The Best Indoor TV Antenna for 2023
By Jim Kimble / Published April 13, 2023
An indoor TV antenna is an inexpensive way to get local channels that carry professional sports, prime-time sitcoms and news broadcasts.
Streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime and Hulu give you plenty to watch, but come with a monthly bill.
An indoor TV antenna has a one-time cost, and gives you the four major broadcasters ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Other channels such as PBS, and sub-channels such as MeTV, operate on public airwaves.
The drawback to TV antennas is that the market is flooded with models that over promise on performance. Specifically, any indoor TV antenna that promotes a range of 100 miles or 250 miles will disappoint anyone expecting to get a VHF or UHF channel from that far away.
- What is the Best Indoor TV Antenna?
- ClearStream FLEX
- Channel Master Flatenna
- Mohu Arc
- Summary: Best Indoor TV Antennas tested
- How do you test indoor TV antennas?
- Which indoor TV antennas were tested?
- Indoor TV Antenna FAQs
Digital signals diminish quickly by design, and do not travel along the curve of the Earth. The Federal Communications Commission regulates Television Market Areas (TMA) across the U.S. and ensures that broadcast signals don’t overlap.
If you live more than 35 miles away from local broadcast towers, chances are you will need to use an outdoor antenna.
All TV antennas, including homemade ones, can receive over-the-air channels in High Definition or HD resolution up to 720p or 1080i. Generally speaking, most indoor TV antennas are designed or amplified for UHF channels, but some models can get VHF channels on the Hi-VHF band.
The current broadcast standard for digital TV signals is called ATSC 1.0. It is set by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.
If you own a new Smart TV from Sony, Samsung, LG or Hisense, then you may be able to tap into the new broadcast standard called ATSC 3.0 or NextGen TV.
The NextGen TV standard is rolling out at local TV stations across the U.S.
NextGen TV has a number of capabilities, including picture resolutions up to 4K with High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Dolby Atmos audio. But for now, stations are largely broadcasting up to 1080p resolution.
Streaming may get most of the attention as cable TV use continues its decline, but cord-cutters are pivoting into free OTA TV as a way to save money.
What is the Best Indoor TV Antenna?
The ClearStream FLEX UHF VHF Indoor HDTV Antenna is the overall best indoor TV antenna for maximizing your channel lineup.
My picks for the best indoor TV antennas are purely results driven based on my own hands-on testing. Throughout the year, I have two to three TV antennas connected to TVs or OTA DVRs at my home so I can continue checking on performance.
Before I finally make a decision, price and availability of a TV antenna play into what I recommend. Not everyone’s home or surroundings are the same, so that is why I have narrowed by selection down to three models.
I am not suggesting that these three units are the only “best” models out there. Rather, I am saying that I have spent enough time testing these TV antennas out that they live up to most or all of what’s promoted on the packaging.
The ClearStream FLEX is the best indoor TV antenna that is capable of receiving UHF and Hi-VHF channels.
It’s a leaf-style TV antenna that performs best when it is stuck to the top of a window or high up on a wall. The FLEX is 16 inches wide and 11 inches vertically. There is a Hi-VHF element inside the flat-panel design.
My prior pick for the best indoor TV antenna was Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse. But after testing in areas with Hi-VHF stations, the FLEX has proven to be a better buy.
Having the Hi-VHF element may prove to be less significant over time as stations transition to NextGen TV, which operates on the UHF band.
The ClearStream FLEX. (photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
In Boston, I pulled in more than 81 channels without an amplifier, and found just as many channels when I moved closer to broadcast towers mid-year. In Maine, the FLEX drew in 15 channels, which was the same number that the Eclipse drew in prior testing.
Local networks included an NBC and ABC affiliate that were both about 40 miles away. This antenna performed very well during overcast weather conditions and storms. The picture quality was steady and crisp through testing in both locations.
If you only need a well-designed indoor TV antenna for UHF stations, then you should buy the ClearStream Eclipse instead of the FLEX because it’s significantly cheaper.
