In some households, this statement holds true: your TV is only as good as your antenna. That is why, to enjoy TV watching to the fullest, investing in a good set of equipment is a wise and practical decision.
Before diving into the detailed reviews let’s take a quick look at our top picks and the maximum reported range for each
|PRODUCT||MAXIMUM REPORTED RANGE|
|CM EXTREMEtenna||200 miles|
|Winegard FL5500||82 miles|
|Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie||138 miles|
|GE Outdoor/Indoor Long Range Antenna||70 miles|
Table of Contents
- 1 Detailed Review
- 2 How we picked the best products
- 3 Summary
Best Multi-directional Pick – Channel Master EXTREMEtenna
Topping our list is Channel Master’s EXTREMEtenna 80. It is a multidirectional antenna that uses the 8-bay design that allows it to pick up UHF, VHF, FM, and HD signals within a 180-degree reception field.
The average range is claimed to be at 80 miles but some users have reported being able to pick up signals from 150-200 miles away. This is best suited for those who are looking for a long range outdoor TV antenna that has a wide reception field. Coming from the Channel Master family, users can expect nothing but optimal experience in terms of video and audio quality.
This antenna supports 1080 HDTV broadcasts which means that avid viewers can now enjoy their favorite TV shows without having to pay subscription fees nor worry about poor reception. It can be easily installed on the roof, chimney, wall, or in the attic or balcony because it comes with a set of mounting hardware and is already pre-assembled. Durability is guaranteed as this product is made of weatherproof materials and is specifically designed for long-term outdoor, or indoor, use. One of the best aspects of this long range multi-directional TV antenna is it’s not very expensive yet works just as well as, or even outperforms, other units sold at a heftier price.
- Comes pre-assembled
- Instruction manual not very clear
Users are pleased with this unit’s performance. First, many are able to pick up several channels despite being located 30-80 miles away from local stations. There are also some who have tested the product and have claimed that reception range reaches up to 150-200 miles. Of course, this also depends on their location or how obstructed their areas are as there are some who had trouble getting something despite living only 30 miles away while there are others that had good reception from over 80 miles away. Reviews also commended the company’s customer support for being accommodating with queries and for providing thorough assistance.
Top Directional Pick – Channel Master CM-5020
Because of the distance of most TV stations from residences, Channel Master’s CM-5020 is what we believe is the most ideal long range directional TV antenna for rural areas.
With this directional antenna that has a 100-mile range, users should be able to pick up UHF, VHF, high definition, and digital signals that are oftentimes hard to come by. It comes with a U-bolt mounting clamp so installation is definitely hassle-free. It is built to endure harsh weather conditions with a wind resistance of 100 mph.
- has 100-mile range
- easy to install
- a little expensive
Most of the reviews show positive comments on how users have experienced improved reception and more channel options after purchasing or upgrading to this antenna. Despite its bulky build, users say this antenna is fairly easy to install and works well even when set up in the attic. Reviews state that this antenna is able to pull in more channels from stations located over 80 miles away. Some also say that this antenna works well even without an amplifier.
Best Indoor – Winegard FL5500A FlatWave HD Indoor TV Antenna
Winegard is another front runner in the antenna industry and their FL5500A delivers top notch performance as an indoor antenna. With 60 miles of reception range, this multi-directional antenna has a highly sensitive (1 dB Noise Figure) digital amplifier embedded that allows it to pull in UHF, VHF, and high definition signals. Another signal booster is the 18-inch coaxial cable that comes with it.
One of the best things to love about this product is its compact, minimalist design that makes it very easy to install. Users will not have any problem finding a spot for this device in their home as it can literally be installed anywhere. With dimensions of 12 x 0.6 x 13 inches, this antenna is not only budget-friendly, but also space-saving.
- slim size
- easy setup
- can be hung on the wall
- can be powered using USB port on TV
- a little more expensive
The most loved feature of this product is its easy-to-install design and size. Users are happy that they can place it anywhere indoors. Reviews also state how this device consistently delivers good performance, reeling in signals that other indoor antennas cannot pick up, even going over the 60-mile range that the manufacturer claims. In fact, one user reported being able to receive signal from a station that is around 82 miles away. However, there are still users who have problems with reception because of their location. And although this can be powered via the TV’s USB port, some wish it had a longer cable to make it easier to plug into an outlet.
Best for Multiple Rooms – Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie
If you’re specifically looking for an outdoor antenna that can give you power, durability, and flexibility for outdoor use, then Antennas Direct’s 8-Element Bowtie TV Antenna is the one for you. It uses the patented bowtie antenna design that allows for multi-directional high reception range which is claimed to be at 70 miles.
