Many of us have switched to Youtube TV and Netflix for our entertainment. However, you still want to pick up the local channels.
Indoor Antennas tend to be limited. But Outdoor Antennas are hard to install.
The Attic Antenna offers the best of both worlds.
Growing up in rural Missouri, I understand how hard it is to get a signal anytime you are more than 30 miles out of town.
We became quite resourceful in our TV antenna setups. When I grew up and moved into town, I continued using these best practices to purchase high-quality antennas.
There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing how many crisp, HDTV channels you can bring in.
There’s probably more local channels in your area than you thought. Most areas will offer 20-60 channels. By switching to local stations + Hulu, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.
Plus, the image quality is better when the image isn’t being compressed for satellite distribution.
And the UHF signal won’t get fuzzy when it rains.
Gotta get all the channels! This is a list that will help.
- Top 12 Antennas
- 1ByOne Omni-Directional Antenna
- Antop 400-BV Flat Panel Amplified Antenna
- Clearstream 4 Max – Best Performance in 70 Mile Range
- RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi – Cheap 70-mile Antenna
- Channel Master CM-4228HD – Excellent Performance
- Pingbingding HDTV Digital – 150 Mile Range Antenna
- Channel Master Digital Advantage 100 Directional
- GE Pro Attic Mount TV Antenna – 60 Mile Range Directional Antenna
- Winegard HD8200U Platinum VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna
- Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie Multi-Directional
- MOHU Sky 60 MH110585
- FiveStar Outdoor TV Antenna – 200 mile range
- Installing Your Attic Antenna
- Antenna Mount
- Order Of Assembly
- Interference From Radiant Barriers
- How To Ground A TV Antenna
Top 12 Antennas
1ByOne Omni-Directional Antenna
With most of the attic antennas that we discuss, you are dealing with some degree of directionality. This requires you to point the antenna towards the tv station. If you want to watch a different station, you have to go to the antenna and change directions.
This Omni-directional antenna fixes that problem.
Designed for use on RV’s and Marine craft, it works extremely well in the attic. Depending on the height of your house, you could receive over the air TV signal from 150 miles away.
As with the Antop model below, this one also has a 4G filter. It’s handy for finding a clear VHF signal among all of the cell towers that dot the countryside.
However, based on my research and experience, I highly recommend this for folks who live in town and want to get a consistent, clean TV signal from stations that are 35 miles away.
The waterproof design makes it good for inside or outside mounting.
If you live in the country and are trying to get the most range possible, then look at one of the directional models below.
Antop 400-BV Flat Panel Amplified Antenna
This antenna is one of the most discrete on our list. With the fully-enclosed white box, it doesn’t immediately look like a TV Antenna.
Plus, it is better protected against inclement weather. The UV-protected and weatherproof box helps to lengthen it’s lifespan while improving the signal quality in all storms. The external white box is likely susceptible to hail, so it would be wise to keep this one in a protected area.
Two attachable VHF arms are available for improving your reception of VHF stations like ABC and NBC. There is less directional work that you need to do with this box. You can try different positions, but it does a good job collecting and amplifying all signals.
The installation on this one is easier than most. You are just hanging this box. Putting it in the attic is super easy, and it looks great when positioned under the eaves of a house.
The other neat feature is the 4G filter. This helps to filter out 4G signal and provides a clearer signal. If you live in a city, this can help clean up the picture compared to other digital antennas.
With the included amplifier, you can get a clear picture for up to 3 TVs by using a splitter.
Clearstream 4 Max – Best Performance in 70 Mile Range
This is my favorite long-range antenna. Many folks advertise longer-range models, but I find that just about any of these antennas can get The unique feature of the Clearstream 4 Max is its patented loop design, which helps it collect the faintest signals. This makes it the perfect choice for users who are in rural areas with a lot of foliage.
This is the antenna for that remote log cabin.
It’s going to easily pick up the major channels like ABC and CBS, but it also picks up the hundreds of small, local stations.
