting the signal of this antenna, the results will probably not be the most suitable.
- You will be able to receive VHF / UHF signals in combination with the highest quality 4k images. You will not have to worry about some weather factors such as rain or wind.
- The 360° reception avoids the need for you to turn this antenna to a certain location. It uses the 39-foot coaxial cable to position this antenna in the most desirable location.
The Yagi antenna is our top pick for various different reasons. Starting with its build quality, the Yagi is built very well and high in quality.
After setting it up for two weeks, it was the most durable out of them all. It withstood all sorts of different weather conditions.
- This antenna performed well in conditions that we experienced such as wind and rain. This antenna promises a 70-mile range radius which is very accurate and close to what we received under perfect conditions.
- We received great and high-quality signals with over 50-miles away. The area that we tested this antenna was relatively hilly and had minor obstructions, and it still performed very well picking up signals 50 miles away, close to its promised range. When tested in our Chicago downtown location, it performed just as well. There were more signals in a closer range although in a very obstructed area.
- It surprisingly still received many of the available signals in very high quality. The RCA compact outdoor Yagi antenna receives UHF and VHF channels, assuring you the maximum amount of channels you can receive.
- This antenna was also very easy to set up with its simplistic design. It comes in a pre-assembled design which eased the setup process. It also came in a easy-lock fold-out UHF reflector. T
- his product also comes with a mast, mounting hardware and a 75-ohm transformer. Anyone can set up this antenna very easily.
This antenna is another high quality and durable outdoor tv antenna made by 1byone.
When tested under difficult natural circumstances, it almost performed as well as its other model. Both models are very similar, although performance in certain environments vary.
- In dense areas such as the Chicago downtown location, was where this product performed weaker than its counterpart. In tough natural conditions, it also performed weaker than the other 1byone antenna. Saying this it still performed amazingly.
- It has great picture and sound quality, and displays in HD. It receives VHF and UHF signals and is also optimized for 1080P digital reception. The antenna allows for these VHF and UHF high-definition reception. It can also receive standard definition signals. This is another product which has a built-in amplifier. It makes very little noise and is barely noticeable, as it would be typically sitting on the roof. It also has a 150-mile range and almost stays true to that promise.
- On average we found that it keeps a 120-mile range radius in rural areas under the best conditions. In the city, it still works very well and receives many of the available signals at high quality. All the tests we conducted gave us slightly similar results that we received with the other 1byone. It just performed a little weaker. But keeping in mind, the second place product performs extremely well, and even being close to that standard is very good.
- It is very simple and easy to set up and does not require too much work. It comes with a mounting pole and J-shape pole for the installation. Although it this antenna ranks slightly lower than its 1byone counterpart, it still is a very durable, high quality and great performing antenna.
After installing this antenna in your home, you will be able to receive a large number of signals. It is one of the best multidirectional devices you can count on in a city. You will not even need to rotate this antenna as it can receive signals from all directions. This is why it is one of the most convenient tools for a home.
- You have 150 miles of range in combination with a high gain 28 dB amplifier. So each of the components can be perfectly combined for the best result. The outdoor HD antenna optimizes the efficiency of each reception by 10%.
- You will be able to enjoy free TV signals with a clear and sharp image. As if that were not enough, the coaxial cable offers you excellent durability and longevity. Here the installation is very easy to check and will not take long. You will be able to place this antenna in the best position because of the 33 feet long coaxial cable.
- It is necessary to consider that each of the exterior elements has the proper resistance. This means that weather factors, such as wind, snow, and rain, will not affect the performance of your television. That’s why it’s one of the best investments if you have to spend a lot of time in your home.
The MediaSonic outdoor tv antenna is a perfect solution for somebody living in the suburbs or even in the city who do not witness too many obstructions and are in a decent range from the stations they need.
- The MediaSonic is a simple build. It promises a 60-mile radius for its range, which is close to what it really provides.
- Through our tests, on average during good conditions, it stays at a 52-mile radius. During tough conditions, it did not perform as good as some of the other high-end antennas.
- Through wind and rain, we would notice it would average at about a 30-mile radius with decent quality, not much worse than its quality under normal conditions.