The FLEX antenna includes a 20dB amplifier and a USB power adapter. The adapter for the amplifier can be plugged into the USB port of a television or electrical outlet.
The FLEX is black on one side and white on the other. So you can pick which color you would rather see in your apartment or house. The antenna includes adhesive making it easy to attach the antenna to a wall or window without using tacks or tape.
My ClearStream FLEX came with 12 feet of coaxial cord, but the cord length may vary. Antennas Direct says the FLEX has a “peak gain” with Hi-VHF 2. 0 dBi and UHF 3.9 dBi. The amplifier has 18 dB.
I had better results when I detached the amplifier from the TV antenna. It’s best to perform a channel scan with and without the amplifier to see what gets the best reception.
The ClearStream Flex is available at Amazon and through Antennas Direct.
Channel Master Flatenna
The Channel Master Flatenna (or FLATenna 35) is my runner-up pick largely due to its performance and price.
The antenna is 13.5 inches wide and over 9.5 inches vertically. It is smaller than the ClearStream FLEX, but has a similar leaf-style design. One side of the antenna panel is white, the other is black.
The Flatenna includes a 12 foot detachable coaxial cable that you can plug in to your television or an OTA DVR, depending on your setup.
Adhesive strips come with the antenna, so you can easily mount it to a wall or a window. Channel Master says that the Flatenna has 3db VHF gain, and 6db UHF gain.
The Channel Master Flatenna. (photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
I tested the Flatenna on a new Vizio Smart TV that I have in a guest room, and on a HDHomeRun located in my basement-level office.
I was able to get 62 channels with the Flatenna but I noticed slight pixelation with a few channels that were broadcasting from towers around 30 miles away.
For example, an ABC station that is just outside of my market area, has occasional pixelation with the Flatenna, but no issues with the
Otherwise, the Flatenna gives exceptionally strong performance for its size and price.
When I ordered the FLATenna directly from the Channel Master website, the price was $20. It also sells on Amazon for slightly more.
For anyone who lives in a metropolitan area or large city, the Flatenna is an excellent budget pick. I do recommend mounting the Flatenna in a window and facing the broadcast towers you want to receive signals from.
The Mohu Arc is the best table top indoor TV antenna.
Like its name suggests, the Arc has a leaf-style design, but its top slightly bends backwards. It measures just under 12 inches wide, and 8.25 inches vertically. The panel is made of a harder plastic than the Clearstream FLEX or Channel Master’s Flatenna.
This Arc is ideal for setting up on a window ledge or book shelf, and it will work well for people who cannot mount an antenna on a wall. Elevation and an antenna’s placement is always important for optimal reception. I would recommend using the Arc if you are a city dweller who lives in an apartment building or high-rise building.
The Mohu Arc. (photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
You should have broadcast towers fairly close by.
I was able to get channels from broadcast towers that were up to 25 miles away. Placing the Arc next to my Roku TV on the basement level of my house, I got a little over 40 TV channels, including all four major broadcast networks.
The Mohu Arc comes with an antenna stand. The Arc has 10 feet of coaxial cable that is affixed to the antenna. I prefer a detachable cable that the FLEX and Flatenna have.
The Mohu Arc’s stand snaps on the frame of the TV antenna. The stand is sturdy and keeps the antenna in the direction I had placed it.
Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of table top TV antennas because they rarely get the maximum number of potential channels.
But not everyone needs a really powerful TV antenna to get free over-the-air TV channels.
Summary: Best Indoor TV Antennas tested
If you don’t have a cable TV subscription, or want to get rid of one, an indoor TV antenna might be your gateway to a lot of free television, including sports, news and primetime TV shows.
Here are three of top picks based on my year-round testing:
- Top pick: ClearStream FLEX
- Runner up: Channel Master Flatenna
- Table-top antenna: Mohu Arc
The ClearStream FLEX is the best indoor TV antenna that you can buy. Its unique design drew in the highest number of channels — 84 channels in Boston. It pulled in 15 channels in Maine. The Eclipse performs better without the amplifier if you’re living close to broadcast towers (10 miles or less). Overall, the FLEX has been remarkably consistent and brings a lot of value considering its price.
