Have you heard all the chatter about free Over-The-Air (OTA) television? Is it possible to get a wide range of programming without spending a lot of money on monthly subscriptions for cable or streaming services?
A single TV antenna can pick up signals from as far away as 150 miles to bring your favorite programming, including sports, movies, news, reality shows and much more. But, finding the right equipment for your home to get the best picture quality and the most content for your TV can feel overwhelming if you’re new to OTA television.
That’s why we had team of our TV station engineers at the EW Scripps Company take a look at many antennas to test for installation ease, signal quality, and number of channels received inside the home. Our expert team shared their findings and opinions to help readers narrow their choices for a new antenna.
Our team advises that all of these recommendations are provided in good faith. The consumer assumes responsibility for determining the right product for your personal use.
They also suggest purchasing the new and improved Tablo device to make your OTA viewing experience even better. This plug-and-play device provides even more free streaming channels and records your favorite programming via DVR.
Here are three of the best indoor and outdoor antennas recommended by our engineering team.
Named the best overall antenna for suburban homes, the Mohu Leaf 30 got rave reviews from the engineering team. The thin-designed, omnidirectional antenna was called “reliable and powerful” because of its ability to pick up UHF and Hi-VHF signals. It is also UHD 4K/8K ready and NextGen TV compatible.
The Mohu Leaf 30 should be hung up in a window or on an adjacent wall for the best reception. Its reversible colors (black on one side, white on the other) gives some aesthetic choices; however, it can also be painted to blend in with your own decor.
Regarding reception, when hung either in a window or in the attic, the Mohu Leaf 30 received 67 out of the 67 predicted channels.
Our engineering team ranked the indoor/outdoor DigiWave Panel ANT2088 as one of the best TV antennae for rural homes.
The engineering team unboxed the DigiWave Panel ANT2088 and discovered the antenna comes fully assembled. All the user has to do is mount the antenna, adjust its position and then secure it with wing nuts.
As to where to mount the DigiWave Panel ANT 2088, the team looked at two different locations: the attic and outside. Both locations did pick up broadcast signals (including UHF and HD) from as far as 70 miles away, but one location outperformed expectations.
Inside the attic, the antenna received 40 of the 67 predicted channels. The same antenna received 73 channels when mounted outside, or six more than the team predicted.
You can buy the Digiwave Panel ANT2088 antenna from Walmart for $107.56.
The Marathon Plus antenna is able to pick up broadcast signals from up to 110 miles away, making it another solid choice for rural homes. It is an indoor/outdoor model; however, our experts recommend finding a high rafter in your attic if you choose to install it indoors.
Installation was easy for the team, and reception in indoor and outdoor locations was better than anticipated. The Marathon Plus antenna received 79 channels during the indoor test when the team predicted 67. But, the outdoor test produced a whopping 107 channels from the antenna.
This antenna is a little larger than the previous one. As a result, the team said keeping it in the attic or outside is best to maximize home space.