Best HDTV Antenna
Cutting the cord has never been easier these days. You no longer need to pay those hefty and ever-increasing monthly cable bills in order to receive your favorite high definition television programs. Just like back in the days of analog television, a variety of channels are broadcasting high definition content over-the-air for anyone with an antenna to pick up. You won't have unlimited access to cable channels like ESPN, MSNBC, or Food Network, but many of those networks now have "On-demand" versions of their content on streaming devices such as Roku or through your laptop or tablet.
Some of these networks may charge a small subscription fee, but considering the low, onetime cost of these HDTV antennas you're still ahead of the game. They can give you access to the regional affiliates of the major networks like CBS, NBC, and so on, in addition to local access channels and nightly news.
We've chosen five of the best HDTV antennas for when you're ready to cut the cable, providing variety in terms of both range and price. Although there are antennas available that have longer reception range than the ones we've included, we've opted for popular antennas that meet average needs. We've ensured that they all have excellent signal strength and picture clarity, with easy installation and setup.
Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna
Winegard FL-5000 FlatWave HDTV Indoor Digital Flat Antenna
AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
Terk HDTVa Indoor Amplified High-Definition Antenna
Lava Electronics HD-468 Indoor HDTV Antenna
Mohu Sky 60 Amplified Attic/Outdoor HDTV Antenna
Winegard MS-2002 HDTV Antenna
Channel Master CM-3020 HDTV Antenna
Antennas Direct ClearStream 5 UHF/VHF Ultra Long Range Outdoor DTV Antenna
The Mohu Leaf 30 takes inspiration from antennas designed for the US Military, contributing to its efficient use of space and reliability. This HDTV antenna is paper-thin, and can be mounted nearly anywhere, whether just on the wall or even hidden behind a picture or appliance. It’s also reversible (black on one side, white on the other) and paintable to allow it to better match decor.
Since the Mohu Leaf 30 is multi-directional, there's no need to worry about pointing the antenna in order to get reception. This antenna has roughly a 30 mile range and optimized for UHF station. Although it can receive VHF stations when you're close to the towers, it might have more difficulty from further away due to its small size. Installation is as simple as hooking the 10-foot coaxial cable up to your television.
The FL-5000 is a dual-band UHF/VHF ultra-thin indoor HDTV antenna capable of picking up broadcast signals in 1080p HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound where available. Capable of a 35 mile signal reception radius, channels come in clear and uncompressed, resulting in a sharp and detailed high definition picture.
Weighing just over five ounces, it's lightweight enough to place almost anywhere and comes in reversible black and white to better match its surroundings. For a one time purchase costing less than one month of cable, the FL-5000 can give you access to many channels you'd be getting from the cable company without the recurring bill.
The AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Amplified HDTV Antenna is an excellent budget-friendly choice for those who want a discreet and powerful HDTV antenna. This HDTV antenna can be had in several different range options, ranging from 25 miles to 60 miles. As the 35 mile range model is the most popular, we've chosen to focus primarily on this one.
This HDTV antenna is similar to the Mohu Leaf in design, being small and paper-thin. It is also reversible (black on one side, white on the other), and can be painted to better match your decor. As it is multi-directional and has a long 15 foot coaxial cable, installation is simple. Reception is typically excellent, with clear 1080p HD picture. Amazon offers a 1-year limited warranty with this HDTV antenna.
This small HDTV antenna is designed to receive free local VHF and UHF stations. The Terk HDTVa is not a multi-directional antenna, but instead is built for directional reception at either horizontal or vertical positioning. This means needing to find which direction gets you the best reception, and directing the antenna accordingly.
If you're having trouble picking up weaker signals from a distance, the Terk comes with a high-gain amplifier boost mode that seeks out faint signals over the much stronger local towers. Installation is simple as you just hook up the Terk's HDTVa's coaxial cable to a television and you're ready to watch high resolution HD channels over the air.
This HDTV antenna is rated to have a range of up to 50 miles and receptions for UHF, VHF, and FM channels. However, the affordable Lava HD-468 is not as powerful as more expensive antennas, and its performance seems to vary quite widely depending on the area in which it is used. Although it has adjustable gain control, users often report only being able to receive basic channels.
The construction of the Lava HD-468 is somewhat flimsy, with extremely lightweight plastics and a cable that isn’t detachable and rather short. This limits placement and might also limit the longevity of the unit. However, its budget-friendly price makes it a solid option for those who want something basic and affordable.
The Mohu Sky 60 design is based on technology made for the US military, contributing to its compact and unique design. This HDTV antenna is meant for use outdoors or in the attic, and comes with a mounting kit and everything needed to get started. Due to its multi-directional nature and how light it is, the Sky 60 is easy to install - although this also depends on where you choose to mount it.
The included 30 foot cable is detachable so you can replace it if you need more length, and the antenna can be powered using a regular AC adapter or using USB. Plugged into the TV this way, the antenna will only use power when the TV is also on.
Range is excellent, with approximately 60 miles of range for UHF channels and 45 miles for VHF channels. This antenna also includes low-noise amplification for weaker signals, but users report mixed results when using it. Lastly, the Mohu Sky 60 comes with a 1-year warranty.
Very easy to set up and install, the ANT751 can be mounted on your rooftop or balcony in minutes. All necessary mounting hardware is included with the antenna. Despite being so small and lightweight, the RCA ANT751 antenna can pick up reception from signal towers as far as 40 miles away.
Consumers in more remote, rural areas may experience a little difficulty picking up far away signals. However, those living closer to urban centers should have no trouble receiving clear HDTV broadcasts along VHF and UHF bands.
This isn't a multi-directional antenna, so you may need to go through a little trial and error on the positioning of the array to find the best spot for the clearest picture with minimal interference. However, once dialed in this antenna has excellent range.
Winegard's Metrostar antenna is just over two feet in diameter and comes with straightforward assembly and installation instructions for mounting it to your roof. It has a small footprint, making placement a relatively simple task. You won't have to worry about positioning since the MS-2002 is a multi-directional antenna, meaning it can receive signals from all directions.
Despite a built-in preamplifier to help boost weaker signals, the Metrostar has a realistic range of around 40 miles, so this product is ideally suited for consumers who live in closer to broadcast towers. The antenna picks up VHF and UHF frequencies equally so you get a wider range of channel options, depending on how strong the signals from the towers are.
Thirteen feet long and almost eight feet wide, the set up and installation of the CM-3020 is not an easy task. Although the antenna is pre-assembled, it doesn't come with a mounting pole, any hardware, or a cable. However, its large size allows for a long reception range as this antenna can receive signals from as far as 80 miles out.
This HDTV antenna is worth the hassle to set it up thanks to its ability to pick up signals from greater distances, making it suited for suburban homes and even more rural locations that are far from broadcast towers. Despite the long range of reception on the CM-3020, Channel Master recommends you add a quality pre-amp to the antenna for even wider reach.
Despite its bulky size, the Antennas Direct ClearStream 5 is a easy to assemble and install, with a clear and helpful instruction manual. Built of anodized aluminum, this outdoor antenna can handle whatever the elements can throw at it while delivering a high-quality picture.
While the ClearStream 5 has an impressive signal range of over 70 miles away for VHF frequencies, it's limited in the amount of channels it can pick up. In fact, it doesn't perform all that well with UHF frequencies so you'll possibly want to combine the ClearStream 5 with a stronger UHF antenna. Antenna Direct is aware of this possibility, and they ship a combiner unit with their product so you can connect two antennas for the best possible combination of frequencies which are available.