The ClearStream FLEX can be purchased at Amazon or Antennas Direct.
The Channel Master Flatenna strikes the right balance between price point, and its ability to pull in a high number of channels. That was 64 in the Boston market. There was some slight pixelation on a couple of channels, but overall it proved to deliver solid performance for its small size and budget price.
The Channel Master Flatenna can be purchased at the Channel Master online store, or Amazon.
The Mohu Arc is a table-top style antenna that isn’t as powerful as my other two picks. But it can be a suitable alternative for people who either cannot or don’t want to mount an indoor TV antenna on a wall. It should be at least near a window sill for optimal reception. You can purchase the Mohu Arc at the Mohu website.
How do you test indoor TV antennas?
I spend most of the year using a variety of indoor and outdoor TV antennas at my home in Boston with additional testing during the summer in a woodsy spot in Southern Maine.
Instead of trying out a variety of antennas in one location for a few days, I do it at two very different places and for long periods of time.
The indoor antennas featured in this guide were tested in locations that are about 87 miles away from one another. The goal is to measure how each TV antenna performs in metro and rural environments. Each location has its own set of challenges for receiving digital TV signals.
Testing happened over a period of months instead of hours or days. That gives me insight into how these antennas perform during nice weather, and awful storms with high winds.
I use Smart TVs, HDHomeRun, and Tablo over-the-air DVRS to measure signal strength and the number of watchable channels.
The goal here is to determine what indoor antennas should work best for the largest number of people. Keep in mind: indoor antennas have significant limitations compared to outdoor antennas. Yet even a rudimentary homemade antenna can be powerful and help many people get free TV.
Which indoor TV antennas were tested?
I started reviewing indoor TV antennas in 2017 in Boston, and a second home in Southern, Maine. I have tested models from AmazonBasics, Antop, Antennas Direct, Channel Master and Mohu.
The list below reflects the indoor TV antenna models that have been tested from 2017 up to the latest round of testing in 2023.
- AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor Antenna
- Antop Paper Thin Smartpass Amplified Indoor Antenna
- Antop Mini “Big Boy” AT-406BV
- Channel Master Flatenna (35 mile model)
- ClearStream Eclipse
- ClearStream FLEX
- Mohu Leaf Glide
- ClearStream VIEW
- Mohu Arc
- Mohu Blade
- Mohu Leaf Chroma
- HDFrequency Aerowave
I chose three models from my running list of tested antennas based on performance, price and availability.
Indoor TV Antenna FAQs
Is there an indoor TV antenna that actually works?
Have you bought an indoor TV antenna in the past, and wound up frustrated with the results? Did you buy an indoor TV antenna that promised you a “250 mile range”, and wound up disappointed? Don’t fall for crafty marketing tricks.
Here are six things to know before you pick your next one.
1) Knowing in advance whether your local broadcasters are using the UHF or VHF band is a critical piece of information before you shop. The Federal Communications Commission maintains a reception map for consumers. Sites such as rabbitears.info, or the Antennas Direct search signal map are also handy tools.
2) Avoiding an indoor TV antenna that claims to receive signals from 100 miles away or more is a good idea. Suspect-marketing is a red flag for any product. (If any TV antenna could receive signals from hundreds of miles away, your picture would be an unwatchable jumble of multiple channels from different TV markets. )
3) Indoor TV antennas are marketed with confusing terms such as digital tv antenna, HDTV antenna, HD antenna, 4K antenna, 8K antenna and so on. None of these marketing monikers will boost your signal or improve performance. It’s all the same.
4) Even the best indoor TV antennas require some finesse. Expect to do more than one scan for TV channels. Any time you move your TV antenna, you need to rescan channels under the TV settings to see if you get better results. Consider your first installation temporary until you try a couple of scans.
5) Elevate your TV antenna as high as possible and near a window. The higher the elevation, the better chance you will have at getting the maximum number of channels.
