The Best Outdoor TV Antennas for Your Entertainment Needs
Cut the cord and enjoy free cable broadcast channels with these top-notch outdoor TV antennas.
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- BEST OVERALLChannel Master EXTREMEtenna CM-4228HDCheck Latest Price
- BEST VALUEPBD Outdoor Digital Amplified Yagi HDTV AntennaCheck Latest Price
- UPGRADE PICKChannel Master Digital Advantage Antenna CM-2020Check Latest Price
If you’ve checked into cord-cutting, you’re likely the type of person who enjoys saving money and doesn’t mind going against the grain. While there has been a trend in recent years of cord-cutters parting ways with their cable companies, these same folks tend to have a slew of streaming services that they subscribe to every month. While each service costs pennies on the dollar compared to a full-fledged cable bill, two or three subscriptions can add up.
Instead of subscribing to streaming services, you could be pulling in free TV channels from the airwaves around your home. The best outdoor TV antennas require only a small investment of time and money, so in no time at all, you could be saving money on cable and subscription services, while watching your favorite channels in HD quality.
While you may be skeptical, outdoor TV antennas really do work, and they are a great alternative for your entertainment needs. They can pull in a range of channels, including local television, national channels, and public broadcasting. They’re also relatively easy to install, either by enlisting the help of a local handyman, or doing it yourself—provided you don’t have a fear of heights.
Our Top Picks
The best outdoor TV antennas come in a range of sizes and capabilities. Some have incredibly long ranges, which are great for folks in remote areas. Others are compact and less obtrusive to the eye. Whatever your needs, the best outdoor TV antenna for your home entertainment is on the list of our top picks.
BEST OVERALL: Channel Master EXTREMEtenna CM-4228HD
Channel Master has been around since the dawn of TV antenna technology. The EXTREMEtenna CM-4228HD outdoor antenna is a product of all those years of research and innovation. This HD satellite has a 180-degree field of view and can pick up channels within 80 miles of a broadcast tower. It picks up UHF, VHF, FM, and HD signal, so homeowners cutting the cord for the first time shouldn’t have to sacrifice their favorite channels. The CM-4228HD does an excellent job of picking up HD-broadcasts as well.
If you’re installing this antenna yourself, you’ll need some extra parts. This kit doesn’t come with a pole (more appropriately referred to as the mast) or the brackets required to mount it on the side of a home. You’ll have to source those parts yourself.
BEST VALUE: PBD Outdoor Digital Amplified Yagi HDTV Antenna
People looking to try out over-the-air television without a large investment should check into PBD’s Outdoor Digital Amplified Yagi HDTV Antenna. When calibrated toward a broadcast tower, this antenna has a 120-mile range. This is perfect for those living in remote locations. It picks up VHF, UHF, and HD broadcasts. It has a built-in amplifier that helps to provide the best possible audio and video quality. It also comes mostly assembled and ready to install.
This antenna doesn’t come with a pole, but it does come with the brackets required to install it to one. It’s also worth noting that the higher you can mount it, the more channels you’ll receive. This goes for all antennas, but lower-end antennas in particular need to be installed as high as possible for the best reception.
UPGRADE PICK: Channel Master Digital Advantage Antenna CM-2020
When a manufacturer provides a range claim for its antenna, sometimes it over-sells its product’s capabilities. That’s not the case with this product. The CM-2020 outperforms antennas with as much as 50% more range, according to Channel Master. This 100-mile range antenna picks up UHF, VHF, and HD channels provided it’s lined up properly with a broadcast tower. The large size (almost eight feet long) and quality components ensure that this antenna provides the best available broadcast to your TV.
There are two things to be aware of with this model: this is a big antenna, and you don’t get much in the package. While most antennas do not come with a mast or pole, this antenna doesn’t come with a coaxial cable either. You’ll have to purchase your own roll of wire for the installation.
BEST COMPACT: Antennas Direct Clearstream 4V TV Antenna
When it comes to providing the most capability in a small package, the Antennas Direct Clearstream 4V Antenna is the pack leader. This compact antenna measures less than 30-inches wide and just about 20-inches tall. It installs easily, as it comes with the mounting pole and brackets required. The Clearstream 4V has a 70-mile range and picks up UHF and VHF frequencies easily. Where HD 1080i channels are readily available, this antenna will pick them up, and without an extra amplifier.
This model comes with everything you need to mount it to your home, but you will need to purchase the coaxial cable to wire into your home’s TV system.
LONGEST RANGE: Five Star Outdoor Digital Amplified HDTV Antenna
There’s a lot to like about this kit from Five Star. The brand’s outdoor digital amplified HDTV antenna comes with just about everything you need to wire up your entire home for TV-watching entertainment. It comes with all of the wiring and hardware to hook up to five TVs—a nice feature for larger homes. This even includes a J-pole for mounting it to your roof. The antenna also has a 200-mile range when installed with a relatively clear line-of-sight to the broadcast tower. It picks up UHF, VHF, and HD frequencies where available. It also has a built-in 360-degree motor to help find the best signal direction.
Since this kit is so comprehensive, it does come with quite a few parts, bits, and hardware. It requires a bit of assembly, so users looking for a kit that’s ready to go out of the box may want to consider another option.
BEST MOTORIZED: PBD Digital Outdoor TV Antenna
Not everyone wants to fiddle with tiny nuts and bolts when they’re putting an antenna together. This PBD Digital Outdoor TV Antenna features easy-to-assemble parts that snap onto the antenna body, making set up quick and easy. It also has a 360-degree motor, making reception adjustments on-the-fly at the touch of a button, either on the control box or with the included remote. It does have a 150-mile range and includes a J-pole for easy mounting and coaxial cable.
One issue some users might find is that the remote control for the motor might use the same frequencies as their television remote. You might be adjusting the volume and turning the antenna at the same time. If that’s the case, you’ll have to find a way to block the controller’s remote sensor.
BEST FOR ATTIC INSTALL: GE Pro Outdoor TV Antenna
There are no winners in the TV antenna beauty pageant, and this is one of the primary reasons why some people resist cord-cutting. This antenna from GE is powerful enough to install in your attic, keeping it out of eyesight for guests, visitors, and passersby. This is a great option for classically maintained homes with historical societies overseeing any modifications. This unit has a 70-mile range and comes with everything you need to install it on your roof or in your attic. It picks up HD broadcasts, working with both UHF and VHF frequencies.
While you’ll have no problem installing this antenna in your attic, you’ll need to purchase extra gear for hooking it up to several TVs, including an amplifier/splitter combination and coaxial cables.
BEST APP SUPPORT: RCA Outdoor Yagi HD Antenna
One of the most challenging aspects of cord-cutting is the proper alignment of your antenna. Yagi antennas require relatively pinpoint alignment to pick up all of the broadcasts that they’re capable of getting. RCA’s antenna uses a free smartphone app to help you locate the best signal for your area. It comes with the mounting brackets, power transformer, and snap-lock elements for an easy installation. This antenna also has a relatively small footprint, so attic installations are not out of the question.
This is another antenna that comes with almost everything you need to get started. It doesn’t come with a roll of coaxial cable. Once you purchase your own roll, you can tie this reliable antenna in with your TV set and cut the cable-company cord.