A quality HDTV antenna can make it possible for you to watch a wide variety of programs, from local news and weather to popular sitcoms and game shows to movies and special events, without the expense of cable, satellite or streaming services. But you must choose the right type of antenna for your home and your location. For example, an attic-mounted antenna might be ideal if you need stronger reception than an indoor antenna can provide but are unable to install an antenna outside.
Besides being mounted in the space below the roof of a building, an attic-mounted antenna operates in the same way other OTA TV antennas do. An attic digital TV antenna is a transducer that converts electromagnetic waves into audio and video displayed on the television connected to the antenna.
When installed in an attic, digital TV antennas have many benefits. For instance, the best HD antenna for attics provides excellent reception but is safer and simpler to install than a rooftop antenna and won’t be an eyesore. This is ideal for people who require a robust antenna but live in an HOA with strict restrictions on outdoor antennas or simply prefer to conceal the antenna.
Attic-mounted antennas are protected from the elements, increasing their longevity. In the attic, digital TV antennas can be mounted in several ways. For example, you can mount them on the attic floor, ceiling or wall. In addition, attic antenna installation makes use of otherwise wasted space above the living areas of your home.
As with other types of digital OTA TV antennas, the best HD antenna for attic installation provides an improved picture quality compared with cable or satellite broadcasts. This is because cable and satellite providers use MPEG-2 compression to compress the data before transmitting it, just like OTA broadcasters do. However, since cable and satellite companies tend to compress the signals more aggressively to send more channels via the signals they transmit, it decreases the picture quality.
Attic antenna installation tends to be more economical than rooftop installation if you need someone to install it. They can be more affordable to maintain, as well, since they don’t require as many repairs as outdoor antennas potentially will.
Our Best HD Antenna For Attics Buying Guide
When choosing the best HD antenna for attic installation, it is essential to consider several factors. First, you should think about your home’s location and how much attic space you have available. Attic mounted antennas can vary significantly in size.
Amplified and non-amplified antennas are available, as well. An amplified antenna can electrically increase the ability to receive a weak signal. However, it will require a connection to an electrical outlet, which might not be readily available in your attic space. You can install a non-amplified antenna for local channels from nearby broadcasting towers without a connection to a power source, although it might not work as well if you are not in a strong signal area.
It is wise to find out what type of signals are available and where the broadcast towers are in your area, as it will help you choose the best attic digital TV antenna. For instance, some antennas only pick up VHF channels (2 through 13, ) while UHF antennas receive all channels above channel 13. Alternatively, a combination UHF/VHF TV antenna can pick up both.
Similarly, you can choose between directional antennas that must face the transmission tower to receive a signal and multi-directional or omnidirectional antennas that can receive signals even if they are not pointing toward a broadcast tower.
The best way to find out what you need is by using the FCC’s DTV Reception Maps. When you search for your location, the results list channels in your area. Then, you can see whether they are UHF or VHF and where the broadcast towers are located.
Our Picks For Best HD Antenna For Attics
HD Antenna with Over 70 Mile Range
This antenna can receive UHF and VHF broadcasts within 70 miles of broadcast towers. Although durable enough to withstand the elements, it also provides superior reception when installed in an attic. The pre-assembled design with a fold-out UHF reflector and snap-lock components makes for straightforward installation. A mast, locking mast clamp, mounting hardware and 75-ohm matching transformer are included. RCA also provides a free app to align the antenna. A coax cable is required but not included.
UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna
With nearly 4,000 ratings and an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars, this is one of the best HD antennas for attics. It is practically ready to go out of the package and features a built-in diplexer providing multi-directional UHF and VHF reception. In addition, the compact design makes it ideal for attic installation. A 20-inch mast, mounting hardware, adjustable mast clamp and base stand are included.
Attic/Outdoor Compact Design
The compact size of this antenna makes it suitable for most attic settings. It can receive UHF and VHF stations up to 65+ miles from the transmission tower. You can assemble it in a snap with no tools required. The antenna includes a mast, locking mast clamp and mounting hardware.
This directional antenna has enhanced signal reception and can receive broadcast signals up to 200 miles from the tower. It includes a 40-foot coaxial cable, 20-inch mounting pole for easy attic antenna installation, a 4-way splitter and 15 cable clips. Although several parts are pre-assembled, there is some assembly required.
With strong performance in an efficient design and a size that is ideal for an attic digital TV antenna, the Digiwave ANT2088 performs across UHF channels 2-69. It will fit easily in most attic spaces and its high gain helps it overcome loss from roofing materials. It picks up transmissions within 70 miles. A pole mount is included.
A Mountable Long Range Antenna
Our last pick for best HD antenna for attics is this long range antenna that can reach up to 70 miles from the broadcast signal. It is designed for attic installation where it can provide superior signal strength while staying out of sight. The antenna comes with a mounting bracket, mast and assembly instructions.
Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR to record your favorite shows:
Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:
- Tablo DUAL 128GB Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR: Record up to 80 HD hours and stream up to two free broadcast channels from your HDTV antenna simultaneously.
- Tablo QUAD 1TB Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR: Record up to 700 hours and stream up to four free broadcast channels from their over-the-air HDTV antenna simultaneously.
If you have an external hard drive sitting at home collecting dust, consider these options as cheaper alternatives. Simply connect your antenna and portable hard drive to these Tablo DVR devices and you’re ready to go.
- Tablo DUAL Lite: Equipped with built-in Wifi, it lets you position the antenna and DVR forA the best signal reception.
- Tablo QUAD: Record up to four OTA channels simultaneously. This model connects to your router rather than your TV, giving you the option to stream live TV to any device.
If you need to purchase a portable hard drive, we recommend USB-connected portable hard drives (USB 2.0 or 3.0, 1 TB to 8 TB in size). These are the ones we recommend: WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive and the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive.
Tips And Advice For Attic Antenna Installation
- The best place for your antenna will likely be the corner of your attic closest to broadcast towers and has the fewest walls and structures blocking the transmission path.
- Measure the space available before buying an attic-mounted antenna. Be sure to leave a few inches of extra space to adjust the antenna’s position and orientation as needed.
- There are several ways to mount an antenna in an attic, including on a mast attached to the floor or hanging from a ceiling beam; on a wall bracket or short mast fastened to a vertical beam; or suspended from the ceiling using guy wires.
- If you are attaching a mast to the floor, ensure that it is as level and stable as possible, adding wooden planks if necessary.
- If possible, point the attic digital TV antenna at a vertical wall, as rain or snow built up on a sloping roof can interfere with reception.
- It is important to note that some attics have very poor or no reception. Test the antenna before installing it using a small television or by running a coaxial cable from the antenna to the TV you want to connect it to, making sure you have an adequate amount of cable to move the antenna around the attic if necessary. Testing the placement for several days will provide the best results.