6) Try scanning for TV channels without an amplifier before connecting one. Amplifiers actually dampen noise rather than “boosting” a signal or making it stronger.
What channels can I get with an indoor TV antenna?
All four major broadcasters, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, use the public airwaves to broadcast their local stations. You will also find PBS, Telemundo, UniMás, and the CW.
But if you switch from cable TV to using an antenna, you may notice that you are getting new channels as well. Local network affiliates like NBC are broadcasting more than one channel from their broadcast tower. These sub-channels include MeTV, dabl, FAVE TV, GRIT, ionTV, ion Mystery, Comet, LAFF, Stadium, Court TV, Charge!, StartTV, PBS Kids, and independently owned TV stations.
Is the TV signal different on cable vs antenna?
Yes. Cable companies typically compress the TV signal to deliver it to homes. Over-the-air signals undergo much less compression so the picture quality is noticeably better.
So even though a cable channel may distribute a channel in HD resolution, an antenna channel with 1080i or 720p resolution will always look better.
How can I get more TV channels with an indoor antenna?
Elevation is one of the best ways to improve a TV antenna’s reception. TV signals travel by line of sight. Place an indoor TV antenna high up on a wall, and near a window, you may get more channels and better reception.
Is there a NextGen TV antenna?
Local TV stations across the U.S. are gradually switching to a new broadcast standard called ATSC 3.0 or NextGen TV. This new format does not require a specific “NextGen TV” antenna. You will need a TV tuner, OTA DVR or Smart TV that supports getting NextGen TV signals.
Do I need an antenna amplifier?
If your indoor TV antenna includes an amplifier, it’s best to do a channel scan without using it to see how many channels you get. If some channels get poor reception or pixilation, you can power on the antenna amplifier and do a second channel scan to see if that improves the picture.
Sometimes antenna amplifiers can do more harm than good when you are close to the towers of local TV stations.
Antennas are designed to receive digital television signals, and ideally, avoid any noise or distortion. Trees, high power lines, mountains and hilly terrain can all impact a digital signal reaching your antenna.
Unlike analog signals from years ago, digital signals depend on a line-of-sight path.
An antenna amplifier (a.k.a. booster) might be necessary to cut back on noise, especially if you are using a long run of cable between your antenna and TV set, or have a splitter for multiple TVs.
Should I use an LTE filter with a TV antenna?
LTE/4G signals from cell phones can also cause pixelation and problems with picture reception.
Most of the time, TVs will ignore the space that LTE bands occupy. But there are exceptions. LTE bands reside adjacent to TV broadcasting signals and if the signals are strong enough, they can cause interference in lower frequencies. Interference from LTE bands may increase in the next few years as more space is allocated for cell phone carriers and less for digital TV signals.
The best LTE filter that you can buy independent of an antenna is the Channel Master LTE Filter (model: CM-3201). It covers almost all the LTE transmission bands in the U. S. — between 700MHz and 2000MHz.
Do I need a 4K or HD antenna?
When you see terms like HD antenna or “4K Ready” antenna, this is just marketing-speak. There are a wide variety of marketing blurbs on the front of antennas boxes, stating that the antenna is a “HD antenna” or “4K ready” or “ready for the next generation of broadcast television.”
Antenna aficionados will tell you there’s no such thing as an HD antenna, even though the term is widely used by manufacturers.
Here’s another way of saying it.
There’s nothing special in the design of an antenna that gives it the ability to pick up HD signals. Digital television is broadcast in high definition 1080i and 720p resolutions. There are no over-the-air broadcasts in 4K. As my video on how to make a quick, homemade antenna demonstrates, a simple wire can get you HD channels.
The next generation of broadcast TV is a ways off. The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is working on the next standard for broadcast television. The term ATSC 3.0 refers to this new standard, which is expected to include 4K picture quality and a number of other improvements. There are no 4K broadcasts over-the-air. And when they come, you’ll likely be shopping for a new converter box instead of an antenna.
How to install an indoor TV antenna
- Use a free online tool like DTV Map by the Federal Communications Commission or Antennas Direct to see if local stations are broadcasting on UHF or VHF.
