Digital TV Antennas
Aiming your TV antenna it's easy and free!
This application helps you discover digital TV towers (DTV) close to you and it helps you find the bearing from your location so that you can point you antenna to catch those stations. It works based on a list of antennas broadcasting digital TV over-the-air (OTA) in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay.
In the US it can also display the FCC calculated broadcast area over the map!
Specially useful when you camping in your camper van, rv, motorhome, so you can get the best TV reception wherever you are.
Be aware that compasses in phones are not very good and they are often wrong or get stucked. That cannot be corrected from a software application such as this one. Sometimes it's useful to “calibrate” the devices's compass by performing movements with the phone describing an "8".
For now this helper is just for United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Argentina Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay.
USA stations were retrieved from FCC's CDBS database. Brazilian stations were retrieved from Anatel. Argentina ones were retrieved from TDA home page. UK Freeview transmitter locations were retrieved from http://www.ukfree.tv. Canadian stations were retrieved from Industry Canada. Australian station info was downloaded from http://data.gov.au/dataset/licensed-broadcasting-transmitter-data. Transmitters for Ireland (Saorview) come from https://www.saorview.ie/
Please, do not use app ratings to report issues. Try here: https://github.com/niqueco/antenas/issues
Source code is at: https://github.com/niqueco/antenas
Use this program to check for the DTV signals that are available at your location. Enter your address in the box below and click Go! The DTV coverage map will list all stations in your area.
Sometimes stations change the frequency on which they broadcast — the channel a viewer selects to watch a particular station remains the same but the frequency that the viewer’s television finds the station on changes -- requiring viewers who use an over-the-air antenna to rescan their tuners to locate the station's new signal (Refer to our "Remember to Rescan" video and instructions to learn how to rescan your TV).
Viewers may contact their local stations with additional questions; click on the link to a station's public inspection file for contact information in you have questions about a specific station.
For more information on antennas, see the Antenna Guide. Signal strength calculations assume an outdoor antenna 30 feet above ground level. Actual reception quality may vary significantly for viewers using an indoor antenna.
DTV Reception Map Tips
- If searching on city, include state
- If searching on street address, include city and state
- Exclude PO Box, Mailbox, APT # in address search parameters
- Avoid using special characters, such as @, #, $, %, *, etc.
- Clicking on the red marker on the map and dragging it to a different location will change the search results, based on the longitude and latitude coordinates of the end location.
These predictions are based on a terrain-sensitive propagation model resembling but not identical to the propagation model used when calculating service and interference contours for licensed broadcast television stations. Actual signal strength may vary based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, building construction, neighboring buildings and trees, weather, and specific reception hardware. Your signal strength may be significantly lower in extremely hilly areas. Click on a callsign for details about that station's Incentive Auction repacking plans.
Ever since the transition to digital television, most consumers have had more choices in free over-the-air broadcasting. This guide provides information on TV antennas and tips for obtaining good quality reception of digital broadcasts.
Scanning for DTV Channels
Before making any changes to your current antenna or antenna system, you should perform a channel scan to see if your antenna receives the digital signals being broadcast in your area.
To run a channel scan, find the "set-up" or "menu" button on your remote control, then select the option that allows you to search for available digital broadcast channels. Once the scan is complete, you should be receiving all available digital channels in your area. In many cases, this is all you need to do to watch DTV broadcasts.
You should rescan periodically to ensure your TV has the current channel lineup for your area.
If you have any difficulty completing the channel scan, consult the owner's manual of your digital-to-analog converter box or DTV for detailed instructions. More information can be found at fcc.gov/rescan
Antennas for Receiving DTV
(Note: An auction of spectrum that had been licensed to broadcast television stations operating on UHF TV Channels 38-51 resulted in many TV stations on these channels transitioning to other channels. Almost all of the TV stations affected finished transitioning in July 2020.)
To receive DTV signals from all stations in the area, your antenna needs to be able to receive both VHF channels (channels 2-13) and UHF channels (channels 14-36). Some antennas only provide good reception of VHF or UHF channels, but not both. For example, indoor "rabbit ears" usually need to be augmented with an additional "wire loop" or "bowtie" antenna (see images in next tab) in order to pick up signals on UHF channels. Many of the antennas being sold as "HDTV Antennas" perform best at receiving UHF signals, but perform less well receiving VHF channels. Check with retail consultants and consumer websites to make sure that any antenna you choose provides good reception of both VHF and UHF channels.