There are a couple of models. I recommend this one with the dedicated UHF/VHF antennas. These provide an 11dBi gain on UHF and 2.5 dBi gain on VHF.
This is an HDTV antenna, so it delivers a 1080p picture and works with 4k TVs. It also captures the 5.1 surround sound put out by the stations, so you can enjoy surround-sound during your show.
If you are tired of missing clutch plays during the football game while your internet tries to load, this is the one to get. It delivers a much cleaner signal allowing you to enjoy.
One of my suggestions would be to add an amplifier to the line. This helps you strengthen weak signals. It also allows for multiple TV’s to be run off of the one line.
I’ve worked with the Clearstream 2v, and it worked decently at picking up stations that were 50 miles away. We still had some fuzz that would have gone away with the bigger Clearstream 4.
The one I worked with stood up through all weather conditions and was working like new when we pulled it down to upgrade several years later.
Also, these antennas are a little more directional. You will want to turn them towards the biggest city near you to get the best signal. Because of this, some folks get two of these antennas and set them up back-to-back with a splitter in order to get signals from all directions.
It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty to protect your investment.
RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi – Cheap 70-mile Antenna
Personally, I like using the smallest device possible. This blog is mostly run from a lightweight, 14-inch laptop. I want the smallest option that can get the job done.
With its 70 miles range, this is a strong contender.
This little outdoor HDTV antenna from RCA has a compact design that fits the bill. It often out-performs much larger antenna arrays.
Its attic mount makes it easy to install and is one of the best attic antennas for folks living in a town or up to 50 miles away from town. (I like to buy slightly more antenna than needed to get the clearest signal).
It comes to you in a folded position, but quickly snap-locks into the assembled position.
Thanks to the UHF reflector, you can easily collect all of the top stations, including FOX, CBS, and more. It also collects VHF thanks to the built-in dipole antenna.
It is such a lightweight model that you’ll appreciate how easy it is to carry it up to your attic and hold it with one hand while you screw the base into the rafters.
It comes with a 75-ohm transformer, but I recommend buying a preamplifier to get a clearer signal and power more televisions in your house.
There is a free RCA signal finder app that you can download to your phone. This lets you see where the nearby TV station broadcast towers are and to direct the antenna towards them.
A lot of the TV-channel maps use a red, green, blue notation to help you choose the right antenna. This one is rated for yellow, green, light green and red zones, but can also pick up some purple, depending on the terrain.
While it is designed to withstand high heat as an attic antenna, it is also a good option to fold and carry in an RV, or to use on the first floor of your house.
For someone who lives near a big city, the RCA Yagi is a perfect choice.
Channel Master CM-4228HD – Excellent Performance
This new design is challenging the older yagi shape and is delivering impressive results.
With an 80 mile range, you can easily collect the best HDTV shows without paying for cable.
What is exciting about this new model is that it seems to collect a more consistent signal than the older designs offer. For example, with the Pingbingding antenna below, some users have mentioned that the signal strength changes after dark. Sometimes this is due to the TV station turning the signal down.
With this new Channel Master design (there are a few companies with a similar model), it seems to get a consistent signal all day long.
With the CM-4228HD, you collect an uncompressed 1080i signal. This is a higher-quality signal than the cable channels offer, with better sound and image.
As with the Clearstream model, this one collects signals in a 180-degree arc. If you want to collect signals from both directions, just grab a second one and combine them with a splitter.
Adding a preamplifier allows you to power more than one TV with the signal.
When discussing CEA Color codes, this one is recommended for Yellow, Green, Light Green, Red, and Blue zones, demonstrating the slightly better range over some of the Yagi designs.
This is one of those antennas that pick up everything it can. Even before you get it hung, you can simply plug it into your TV and improve your signal.
I’d recommend adding a dedicated dipole antenna to it for VHF (The “bunny ears” or those bars that you see sticking out each side of some of the antennas.
