Digital TV Antenna

Digital TV Antenna

You’ve decided to cut the cord and have no idea what type of digital TV antenna to buy. It’s paralyzing to get past this one detail, because it’s not easily solved “with the internet.”  Don’t worry about it.  We’ve got you covered.

Digital TV Antenna

Consider this your “easy button” to the best TV antenna for your home setup.  A digital TV Antenna or “dtv antenna” is what separates a cord cutter from access to local public broadcasting networks CBS, NBC, ABC, etc…

You have to options to chose from, when deciding what is the right digital tv antenna for your living area:

  1. Outdoor TV Antenna – Home wide antenna that supports multiple TVs via a coaxial network wired through your house (this is normally your existing cable / satellite TV cables)
  2. Indoor TV Antenna – a set top antenna that will support a single TV. Normally flat in design, these antennas are built to seamlessly “fit in” to your living room decor.

Outdoor TV Antenna

Twenty years ago, an outdoor TV antenna would have been a five to ten feet in height.  If you had one of these on your roof, you’d swear you could touch the stars!  Technology has come a long way since then, and now a simple outdoor TV antenna could be a few feet (or less) in size and can be installed on the exterior or in the attic of your home.

To successfully utilize an outdoor TV antenna, your house has to be wired with coaxial cable to each of the rooms where you plan to watch TV. If you’ve had cable or satellite TV in your home then you most likely have the appropriate wiring to leverage an outdoor TV antenna. Once you’ve confirmed you’ve got the wiring taken care of, it’s really simple to get it hooked up:

  1. Simply run coaxial cable from your TV antenna into your existing satellite wiring or cable junction box (normally on exterior of home).
  2. Find the existing coaxial cable extending from the floor or wall in any room that was previously wired for cable or satellite TV
  3. Plug the existing coaxial cable into your television and, like magic, you now have access to all local broadcast networks within your signal radius.

Now that you understand the basics of Outdoor TV antennas, it’s time to figure out the right one to buy. We encourage you to do some research and check out a few of the higher rated models.  We identify our three favorite:

Mohu Sky 60 Outdoor HDTV Antenna

Mohu just makes great antennas.  That’s what they do.  This is a small, sleek, light weight antenna that fits in your attic, on your house, or on your roof.  This is the outdoor antenna we recommend to anyone at Free TV Review.


ClearStream Outdoor HDTV Antenna

Not to be outdone by Moku, this Clearstream TV antenna is actually the antenna that is currently in my attic. It has some of that old school antenna feel, but is advanced in it’s technology and provides a good signal up to 60 miles in distance.


Indoor TV Antenna

There is a second way to solve the digital TV antenna puzzle. The Indoor TV antenna is small in size, and is installed right next to your television.  Some models even snap on to the top of your TV and your off and running. This is the easiest way to get access to local broadcast networks, especially if installing an TV antenna in your attic is a little above your pay grade.

The only drawback of an indoor TV antenna, is it only supports one television.  If you have one television in your living room and one in your bedroom, you’ll need to buy two indoor antennas. If you have five televisions? Five antennas.

For those just dipping your toe into the cut the cord space, we here at FTR would recommend starting with an indoor TV antenna. Buy one indoor antenna, take it for a test drive on your most heavily watched television, and see what you think. Most of these indoor antennas are simple to assemble.  You take the antenna out of the box, find a place to hang/sit antenna, and plug it into your television.  And your done.

There are dozens of indoor antennas sold through most major retail channels.  As with the outdoor antennas, we’ve identified a few of our favorites here at Free TV Review:

AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna

Sleek, simple, strong. Amazon is in the Digital TV Antenna business?  Yes they are.  And like most other things Amazon gets into, they produce a great product.  It comes in black and white and can easily be placed behind a television or hung adjacent on the wall.


ViewTV Flat HD Digital Indoor Amplified TV Antenna

While similar in design to the AmazonBasics antenna, the View TV indoor antenna comes with a detachable amplifier.  Depending on the distance and/or noise in your antenna signal, an amplifier is sometimes a necessary add-on for digital TV antennas.  View TV includes a basic amplifier with their model.

Need More Digital Antenna Knowledge?

Check out our HD Antenna Guide.

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