TV Antennas: Ratings of Sources
Although TVFool.com doesn't pick a single best television antenna, it's an important first stop for antenna shoppers. Once you enter your street address, the site uses information about TV signal strength and local geography to provide an analysis of which TV signals can be received in your area. You'll also learn how powerful an indoor or outdoor antenna you need to receive them.
AntennaWeb.org is similar to TVFool.com, but with an emphasis on outdoor antennas. Based on your home address, the nature of your surrounding area -- trees, hills and more -- and your type of house, you can find out what digital TV signals can be received and how powerful an antenna you need to receive them. While only outdoor antennas are addressed, you can use the results to determine if an indoor antenna will work in your location.
HDTVExpert.com's Pete Putman provides some of the most comprehensive, albeit fairly technical, reviews of TV antennas we spotted. His most recent effort pits two popular choices -- the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse and the Mohu Leaf -- against a traditional bow tie UHF antenna. Antennas are tested both with and without amplification. Elsewhere on the site you can find several additional, equally comprehensive reports. Though some of these reviews are older, many of the antennas discussed are still available.
TheWirecutter.com spends 20 hours testing antennas in suburban Philadelphia and at an apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Testing is well documented, and a top choice and some good alternatives are named.
CNET gets into the antenna testing game with this six-antenna face-off. Tests are done in urban (NYC) and suburban (Long Island) locations with an eye toward which antennas pulled in the most channels, and which ones did a better job pulling channels that were known to be challenging. A best antenna overall and a best budget antenna are named, and elsewhere on the site, that budget antenna is also named an Editors' Choice selection.
Though discussion isn't extensive, Tom's Guide tests a variety of antennas and names top choices, decent performers and antennas that are not recommended. Testing is done in New York City and picks are made based on the total number of channels received, how many major channels (network affiliates) are received, and the video and audio quality of those signals.
TopTenReviews.com joins the antenna-testing parade for this year. Jonathan Knoder conducts his trials in the downtown area of a small city and in a second floor apartment a few miles away. Channels received; their image quality; and the ability maintain a consistent, glitch-free reception are evaluated. Ten models in all are tested, and Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners are named.
TechHive.com looks at fewer antennas than some other reviewers, but their recommendations are based on hands-on testing, with each connected to the same TV at the same location. Thumbnail information is available in this round up, with links to longer reviews provided.
You can find user reviews for lots of TV antennas at Amazon.com. Some attract only a handful of comments while others get hundreds and others thousands - and some over 10,000. Because receiving locations and owner expectations vary greatly, no one digital TV antenna pleases everyone. However, you can easily see which ones are most likely to work well and which should probably be avoided.
BestBuy.com is another site with a good selection of user reviews of indoor antennas. Most get mixed feedback, at best, but a couple of standouts with good ratings and lots of reviews emerge.
Audio/video retailer Crutchfield.com also lets user post reviews of TV antennas. While there are fewer antennas listed here than at either Amazon.com or BestBuy.com, several popular options are included. Most antennas get at least some feedback, while some get dozens of reviews.
The-Gadgeteer.com doesn't have a ton of antenna reviews, but what's here seems impartial and based on hands-on use. Reports are occasionally updated to reflect long term results, issues and satisfaction.
Solid Signal, an antenna retailer, offers this blog with lots of good information regarding TV antennas, including some hands-on tests and head-to-head comparisons. While quite a bit of attention is paid to its own products, there's a lot of good general information about antenna types, installations, dos and don'ts and the like.
In this article, which is free to non-subscribers, James Willcox details the results of tests done by ConsumerReports.org staffers in various locations around New York City. Antennas ranging from simple rabbit ears to high-end amplified models are included. Results are discussed, but antennas are not rated or ranked, and some are discontinued.