TV Antenna: Top 7 Best Rated UHF VHF Antennas Deliver Free HDTV

Local TV broadcasters send their HDTV signals out over UHF and VHF frequencies for free and you can display them on your HDTV using just a simple TV antenna.  You’ll notice that we didn’t say digital HDTV antenna.  That’s right, any TV antenna that can receive both UHF and VHF frequencies can receive all available HDTV channels in range, even digital HDTV channels.

So what more do you need to know about a TV antenna in order to receive all those free channels?

TV Antenna ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna Roof ViewSignal Analysis

Signal analysis is what they call the function of websites like AntennaWeb.org and TVFool.com which with some simple information from you can tell you the performance you need in a digital antenna to receive all the channels you want.

For example, I’m fortunate to live in the largest city in Virginia within 10 miles of several TV stations that also happen to all be in about the same direction from my location.  When I put my zip code into AntennaWeb.org, it tells me that there are 48 channels from 23 over-the-air stations that I should be able to receive from my location.

 

Interested in seeing other antenna solutions?  Be sure and see our article:

 

The HD antenna requirements are color-coded and I can see that by far, most of the channels should be receivable with a yellow antenna type.  Looking at the yellow code, it recommends a small multi-directional TV antenna and for each local TV channel it tells me what the RF channel is, how far away it is in miles, and what relative direction the channel’s broadcast antenna is in degrees.  It appears for me most of the channels are southwest of us and within about 25 miles.  Most UHF/VHF antennas should work for me.

 

 

Not everyone is as lucky as me.  For example, I used to work for a custom harvesting group that cut wheat in many places including near a small town called Ft. Benton, Montana.  Looking at Ft. Benton, it looks like they can get up to four channels from two over-the-air stations, but they require a large directional antenna to do it.  I’m also guessing that the antenna would need to be mounted higher to improve reception.

TV Antenna 1byone 45-Miles Digital Attic Outdoor HDTV Outdoor Mount ViewIf you want to see a nice map of your local TV stations in relation to you, you can go to CopRadar.com where near the bottom of the page you can enter your address and the range to your towers in miles.  The result will be a map showing the TV towers oriented around your address within that range.  TVFool.com also has a way to see the distances to all of the local TV towers in your area, although the plot at TVFool.com looks pretty official and probably is very accurate, I personally think the one at CopRadar.com is easier to read.  Another site that provides a transmitter locator map is AntennasDirect.com.

 

TV Antenna Power

TV antenna power refers to its gain which measures how much power from the transmitting antenna your TV antenna can receive.  Most digital TV antenna companies refrain from talking about gain in their marketing because it’s a little complicated to talk about.  So they talk about how powerful their antenna is in its ability to receive stronger signals from greater distance.  They refer to the range of the antenna in miles.  Although range is affected by a number of factors, it’s probably the only method you have to compare antennas, since it’s usually readily available and it can be difficult to compare based on all of the complicated technical specifications.

Frequency Reception

There are basically two broadcast TV frequency ranges, UHF and VHF.  Without going into a lot of detail, if you want to have the best chance of receiving the most broadcast channels in your area, you should choose an antenna that has both UHF and VHF capability.  If you have few choices where you’re located and you can determine that you only need one or the other capability, then it would make sense to choose an antenna with a single frequency range capability.  For most of us, dual UHF/VHF antenna are the way to go.

TV Antenna Marathon HDTV Long-Range Amplified HDTV Outdoor ViewDirectional or Multi-directional

As you might have guessed, directional antennas are designed to be pointed in one direction towards the broadcasting station.  Multi-directional antennas are capable of receiving signals from more than one direction.

If most or all of your channels are oriented in a single direction or you need maximum reception in a specific direction because the station is far away or there is a lot of interference, then you should choose a directional antenna.

If your channels are oriented in more than one direction from your location, then to get the best signal from all of the channels, you need a multi-directional antenna.

 

 
 

 

If your channels are in multiple directions and far away, you may need to setup multiple directional antennas in order to get the best reception on all the channels you want.