- It is an average player in terms of performing with obstructions. It reached some of the signals with good quality in our Chicago downtown location and received most with great quality in our rural location.
- This simple product does not come with an antenna pole and needs to be purchased separately. It is another easy setup and did not cause extra trouble when we tested it. This product is the perfect one for somebody living in the suburbs or city with minimal obstructions.
This antenna is the perfect antenna for you if you are living in a non-ideal location. This comes with the directional design that helps people living with lots of obstructions in their area such as hills, mountains, houses, buildings, etc.
- This design allows not just to receive signals from the original source but from signals bouncing and rebounding off from all the different obstructions. This is ideal for people living in cities. All the high buildings and typical obstructions allow for this design to build flawlessly.
- This antenna also works for you if you have minimal obstructions and live in the suburbs or in a semi-close range to most of the stations near you. This is another product that promises a 60-mile range radius, and also does very close to that in ideal conditions. It receives signals very well and displays in very high quality.
- On average in ideal conditions, we had a 54-mile range radius which is very close to the promise. Even though this product does not come with an amplifier it still performs very well in heavily obstructed areas, more than any other product on this list mainly due to its directional design.
- Through our testing, we noticed that it is not the best through bad weather. Its quality decreased significantly when getting signals from far stations and its range decreased to a 35-mile range radius. This was oddly not the case in our Chicago downtown location, probably because of its great directional design. For these reasons, we deem this product to be the best 60-mile range radius antenna on the market and a great product for people living in the city.
- The pingbing ding aside from its funny name has a great and consistent range. It promises up to a 150-mile range radius and almost lives up to its promise.
- Under perfect conditions in a hilly terrain, it will stay at a 110-mile range radius at HD which is not too bad considering the hilly terrain.
- Under bad weather, it is an average performer. Its range will fall as low as 85-miles and provide decent quality.
- It has a very simple installation and is done very fast. It comes with a mounting pole which will raise the antenna and ease the installation process. Its amplifier is great. It is very quiet and is not noticeable. It increases its reception and range significantly. This is a great 150-mile outdoor tv antenna, with many different features that other antennas do not provide.
You won’t need to move this antenna around too much to get excellent results on your TV. This antenna is made of highly durable materials to withstand the elements.
- You will have the possibility to receive signals in Full HD quality, as well as widely known TV stations for free.
- It is important to consider that the life of the various components included is more than appropriate. In a very simple way, you can improve the fun that gives you your TV.
- After a very quick and easy installation, you can receive signals from different directions. However, it is necessary to consider that only the assembly instructions are included here along with the necessary hardware.
- You will need to have the coaxial cable and mounting to complete the installation of this antenna. Beyond that, you will be able to enjoy the big TV networks like Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, and others.
The antenna comes with multiple different ways to set it up making it very convenient and easy to choose which way is right for you. It is a very sturdy and durable build making it last longer and work well under the rough weather.
- The included weather resistant mounting bracket also is a factor which helped this product withstand bad weather. It was a great performer through rain and storm barely changing the quality and range.
- The build comes with signal enhancing reflectors which are told to improve the signal strength and reduce signal dropouts. After testing it, this feature seemed to help a lot and helped improve overall range and reception quality.
- We found its reception was quite good in ideal conditions and received most of the available signals in our rural testing location. We also tested in a more hilly location and also performed quite well. In our Chicago downtown location, the antenna did not perform as well.
- The antenna build is not optimal for receiving signals through a large density of obstructions. This is a great 70-mile range antenna which is durable and good through tough weather.
The Philex outdoor tv antenna comes in a very unique design and many good features. It comes in a compact and circular design. This circular design enables for 360-degree reception. It does not matter where it is pointing, it will pick up signals from every side. This is very useful because most of the antennas only pick up signals from one direction, and if you want to watch channels from stations on two different sides sending signals from different directions it would not be possible with a typical antenna.
- It is also smaller and more visually appealing, and less of an eye sore when noticing on your home.
- This product also comes with anti-UV coating which protects the antenna from wind, rain, snow and other interferences which helps it perform in bad weather. Because of its simplistic design, the installation is easy and flawless. It comes with a 33ft High-performance coaxial cable which lets you put it in a higher spot, receiving better reception with less interference.
