How to Find the Best TV Antenna

By Maya Austen

There is no one TV antenna that is right for everybody. The best kind of television antenna for your situation depends upon many factors: where you live; how far away you are from your local television station towers; and whether or not your house is surrounded by tall trees, buildings or other sources of obstruction. These are just a few of the things that can significantly impact your television reception. Still, there are a few general guidelines that can benefit anybody who is looking to find a reliable TV antenna.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access

Step 1

Choose an antenna that is capable of receiving both UHF and VHF signals. If you have an antenna that only picks up one band and not the other, you may not be able to receive some of your local TV stations.

Step 2

Select a high quality indoor TV antenna, as opposed to a basic indoor antenna (such as the "rabbit ear antenna"). This is the best way to make sure that you are consistently receiving the strongest signals possible from your indoor antenna.

Step 3

Pick antennas that come with accessories such as an antenna amplifier (which helps to boost your signal reception) or an attenuator pad (which helps reduce the strength of the reflective signals that cause multi-path interference reception problems). These are handy tools to have on standby when storms crop up and interfere with your TV signal. If you have an antenna that is not equipped with these accessories, you can purchase them separately.

Step 4

Opt for a directional indoor TV antenna if you have problems with multi-path interference. You can test for multi-path interference issues by raising your current TV antenna above anything that could be reflecting your TV signal, such as a mirror or any large metallic object like a refrigerator. If this strategy helps to clear up your reception problems, it means you do have trouble with multi-path interference. If you don't have problems with multi-path interference, opt for a multi-directional antenna. It will cut down on the amount of adjustments you have to make to your antenna when flipping through the TV channels.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're still experiencing problems with weak reception after using the best indoor TV antenna you can find, you probably need to supplement your indoor antenna with an outdoor antenna as well. The National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association has put out a free internet resource call Antenna Web. This tool factors in your location, its surrounding terrain and your distance from the TV station towers in your broadcast zone to recommend the best outdoor antenna for your particular situation.