Antenna Height

It’s physics that tells us that the higher the antenna is, the longer its range.  Raising it can also reduce the effect of interference improving the quality of the reception.  If you’re far away from the channels you want to receive, you may need to assist the directional or multi-directional antenna by mounting it on a mast either standalone on the ground or on your roof in order to get the best reception.

Interference

Every day another source of electronic interference appears in your city, town, or neighborhood.  This is in addition to the physical interference of tall buildings, hills, water towers, and other tall objects that block signals from local TV channel towers.  Interference is even being created right in your own home by wireless devices and all your electrical equipment and appliances.

Interference reduces the signal-to-noise ratio which is what determines if your receiver will be able to pick out the TV broadcast from all the background noise.  Raising the height of the antenna to increase signal strength or moving it farther away from noise sources both increase the signal-to-noise ratio producing better TV reception.

TV Antenna ClearStream 2V Indoor Outdoor HDTV Indoor Wall MountIndoors or Outdoors

We’ve already said that if you can move the antenna farther away from noise sources, you will improve channel reception quality.  Signal strength is also affected by the material it has to pass through on the way to your antenna.  If you can avoid dense materials like concrete or metal, you will improve reception.  So, right away it’s obvious that if you can locate the antenna high and away from noise and in a location where the signal doesn’t have to travel through building materials, it should improve your reception.  An outdoor TV antenna gives you the best chance at quality reception.  Interestingly, attics are still considered to be outdoors.

That being said, an outside placement is not always an option.  Many subdivisions have rules that prohibit “ugly” antennas hanging from your roof or the side of your building.  In those instances, you may have to place the antenna indoors.   If you have an attic, you will be able to place the antenna as high as possible in your home and farther away from most of the interference in your house.  A compact indoor TV antenna is designed for areas closer to broadcast stations and can often be placed near the TV.

Amplifiers

Amplifiers amplify the signal between your antenna and your TV receiver.  They do not amplify the signal from the TV station transmitter to your antenna.  That means that whatever signal shows up at your antenna, no matter how noisy, is all that you have to provide to the amplifier.  If the signal is noisy, the amplifier is going to amplify the noise.  That’s why if you use an amplifier, it should be located on the antenna or as close to the antenna as possible.  By placing it on the antenna, you will be providing the best possible signal to the amplifier, and reducing the noise that might be introduced by additional cable length and connectors.

An amplifier can be useful when the antenna is very far away from the TV receiver or you need to provide the signal to your whole house.  Some antennas come with built-in amplifiers for those cases.

We searched forums, customer review sites, antenna information sites, manufacturer sites, retail sites, and social media sites to find the most popular, highest-rated TV antennas we could find.

Take a look at our choices and see if one of these TV antennas is the best TV antenna for your needs!

TV Antenna:  Top 7 Best Rated UHF VHF Antennas Deliver Free HDTV

#7 – Marathon CA-2600 Long Distance Amplified Indoor/Outdoor UHF/VHF Digital HDTV Antenna

TV Antenna Marathon HDTV Long-Range Amplified HDTV Main ViewIf you’re looking for a compact whole-house antenna that you can mount either indoors or outdoors, the Marathon CA-2600 Long Distance Amplified Indoor/Outdoor UHF/VHF Digital HDTV Antenna may be the right antenna for you.  It combines advanced materials and design with innovative RF circuitry and the latest in RF TV antenna engineering to capture long distance signals better, particularly in the difficult VHF spectrum.  It has a built-in amplifier that can provide signal power for up to four TVs giving you a whole-house solution.  To start using it, just mount it, hook it up, and plug it in to the nearest outlet.  Here’s what you need to know.

Features

  • Compact, sealed, amplified, indoor/outdoor, UHF/VHF long-range digital HDTV TV antenna
  • Innovative RF antenna engineering provides better signal capture particularly in the difficult VHF frequency spectrum
  • Built-in amplifier can support up to four TVs for a whole house solution
  • Uses standard household 110V AC power
  • Sealed against the weather for durability and long life
  • All mounting and connection accessories are included
  • Noise is <3.5 dB and gain is 40 dBi

 

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

 

#6 – Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna

Antennas DirectTV Antenna ClearStream 4V HDTV Indoor Outdoor Main View has developed the first all new HDTV antennas optimized for the post-2009 digital frequencies including the Antennas Direct ClearStream 4V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna.  The ClearStream series represents breakthroughs in both efficiency and size and are designed for reception of both high VHF and core UHF channels.  Its ultra-efficient design allows it to provide better reception up to 70 miles in a size that is amazingly compact and capable of being used outdoors or indoors effectively.  Here’s what you need to know.