- Place your indoor antenna in or near a window facing broadcast towers.
- Scan for channels under the Settings section on your TV. (This might take up to 30 minutes.)
- Move the antenna higher, and re-scan for channels if needed.
- Try an amplifier and/or an LTE filter to improve reception.
If you are worried about spending money on a TV antenna, there is a simple test you can do at home to see if over-the-air channels are available in your area.
A popular video on my YouTube channel demonstrates how I made a very basic antenna by splicing open a cable cord. A simple cord isn’t great for year round TV viewing, but can serve as a baseline or test to see whether over-the-air TV is available.
A well-made TV antenna is going to get better reception and more channels. A simple wire antenna lacks an optimized design and amplification that improves reception.
Can I use an indoor TV antenna with a Smart TV or streaming device?
If you have more questions about using TV antennas, I have guides to help. TV antennas can be used on Smart TVs and older non-Smart TVs. You can connect any antenna to a TV tuner or OTA DVR so you can watch over-the-air channels through a streaming device, tablet or smartphone.
For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble
Note: This review was published February 10, 2019, and has been updated.
5 Best Indoor TV Antennas of 2023
Written by Mark Brezinski and Ben Keough
Updated May 5, 2023
While many of the major streaming platforms offer live TV, the feature is often locked behind a steep subscription hike. For people who have cut the cord and ditched their cable or satellite provider, buying an HDTV antenna is the best way to source live sports like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. You can also find news, classic TV, and other programming on your new TV, without any monthly fees.
We tested a handful of the most popular options to find the best indoor TV antennas you can buy. Overall, we found a lot of extremely similar products, but a clear favorite eventually emerged. The Clearstream Eclipse is the best indoor antenna we tried, thanks to its reliable clarity.
ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna, 35 Mile
Of the best TV antennas we’ve tried, the Clearstream Eclipse is a consistent top performer. In our testing the Eclipse was able to capture a good number of channels, but where it really stands out is in its TV reception. It’s clearer and more consistent than other antennas on our list.
Along with its performance, the Eclipse differentiates itself from the crowd thanks to its usability and cool design. In a sea of black rectangles, its elegant, circular aesthetic is a breath of fresh air. The device also features a black side and a white side, so you can choose which fits better with your home decor.
The included “Sure Grip” adhesive strip provides a mounting option that’s strong enough to grip the wall without needing screws or pins, but not so strong that it peels off your paint when repositioning. We think you’ll also appreciate its detachable cable, which not every antenna includes.
Though you’ll pay a slight premium for it, the Clearstream Eclipse is a winner for home entertainment, and quite handsome to boot.
If you want to boost the signal even further, they offer that option. We didn’t get hands-on with that model, the ClearStream Eclipse Amplified TV antenna. It promises to boost the range from 35+ miles to 50+. Given the mixed results other amplified indoor antennas gave us, that may or may not be a good thing.
Channel Master FLATenna 35 (CM-4001HDBW)
The Flatenna might not have the aesthetic flair of the Clearstream Eclipse, but it holds its own in terms of performance. It was actually able to pick up more TV channels than any other antenna we tested, all the while maintaining a very clear, consistent signal. The Flatenna also offers the same black side/white side design of the Eclipse but doesn’t have much else to differentiate it from the other flat rectangles out there.
Where the Flatenna really shines is in the performance it offers for its price. The performance is comparable performance to our top pick, but it costs a fair bit less.
The Flatenna indoor TV antenna offers the best performance for the cost we’ve come across. It’s great if you want to test out an affordable antenna before committing. It’s also great if you just want a basic design that gets you all the channels you need,
The Winegard indoor HDTV antenna is an above-average performer, but its performance will cost you. The FL5500A ties with the Leaf Plus in terms of pulling in the most channels of the group. Unfortunately, the consistency of its reception doesn’t match up to the antennas in our top spots.
When we test and score indoor antennas, we reward the ability to tune into a higher number of stations. However, if those stations have spotty reception, we award far fewer points. There’s no point in “having” a station if it looks like a garbled mess.