Pingbingding HDTV Digital – 150 Mile Range Antenna
This is a much larger antenna than what we have talked about so far. However, for those of you who live in extremely rural locations and have given up hope of getting a good TV signal, this is a good option to consider.
It comes with a mounting pole and a motor that lets you rotate it 360 degrees. This reversible motor lets you target specific stations without tangling up the cords. It also has connections for two TVs without requiring a splitter.
One point to note is that it is recommended that this antenna be mounted at least 30 feet above the ground. Unless you have a two-story house, this might be a little harder to do. We used 30 feet of steel pipe to create a “tower” that connected to our (unused) chimney.
If you need the full 150-mile range, then you might want to consider doing something similar.
Overall, this is a surprisingly affordable option that good reception of high-definition video.
Channel Master Digital Advantage 100 Directional
The Channel Master digital is a strong competitor to the PingBingDing below. In fact, with a little added height, it may even out-perform some of the other brands that offer a 150-mile range. For the rural user who is a long way from a TV station, putting this one in the attic can do a lot to help.
It offers a 7.5 dBi gain on VHF and ten dBi gain on UHF. Compared to the Clearmax above, this puts it on-par for the UHF signal but makes it almost three times better for VHF signal.
There are a lot of folks who live 50 miles from the nearest station. They often find that this long-range antenna works well as an upgrade over the smaller antennas they’ve tried. However, you really have to get some height on it in order to see the full 100-mile range.
Of course, this is another directional antenna, so you will need to adjust its position to get the best signal.
GE Pro Attic Mount TV Antenna – 60 Mile Range Directional Antenna
This is a pretty neat design that uses a built-in UHF reflector to improve the tv reception. Mount this one in the attic and ditch the cable.
This antenna seems to be more targeted in its directional performance. If you are a long way from a specific station, this HD antenna can let you target that tower better. However, you might end up constantly repositioning and rescanning for channels with this antenna.
This is a cheap way to save $1500 a year. Install this antenna for your local channels and use Amazon or Netflix for your movies. Cord-cutting could not be easier.
This is another antenna that is a good choice if you live near a town. However, if you live in a truly remote location, you might consider one of the other options above.
Winegard HD8200U Platinum VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna
Growing up, this antenna was my grandfather’s pride and joy. He had satellite but always switched over to this one to watch the evening news. It also provided hours of endless enjoyment whenever rain took out the satellite.
This antenna is more ungainly but is designed to pick up everything it can. It gets both low-VHF and high-VHF, as well as all of the UHF frequencies. Everything is zinc-plated to create better delivery in bad storm conditions.
Because it is designed to deliver high gain on both frequencies, you get clear signal reception.
With this HD antenna design, you’ll get the maximum range from the stations that it is pointed towards. However, it still seems to have a 20-30 mile range for picking up stations at either side of the antenna.
The drawback to the design is how large it is. If you are mounting it outside, use a 2-inch pipe to support it in heavy winds. Otherwise, it seems to hold up well.
Designed by one of the oldest antenna companies, it is hard to go wrong with this model.
Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie Multi-Directional
The bowtie design has been around for a long time. However, this model upgrades the old design and uses smaller bowties that are more powerful.
The best feature of this HDTV antenna is that it can be pointed in different directions. This allows you to angle it for a wider range of signal detection.
The big downside of this model is that it only collects UHF signal and does not collect the VHF signal. Most people buy a separate VHF antenna that they hang alongside this one. However, this adds a decent price to the end product.
A lot of folks are enjoying a signal of over 60 miles with it.
With so many great models on the market, there is stiff competition. However, the ability to mount it once without changing locations is quite helpful.
Supplement it with NHL Gamecenter and a Hulu subscription, and you’ll have all of the entertainment you can watch.
MOHU Sky 60 MH110585
The Mohu Sky 60 is a dramatically new design. Designed to capture a signal from up to 75 miles away, this HD antenna is an excellent low-profile model for the attic.