Features

  • Ultra-efficient, UHF/VHF, Indoor/Outdoor HDTV antenna with reception up to 70 miles
  • Innovative design with dedicated UHF and VHF multi-directional elements provides broad, consistent, strong reception of up to 98% of the signal in the high VHF (CH 7-13) and core UHF (CH 14-51) ranges
  • Includes 20-inch mount and all-weather mounting hardware
  • Lifetime warranty on parts

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

 

 

 

#5 – Channel Master CM2016 Digital Advantage 45 HDTV VHF High Band and UHF Antenna

TV Antenna Channel Master CM2016 HDTV Main ViewWith a medium range of up to 45 miles, the Channel Master CM2016 Digital Advantage 45 UHF/VHF HDTV Antenna is directional, optimized for high VHF and UHF signals, and receives digital/HDTV and analog UHF/High VHF TV signals.  Its reception capability includes channels 7-69 and it has a tight 34-inch turning radius that makes it compact to mount on roofs, walls, chimneys or in attics.  Here’s what you need to know.

Features

  • Compact, directional, indoor/outdoor, 22-element, UHF/VHF, 45-mile range, channels 7-69 digital/HDTV, and UHF/high VHF TV antenna
  • Easy to mount to mast on roof, walls, chimneys and attics
  • CEA color code is yellow, green
  • Bandwidth is 174-216 and 470-700 MHz with a VHF gain of 2.5 dB and UHF gain of 8.5 dB
  • Boom length is 36.5 inches and the antenna has a turning radius of 34 inches and a maximum element width of 47.5 inches
    Wind resistance measured at 100 mph with no ice is 22 lbs.
  • 75 Ohm balun and U-bolt for mast mounting are included
  • 90-Day limited warranty on parts and labor plus 90-Day phone, chat, email support

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

 

 

 

Channel Master CM2016 Digital Advantage 45 HDTV VHF High Band and UHF Antenna User Guide >>>

 

#4 – Channel Master CM-4228HD EXTREMEtenna 80 UHF/VHF HDTV Antenna

TV Antenna Channel Master 4228HD HDTV Main ViewThe 8-bay, phased array, high-gain, multi-directional outdoor Channel Master CM-4228HD EXTREMEtenna 80 UHF/VHF HDTV Antenna has a signal range up to 80 miles, a span of 180 degrees, and receives UHF and VHF signals including HDTV and digital channels.  It provides versatile mounting options for placement on your roof, eaves, chimney, or standalone in your attic.  Here’s what you need to know.

Features

  • 8-bay, phased array, multi-directional, 180 degree-span, outdoor, UHF/VHF, HDTV antenna with a range of up to 80 miles
  • Antenna is pre-assembled with a built-in balun for quick connection to your existing coaxial cable and can be easily installed on your roof, eaves, chimney, or standalone in your attic
  • CEA Color code is yellow, green, light green, red, blue, violet
  • Bandwidth is 174 to 216 and 470 to 700 MHz with a VHF gain of 5 dB and a UHF gain of 12 dB
  • 2-inch U-bolt mounting clamps are included
  • Tight 24-inch turning radius
  • 90-Day limited warranty on parts and labor along with 90-Day phone, chat, and email support

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

 

#3 – 1byone 45-Mile Digital Outdoor HDTV Antenna

TV Antenna 1byone 45-Miles Digital Attic Outdoor HDTV Main ViewOptimize for full HD digital reception, the 1byone 45-Mile Digital Outdoor HDTV Antenna has a cross-phase, multi-element design that receives VHF and UHF high-definition TV signals up to 45 miles away.  Its high-quality materials and superior construction is designed to withstand tough outdoor weather conditions.    Here’s what you need to know.