The FL5500A came with the longest coaxial cable out of all the models we reviewed. It may seem like a small bonus, but we appreciate it. Being able to position the antenna further from the TV is helpful. We appreciated having more options for placement fresh out of the box (and without the need for extension cables).
Overall, the FL5500A is a solid device that is a little on the expensive side. As an amplified indoor antenna, it can pick up channels from further away. But that increased range comes through poorly and raises the cost into the neighborhood of our top pick.
Mohu Leaf Plus
The Mohu Leaf Plus offers plenty to like, including solid reception and plenty of channels. In our testing, the Leaf Plus had almost identical performance to the Winegard FL5500A. It was able to pull in the most channels of the group. Unfortunately, those channels weren’t particularly watchable, with pretty consistent glitching.
Again, not a particularly poor performance, but not outstanding either. While it will certainly get the job done, it’s also pricier than some of our other options.
Monoprice Active Curved HD5
We’ve alluded to the homogenous landscape of flat black rectangles in the indoor HDTV antenna space earlier. We’ve even praised some antennas for offering something different in terms of their design. The Monoprice Curved HD5’s curved shape and hard plastic construction also offer something different, but we’re not sure that’s a good thing.
Most of the other antennas on the market are easy to mount to a wall. But the HD5 requires tabletop space or a more robust mounting solution. In a sea of thin, unobtrusive products, it does manage to stand out—as pretty bulky.
Of course, if the HD5 had the performance to merit its design choices, we’d praise its innovation in a stagnant industry. Unfortunately, its numbers in our testing didn’t come through as we’d hoped. The HD5 holds up to the Winegard FL5500A in terms of its image quality, but didn’t find nearly as many channels in our tests.
While the Winegard and Leaf Plus outperformed it, the HD5 is a decent antenna with a slightly more modest price. And if you want something more durable than the rest of the flimsy plastic squares available, the HD5 could be a good pick for you.
What You Should Know About Buying an HDTV Antenna
What Is an Indoor Digital TV Antenna?
When you think of a TV antenna, you might picture the classic rabbit ear design from the 1950s. While those are still around (and still work, though not well), most modern HDTV antennas are made of thin plastic.
Antennas are basically just receivers that are able to tune into signals broadcast by local sources, typically along the UHF (ultra-high frequency) or VHF (very high frequency) bands. Assuming you’re located close enough to a broadcast source, your HDTV antenna can receive that signal, free of charge.
What Are the Benefits of an Indoor Antenna?
An HDTV antenna provides free, live broadcast TV with no need for a recurring subscription. You pay once for the antenna, then you’re free to watch whatever TV signals it can find, all in high definition.
As stated above, though, there are a few caveats to this unlimited TV smorgasbord. Those drawbacks include being limited to the channels that are available in your geographic location. Plus, signal strength can be finicky depending on environmental factors like weather.
How Do I install an Indoor HDTV Antenna?
Installing most HDTV antennas is very easy. You just attach the antenna to your TV’s coaxial input via the included coaxial cable. Most of the time, that’s all you need to do to start receiving local TV stations.
If the antenna has signal amplification, you’ll need to connect it to a power source as well. In either case, you’ll want to mount it to your wall. Ideally, it should be out of the way of foot traffic, since that can interrupt the signal.
How Do HDTV Antennas Work?
Your local TV stations are constantly broadcasting HD signals, typically on the UHF (ultra-high frequency) or VHF (very high frequency) bands. An HDTV antenna basically just tunes into those frequency bands, allowing your TV to pluck programming right out of the air. This is a great way for cable cord-cutters to supplement streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ with live TV.
Of course, this means the available channels will be limited to what’s available in your area (if any). Depending on your location, you could get over 100 channels or close to zero. To find out, you can employ a service such as Federal Communications Commission DTV reception map. This can tell you which channels are available in your area based on your zip code.
