Want to know a dirty little secret? You don’t have to pay for cable to get live TV. And we don’t mean switching over to a streaming service, we mean free, free. With a TV antenna, your cable bill can literally go to zero. Yes, you read that right. So stop paying for cable. Like, right now, don’t do it anymore.
Ok, now that you’re ready to stop paying for cable, we’re going to help you find the best TV antenna. Below, we cover:
- How TV antennas work
- The difference between indoor and outdoor antennas
- The best indoor TV antennas for sale
- The best outdoor TV antennas for sale
How it Works
TV towers send signals from one tower through transmissions in the sky. A TV antenna snags those TV channels and brings them into your home. And for the worry worts — this is completely legal. It is really that simple.
Before you decide on a TV antenna, there are a few things you should consider. First, your location in relation to the nearest TV tower is important to know how strong of an antenna you’ll need. This TV tower locater will help you determine how far away you live from a TV tower, and what range you’ll need from your TV antenna. The FCC also provides a DTV receptor map to help you determine what channels are available in your area.
Another thing to consider is whether you live in a rural or metropolitan area. Things like trees and buildings can interrupt the signal, making it more difficult to receive as many channels as possible. Speaking of channels, the amount of channels you will receive depends on all the factors above, so if a TV antenna promises you 100 channels, there’s no actual way to determine that.
Indoor Vs Outdoor Antennas
For most people, a great indoor TV antenna will be sufficient. Indoor antennas generally have the ability to pick up TV signals from towers that are 25 to 50 miles away. And if you live in a downtown area, you’re more than likely within that range of a TV tower. These TV antennas are conveniently small, lightweight and can mount to your wall with as little as a piece of double-sided tape. This makes it easy to hide it behind your TV or in the corner of a window. Indoor TV antennas are especially great for apartments.
Outdoor TV antennas are generally more expensive and require a bit more installation, oh, and climbing on your roof, which isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. The major advantages of getting an outdoor TV antenna over an indoor one are power, signal strength and range. Being outside gives outdoor antennas a better shot at picking up TV signals (no walls to create interruption), plus the signal strength usually ranges from 50 miles and above. These are best for rural areas or areas that are far away from TV towers.
But whatever you get, make sure you pair with a high-quality 65-inch TV to make the whole thing worth your while!
The Best Indoor TV Antennas For Sale
If you’ve determined that you’re close enough to a TV tower to get away with an indoor TV antenna, below are the best five indoor TV antennas for sale in 2020. It’s time to wave goodbye for good to that irrelevant cable bill once and for all.
1. ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna
BEST INDOOR ANTENNA
With the ability to grab anywhere from 20 to 60 channels (depending on where you live) the ClearStream Eclipse is one of the best TV antenna options for inside your home. Not only does it grab channels out of the sky like Mr. Miyagi with a pair of chopsticks, but the circular design also helps out in the home decor department. This TV antenna looks as great as it works.
2. Philips Modern Loop Rabbit Ears TV Antenna
BEST INDOOR BUDGET OPTION
You don’t have to spend a ton of cash on an antenna to get the channels you need, and this rabbit ears one from Philips is a testament to that. It’s designed for superior reception with VHF and UHF signals is ready for use with all brands of HDTVs and 4K TVs. It has a weighted rubber base and feet to attach itself without scratching your tabletop, and it provides access to channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox, CW and more.
3. Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna
BEST FOR RURAL HOMES
Live far away from the channels you want? This is one of the best TV antennas for a wide range of access, so if you’re rural it’s a great way to stay connected to your favorite shows. It has up to 80 miles of range and comes with an 18 foot long coaxial cable and power adapter so you can place it anywhere in your house where you get great service. You’ll receive full access to HD channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and more. It provides a crystal-clear TV signal and HD sound quality as well. It has an amplified signal booster and a built-in smart IC chip that weeds out cellular and FM signals so your favorite programs go uninterrupted.
4. 1byone Indoor Amplified HDTV
MOST DURABLE INDOOR
Made from heavier and more durable plastic, the 1Byone Amplified HDTV Antenna can take a bit more of a pounding than other flimsier TV antennas. But that extra durability comes with its downsides. The cable doesn’t detach, and the double-sided tape isn’t reusable. Beyond that, you’re getting a strong antenna that can snatch anywhere from 12 to 42 channels according to Amazon users.
5. Winegard FL5500A FlatWave
LONG RANGE INDOOR
This amplified indoor TV antenna boasts an impressive 50-mile multi-directional range as well as 4K support. Since it is amplified, you’ll need to plug an adapter into the wall, so you may want an extension cord if you need to get creative with the placement of the TV antenna. One Amazon user claimed to receive up to 60 channels using this TV antenna. So, if you live fairly far away from a TV station, you might want the extra range provided by this Winegard antenna.
So, you need a little more juice to get free TV? Maybe you live in a rural area or there are just too many obstructions around your home to get the clear TV signal that you are looking for. No matter the reason, below you’ll find our picks for the best five outdoor tv antennas for sale
1. RCA Outdoor Tagi Satellite HD Antenna
BEST OVERALL OUTDOOR
This outdoor TV antenna isn’t big and clunky, nor does it require you have to find the highest spot on your house to mount it. It has a powerful 70-mile range, and some Amazon users claim to receive over 120 channels. It gets 1080p, 4K and 8K signals, and still receives signal during bad weather (looking at you, satellite dish). On top of all that goodness, it’s more affordable than most indoor antennas.
2. GE Pro Outdoor TV Antenna
With a 70-mile range and weather resistance, the GE Pro Outdoor is as durable as it is powerful. It’s so powerful, that you don’t necessarily have to put it outside to receive free TV. If you have an attic, it can snatch channels from there, too. It snags 4K HD signals and comes with a J mount for easy installation. It’s an easy-peasy way to start getting free HD cable.
3. Vansky Outdoor TV Antenna
LONG RANGE OUTDOOR
If you live in a rural area, the 150-mile range that the Vansky Outdoor TV Antenna provides might just be what the doctor ordered. Once you mount it to your roof, you can use a remote control to rotate the antenna, so you won’t need to break out the ladder every time you want to make an adjustment. Unfortunately, the pole is not included, but you can order it separately from the company.
4. Antop Outdoor TV Antenna
The modern design of the Antop outdoor antenna helps to not only protect it from windy, rainy and snowy days, but also to still receive channels during bad weather. It also has a built-in LTE filter, to help with channel clarity and reduce interference. It includes everything you need to install to get this thing on your roof or attic and to start receiving free TV.
5. Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V
This is the outdoor version of the ClearStream indoor TV antenna. It features a 60+ mile range and is multi-directional (no need to climb on the room and make minor adjustments). It’s lightweight and easy to install, plus the circular design looks pretty sweet, too. With over 4,300 ratings on Amazon, this TV antenna has brought free TV to many happy customers.