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.
Among reviewers, no one currently does a more thorough job testing indoor TV antennas than HDTVExpert.com's Pete Putman. He revisits the topic often and pits similar antennas against one another in test bench and in-use face-offs under typical conditions. Antennas aren't rated or ranked, but top performers are singled out.
TheWireCutter.com tests indoor TV antennas in metro NY, Chicago and San Francisco, looking at performance in both ideal and sub-optimal situations. Testing is well documented, and a top choice and some good alternatives are named, but a Dec. 4 update says that a further round of testing has resulted in a change in recommendations and that further details would be published shortly.
Though discussion isn't extensive, Tom's Guide tests a gaggle of antennas and names top choices, decent performers and antennas that are not recommended. Testing is done in New York City and, in some cases, elsewhere 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.
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 other thousands. 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.
In an article that originally ran in sister publication PC World, Albro tests five indoor antennas to see which ones deliver the goods. Performance and aesthetics are addressed, and while this article is older, the two top choices remain available.
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 seem impartial and based on hands-on use. Reports are occasionally updated to reflect long term results, issues and satisfaction.
The pros and cons of popular indoor TV antennas are discussed in this article. A top choice is named, but testing, if any, is not described. Elsewhere on the site, some more in-depth but older reviews can be found, but they are not linked to on this page.
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.