Top TV antennas and how to test signal strength

Top TV antennas and how to test signal strength

The Best TV Antennas of 2023: Enhancing Your Over-Air TV Experience

Like streaming, a TV antenna is an alternative option to cable and satellite providers, letting you access free, over-air broadcast channels. Not only can this save you money, but it also provides a wide range of channels and cleaner image quality. In this article, we will explore some of the best TV antennas available in 2023, highlighting their features and benefits.

The Gesobyte Amplified Digital TV Antenna: The Best Pick Overall

My pick for the best TV antenna is the Gesobyte amplified indoor antenna. With its VHF, UHF, and ATSC 3.0 signal support, it offers enhanced picture quality and strong reception for local channels. The 250-mile reception range makes it suitable for rural, suburban, and city homes. Its 18-foot coax cable provides flexibility in placement options.

Pros: – 250-mile range – 360-degree reception – 18-foot coax cable – Built-in signal filter

Cons: – Can only connect to a single TV

The Gesobyte amplified indoor TV antenna is designed for optimal performance in different settings. Its in-line signal booster allows you to switch between long and short-range signal reception, making it a great choice for anyone living further away from broadcast towers. The built-in signal filter blocks LTE and FM inputs, resulting in clearer pictures.

Vansky VS-TX01: The Best Indoor TV Antenna

If you’re looking for an indoor TV antenna, the Vansky VS-TX01 is an excellent option. It supports both VHF and UHF signals, providing a wider range of local channels. With the optional amplifier, it can boost its range up to 250 miles. The built-in signal filter chip eliminates LTE and FM interference, ensuring cleaner images.

Pros: – UHF and VHF support – 250-mile range – Built-in signal filter chip – Simple set up

Cons: – No ATSC 3.0 support – Very short range without amplifier

The ultra-simple setup process of the Vansky VS-TX01 allows users to start watching local news, sports, and entertainment channels right out of the box. This indoor antenna offers convenience and versatility in receiving over-air broadcasts.

GE Outdoor Antenna: The Best Outdoor TV Antenna

For rural homeowners, an outdoor TV antenna is the best option for over-air broadcast. The GE outdoor antenna is designed to be mounted on the exterior of your home or in your attic, providing better reception and range. It includes mounting hardware for the perfect placement. The antenna’s cage-like design filters out LTE, FM, and other signal interference, ensuring improved TV signal strength and image quality.

Pros: – Mounting hardware included – Signal-filtering design – ATSC 3.0 support

Cons: – No coax cable included – Only 70-mile range

The GE outdoor antenna offers reliable reception for both UHF and VHF broadcast signals. Its ATSC 3.0 support provides native 1080p resolution for over-air broadcasts, making it a suitable choice for newer TVs with better 4K upscaling capabilities.

Philips Modern Loop Rabbit Ears: The Best Budget TV Antenna

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly TV antenna for secondary screens or your camper, consider the Philips modern loop rabbit ears. This antenna retails for around $15, making it one of the cheapest options available. Despite its affordability, it supports both UHF and VHF signals, providing a decent range of channels.

Pros: – Under $20 – UHF/VHF signal support – Classic rabbit ears design makes for easy adjustments

Cons: – Only 30-mile range – No ATSC 3.0 support

The Philips modern loop rabbit ears antenna offers a simple and cost-effective solution for those on a budget. Its classic rabbit-ears design allows for easy adjustments, and its stability ensures reliable signal reception.

Antier Amplified Indoor TV Antenna: The Best Long-Range TV Antenna

For individuals residing in truly rural areas far from broadcast towers, the Antier amplified indoor antenna is an ideal choice. It provides an incredible 400-mile range with the included amplifier, maximizing the chances of receiving local news, sports, and entertainment channels. The compact size and 16-foot coax cable offer various placement options.

Pros: – 400-mile range – 360 degrees of reception – UHF/VHF and ATSC 3.0 support

Cons: – Must use amplifier for 400-mile range – Can only connect to a single TV

The Antier amplified indoor antenna ensures strong signal reception even in remote areas. Its support for UHF, VHF, and ATSC 3.0 signals allows for native 1080p resolution for over-air broadcasts as well as improved 4K upscaling for newer TVs.

Choosing the Right TV Antenna for You

When deciding on a TV antenna, consider where you plan to place it. Most antennas are designed for indoor use, whether mounted in a window, on a wall, or placed on a table near your TV. However, if you require clearer reception, outdoor antennas are also available.

Additionally, consider the number of TVs you want to connect to the antenna. While most models support only one TV, some allow for multiple connections. If you have numerous TVs, you may need to invest in more than one antenna to ensure proper setup for each TV in your home.

To help you make an informed decision, here is a summary of our top recommendations:

Best TV Antenna Price Range Indoor/Outdoor
Gesobyte amplified indoor $30 250 miles Indoor
Vansky indoor $15 250 miles Indoor
GE outdoor $39 70 miles Outdoor
Philips modern loop rabbit ears $16 30 miles Indoor
Antier amplified indoor $20 400 miles Indoor

How We Chose the Best TV Antennas

In selecting the TV antennas for this list, several criteria were considered:

  • Range: The antennas chosen have decent reception ranges suitable for rural and urban areas.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Placement: We included a mix of indoor and outdoor antennas to account for different home setups.
  • Signal Support: Each antenna supports both VHF and UHF signals, with some offering ATSC 3.0 for better picture quality.
  • Set-up and Installation: Antennas with simple setup processes that don’t require professional installation were prioritized.

Enhancing Your TV Antenna Reception

To improve your TV antenna reception, consider the following tips:

  • For indoor antennas, place them as close to a window as possible to minimize obstacles and improve signal reception.
  • Outdoor antennas should be mounted in a spot free from rooflines or dense trees, ensuring optimal reception.

Checking Antenna Signal Strength

To measure your TV antenna’s signal strength, you can use a Pwr(dBm) measuring device. This device connects to your antenna’s coax cable and measures the signal’s strength, LTE and FM interference levels, and power. These tools range from simple units like the King SL1000 SureLock to more advanced ones like the Augocom RY S110, providing detailed information.

Finding TV Towers in Your Area

Knowing the locations of TV towers near you is crucial when setting up your antenna. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a DTV tool that allows you to find a map of TV towers in your area. By inputting your zip code or precise location information, you can access an accurate map and determine the best placement for your antenna.

Exploring Alternative TV Antennas

As more people switch from cable or satellite to over-air broadcast TV, there are numerous alternative TV antennas worth considering. These options offer different features and benefits, catering to various needs and preferences.

In conclusion, the best TV antennas of 2023 provide a range of options for enhancing your over-air TV experience. Whether you choose an amplified indoor antenna, an outdoor antenna, or a budget-friendly option, you can enjoy free access to a variety of channels. Consider your location, desired range, and the number of TVs you wish to connect when selecting the perfect TV antenna for your home.