- This antenna also comes with a built-in amplifier which significantly helps its performance. It makes minimal noise and is very hard to notice. This is another antenna that promises a 65-mile range radius. Through most conditions, that promise is close to being true. Under perfect conditions, we would receive a 49-mile range radius with very high quality.
- Some signals came in a lower quality than the others because from each side there are different obstructions and each station sends signals in different qualities. This is a great antenna for somebody living in the suburbs or city or even a bit into the rural areas. It has great features that are not typically found in other antennas and we rank this as the best omnidirectional outdoor tv antenna.
Last but not least, this omnidirectional antenna is excellent for outdoor use. You will have the possibility to receive signals in a range of 360° horizontally and 360° vertically. The signals received can be Full HD 1080 pixels or 720 pixels. After a very simple and fast installation, you will be able to enjoy the best signals.
- Even the installation does not require more than 5 minutes and is designed for anyone to perform. A protective shield has also been included here to avoid annoying interference.
- Each image in 4k quality can be enjoyed with an excellent level of clarity and fluidity. 3G and 4G wireless signals will not be a problem.
- It is necessary to consider that an amplifier is included here to obtain the right balance in each of the signals. You can even avoid overloading a signal by using the smart switch.
- To get the best results you can use the 33-foot long coaxial cable. This allows you to install this antenna in the most appropriate location.
- This antenna has been manufactured with resistant materials. You don’t have to worry about weather factors as this antenna is weather resistant.
How we tested our outdoor tv antenna picks
Our team dedicated over 20 hours testing over 20 different outdoor tv antennas. We set up the same antenna in two completely different atmospheres which had totally different topographies. One in Chicago downtown, and one in an Illinois rural area. We set them up in their optimal location and tested their quality, durability, range, and reception.
We ran tests, with and without amplifiers and tried to see if the ranges were those promised by the manufacturers. We tested their performance under poor natural circumstances such as wind and rain storms.
We also tested a couple in completely different environments, such as mountainous regions, very hilly regions, and flat plains. We checked what channels each antenna could reach in accordance with its range and the quality of its reception.
When we tested in our Chicago downtown location there were much more available channels and signals than there were in the rural area due to a large number of stations and signals coming from close by. Although there were many available, many were received in bad quality if received at all. In the city, especially in downtown where it is the most densely populated by buildings and people, there are many obstructions disabling the signals to come clearly if at all.
Using a longer and more powerful antenna definitely helped. We received more channels and in better quality, than those of which we did with the less powerful antenna.
Using an amplifier also increased the number of channels we got. With increased quality. These amplifiers will not just find new channels they will increase the quality significantly because they pick up the signals very well. This will not always be the case, because some channels come from stations further away whom of which may send low-quality signals from their stations. The results will vary for every different city, area, location and antenna. Each different city and area will have different available channels which send signals with different qualities.
How to choose an outdoor TV antenna
Outdoor tv antennas are large and complicated devices. They all come in many different designs, builds, qualities, and purposes that they are built for. These factors will affect their performance, and how they succeed in helping everyone’s different need.
The antenna plays a crucial role in picking up the signals and receiving the best quality. Different outdoor tv antennas, will come with different strengths and how far away they can receive signals. Some are better either short, medium or long range. If you live in a very rural area which is very far away you would want to consider getting a long range antenna.
If you are living in the middle of the city you would want to get a short range antenna and if you are living in a suburban area, a mid-range antenna would work just fine. Some antenna come in a design where it can pick up signals 360 degrees and is called an omnidirectional antenna. These are great so you do not need to choose where to point your antenna and will just receive all the signals coming from all the different directions.
Many outdoor tv antennas come with built-in amplifiers. These amplifiers strengthen the antenna and make it easier to receive signals through obstacles such as hills or buildings. It is a good idea to get an antenna which has a built-in amplifier even if you have no visible obstacles.
Still get an amplifier if you have a long-range antenna because it can strengthen the power if a new subdivision is built next to you for example (obstacles make it harder for signals to reach the antenna). No matter what they will increase your reception and quality. You can not go wrong with buying one.
