One of the most common questions people ask me is “which antenna should I get?” There are so many on the market, it can get pretty overwhelming. Here are my recommended indoor TV antennas.
But before buying an antenna, you need to find out how many channels are available in your area. To do this, enter your zip code (or full address) into the Station Finder:
If you got a lot of green channels, congratulations! You should be able to use a simple non-amplified indoor antenna and get most of those channels, if not more! Check out my recommended indoor antennas below.
If you didn’t get any green channels, and just got yellow or orange ones, you probably need an outdoor antenna (in your roof or attic), possibly with amplifier. Skip ahead to my recommended outdoor antennas.
If you didn’t get any channels at all, or just got orange ones, you are probably too far away from the transmitter towers to get good reception. Try some of these streaming TV services.
Online antenna guides are great, but it's impossible for them to be 100% accurate given the variables of location, antenna type, antenna height, local obstructions, local interference, and so on.
You'll get the most accurate information on what broadcast channels are available in your area using particular antennas from your NEIGHBORS.
So, check with your neighbors! Walk around your home and look for homes and apartments with TV antennas on the roof. Post on Facebook or Nextdoor asking people in your immediate area how many channels they are getting and what kind of antennas they are using.
That will get you the most accurate information on what channels YOU can get!
If you have an old tube-type of TV, you’ll need a converter box in order to use an antenna. Read about my suggested converter boxes here.
You will get the most channels and best reception by using an outdoor antenna or attic antenna, simply because these are higher up and have fewer obstructions than indoor antennas have. Skip down below if you are looking for an outdoor antenna.
However, many people can’t set up a rooftop antenna because they live in apartments, are renting, etc. If that is your situation, keep reading.
If you have a lot of strong stations in your area, and you don’t want to set up an outdoor antenna, I would recommend the Mohu Leaf or the Cable Cutter Metro antennas. I personally use both of them in my home and I love them!
When you purchase through the affiliate links on this site, I receive compensation from the retailer or manufacturer at no extra cost to you. I personally test and/or research each product or service before endorsing it. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This site is not owned by any retailer or manufacturer.
The Mohu Leaf is a super-flat indoor TV antenna that you can hang on a wall or window, as shown below. It is made in the U.S. and has performance on par with or better than much bulkier metal antennas. The Leaf is fantastic in terms of performance, and hide-ability. You can simply hang it on a wall, and it doesn’t look that bad! (See my comparison between the Mohu Leaf and a bulky metal antenna).
Mohu has a variety of Leaf models, but the one I recommend is the Mohu Leaf 30. This is the original non-amplified version:
In my testing, this model hits the sweet spot of price and performance if you can't use an outdoor antenna.
My only beef about the Leaf is that it comes with a under-performing RG59 coax cable. I highly recommend swapping that cable out for a higher-quality RG6 coax cable which will give you more stations and better reception. Many readers have confirmed this, and I’ve seen it first hand myself. (See this third-party article on why RG6 is so much better than RG59 coax cable). Happily, the cable is removable so you can attach any cable to the Leaf. Here are some RG6 cables that should work well:
My other favorite TV antenna is the HD Frequency Cable Cutter Metro. This is a nearly flat metal antenna that you can hang on a wall and is also made in the U.S. Unlike the Leaf, these already come with a high-quality RG6 coax cable, so you don’t need to buy a separate cable for best performance!
The Metro is a bit better at picking up VHF stations, denoted by “Hi-V” in the Station Finder. If you have a lot of “Hi-V” stations, I would go with the Metro antenna. Find it here on Amazon:
I’ve tested the Mohu Leaf and HD Frequency Metro extensively and they are the best indoor TV antennas I’ve found. Which one is better depends on your particular location and conditions.
I would say the Leaf looks nicer, is a bit cheaper, and tends to bring in more channels, but many of those tend to be the higher-numbered foreign-language ones. The Cable Cutter Metro brings in fewer channels, but gives better reception for VHF channels and lower-numbered channels that most people watch. From my testing, it’s a toss-up as to which is better. Both are excellent antennas!
This all assumes you buy the better RG6 cable for your Leaf though. The Leaf with the included coax cable is NOT as good as the Cable Cutter Metro. So, if you go for the Leaf antenna, get the RG6 cable that I recommend!
If your TV stations are far away, an outdoor or attic antenna will get you the most channels, hands down.
But, outdoor and attic antennas are more of a chore to set up and tweak. You’ll have to run a long coax cable through ceilings and walls to your TV (unless you have existing cable, say, from a satellite dish, running through your home). Then, you’ll need someone watching the TV while you tweak the antenna on the roof or attic. You also might need an amplifier if your cable run is long and if all of your stations are far away.
Before going to the trouble of setting up an outdoor or attic antenna, I highly suggest asking one of your neighbors how many channels they are getting with their rooftop antenna. Just walk around your neighborhood and look for the homes with an antenna on the roof!
The following respected antenna companies have high-quality outdoor antennas that I recommend have personally purchased from. Check out their sites, which have guides to help you pick an outdoor antenna:
The Station Finder will tell you if the channels in your area are VHF (It will say "Lo-V" or "Hi-V"). VHF channels are more difficult to receive than UHF, however, if the stations are close (green), you might be able to pick them up with a regular indoor antenna like the Leaf or Metro.
If the VHF channels are further away, you'll have to go with an outdoor antenna (check out the sources in the previous section).
If an outdoor antenna is not an option for you, here are some "outdoor" antennas that you could mount inside.
Check out the Clearstream antennas, which are relatively flat compared to most outdoor antennas, so you could mount it inside.
Do you live in an apartment or condo? Worried that your landlord or HOA won’t let you mount an outdoor antenna? By Federal law, a landlord or HOA cannot prohibit you from setting up a broadcast TV antenna or satellite dish on a part of the building that you own or are renting. While you might not be able to mount an antenna on the roof, you should be able to mount one in your balcony. For more information, see the FCC website on Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule.
The main thing to avoid in an antenna is one with the cable permanently attached to the antenna. All of the antennas I recommend have a removable cable. That will allow you to upgrade it to a better RG6 cable if necessary, or use a longer cable to reach that window.
I would also avoid the super-cheap $10 antennas that you see on TV infomercials. Those will not give you as many channels as the Leaf or Metro unless you have really strong TV signals in your area. Take a look at the reviews on Amazon to see what I’m talking about. So, save money and get a quality antenna to start with.
Check out my other site, thefrugalnoodle.com, with ideas on saving money and living simply.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This site is not owned by any retailer or manufacturer. This is an independent review site that receives compensation from the retailer or manufacturer (at no extra cost to you) when you purchase through the affiliate links on this site. I personally test and/or research each product or service before endorsing it.