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)

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.

1.  1byone HDTV Outdoor TV Antenna

Our Pick

Our runner-up, the 1byone HDTV antenna just missed our number one spot and 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.

Highlights

  • We found the 1byone HDTV  to be very durable. We tested it in one of our different locations and threw as much dirt at it as we could.
  • This performed the best in conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, and even snow storms. It picked up signals beautifully and displayed in high quality even under these conditions.
  • This antenna also has a range up to 150-miles which is something many antennas promise but do not deliver on. We found this not to be the case.
  • This antenna picked up signals from stations we found about 140-miles away under perfect conditions which was surprising and very impressive.
  • Under the poor conditions, we noticed the quality of the signals 140-mils decreased but not as much as we thought they would. They still played in high quality, video, and sound.
  • This antenna comes with a built-in amplifier which is one of the reasons it performs so well. It increases its range and quality drastically.
  • It receives UHF signals and is optimizing for 1080P digital reception, which assures you reliable and high quality viewing.  The amplifier does not create noticeable noise and should not be a concern. This is the best 150-mile outdoor tv antenna and earns the second place spot on our list.

2. RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna

Runner Up

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.

Highlights

  • 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.
outdoor tv antenna pick

3. 1byone Amplified Mounted TV Antenna

Also Great

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.

Highlights

  • 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.

4. Orfilar Directional Tv Antenna

The Orfilar outdoor tv antenna is a great modern outdoor tv antenna. It has a cool modern design, different, more compact and definitely more visually appealing than the other antennas.

  • This small compact design, enables it to perform under in windy and rainy conditions.
  • It has aAnti-UV coating, making its signal reliability even better under windy and rainy conditions. It also increases durability with its waterproof coating from snow and rain while at the same time shields them for minimal interference. These are rare and very cool features not typically found in other antennas.
  • This antenna was found to be one of the most durable ones, mainly due to these modern and extraordinary features. This was possible due to its compact design. It is sort of in a square and box-like design and would not be possible if it followed the design of the other products.
  • This product does not come with a built-in amplifier like the other products ranked higher on the list do. Some power is lost as a result, but reliability certainly is not. With this product, its range stays consistent through different atmospheres and conditions.
  • In perfect conditions, it would consistently hold a range of 115-mile radius. Through tough conditions and atmospheres such as a hilly terrain, a heavily obstructed location like downtown Chicago and bad weather only decreased the range and reception quality by a minor scale. In these conditions, on average we would receive about a 95-mile radius and a just a minor quality decrease which is barely noticeable to someone watching the tv.
  • This antenna is very reliable through any condition and is the one to get if you witness many of these unideal conditions. 

5. MediaSonic HW-560AN TV Antenna

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.

6. ClearStream Tv Antenna

The ClearStream 2V HDTV tv antenna comes with a new and intriguing design. At a bit of a higher price, it delivers good results in certain fields.

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.

7. Pingbingding Amplified 360-degree TV antenna

The pingbingding amplified HDTV outdoor tv antenna is a great hybrid outdoor tv antenna with many great features and benefits along the spectrum.

  • 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.

8. Antennas Direct High Gain Bowtie TV Antenna

The Antennas Direct High gain outdoor tv antenna is a great stable, durable and reliable antenna. At a higher price than most of the other antennas, this one gives you really good reliability through most conditions.

This antenna also promises a 60-mile range radius while suggesting that it can go 70-miles or more.

  • On average, during perfect conditions, we would pick up an average of 55-mile range radius under HD which is very close to its promised range. Under bad weather conditions, it performed poorly.
  • It would drop to a 40-mile range radius with poor quality. It should be expected that the majority of outdoor tv antennas perform poorly under bad weather.
  • Our team just managed to find all the best antennas that perform the best under those conditions. This antenna has a neat and unique design. It enables the antenna to receive signals well in obstructed areas. When tested in our Chicago location it performed very well. It received most of the available signals in HD. Overall, this is a great and reliable antenna and is paid for with its high price.

9. GE-29884 Outdoor TV Antenna

The GE 29884 is another great 70-mile outdoor tv antenna. It comes with a great design and makes it very easy to mount and setup.

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.

10. Philex Amplified TV Antenna

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.

11. ANTOP Directional TV Antenna

The ONTOP outdoor tv antenna is another high-quality build which is also at a higher price. It is a very similar product to the Philex because of many similar features. The ONTOP outdoor tv antenna is another compact and modern build which eases its set up significantly.

Setting it up took very quick, and any ordinary person could have done it without a hassle. It is another cool looking product and is not an eye sore like some of the other messy looking antennas.

  • This antenna also comes with an amplifier. Its noise is noticeable when paying attention but is not noticeable when inside your home and is better than most antennas out there in this context.
  • Its amplifier is great and plays a major role in the products great range and quality reception. It also comes with an anti-UV design which helps it well through bad weather.
  • Through testing, this was found to be true and performs very well under bad weather. It promises a 65-mile range radius. Under perfect conditions, we tested it and received an average range of 55-miles. This is very good and is close to its promised amount. Under bad weather condition, it was also a great performer and its quality and range did not decrease by too much.
  • This outdoor tv antenna like the last has a 360-degree feature. It can receive signals from all sides which is super convenient. After testing this feature, it worked as well as the ANTOP.
  • This antenna provides another super useful feature. It can be used with two different TVs and not extra adapters are needed. This is convenient if you have more than one tv and want to watch in different areas around your home. This product is very similar to the last and is a great performing antenna.

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.

Purpose

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.

Location

Your location plays a major role in your signal reception and range. The physical factors such as weather, terrain and surrounding obstructions all together affect signal reception significantly. Before buying an antenna you need to research your local terrain, weather and how much wind and rain you get on average. You also need to research what available stations are in your signal range. If you want to get the channels you want, you need to find this out.

Available Signals

As mentioned above, different locations will receive different channels. This is due to the fact that there are different tv towers and channels everywhere you go. You need to do some research to find out what channels you can receive in your radius.tell

Amplifier

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

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 or www.nocable.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

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.

The weather

Weather like rain, snow, wind and ice storms can decrease the quality of your reception. These things cause lots of interference and will decrease your range and signal reception and quality. Some outdoor tv antennas come with anti-UV coating and other anti-weather protection systems which help them from performing badly as a result of bad weather.

Living in the city

This is similar to the terrain factor. Living in the city causes lots of interference because of all the buildings, houses and other obstructions found in the city. These block signals and make it harder for them to reach the antenna. Range and quality will decrease drastically.

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.

Use an
amplifier

If your antenna does not come with a built-in amplifier, it is a great choice to get if you are not satisfied with your signal reception or viewing quality. An amplifier will increase the strength of your signal reception. It will increase the range, and let you get signals from further away. It will also increase the quality of the signals that you receive.

Positioning

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.

Change
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 do research on how to install your specific product step by step or improvise if you choose to build one yourself.

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.

Conclusion

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.

1.  1byone HDTV Outdoor TV Antenna

Our Pick Again

Our runner-up, the 1byone HDTV antenna just missed our number one spot and 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.