The panels can be adjusted to face different directions and turn to sources where signal is strong.
What’s special about this product? It comes with a 4-port distribution amplifier. So, if you’re in a household that has multiple televisions in different rooms, this is the perfect outdoor antenna for you. Each port is enabled with 7.5 dB of amplification which helps make sure that signal quality does not diminish due to multiple connections. Talking about build, it has been tested to withstand extreme weather conditions making it the best outdoor long range TV antenna. Once properly installed, you can start watching shows in HD as this fully supports 1080p; hence, excellent video quality is guaranteed. Another thing you’ll definitely love about this unit is it already includes a power supply and a 3-foot coaxial cable and it has lifetime warranty on parts.
- has adjustable panels to face two different directions
- has a 4-port distribution amplifier
- needs a special kit to receive VHF
There are mixed reviews on this product but most are from satisfied customers who were happy they cut the cord and bought this antenna. According to reviews, one of the best features of this product is it can be turned to face two different directions at the same time. Despite its size, it is also easy to assemble. Some users are not convinced with the 70+ mile range and have reported not getting anything because of obstruction from trees. But then again, reception varies depending on the area as there are other users who were able to pull in signals from as far as 90-138 miles.
Best Value – GE Indoor/Outdoor Long Range TV Antenna
If there’s one product out there than can deliver outstanding performance at a very affordable price, it would be GE’s Indoor/Outdoor long range TV antenna.
Suited for both indoor and outdoor installation, it is versatile enough to pick up signals from 70 miles away making it perfect for both rural and urban areas. It also supports VHF, UHF, and high definition 1080p and 4K resolution so picture quality is not compromised despite its affordability. While it has multiple reflectors that are made to booth signal strength, the antenna does not look to bulky and is not heavy at all. Complementing its simple design are the mounting hardware that come with the package to allow for more flexibility when mounting the unit, which makes it easy to install in the attic or on the roof.
- easy to install
- flexible mounting hardware
- manual instructions are not very clear
- material may not withstand harsh weather
Easy installation is what most of the reviews were about; although there were a few that found the instructions unclear and had difficulty setting up the unit. Some believe an amplifier is needed to enhance reception but most reviews state the product is doing a good job. Some even shared that they were able to pick up several channels with impressive picture quality even with the antenna installed in the attic. With the help of a good amplifier, the farthest reported range is 65-70 miles.
How we picked the best products
As we’re looking for the best long range TV antenna, this parameter is on top of our list. This can be difficult to discern because range is affected by a lot of factors such as location, obstructions, weather, etc. So, we did not simply trust manufacturers’ marketing claims but we also backed our decision up with actual user experience. Without amplification it’s difficult to achieve long ranges. Being more realistic, with long range, we wanted an antenna that can pull in signal from over 50 miles away and we believe we’ve found the best ones on the market.
Broadcast technologies supported
With the continuous emergence of new technology, TV antennas have definitely learned to adapt. As much as possible, we considered products that are capable of receiving diverse signals – UHF, VHF, high definition. Being 1080p- and 4K- broadcast ready are a big plus.
To maximize reception capabilities, we know that most users would experiment on where to set up their antennas. With this in mind, we considered antennas that have hassle-free installation. We want assemblage to be a breeze so, should users want to move the antenna to another location, they shouldn’t have to go through a long process of dismantling and rebuilding.
Some antennas are best installed outdoors and we know how weather conditions can affect their performance and longevity. Hence, specifically for outdoor antennas, we looked for ones that can survive harsh and changing environmental conditions. Some antennas will have to deal with wind, rain, and heat, so they should be made with durable and long-lasting materials.
This comes in as a very important factor to consider because this is where we were able to gain more insight about the many factors that could affect a TV antenna’s performance. We looked into other people’s experiences to see how installation locations, weather and obstructions in their areas impact reception. We were able to weed out some products that, based on user reviews, failed to work at all even when installed outdoors or products that weren’t durable enough or are not suited for a specific kind of environment.
Now, it is easier for you to determine which long range TV antenna is best for your home and the location you are in. It might have taken you a while to finally decide to cut the cord, but now could be the right time to enjoy more TV shows for free.
In conclusion here are our top picks for the best long range TV antenna
- Best Multi-directional Pick – Channel Master EXTREMEtenna
- Top Directional Pick – Channel Master CM-5020
- Best Indoor – Winegard FL5500A FlatWave HD Indoor TV Antenna
- Best for Multiple Rooms – Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie
- Best Value – GE Indoor/Outdoor Long Range TV Antenna