Even if you use a digital-to-analog converter box, you will still need to use an antenna to receive DTV signals. Digital-to-analog converter boxes do not contain additional antennas or signal amplification.
Antennas for Different Conditions
The antennas shown below will work for the indicated signal strength in most instances, but may not work in all cases. The type of antenna needed at a specific location may vary depending on geographic location, the height at which the antenna is used and other local factors such as nearby buildings, trees, terrain or home construction. Generally, outdoor antennas will get better reception than indoor antennas and are strongly recommended for the most reliable reception.
- Antennas typically need to be oriented or "aimed" to get the best signal from the desired station. DTV reception can often be improved just by changing the location of your current antenna, even as little as a few inches. For example, moving it away from other objects or placing it higher or lower can often improve reception. Be sure to move the antenna slowly to allow time for the signal received by the digital TV tuner to be displayed.
- While adjusting your antenna, it may be helpful to access the "signal strength meter" on your digital-to-analog converter box or DTV, if it has one, to determine whether your adjustments are improving the signals' strength. The signal strength meter is usually accessed through the menu feature on your remote control; consult the owner's manual of your device for detailed instructions on how to access it.
- Remember to do another channel scan after you have adjusted your antenna. For outdoor antennas, a rotor that re-orients the antenna can improve performance, particularly when trying to receive stations that transmit from different locations.
- If you are near a station's broadcast tower, reception of that station, as well as other stations, can be impeded by strong signal "overload." If you suspect this to be the case, you may want to remove any signal amplifiers you may have or try to install an "attenuator" to reduce the amount of signal coming to your converter box or DTV.
- If you are not receiving certain DTV stations, this does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your antenna or receiver. Check with the TV station to find out whether they are planning changes that will improve reception. To check available signals where you live, use the FCC's DTV reception maps.
Antennas and Digital Television (pdf)Sours: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/antennas-and-digital-television
Best indoor TV antennas 2021: 6 digital TV antennas worth having
The best indoor TV antennas are a must-have if you’ve cut the cord for good when it comes to cable TV. Buying an indoor TV antenna for your home is one cheap and easy way to get access to many free over-the-air channels in HD for no monthly fee.
The best TV antennas offer a portal into the world of sports, sitcoms, news, and more that are all on offer across America’s most popular TV networks – and all for free. This fact is largely obscured by cable companies because they’re keen to sign you up for an expensive cable plan.
But what you can get with a TV antenna isn’t without its limits. Over-the-air broadcasts offer less choice than any cable package out there. But the plus side is they're totally free and still usually carry many of the biggest sports events (the NFL on Sunday, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup), as well as a solid selection of sitcoms, dramas and comedy shows from NBC, ABC, CBS and more.
But there’s a lot of choice. So which is the best indoor antenna for your smart TV? That's exactly what we wanted to find out, so we’ve tested a whole range of them from different tech brands and put them to work. What you'll find below is our round-up of the best indoor TV antennas on the market in 2021. Keep checking back as we’ll be adding new antennas to this list.
Just be careful you don't fall for misleading product pages elsewhere – some outlets promise outrageous features like a 120-mile range (which isn't possible, given the curvature of the earth). You can get 4K resolution though a regular antenna, though, with the next set of ATSC standards called NextGen TV.
Best indoor TV antennas 2021
1. Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse 2
A pricier antenna, but potentially worth it
Range: 60+ miles
Dimensions: 16.5 x 8.6 inches
Cable length: 15ft
Reasons to buy
+Strong signal pull +Distinctive design +Long range
Reasons to avoid
-It's a pricier option
The ClearStream Eclipse 2 is similar to Amazon's thin, plastic antenna at its core, but this very distinctive figure-eight design is one of a kind. Whatever engineering Antennas Direct did to pin down this kind of design clearly worked, however, as this amplified long-range antenna does an excellent job of picking up channels.
It's rated for 60+ miles and consistently delivered strong reception while pulling in all of the channels we expected to see. It also comes with curved double-sided tape pads that sit on the upper and lower backs of the design, ensuring a snug fit to your wall. It's a pricey option at $70, but that's an investment in a quality product.