Also, because the signal is line-of-sight, your placement of the antenna can significantly affect its performance. We recommend testing out a few different locations to find out where the signal is better or worse. We also recommend mounting the higher up, if possible. People walking past the antenna (or other passing objects) can cause the signal to drop out momentarily.
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Meet the testers
Mark Brezinski works on the Home Team, reviewing refrigerators, minifridges, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, air purifiers, and fans.
See all of Mark Brezinski’s reviews
Ben is an experienced industry journalist who formerly served as Senior Editor of News and Features at Reviewed. He now contributes as a freelance writer and editor. Most recently hailing from the vast wilds of the American southwest, he is an avid photographer who is deeply disturbed by the lack of wide open landscapes in Boston.
See all of Ben Keough’s reviews
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Indoor TV antenna Denn DAA250
Digital TV antenna – indoor, outdoor, with digital tuner
The antenna is the main component of the digital terrestrial television set. Choosing the right device will ensure a reliable, stable signal. It is not necessary to use maximum power equipment. It can be both indoor compact and external maximum gain. In this article, we will analyze all types of T2 antennas, give recommendations for installation, configuration.
A huge number of options presented on the Internet complicate the solution of the issue of connecting digital reception. The purchased antenna to the TV for digital channels may either not live up to expectations at all, or have limited functions. The above information will allow you to make a choice, to establish television reception in the house.
Choosing a digital antenna for your TV
Regardless of whether you solve the problem yourself or use the help of professionals, it is extremely important to understand the basic points. To buy a digital antenna for a TV that will provide a high-quality result, it is necessary to take into account the features that are characteristic of all types. Meaning:
- version – outdoor, designed to work in the environment, and indoor for indoor use.
- gain shows what signal we can get at the antenna output. In case of insufficient power, an amplifier may be required;
- working range – there are meter, decimeter, all-wave. The first are used only in analog. Decimeters receive a digital signal and an analogue in UHF format. All-waves work with both meter and decimeter waves. But due to versatility, they have less gain.
- directivity – omnidirectional and narrow-directional: the narrower the radiation pattern, the greater the distance from the repeater you can receive a signal;
- impedance – devices have a resistance of 75 ohms. It is necessary to compare the indicator with the data of the cable brand used;
- material – steel or aluminium. The former are cheaper in price, but prone to rust. The latter are lighter, do not rust.
- type of coating – metal is coated with paint, aluminum comes either uncoated or with an additional “gold” anodizing, which increases the service life.
For digital terrestrial reception, decimeter street or indoor antennas are used, made of steel and aluminum with different gains. If the material only affects the attractiveness and service life, then the gain level is one of the most important characteristics on which to select a device.
First of all, we determine the location of the repeater closest to your settlement (see the tower map), and then proceed from the following indicators:
The gradation is very conditional, since the power of the towers and the conditions for receiving the signal on the spot may differ. Surrounded by forests, high-rise buildings, when the object is located in a lowland, powerful equipment is required.
Sometimes it is more expedient to send equipment to the main TV tower – Ostankino, which provides the maximum list of programs – 30 pieces, while the auxiliary ones are only 10-20.
List of on-air channels from Moscow
In the absence of work experience, it may take a huge amount of time to study, select the right option, and in the end there is a huge risk that the acquisition will not be entirely successful, there will be difficulties in installation, configuration. We recommend that you consult with experts when choosing an antenna for your TV.
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Indoor or outdoor digital TV antenna?
As already mentioned above, room phones will work only if there is a direct line of sight to the repeater and a slight distance from the TV tower. Also, they are not designed to connect a large number of TVs. The design of the system assumes its use with only one TV. If this is a country house or an apartment with a large television network, then the choice stops only on a street antenna. Here, the equipment is already selected according to the parameters of distance from the TV tower.
But digital indoor antennas also have their advantages: they are easy to connect: you can place the device on a TV or on a windowsill; in operation: can be transferred and quickly installed to any TV; do not require any settings.
Equipment is either active (with built-in amplifier) or passive (without amplifier). Active ones are used in conditions of a weak signal, a large length of a television cable.
