What every best TV Antennas has:
Although TV Fool 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 is similar to TV Fool, 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. Reviews are testing based, the methodology is thoroughly explained, and comparisons are often made to competing antennas as well as to a simple bow tie antenna that's used as a benchmark.
Wirecutter 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. Best overall, budget and "highly commended" antennas are named. Elsewhere on the site, the budget pick is deemed to be worth of Editors' Choice recognition.
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 apartment and at a home in rural Vermont, though none of the tested antennas performed acceptably at the latter location. 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.
Top Ten Reviews' 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 to maintain a consistent, glitch-free reception are evaluated. Ten models in all are tested, and Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners are named.
TechHive 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. 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.
Best Buy 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 also lets user post reviews of TV antennas. While there are fewer antennas listed here than at either Amazon or Best Buy, several popular options are included. Most antennas get at least some feedback, while some get dozens of reviews.
Digital Trends recommends some antennas based on testing at its Portland, OR, offices and in various residential locations, but other recommendations are based on research only. That lack of uniformity in how they made their picks takes some value away from the conclusions, though there are still enough useful nuggets of information to make a stop here worthwhile.
The-Gadgeteer.com doesn't have a ton of antenna reviews. However, while some look to be only based on product highlights, others look to be impartial, well detailed and based on hands-on use. Reports are occasionally updated to reflect long term results, issues and satisfaction.
Normally, we don't put a lot of stock into single-product reviews, but this review is testing based and comparative, as Adrienne Maxwell also benchmarks performance against other antennas she reviewed several years ago, and largely remain available. Discussion is detailed, and high and low points are discussed.
Cordcutting.com is a blog dedicated to those looking to ditch cable TV. Stephen Lovely contributes reviews on services and products, including antennas, or a regular basis. We'd be happier if methodology were better explained, but hands-on testing is clearly being done and the reviews are sometimes comparative.
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 Consumer Reports 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.