Typically if you are more than 20 miles away from the broadcasting station it would be a good idea to pick up an amplifier. With these amplifiers, the reception was about a 50-mile radius. Otherwise, if you are in ideal circumstances and want to save the extra buck, an amplifier is not imperative. This will mostly be people living in condensed areas in the city who do not need a powerful antenna to reach that long of a range.
If you live in the suburbs or rural areas you will probably need an amplifier. Not only do amplifiers increase the range in which they receive signals, they also improve the reception in conditions such as storms, wind, and snow.
Range is an essential factor that you need to understand to make sure you get good reception and get the channels you want. You need to research your location and understand all the factors (topography, geography) that affect the range of your antenna.
If you are living in the middle of a hilly and mountainous area, your range will decrease because of that interference. In contrast, when living in flat plains and on top of hilly and mountainous areas you will get better signals and range. You also want to make sure you can receive signals of the channels you want at the best quality possible. To find out what channels you can access near your home and how far away they are you can find out multiple different ways. One way is to use www.antennaweb.org which tells you how much and what stations there are near your home.
What determines the channels you get and their clarity?
There are many factors that play a role in your range and reception quality. Those have to do with your terrain, weather, antenna, and atmosphere. On the other hand, you also have to depend on the tv stations. Different locations vary in tv stations and tv stations vary in their signal quality. There are many factors from both ends that affect the channels you get and how clear they are.
The terrain is a big factor in your signal reception. Some terrains cause major interferences and obstructions. If you are living in hilly or forested areas, these cause lots of interference and will cause you to have a smaller range and worse signal reception quality.
Living in the city
Distance from your house to the tv towers
The distance between your house and the tv towers is crucial. This is where the range of your antenna is important. The further away from your house the worse the signals will be. In these situations, an amplifier would improve this as it adds power to the antenna increasing its range and signal reception power.
Individual and available tv towers in your area
In every different location, there are different amounts of tv towers which emit different signal qualities. The more towers there are in your range, the better. You will receive more signals. It also depends on the towers signals that they give. Some might be weaker than others which is another major factor.
How to improve the signal of your outdoor tv antenna
If you are not receiving the quality and range that you were expecting it is most likely because of the reception strength of your antenna. It can also be the direction in which it is facing. There are many other factors which can affect the signal reception of your antenna. We have some tricks you can use to improve the signal of your antenna.
The location and direction of the antenna play a big role. You want to make sure that you are pointing your antenna towards that stations and signals that you are trying to receive. It will not work if you put it in a random direction and hope for the best.
It is also a good idea to put it a litter higher which will decrease the interference. Moving it around will also be good because every different direction and place have different environments. One direction might experience more wind and therefore cause more interference which is why it is a good idea to experiment and move it around and face it in different directions.
your coax cable
A great idea to boost your outdoor tv antenna signal strength is to change your coax cable. If you get a longer coax cable it should improve the coil thus increasing the signal’s strength. Also, try to make the coil semi loose between the TV and the antenna. This will definitely increase the quality of the signals.
Why should I choose an outdoor over an indoor one?
Outdoor antennas have much less interference. When placed inside, in the attic, for example, the are many things that interfere with the signals and decrease the reception quality. The walls and furniture obstruct the signals from coming to the antenna as easily as possible.
Outdoor antennas are also placed strategically higher up on the roof so it is above all the obstructions and makes it easier to receive signals without interference. Antennas, especially when with an amplifier can make lots of noise. You do not want this noisy device in your home and is not noticeable when up on your roof.
How To Install an Outdoor Tv Antenna
There are many different outdoor tv antennas which have different designs and installation processes. Most of them require a very similar installation and can be explained easily. Although, you will need to
If by any means you are not able to install it yourself, you can find installation services from a qualified profession or follow our more in depth installation guide. A more in-depth outdoor tv antenna installation guide.
Outdoor tv antennas are a great way to save money and are not that hard of a solution. Through its inexpensive price and easy setup, it is a great alternative for watching free tv indefinitely.
Our Pick Again
Our top pick, the 1byone Outdoor TV Antenna 360° is a very impressive and high-quality tv antenna.
This high-quality tv antenna has a very good build quality. The strong multi-element, cross-phase build is built for withstanding tough conditions, and performs great under bad weather.