Outdoor TV antennas for outdoor installation. Mounting can be done with a bracket or a telescopic mast. The bracket is used when mounting from the window of an apartment, on the ventilation extensions of the roofs of country houses, to the walls of the house (provided that the building is high, the wall goes to the repeater).
The mast is irreplaceable in situations where the system must be raised above the roof of the house, or placed as high as possible to achieve a “good” signal, this is especially important when the object is located in a forest, in a lowland. The mast can be attached to the pediment, walls of the house, extensions on the roof, rafters, as well as with the help of stretch marks (3 cables are pulled from the mast, the structure is held by tension). See mounting methods for telescopic masts
Active and passive antennas for receiving digital channels
Digital active antenna supplied with built-in amplifier. Amplification of the signal is carried out without loss on the cable network. Power nominal – 5V / 12V / 24V (depending on the model) is supplied via a coaxial cable. The equipment has a low price. But against the backdrop of good performance, there are significant drawbacks. First, the low power of the devices. The gain is an order of magnitude lower than when using external TV amplifiers. Secondly, the lack of power adjustments. Sometimes the signal is too strong, which negatively affects its quality, the adjustment avoids these problems. Thirdly, low reliability. Under the influence of moisture, thunderstorms, the device can quickly fail. It will need to be replaced. Active ones are usually used to temporarily connect television: for the season or during the construction of a house.
Passive with an additional amplifier – a reliable, durable option for your country house or cottage. Allows you to connect an unlimited number of TVs without power loss. Lightning protection is used to protect against thunderstorms, which are connected to the cable break in front of the amplifier. The equipment has more options for setting up, filtering the signal, because the digital signal is also subject to interference: LTE cellular networks actively use frequencies adjacent to television, which leads to picture distortion. When interference occurs, it will be necessary to install special filters that cut out the frequency range at which the interference is active.
Digital amplifiers for antennas
The function of a television amplifier is to increase the signal to the required level to compensate for cable loss. Devices are not interchangeable when connecting more than 1 TV in the house. Installed as close to the antenna as possible to enhance the maximum signal. The cable route to the amplifier should not exceed 15m.
The equipment is distinguished by the level of amplification, which is measured in decibels. The more TVs in the house, the more powerful amplifier you need to use. The devices are produced both with a built-in signal splitter and with the possibility of additional connection of TV splitters. The former have improved reception characteristics, the latter provide more opportunities for building the necessary cable network in the house.
Amplifiers are usually produced in a reliable metal case, covered with a decorative overlay. The case prevents moisture and dust from getting inside, increases the service life of the equipment.
Antenna with digital tuner?
Are there such types of antennas? This is a fairly common request on the web. No, there is no such device. The Japanese antennas offered everywhere with a digital built-in tuner, which accept a huge list of channels, are just a deception of naive users.
If your TV does not support the DVB-T2 standard, you will need to connect an external digital tuner or receiver. No other option is possible. In many external set-top boxes, active antennas are powered from the device itself, without the use of additional blocks, but it is necessary that the rating matches, otherwise the set-top box may “burn out”. It can be 5/12/24V. Compare specifications when buying antennas for digital TV reception.
TV antenna installation
The system can be installed by yourself or with the help of professionals. If this is an indoor antenna with a digital set-top box or installation is done from the window of the apartment, then there are no difficulties in connecting. When it comes to a country house, a summer residence, it is better to entrust the work to a specialist.
Installation is carried out at a height, using special ladders, insurance, often associated with a risk to life and health, we do not recommend doing this work yourself. Yes, and the selection of a set outside the city should be made after the signal is measured, otherwise, instead of a high-quality image, you can get a picture that “crumbles into squares.”
Employees of our company have a comprehensive approach to the task, before offering specific recommendations, they check the serviceability of all elements, analyze such factors as the distance to the TV tower, the presence of interference. Depending on the expert assessment, the most comfortable option is offered – an antenna with a digital TV tuner or the purchase of individual elements with quick installation and tuning by our masters.
Communication with the installer 8-962-963-31-08. Departure, measurement, installation of terrestrial, satellite television systems.