Features

7-element, digital, cross-phase, multi-element, UHF/VHF, digital outdoor antenna capable of receiving HDTV signals up to 45 miles

Superior materials and construction is designed to withstand challenging outdoor weather conditions

Includes 19-inch J-shaped pole, mounting base, and mounting hardware
Frequency reception range of 170-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz with gains of 3-5 dB and 7-10 dB

1-Year limited warranty

 

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

 

 

 

#2 – Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna

TV Antenna ClearStream 2V Indoor Outdoor HDTV Main ViewPart of the first all new HDTV antennas optimized for the post-2009 digital frequencies, the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna represents breakthroughs in both efficiency and size using patented ClearStream Tapered Loop Technology.  It produces 10X the power and efficiency of other similar-sized antennas with a unique integrated diplexer for reliable reception of both high VHF and core UHF channels.  Its ultra-efficient design allows it to provide better reception up to 70 miles in a size that is amazingly compact and capable of being used outdoors or indoors effectively.  Here’s what you need to know.

Features

  • Ultra-efficient, compact, high-gain, indoor/outdoor, UHF/VHF HDTV antenna with reception range up to 70 miles
  • Its ClearStream Tapered Loop Technology delivers 10X the power and efficiency of similar-sized antennas and comes equipped with a unique integrated diplexer for reliable reception of both high VHF and core UHF channels
  • Innovative design with dedicated UHF and VHF multi-directional elements provides broad, consistent, strong reception of up to 98% of the signal in the high VHF (CH 7-13) and core UHF (CH 14-51) ranges
  • A 20-inch J-Mount mast, heavy-duty U-bolt, 30 feet of RG6 low-loss coaxial cable, and mounting hardware are included
  • Lifetime warranty on parts

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

 

Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna Instructions >>>

 

 

 

 

#1 – RCA ANT751R Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna

TV Antenna RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Main ViewThe compact, pre-assembled RCA ANT751R Compact Indoor/Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna delivers enhanced signal reception of UHF and VHF 4K and Full HD TV signals with the highest picture quality and high-fidelity audio from up to 40 miles away.  Here’s what you want to know.

Features

  • Compact, cross-phase, multi-element, Yagi, UHF/VHF, HDTV antenna with range up to 40 miles
  • HDEnhanced Reception Technology receives TV broadcasts of 4K and Full HD TV with the highest quality picture and audio
  • Designed with high-quality components to withstand harsh weather environments
  • Compact size gives you the flexibility to mount the antenna in a variety of locations including roof, eaves, wall, or in your attic
    Easy snap-lock, fold-out assembly
  • Mast, mounting hardware, and 75-Ohm matching transformer are included
  • Designed and engineered in the USA, it meets or exceeds all quality and performance standards established by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

 

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

 

TV Antenna Comparison

Liked this post?  Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!

What do you think of our these TV antennas?  Which TV antenna  are you planning to buy?  Please take a moment to leave a comment below.

Please share if you think others will benefit! 

As always, thanks for reading our FlatScreenTVCentral.com post!  We sincerely hope that it has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best TV antenna for your needs!



Web Hosting





Comments
  1. bob elliott

    We have a mountain between the towers and us. what i’ve seen so far suggests violet rated antennas for our situation. We are relatively close to the transmitting towers, but the topography seems to be our main problem. we purchased a 1 by one multidirectional antenna, but it didn’t pick up the desired channels. which antenna do you think might be our best option?

    • Mark Ridgeway Mark Ridgeway

      Hi Bob, my experience is that mountains trump all for TV. Both UHF and VHF are line-of-sight and obstacles, particularly mountains, will block the signal. UHF does a better job of penetrating buildings, but can’t cope with mountains. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure is to try it like you have done with the 1byone. If for some reason some of the TV channel signal you’re interested in is leaking through the mountains somewhere, a larger, directional antenna might be able to pick it up. It would need to be as high as possible, too. Almost certainly the signal would be intermittent and any test you did that showed some signal could also be affected by the weather conditions that day and render the test invalid for other conditions on other days. Any large, directional UHF/VHF antenna would be a choice to try, but I don’t want to get your hopes up, I’m not optimistic. Sorry! – Mark

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*