2. Antop HD Smart Bar AT-500SBS
Huge and pricey, but plenty powerful
Range: 80 miles
Dimensions: 30 x 8.1 x 3.9 inches
Cable length: 15ft
Reasons to buy
+Maximum range+Can mount to wall or sit in stand
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky and hard to hide -Most expensive
If you live far from a broadcast source and/or you've had trouble with other antennas, the Antop HD Smart Bar (AT-500SBS) could solve your issues—if you're willing to pay a steep price and tolerate the very large size.
The Antop HD Smart Bar is a hard-plastic antenna that measures 2.5 feet wide and can be mounted on your wall like a soundbar, or you can use the included base stand to prop it up vertically. In any case, it's much more visible than nearly any other indoor antenna on the market, but the trade-off is a much longer promised range of 80 miles. It also has a 4G signal filter, an FM tuner, and the ability to connect to a second TV, plus the reception was excellent in our testing. However, with a $119 price tag, we recommend trying cheaper alternatives first to see if they'll meet your needs.
3. Antop HD Smart Antenna SBS-301
A feature-rich option for folks who want to spend a bit more
Range: 70 miles
Dimensions: 17.6 x 8.9 inches
Cable length: 10ft
Reasons to buy
+Extra perks +Long range
Reasons to avoid
-Still pretty expensive
Do you want to watch TV for free? You can get local channels without paying a monthly fee when you buy a digital TV antenna.
Here are four things to consider if you’re thinking about buying an antenna.
1. Should You Get a Digital TV Antenna?
TV antennas let you pick up extra channels in your area. They’re especially great if you want to (or already have) cut the cord. These live over-the-air channels may include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS affiliates and independent stations.
Money expert and football fan Clark Howard loves his digital antenna because of the crisp picture he gets from it on his TV. Watch the video above for more information from Clark about TV antennas.
2. Types of Digital Antennas
Once you decide you want a digital TV antenna, you’ll have to figure out which kind you need. There are three basic types of antennas:
Indoor TV Antenna
An indoor digital antenna hooks up to a single TV to pick up over-the-air programming.
It’s the simplest antenna to install, but it won’t work well for everyone. This type is usually best for urban areas where broadcast towers are close by.
If you want to improve the signal of a single digital TV antenna, moving it closer to a window or higher up on a wall might do the trick.
One member of Team Clark has the Mohu Leaf, a popular indoor digital antenna that connects to the back of his TV to pick up local channels. He secures it to the back of his TV with a Velcro strip to keep it out-of-sight.
Attic TV Antenna
An attic antenna is a larger unit, similar to an outdoor antenna, but it’s installed in your attic on a mounted metal pole.
The installation process will involve connecting the antenna to your home media wiring, so follow the instructions and take proper precautions if you’re installing the antenna yourself.
The main disadvantage is that roofing materials may prevent the antenna from picking up channels clearly. Other factors like fluorescent lights and computers may also affect your TV’s ability to receive a clear picture from the antenna.
Outdoor TV Antenna
An outdoor antenna, also known as a whole-house antenna, is best for people who live far away from broadcast towers. Generally, an outdoor antenna gives homes in rural communities the best picture and the most channel options.
Outdoor antennas are the trickiest to install since you’ll have to get on your roof to anchor the unit down and ground the wiring. As with attic antennas, follow the directions and take proper precautions when installing an outdoor antenna.
3. What’s the Best TV Antenna for Me?
The best way to find the best digital TV antenna for your home is to visit AntennaWeb. There, you can input your address and/or ZIP code and review antenna recommendations from participating Consumer Technology Association (CTA) vendors.
AntennaWeb offers choices from several companies for each search, so be sure to comparison shop those options to get the best deal for your wallet.
Another way to find out if an antenna might work for you is by asking your neighbors. This tactic may seem old-fashioned, but the signals picked up by an antenna vary a lot depending on location. Your neighbors might have already gone through trial and error to find a TV antenna they love.
4. How Much Do Digital Antennas Cost?
How much an antenna costs depends on the type of antenna you need to pick up the channels you want.
Usually, single TV antennas cost between $10 and $40, while attic and outdoor antennas are generally in the range of $60 to $150.
You can find reputable retailers when you search on AntennaWeb, so be sure to check out those results and comparison shop other viable options.
A digital antenna is a one-time purchase that can make a big difference in your entertainment budget. If you haven’t cut the cord yet, using a digital TV antenna can make the transition easier.
Do you use a digital antenna? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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