Among current antennas, we see the best recommendations for the Terk HDTVa (*Est. $40). It uses a V-shaped, log-periodic antenna for UHF reception and rabbit ears for VHF. It also includes a 12-decibel amplifier, making it useful as a suburban antenna. Although the manufacturer doesn't specify a reception range, HDTVAntennaLabs.com pegs it at about 45 miles. For those in high-signal areas, Terk also offers the antenna without an amplifier as the HDTVi (*Est. $30).
Log-periodic TV antennas like the Terk HDTVa are often a good choice for city dwellers because reception in areas with lots of tall buildings can be compromised by multipath interference. These weaker reflections of the main signal come from multiple directions as a result of bouncing off of large structures or other obstacles. With analog signals, multipath interference typically shows up as image ghosts, but it can render digital signals completely unusable. The highly directional nature of log-periodic TV antennas can greatly minimize multipath problems, but it could mean lots of repositioning if the TV signals at your location come in from transmitters in different areas.
The Terk HDTVa, an update of the original Silver Sensor antenna that adds rabbit ears for VHF capability, gets a thumbs-up from HDTVPrimer.com. Ken Nist notes that log-periodic antennas like the no-longer-available Silver Sensor and Terk HDTVa have high gain, which is important for good reception at moderate distances, yet still look good.
One negative for most consumers, except those in areas where multipath interference is a problem, is that the Terk HDTVa is highly directional. According to posts on AVSForum.com, that means some might need to fuss with the HDTVa more than they'd like. User reviews are extensive, with more than 1,000 each at HDTVAntennaLabs.com and Amazon.com. Most are positive, although the Terk does have its detractors, as do most indoor antennas.
The Winegard SS-3000 (*Est. $50) also has its fans. DTVConversionHelp.com gives it a small edge over competing choices, mainly for its ability to provide better VHF coverage. However, a thread on AVSForum.com notes that while its performance on the high VHF band is fine, performance on low VHF is only fair. Still, roundup author "EscapeVelocity" reports that the SS-3000 works well at his location, which is about 45 miles from TV transmitters.
The SS-3000 sports an unusually low, wide design measuring 5 inches by 26.75 inches, with a scatter-plane reflector at the rear. With the reflector in place, the SS-3000 is highly directional. It's also not very attractive, and TechHive.com calls it the "ugliest" model in its evaluation of five indoor antennas. "EscapeVelocity" says the reflector can be omitted -- although Winegard doesn't mention this in the manual -- resulting in an omnidirectional antenna instead. However, not using the reflector will likely reduce its range. The SS-3000 includes a 10-decibel amplifier to help draw in weaker signals.