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The best antennas to get free TV [buying guide]

Cordcutters can save tons of money each month on their bills by switching to streaming, but they’re usually sacrificing local channels and live TV to do it.

Some streaming apps will give you access to live TV, but the subscription costs can add up. Free TV options also have drawbacks of their own. Tap or click here to see the best streaming options for every budget.

The most affordable way to get local TV and live shows is through a TV antenna. They can pick up primetime shows from nearby stations, and you can still enjoy great picture quality if you know the right models to buy. Here are our favorites.

Which TV antenna is right for my home?

An antenna is your ticket to free TV, but you still have to plunk down some money if you want your picture quality to look good. Unlike streaming subscriptions, you’ll only be paying one time instead of every single month.

TV antennas come in three classes: Unamplified, amplified and outdoor antennas. The classes correspond to an antenna’s range, with amplified antennas having a wider range and unamplified ones having a smaller range.

Outdoor antennas, which can be amplified or not, are the best option for remote areas with a weak signal strength.

If you want to find out the signal strength of your local channels, visit the FCC’s digital TV reception maps guide and enter your ZIP code.

This 1byone TV Antenna is great for indoors and outdoors

At just $30, the 1byone antenna is the most affordable option on our list. It’s amplified with a 100-mile range and can mount on your wall inside or outside your house. Its onboard chip helps it filter out cellular and FM signals for a clearer picture.

Promising review: “This product comes with everything you need to easily set up your antenna and cut the cord on cable. All you have to do is connect the power supply to the antenna, plug in the power cable, and run a coaxial cable to your TV.”

This RCA outdoor antenna has crystal-clear picture quality

Once you install this unamplified outdoor antenna to the side or roof of your home, you’ll get access to your local networks in 4K, 8K and 1080 HDTV, depending on availability. The range extends up to 70 miles, and the antenna is built to withstand harsh weather like rain and wind without breaking.

Promising review: “I was amazed at the outcome. 100% signal on almost every single channel. The only channels below 100% were the high channels that I don’t watch anyways.”

This Mohu Leaf indoor antenna will blend in with your surroundings

Mohu makes some of the thinnest, lightest-weight antennas you can buy. The Leaf model is designed to stick to your wall without drawing attention to itself, and you can even paint over it, so it disappears completely. It’s 4K ready and perfect for short-range signals.

Promising review: “I live about 35 miles NW of Chicago downtown and both catch ALL major networks The picture quality is awesome. The antennas hide BEHIND both wall mounted TVs and it is NOT a problem.”

AmazonBasics has an option for you

The Amazon Basics antenna broadcasts in full HD 1080p and can pick up signals in a 60-mile radius. It can install indoors or outdoors, and the included 10-foot coaxial cable gives you more flexibility with where you install it.

Promising review: “My old indoor antenna maybe received 20 channels with poor reliability. Just received this antenna and assembled it in minutes. I installed it outside, ran a channel search and got 73 channels with great reliability Thanks amazon just saved me $150.00 a month now that I cut the cable cord.”

Winegard is a trusted name in antennas

The Winegard FlatWave Amped Digital HD Indoor Amplified has a 50-mile signal radius, supports 4K and 1080p output and comes with an extra-long 18.5-foot mini-coaxial cable. Unlike its competitors, this antenna uses clear circuit technology with an ultra-low noise preamplifier, so the audio sounds clear and static-free.

Promising review: “Omni-directional antenna like this one are perfect for picking up TV signals that bounce between the tall buildings from many directions. I get 7 channels crystal clear in 720 or 1080i.”

The Mohu Curve looks good and works even better

The Mohu Curve is an indoor antenna designed to look great as an appliance in your house. It’s multidirectional and gets a 50-mile range wherever you place it in your house.

Promising review: “I have the antenna sitting on the top of our foundation in our mechanical room pointed through the side of the house. It’s not even pointing through a window! In essence, it is at ground level, and yet, it is picking up signals 15 to 20 plus miles away.”

This adjustable antenna can go anywhere around or outside your house

This antenna lets you tweak and shape its design to your liking. You can position it in different directions to catch a better signal, making it more flexible than some of the other items on this list. It has a range of up to 70 miles and supports both 1080p and 4K.

Promising review: “After installation on the roof pointed to the right direction, I got 60 channels and all of the channels came in clearly!”

This Gesobyte antenna gives you better picture quality for less money

An affordable option with a lot of power. This antenna from Gesobyte is wall mountable and has an amplified range of up to 180 miles. Signal quality will vary for long-range broadcasts.

Promising review: “Just received my antenna and could not be more pleased. Within 10 minutes I had the antenna hooked up and watching tv. I am getting over 30 channels, and I am cutting cable.”

This King outdoor antenna works in every direction

This omnidirectional antenna gives you HDTV no matter how you position it and can pick up broadcasts from up to 50 miles away without losing signal quality. Great for camping trips and travel.

Promising review: “Excellent product! I purchased this for use in my travel trailer which is situated 50 miles outside the city of Toronto. I’m pulling in 21 stations, mostly HD from as far away as Buffalo, NY.”

Bonus: A Fire TV and DVR for your over-the-air shows

Amazon has a special Fire TV option for antenna-owners. This all-in-one gadget connects to your antenna so you can record live TV shows just like you would with a DVR. It also comes with the full Fire TV operating system with access to all of the most popular streaming services. It’s a cordcutter’s best friend.

Promising review: “I’ve been looking for the perfect solution for Local TV DVR plus program guide “forever”, but none of the solutions on the market appealed to me. Recast looked to be exactly what I was looking for and for the most part has exceeded my expectations.”

We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
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