Top TV Antenna Picks in 2023
Why Cut the Cord and Switch to Free TV?
Whether you’re looking to save money or supplementing a streaming service, there’s never been a better time to cut the cord and replace it with free TV. As long as you live in an area with a good signal, you can buy an affordable TV antenna. You don’t even need to climb on your roof, as the best indoor antennas can be hung in a window. Put your ladder away!
The Benefits of Over-the-Air (OTA) Antennas
An over-the-air antenna is great for live events such as sports and the evening news. Depending on where you live and your signal reception capabilities, you can watch anything on channels like NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS, MyNetworkTV, and The CW. It will also pick up the next generation of OTA called NextGen TV, which promises 4K TV compatibility and other benefits. You can receive all of this content for as little as $20 shipped.
Considerations for OTA TV
There are some downsides, though. In some places, the TV signal of some channels can be spotty or nonexistent due to faraway broadcast towers or obstructions. Also, unlike a live TV streaming service, OTA TV is usually restricted to a single television, and the broadcast signal from an OTA TV antenna won’t work on phones or other devices. But you can enhance the experience with an OTA DVR that has networking capabilities.
The Best Indoor Antennas
The best indoor antenna, based on CNET’s tests, is the Mohu Leaf. It gathered the most stations in two different locations, and it can be yours for $35. Its sibling, the Mohu Gateway, was also a strong performer and has the advantage of tabletop use. However, if you’re interested in other options or features such as signal boosters or detachable cables, here are the best indoor OTA antennas right now:
1. Mohu Leaf
The Mohu Leaf has undergone a recent upgrade and it worked well in both testing environments, receiving the most channels. It is worth the $15 upgrade over the Channel Master Flattenna.
2. Mohu Gateway
The Mohu Gateway is a tabletop antenna that performs neck and neck with the Leaf. It is the best choice if you don’t have a window or an out-of-the-way wall to stick an antenna on.
3. Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna
The Gesobyte antenna stands out for its attenuator switch, which provides flexibility in signal reception. You can switch between Low and High depending on your distance from the broadcast tower.
Other Options to Consider
The Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse, Ultra Vizion HD Digital TV Antenna, Btfdreem Smart TV Antenna, 1byOne Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna, and U Must Have Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna are other antennas that were tested. However, they didn’t perform as well as the top choices.
How TV Antennas are Tested
In 2023, CNET tested seven indoor antennas in two main locations: uptown Manhattan, NY and Reseda, CA. The number of channels detected and the performance on “problem” channels were measured. Factors such as location, obstacles, and frequency range affect the reception of TV channels. The antennas were connected to the TiVo Edge, which provided signal strength data and channel count.