Home Best TV Guide What Is the Best Antenna for Free TV?

What Is the Best Antenna for Free TV?

by Ledmond Team

One of the first questions most people transitioning from cable TV to free over-the-air TV ask is, “What is the best antenna for free TV?” This is a valid question because there are several factors to consider before buying a TV antenna. But first, let’s clear up one myth: you absolutely can use a TV antenna with your Smart TV. In fact, you can use an antenna for just about any kind of television that has a coaxial cable port or a digital converter box. Got it? Good!

Good antennas for free TV are determined majorly by your location and channel preferences. Over-the-air channels have specific signal bands and come from specific broadcast towers. The location of your TV will decide your antenna based on these signal bands, distance from the towers, and surrounding terrain, among several other factors. So we’ve come up with a few good options for you to consider.

What is the Best Antenna for Free TV?

Best Overall: Gesobyte Digital TV Antenna

Specifications

  • 250-mile maximum range
  • 18-foot coaxial cable
  • USB power adapter
  • Smart Switch Control
  • Quick and easy installation

Numbers don’t lie, and with over 30,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the Gesobyte Digital TV Antenna had to be our top pick. This is the best indoor TV antenna with a powerful signal booster to help filter out cellular and FM interferences for clearer images. In fact, the signal booster will allow you to access more free TV channels with better range, gain, and frequency performance.

So from as far as 250 miles away, you will receive up to 4K UHD quality images and HD sound for your viewing pleasure. Installation is super easy. Simply connect the coaxial cable to the F-connector at the back of your TV, then attach the flat antenna to your preferred surface. The long 18-foot coaxial cable allows you to find a location in your home with the strongest signal reception.

The inbuilt amplifier can be adjusted using the Smart Switch Control based on your distance from the broadcast towers. This antenna is powered by a USB adapter that comes with overvoltage protection to ensure longevity.

Best Budget: Mohu Leaf Metro TV Antenna

Specifications

  • 25-mile maximum range
  • 10-foot coaxial cable
  • Full HD
  • Multidirectional
  • Quick and easy installation

The best way to get free TV for less than $20 is by installing the Mohu Leaf Metro TV Antenna. Manufactured by one of the leading antenna companies, Mohu, this small indoor antenna blends easily into your home. It is designed to be reversible as one side is colored black and the other white. Easy installation is facilitated by hook-and-loop tabs, push pins, and velcro patches to stick this super-thin antenna to your wall.

While it only pulls in channels from a maximum range of 25 miles, that is pretty decent for this affordable antenna. It even has a 10-foot cable that gives you adequate lead to attach the antenna to the best spot with the highest signal reception. The Mohu Leaf Metro antenna is perfectly portable to give you full HD picture quality wherever you go. It is the perfect antenna for RV homes, college dorms, and anyone starting out this cord-free journey.

Best Runner Up: U Must Have Indoor HDTV Antenna

Specifications

  • 250-mile maximum range
  • 18-foot coaxial cable
  • Smart Switch Control
  • Easy installation
  • Up to 4K UHD broadcast

With over 13,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, U Must Have Indoor HDTV Antenna is the next best antenna after the Gesobyte Antenna. It comes with a sticky pad for attaching the antenna to your preferred surface. Its 18-foot long coaxial cable gives you enough lead to find the best spot with the highest signal strength to attach the flat antenna.

Once you insert the cable to the TV and put up the antenna, you only need to run a channel scan to complete the easy installation. A highlight of this antenna is its high picture quality from as far away as 250 miles; impressive for an indoor antenna. If your TV can carry it, you can get a full HD broadcast and even a 4K UHD broadcast.

The U Must Have antenna is made of a thin yet sturdy panel that sticks to surfaces via sticky pads and weighs less than a pound. This ensures that it blends seamlessly into your home and is highly unlikely to be damaged if placed properly. It can be affected by interference from home electrical appliances, so be sure to place it away from them.

Best Runner Up: Vansky Outdoor Antenna

Specifications

  • 150-mile maximum range
  • 32.8-foot coaxial cable
  • Dual TV outputs
  • Built-in motor rotor (360°)
  • Multidirectional

Not to be outdone by indoor antennas, the Vansky Outdoor Antenna offers excellent performance to feature among our top picks. This multidirectional antenna is quite popular due to its built-in remote-controlled rotor. The remote-controlled rotor allows you to change the antenna’s orientation, making it somewhat omnidirectional so you get extra channels without getting up from your seat. Plus, you don’t need any extra cables to power the rotator as the 32.8-foot coaxial cable carries TV signals and powers the rotator.

Installation only requires a screwdriver to assemble all the units and mount them on the provided mast. You will then get both VHF and UHF channels in high definition (HD) from as far as 150 miles away. This antenna can be used on two TVs without splitters or extra adapters, and the built-in low noise amplifier ensures excellent picture quality for both. It is weather-resistant and lightning protected, making it the perfect outdoor antenna.

