If you’ve decided to ditch cable or satellite service in order to save upwards of $1,500 per year, then you should consider investing in a reliable antenna for your home. A quality antenna can pick up free, over-the-air high definition programming from popular networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, the CW, and a host of others. While a whole house, outdoor antenna system is ideal for getting HD programming distributed to all TV’s at once, rental properties discourage tenants from mounting outdoor antennae on the roof, or running cable lines from an outdoor antenna to various rooms. Also, not everyone needs a full-on outdoor antenna rig. This being the case, the indoor antenna has seen a giant resurgence over the past several years.
But before you cut your cords and opt to splurge on an antenna, we recommend taking a look at TV Fool’s TV Signal Analysis tool to view the available stations within your area. TV Fool’s analysis provides crucial data such as direction of the transmitters, distance from each transmitter, and transmitter signal power. TV Fool makes reading the analysis simple by color coordinating the probabilities of stations available in your area. For instance, green transmitters work with standard indoor antennae, while yellow or red transmitters might require an attic antenna or larger hardware mounted to your roof. It’s also recommended you take into account the building materials used in your home or apartment, as well as the surrounding terrain, which may block incoming signals. For instance, if you have metal siding on the outside of your home, lack windows, or have several walls between your TV and the outside world, an indoor antenna might not work for you.
When shopping for a suitable indoor antenna, it’s easy to only pay attention to the claims of manufacturers. While these occasionally help when buying, making an informed decision based on actual performance is always best. To help with this, we’ve combed through the sea of available indoor antennae and found eight of the best — plus one outdoor antenna just for fun — which promise to bring crystal-clear HD programming straight to your home. With a few of these selections, you’ll even have the ability to receive quality broadcasts from transmitters 40 to 60 miles away. So get ready to cut those cords for good; here are our picks of the best available indoor antenna.
Why should you buy this: The highest-rated flat HD antenna comes in various models to suit your needs
Who’s it for: Those who don’t mind paying a little extra for the best possible reception.
How much will it cost: $50
Why we picked the ClearStream Eclipse:
The ClearStream Eclipse is a powerful antenna, with some of the best-rated performance when it comes to flat, multi-directional HD antennas. This is true of all four available models, which feature 35, 50, 60, and 70-mile estimated signal ranges. The antenna is two sided — a black side and white side — that can be mounted to suit your decor. The material is not only adhesive on both sides (meaning no tape), it also can be painted over, so it can easily become a discreet addition to any room. Even better, the multidirectional nature of the ClearStream Eclipse means it can be mounted virtually anywhere, and doesn’t require precise aiming to catch a signal. Unlike many indoor antennas, most of which use a square or rectangular design, the circular design of the ClearStream Eclipse is better at picking up UHF signals, which many indoor antennas struggle with.
We’re recommending the 35-mile-range model, which runs about $50, but if you live further out from a tower and need a wider range, the amplified models might be what you’re looking for. These cost progressively more the wider the radius becomes. Keep in mind, however, that we’ve found amplifiers to have a minimal effect on signal reception