Just position the middle of the antenna towards the direction of the TV station. This allows you to collect the signal from those main stations, plus the other ones around it. This multi-directional antenna reduces the need to fiddle with it the aiming.
It also has a built-in FM and 4g filter to deliver a clearer signal.
I’m a big fan of using this one, whether you are in the city or near it. Once you get more than 30 miles away, I would recommend trying one of the larger arrays.
If you feel trapped by your cable bill, this one is easy to install and makes it an easy way to switch to an over-the-air signal.
FiveStar Outdoor TV Antenna – 200 mile range
If you haven’t found the ideal antenna on this list, then you are more serious than I thought. So here is an excellent option to consider.
This FiveStar brand is challenging a lot of the old models with a fresh twist on their old designs.
The big advantage of this model is that it has two additional UHF elements, and the VHF receivers are 50% longer. This helps improve faint signal reception.
It also has an auto-gain control to help boost weak signals and a built-in 4G LTE filter to remove static caused by cell phone signals.
The higher you can get it off the ground, the better. Folks who mount it on the roof of a two-story house often talk about receiving stations from 65 miles or so away.
As with any of these options, the trees can be a real problem. Using a 1-inch steel pipe to lift it higher can help you reach more stations.
Installing Your Attic Antenna
When you get tired of paying that $100 a month Direct TV bill, you need a way to get over the air signals.
Mounting the antenna in the artic can protect your shingles and the antenna. It can also keep the antenna from acting as a lightning rod.
Unless you live more than 50 miles away from the tower, you won’t really need
Every foot of coaxial cable reduces the amount of signal. If you are running less than 60 feet of cable, you probably don’t need a preamp.
However, if you are running a longer cable or need to power more than one TV, getting a Preamp will help you get a clearer signal.
A Preamp can actually reduce the number of signals you get as they overpower the weaker signals. If you can get away without a preamp, do that.
There are a lot of folks who will use a 100-foot Coaxial cable with no Preamp for a single TV. However, my experience has been that 100-feet is about as long as you want to go with before adding a powered preamp.
Almost all antennas are directional. You will want to see where most of the towers are and point the antenna that way.
You can try it from a couple of different angles. However, most of these antennas collect the signal in a wide arc, so you don’t have to be precise with your signal.
If your antenna does not come with an attic mount, you will want to invest in a mount that you can screw into the beams of the attic.
If you are hanging more than one antenna, you should put them at least three feet apart. Some of these can be mounted back-to-back on the same pole, but you’ll still get the best signal by putting them at least 3 feet apart.
Don’t hang it too close to the roof. You will want it to be at least a foot away from the exterior roof to reduce interference.
Order Of Assembly
Your line should go:
- Splitters to combine multiple Antennas into one line
- Ground block (if mounting outside)
- Splitters to send the signal to multiple TVs
Interference From Radiant Barriers
If you have reflective or radiant barriers in your attic, it can block the signal, and you need to switch to an external mount.
Because radiant barriers are so expensive, you will generally only find them in extremely hot climates.
How To Ground A TV Antenna
If you are mounting it outside, it is recommended to use a Coaxial Grounding Block to help reduce static and prevent damage from lightning strikes.
You should run a copper wire from the grounding block to your house’s grounding rod. Generally, this grounding rod is going to be near the service panel for your house and is often sunk into the ground outside the house or underneath the house in the crawlspace.
Both the coaxial cable and the antenna mast should be grounded.
If you are mounting the antenna in the attic, this isn’t a requirement.
For folks living near a city, the 1ByOne and Antop models offer a sleek way to cut the cord and receive a crystal-clear picture quality.
For our wilderness dwellers, the Clearstream overcomes a lot of problems with hills and foliage.
If that won’t cut it, you might consider running a tall pole and mounting one of the directional Yagi antennas.
I’m confident that you could purchase any model on this list and be very pleased.