Best Under 100-mile range: Winegard Flatwave Indoor Antenna

Specifications

  • 55-mile maximum range
  • 18.5-foot coaxial cable
  • UHF/VHF signal reception
  • Built-in motor rotor (360°)
  • HDTV Tower Finder apps

If you don’t need a long-range antenna, the Winegard Flatwave Indoor Antenna is your best option. With this indoor antenna you get plenty of UHF and VHF channels from as far as 55 miles away in crystal-clear high definition. It has a generous 18.5-foot long coaxial cable that allows you to find the spot with the best signal reception. Speaking of signals, with this antenna purchase, you get access to free Winegard apps that can help you find available channels in your area. 

This ultra-thin antenna has dual colors to help blend in with your place. It runs on USB power and has a 3 foot USB power cable that can be attached to your TV. It also has clear circuit technology that provides super low 1.0dB noise. Installation is as easy as connecting the antenna, attaching the flat pad, and running a channel scan; then, you are good to go.

Best For Rural Areas: ViewTV Outdoor Antenna

Specifications

  • 150-mile maximum range
  • 40-foot coaxial cable
  • UHF/VHF signal reception
  • Antenna remote controller
  • Dual TV outputs

Being out in the country doesn’t mean you can’t receive 4K UHD quality images on your television. The ViewTV Outdoor Antenna offers this image quality at quite an affordable price. Its dual TV output means you can connect it to two televisions without splitters or losing signal strength. The outdoor antenna connects to your TV via a 40-foot cable, and you even get an indoor antenna along with it.

A wireless remote control helps you adjust the position of this antenna from the comfort of your couch, allowing you to get more channels. This makes this multidirectional antenna somewhat omnidirectional, receiving signals from as far as 150 miles away. Weather-resistant, this HDTV antenna is made from durable plastic and anodized aluminum and is also lightning protected. It is relatively easy to install and even has its own mounting pole.

Best Indoor/Outdoor Antenna: Luxtronic Digital HDTV Antenna

Specifications

  • 50-mile maximum range
  • 10-foot coaxial cable
  • Up to 4K UHD broadcast
  • Omnidirectional
  • Portable

This little 3.87-inch antenna is the best indoor/outdoor HDTV antenna on the market. With the Luxtronic Digital HDTV Antenna, you are guaranteed full HD and even 4K UHD picture resolution at a maximum signal range of 50 miles. It is amazingly easy to set up. You only need to attach the 10-foot coaxial cable to your TV and attach it to your preferred surface using its magnetic base. Its diminutive size ensures it can be easily hidden away, even fitting behind your TV.

The Luxtronic antenna is omnidirectional, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Just be sure to put it at a high enough spot and clear of signal obstacles and interference. It has sturdy metal and is portable, allowing you to enjoy your free TV channels whether at home or on the road. It is also convenient as it does not need a power source, adding to its portability. 

Best “Rabbit Ears” Antenna: RCA ANT111E Indoor Digital TV Antenna

Specifications

  • 40-mile maximum range
  • 4.5-foot coaxial cable
  • Full HD broadcast
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install

The RCA ANT111E Antenna is a small compact antenna that can receive your local free TV channels in full HD from up to 40 miles away. It comes with Smart Boost amplification to enhance signal reception and image quality. Plus, its 4.5-foot coaxial cable allows you to find the best position in your house with the best UHF and VHF signal quality. Due to the antenna’s lightweight and small size, it is possible to place it virtually anywhere in your house.

Installation is quite simple. Just connect your coaxial cable to the back of your TV, position your antenna at the best spot, and scan for available channels. You can pair the RCA antenna with streaming players giving you OTA channels as well as on-demand programs. It is engineered with high-quality materials and components. It is also energy-efficient and even has an energy star certification.

What Is the Best Antenna for Free TV? FAQ

1. Which is the best free TV antenna for my house?

You could just read through the options above and decide which antenna will work for your home. The most important things to consider are your preferred channels and your TV’s location in relation to broadcast towers carrying your favorite channels. You will also have to consider the potential interferences within your house and obstacles in your surroundings, like tall buildings that could affect signal strength. Finally, consider your budget as you choose the best antenna for TV.

2. How can I differentiate between a UHF and VHF antenna?

UHF and VHF antennas are differentiated by their design. A UHF antenna will have short elements to receive the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) signals transmitted on smaller waves. Alternatively, VHF antennas have longer elements arranged in a characteristic V-shape to receive the very high frequency (VHF) signals that come as large waves. A combination of V-shaped elements and smaller elements means that the antenna can receive both UHF and VHF signals.

3. Are indoor TV antennas better than outdoor antennas?

Yes and no, depending on your location, channel preferences, and budget. If you live in or near a city, an indoor TV antenna could work well because broadcast towers are nearer and transmit stronger signals. Rural areas are often further from broadcast towers, plus antennas may face more obstacles in their signal reception due to the terrain. As such, outdoor antennas may work well in rural areas. However, this is not always the case. After all, there are some cases where outdoor antennas could work better in urban areas as well.

4. How can I improve my free TV antenna signal?

There are some general strategies to improve the signal for your indoor antenna or outdoor antenna. First, check your coaxial cable connection to ensure it isn’t loose, rusted, or broken. Next, check if your antenna has a clear line of view to the broadcast tower and adjust it accordingly. Once the cable and antenna placement have been sorted, run a channel scan. If all these fail, you might have to call the professionals.

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