If you’re ready to ditch cable, consider using one of these antennas to satisfy your channel surfing needs.
Not everyone needs a premium satellite HD package with thousands of channels to get the most out of their TV watching experience. The most popular shows on television tend to be on the basic cable channels and sometimes even that is too much for people. Whether TV is less of a passion and more your background noise of choice, or if it’s just not in your budget to constantly pay for 50+ channels that you don’t even watch, having a good indoor TV antenna is the best way to get the most out of your TV watching without breaking the bank with a monthly payment.
What is an Indoor TV Antenna?
Unlike their outdoor counterparts, indoor TV antennas don’t sit on the roof to get signals. Rather, they sit atop the TV (or any other high area) and do the same work of catching airwaves to bring basic primetime networks to the television screen without a cable subscription.
When saying “indoor TV antenna,” many people probably think of the old “rabbit ears” design that looks like two metal sticks coming out of a base to catch signals, but modern day antennas don’t necessarily look like that. They come in more compact, convenient options now, looking like flat boxes that can rest on flat surfaces up high to get the best possible signal. Antennas can receive UHF (ultra high frequency) or VHF (very high frequency) signals, and it’s usually best to get one that receives both, but depending on your area you might be able to get by with an antenna that only handles one type.
One of the most important things to remember when buying an antenna like the ones in this article is that performance of any product will depend on your individual location. Some people are closer to transmitters than others, and some people might have certain things blocking signal coming from a certain direction that others don’t have. It’s a good idea to do research on antennas that have worked well in your area before finalizing your purchase.
Top 5 Indoor TV Antennas
Mohu Leaf Antenna
The Mohu Leaf, one of the best rated TV antennas on Consumer Search, is a super convenient model capable of picking up both UHF and VHF signals, though specializing in the former. If the signal is not strong enough, there is an amplified version of the product but be sure to check the quality of the regular version before you go upgrading, as the amplified signal could actually make reception worse for those in areas that don’t need the extra power. This antenna is incredibly thin which helps it blend into the background easily and is black on one side and white on the other, giving you multiple options to match the style of the room.
Moreso than many other indoor antenna options, the Mohu Leaf is not terribly dependent on its position in the room to get good signal because of its omnidirectional capabilities. While there is no question about the quality signal the Mohu Leaf provides, some customers have questioned whether this slightly pricier option is the only way to get such consistent results when other models seem to perform just as well. Still, the extra money is worth the promised effectiveness of this product.
Terk HDTVa Antenna
The Terk HDTVa is a great option for anyone that needs an antenna that gets plenty of distance. Another Consumer Search favorite, this antenna can be used from up to 45 miles from transmitters and is recommended for those who live farther away rather than those who live close to them. UHF and VHF signals can be picked up by the Terk HDTVa as long as it is facing in the correct direction.
Reviews claim this antenna is very particular about the way it’s facing, meaning if your signals come from different directions, you will have to move this product to the direction you need, but the quality displayed is worth the extra effort. This is the amplified version of this product, so if you still need a directional antenna but have strong signal in your area, feel free to get the Terk HDTVi version of this product.
Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 Antenna
Like the Mohu Leaf, the Winegard FlateWave FL-5000 boasts the convenience of being flat as paper and performing like a gem. Also similar to the Leaf, this antenna is black on one side and white on the other, making it easier to blend it into the aesthetics of the room depending on your needs. Reviews have claimed the best place for this antenna is in the window, and its decal-esque design makes it blend right in as well as fit into whatever place you might need to get the best reception.
Though not intended for VHF channels, the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 overall does not fall short performance-wise according to numerous reviews. In fact, this product has been compared to the Mohu Leaf as though they were twins, but with some minor differences that depending on the person might not be so minor. The biggest one is the power cable. Rather than a short white cable for the Mohu Leaf, which severely limits the placement options of the antenna or the TV, the Winegard FlatWave has a cable more than double the length at 15ft adding a new level of convenience to the experience of anyone trying to find that signal sweet spot.
The one complaint people seem to have about this brand is that this extremely useful longer cable is black, making it a little harder on the eyes in a white room unlike the Mofu Leaf, whose cable is white. Depending on your needs and aesthetic pleasures, the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 might be the perfect iteration of super-thin indoor TV antennas for you.
RCA Basic Indoor Antenna
The least expensive option on this list is anything but lacking in quality. The RCA Basic Indoor Antenna comes with VHF and UHF reading capabilities thanks to the dipoles and UHF loop. The dipoles are extendable up to 3 ft, giving you a wider range of space to look for signals. Along with the VHF and UHF signals, the RCA Basic Indoor Antenna also picks up FM signals.
Though this model is bulkier than most on this list, it can still comfortably sit atop or behind a tv, or on a small stand nearby depending where the best positioning is without destroying the flow of your room. It has a 4′ cord attached to plug into the TV, giving you a little more leeway with distance and placement. With its low price and undeniable reliability in delivering excellent reception, many users have considered the RCA Basic Indoor Antenna the perfect model to satisfy their TV needs.
Mohu Curve 30 Designer HDTV Antenna
If you are not a fan of sticking something in your window, on your wall, or having something that looks like a traditional antenna, but still want great TV signal, then the Mohu Curve 30 Designer HDTV Antenna might be the right option for you. True to its name, the curve is a flat surface that can be shaped to stand and blend right into your room. If you decide you don’t like it in the standing position, you can also lie it flat or stick it in your window; this is a model with many aesthetic options.
The Mohu Curve 30 receives both UHF and DHF channels from up to 30 miles away in full 1080p, just like other members of this list, making it a top contender for performance as well as attractiveness. A 10′ coax cord means there is plenty of wiggle room for placement, though it shouldn’t have to move to much considering it is another omnidirectional model. Just keep in mind that the Mohu Curve 30 Designer HDTV Antenna will only work with TVs that have a digital tuner (built in or set-top). Still, this model is perfect for those craving excellent service with visual variety.