That was our top criteria for selecting the best indoor TV antenna.
If you want to cut to the chase, the Mohu Leaf Indoor HDTV antenna scored high marks in every category and is our top pick for your television.
Indoor TV Antenna Comparison
|Antenna Gain |
|47.00 – 830.00||47.00 – 862.00||50.00 – 689.00||87.50 – 862.00||47.00 – 830.00||87.50 – 862.00||470.00 – 862.00||50.00 – 689.00||87.50 – 862.00||470.00 – 862.00|
Indoor TV Antenna Buying Guide
What is an Indoor TV Antenna?
An indoor TV antenna is an antenna that helps users get better reception from their TVs when they don’t have cable or satellite services. It receives over-the-air broadcast signals which can be transmitted from 41 to 250 MHz in VHF and 470 to 960 MHz in UHF. Although TV antennas come in two types: indoor and outdoor, we are only discussing the indoor types in this buyer’s guide.
There are many variables present that can affect how good a signal you get with your indoor TV antenna. These factors include:
- How close you are to a broadcast tower
- What direction are your windows facing?
- Are there tall buildings between you and the transmitter?
- What is the terrain like in your environment? Mountainous? Flat?
- What are the most important stations for you to try and get?
- Are you willing to spend a little more initially to get the stations and reception you want?
- Do you care what the antenna looks like?
Because there are all these things present that can affect the quality of your reception. There are many models of indoor TV antennas on the market. Many are for HDTVs, like the models we reviewed above. Every person may need something different, so being able to determine what your needs are and what the variable are for your specific circumstances will enable you to have the best indoor TV antenna for your home televisions.
Some feel that it is best to try the cheapest antenna you can find and then upgrade if the cheaper one doesn’t do well enough. The issue with this theory is that you may end up buying several units and then not need them or want them if they don’t work well.; If you’re going to try cheaper units first, try to get the ones that have 30 ay money back guarantees so you can try it out and not just be out that money if the reception ends up being very poor.
How to Get the Best TV Antenna?
The days of tin foil rabbit ears to get a better signal are long gone. Now there are all digital HDTV signals that will either get certain TV stations in your home or not. It’s unfortunately an all or nothing deal. As we mentioned above, there are many factors that will determine the kind of signal you get. How many channels you can watch will depend on how close you are to a major TV market. If you DO live close to one, you may be able to get a large amount of channels, especially your local channels like ABC, CBS and NBC at no cost and with a better picture than you get with cable or satellite.
There are some things you can do to ensure that you get the best possible indoor TV antenna you can. Follow these tips below and you will have a much easier time choosing from all the indoor TV antennas available.
Check Out Several Models
There are so many different styles and models of indoor antennas on the market that choosing just one without knowing how they work can feel like a losing proposition. It’s this reason that we recommend you find models that offer no hassle return policies and money back guarantees so you have the freedom to check out a few of your favorites to see how they perform. In many reviews that have been done, cheaper does not always mean lower quality. Sometimes the lower cost antennas can work just as good if not better than the higher priced ones. What we’re saying is nit to make your decision solely based on price alone as this is not an indication of the performance or quality of results that you will get.
Putting the Antenna up High
One of the big factors in how well your antenna performs will be in the height of the placement. It is one reason why outdoor antennas can oftentimes perform better than indoor models but with all of the advanced technology that is going on, the indoor units are just as good. Where you place your indoor TV antenna can mean the difference between great reception and spotty reception.
It is recommended that you place the antenna in an attic or second story window if you have one. Things in the room or roofing materials may interfere with the antennas signals so try several different locations until you find the one that performs the best. If you are going to put the antennas in the same room as the TV they need to be in higher locations in the room for the best effects and results. You can even mount it to the ceiling.
Face it in the Right Direction
The antennas are going to perform better in general if they are facing the direction of the broadcast towers. You can look up the DTV antenna map to find out where the broadcast towers are for the stations you want to bring in. Once you know what direction they are you will know where in your home is the best location for the antenna. Much of this is trial and error and you can try different locations and directions to see what brings the best results.
Watch for Interference
Anything that gets in between your antenna and the broadcast tower has the potential to cause interference and reduce your reception. If you don’t live in an apartment complex where your view is another brick apartment building, the window will be the best place to try first off. If that doesn’t work, your second choice will be an external wall that faces the direction of the broadcast towers.
If you live in a house with a yard, avoid large trees, garages, sheds and other large obstacles. A handy tip that will help you be able to move the antenna around as needed is to get extra length of RG6 coaxial cable and a female to female coax cable joiner. Rather than constantly mount and take down the antenna while you are searching for that perfect spot, you can use something like painter’s tape to secure the antenna to different locations until you find the right one. One the perfect location is found, then you can mount it more permanently.
Information about Amplifiers
Many indoor TV antennas have amplifiers which can boost signal strength. It is used to pull in more distant stations. If you are going to split the signal among two TV sets an amplifier can be beneficial as well. Unfortunately they are not foolproof or without their own issues and in some cases, your antenna will work better and pull more stations without it. The best course of action is to look at models that include a detachable amplifier and then you can try it and use it if it improves things and detach it if it doesn’t.
You don’t have to suffer with poor picture quality and snow on your screen anymore when you don’t have cable or when you don’t have other options. Indoor TV antennas provide the opportunity to improve picture quality AND can give you access to many free channels with no monthly bills or contracts to worry about. With the information we have given you here you have the knowledge that can help you choose the right indoor TV antenna and improve the TV watching situation in your own home.
A lot of people are making the choice to reduce the cable bill drastically and the indoor TV antenna enables them to still have those local channels they love at no cost beyond the initial purchase of the antenna itself. It’s a great way to save money and not have to suffer with nothing on TV at all.
- Mohu – http://store.gomohu.com/
- 1byone – http://www.1byone.com/tv-antenna.html
- AmazonBasics – http://www.amazon.com/