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Best TV Antenna 2021 • 7 TV Antenna Reviews

TV antennas are useful devices that allow you to make substantial savings on your entertainment bill. They offer more channels, improve image definition, and increase quality and stability during live broadcasts. A TV antenna can be a real asset to you, especially in areas where the reception isn’t optimal. Choosing wisely is the key to making a successful purchase, but finding the product that best suits your personal needs can be a real challenge. This is particularly true if you don’t know much about the product you want to buy. Besides, you need to know what to do to set up your new TV antenna. We have designed the following guide to help you answer any doubts you may have.

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Tested Products 7
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Hours Spent 85
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Evaluated Studies 563
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 759

What is a TV antenna and how does it work?

A TV antenna is a metal conductor capable of emitting or receiving electromagnetic waves at a specific frequency. These devices have made their way into our daily lives and become real allies, especially for those looking to eliminate the need for cumbersome cables. These electromagnetic waves represent the signal from radios and televisions.

These signals can be picked up in two different ways, which define the type of antenna. It is a transmitting antenna when sending, and a receiving antenna when it receives. The connection can either be established by direct transmission between a transmitting and receiving TV antenna, or the signal needs to travel to the ionosphere and be refracted back to Earth.

What are the types of TV antennas?

We can identify four different types of antennas based on the way they operate. Your final decision will be influenced by the needs, type of signal, or space you have. You can find the main characteristics and features of each type in the list below. Pay close attention to these descriptions to prevent unpleasant surprises upon purchase:

Single dipole antennas

The first thing you should know about this type of TV antenna is that it emits two waves. These models tend to be the simpler ones on the market. They consist of a conductor held together with a coaxial cable that connects to the transmitter. This means that you really have to take the wavelength into account.

The conductor element must measure half the wavelength of the frequency you want to transmit. Single dipole antennas are often used for long-distance transmissions and FM signals. Their main advantage is that you can adjust them to various frequencies by way of a screw system.

Yagi antennas

This is the most common type for domestic use, so you have undoubtedly seen them before. They can easily receive TV channels and are frequently used for radio links. Their reflectors aim at the signal, which means that they offer great direction. This, in turn, increases the gain (signal magnitude).

Omnidirectional antennas

This type is mostly used for distant and bidirectional transmissions because it can pick up signals from different angles. There are two kinds of omnidirectional antennas. The antennas designed to resist humidity and bad weather in general are made of fiberglass. They provide excellent performance.

You can also find stainless steel models, whose main feature is that they emit the signal evenly. This makes them ideal antennas for large areas. That being said, the range of their receiver generally remains inferior to that of a directional antenna.

Parabolic antennas

This type of TV antenna is the best option for picking up satellite signals. They work with low-frequency links as well as long-distance connections. The dish with which they receive the signals is their most unique feature. It also reflects all the signals gathered, which accumulate in its center.

Another trait of this type of TV antenna is that it gathers all the signals at a specific point, giving excellent directionality to the signal. In addition, these devices are capable of providing a remarkable gain. While this certainly isn’t the most common option, this type of antenna can offer practical solutions.

Shopping Criteria for the best TV Antenna

You certainly don’t want to make a purchase that you will regret within weeks. To prevent this from happening, you must familiarize yourself with the criteria that define the quality and efficiency of your TV antenna. In the following section, we have summarized the different aspects that you need to analyze in order to find the model that will best suit your needs.

 

  • Radiation Pattern
  • Gain
  • Polarization
  • Directivity
  • Bandwidth

Radiation Pattern

This aspect refers to the graphic representation of the radiation’s behavior. It is important to define this characteristic precisely because it influences how it receives or sends out electromagnetic waves. The antenna will be omnidirectional, directive, isotropic, or directional, depending on the shape of this radiation.

Gain

This is another vital factor that you need to evaluate before buying your TV antenna. The gain can be defined as the power with which the antenna radiates at the same distance and power density as an isotropic antenna. It is assumed to be equal to the maximum radiation direction when the angular direction isn’t specified.

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Polarization

TV antennas create a radiated electromagnetic field that is transmitted in a specific direction; this is what we call polarization. This polarity can be linear, circular, or elliptical. Linear polarization can work in both vertical and horizontal orientation. Circular and elliptical ones, on the other hand, are defined according to the rotational direction of the electromagnetic field.

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Directivity

We often confuse this term with the term gain discussed above. The directivity of a TV antenna refers to the attribute that a signal receiver has to pick up electromagnetic waves in a specific direction. If there is no leakage or interference, the directivity and gain are equal and therefore offer optimal performance.

Bandwidth

This criterion is connected to the number of frequencies the transmitter can work on. TV antennas operating in a broadband environment usually show a higher frequency. This directly affects other factors such as gain, polarization, or impedance, which are all enhanced in broadband antennas.

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FAQ

Where should I place my TV antenna?

Several factors will affect the distribution, and therefore the reception, of your TV antenna. However, there are various practical steps you can implement to help you get the best results possible. Picking the right location is criticall. However, there is a few locations which could be the right one for you. One of them is towards the base station. You can get the right information with specialized guides available online. Research the area where you live to find out the location of the nearest base station, which will give you the coordinates to aim your TV antenna for the most reliable signal possible. This might seem like a clumsy technique, but it is incredibly efficient. An other option can be near the window. If you place your TV antenna in an open area, like a window, you may get better reception. Since the waves travel through space and can hit objects, it is evident that pointing it outwards will allow for better reception of the signals and reduced interference. Last but not least you can put your antenna in the garden or terrace for hybrid which are designed for any surface and environment.

How can I install my TV antennas?

The first thing you have to do is determine which type of antenna best suits your needs. Start by choosing between low, medium, or high-frequency TV antennas. Remember that you need to set it up in a location pointing south and as interference-free as possible. Once you have selected the appropriate type of connector, you can continue with the installation. Regardless of whether it is indoor or outdoor, your TV antenna should be attached to a base. While the complexity will vary from one model to the next, there are certain set parameters to follow. Place the dish or dipole in the direction with the best reception before connecting the transmitter to your television. Configure the device if necessary and check the channel availability.

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