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best indoor tv antenna

The Best Indoor TV Antenna in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Since DVB-T2 has become the standard over the last few years, our product table only contains antennas that are DVB-T2 compatible. Reception strength, picture and sound quality are consistently good. Therefore, do not let the antenna strength mislead you.

However, be sure to buy the right type of antenna: some units are for indoor use only, whereas others are mounted on the outside wall. Depending on the cable length, you will need an extension cable.

With the spread of digital television, we have become accustomed to high image and sound quality when it comes to watching TV or video. But the best TV and receiver do not help, if not the right DVB-T antenna is connected. It is available as a monpole antenna, as an active indoor antenna and as a DVBT antenna for outdoor use.

Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each type in our indoor tv antenna comparison and determine which model is best suited for your purposes. We also explain what the difference between DVB-T and DVB-T2 is and what you should look out for when buying a DVB-T antenna or a DVB-T2 antenna.

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How to choose the right Indoor TV Antenna

Iit is best to determine before your purchase which type of TV antenna is the right choice for you. In general, there are three types of antennas available.

The Monopole TV Antenna

The monopole antennas are simple and inexpensive DVB-T antennas. This type of DVB antenna is about ten to 40 inches long and, as the name implies, rod-shaped. At its lower end is a sturdy foot, which is usually magnetic.

For good DVB-T reception, the transmitter must not be too far away from the DVB-T receiver and the antenna. The advantages of the rod antennas are their compact design and the possibility for mobile use, for example when camping. Rod antennas are the cheapest models and already available for less than $15. Should it be even cheaper, you can also build your own DVB-T antenna. Numerous instructions are available on the internet.

Best Monopole TV Antenna - Our Picks

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The Indoor TV Antenna

DVB-T indoor antennas always have a better signal for the DVB-T TV than a rod antenna. They actively receive their signal using an antenna amplifier.

The necessary energy is supplied via a separate plug. For the DVB-T antenna to be usable, a DVB-T antenna with amplifier must be connected.

The better models have a DVB-T antenna turn-off button, which can be used to interrupt the power supply. The amplifier is then inactive.

Visually, a broad spectrum is represented in this category. From simple to stylish everything is available. The price level is starting from  $20 upwards.

Best Indoor TV Antenna - Mohu ReLeaf HDTV Antenna

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The Outdoor TV Antenna

The outdoor antenna is the first choice for reception in areas with poor DVB-T availability. This type of antenna is firmly mounted on the balcony, on the building wall or in the garden and connected to the receiver via a coaxial cable / antenna cable.

A critical factor is the cable length (in m). If a certain length is exceeded, interference with the DVB-T2-HD television may result in poor signal quality. A critical measure is often called a length between 20 and 30 meters. Both the indoor and outdoor antennas should be aligned with the transmitter as exactly as possible.

When you align the DVB-T antenna, it is best to keep an eye on the signal bar in the set-up program of the receiver. After aligning the TV antenna, you can create a DVB-T HD station list, or create your own station list using the “Create station list manually” function.

Afterwards, you can check if the alignment is successful and a clear picture appears on the DVB-T2 television as part of a DVB-T antenna test. The price range of outdoor antennas ranges from about 30 € to several 100 €.

If an outdoor antenna is up for debate you should keep in mind that the receiving unit is permanently exposed to wind and weather. Moisture, cold and also the sunlight can damage the housing material and the electronics sensitively. Considering the comparatively high cost of assembly, a slightly higher quality model is the better choice.

Best Outdoor TV Antenna - Our Picks

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How DVB-T works

Regardless of the manufacturer and category, all DVB-T and DVB-T2 antennas use the same transmission signal. The signal is sent by a transmitter, which is usually located on a transmission tower. To receive DVB-T2, the receiver must be in one of the DVB-T2 reception areas.

The crucial difference to receiving the signal with a satellite dish is that the signal propagates near the earth’s surface. The reception strength depends on how far the transmitter and receiver are apart.

If the signal quality is good, an indoor antenna is sufficient. Otherwise, a DVB-T2 rooftop antenna or another outdoor DVB-T2 antenna must be installed to allow the DVB-T2 programs to be viewed on the TV in good quality.

The question of whether a DVB-T antenna receives digital or analog, no longer arises. Analog TV signals have not been broadcasted for quite some time.

Which TV Antenna Should You Get?

In addition to one of the antennas mentioned above, you will need a DVB-T receiver to enjoy TV channels and a TV with DVB-T2. The receiver should have an HDMI slot next to an input for the TV antenna. 

Which DVB-T antenna emerges as the test winner for you will ultimately depend on the quality of the reception. The most important point when it comes to an antenna for DVB-T2, is the signal quality that arrives at the receiver. If the receiver harmonizes with the antenna, nothing stands in the way of a high-quality video signal.

Before you buy your DVB-T antenna, you should check whether your TV has DVB-T2 reception. If no receiver is integrated, you can buy the right receiver box with your antenna purchase.

Best TV Receiver - Our Picks

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FAQ - Indoor TV Antenna

How to align a DVB-T antenna?

Often, even small changes in the angle of inclination or direction can contribute to a much better reception quality. An antenna is properly aligned if all programs are well received. This applies to both monopole, indoor and outdoor antennas.

If you live in a higher floor, the better signal you will receive via DVB-T antenna. Farther up in buildings, disturbing influences between the antenna and the transmitter rarely occur.

In small neighborhood houses a monopole antenna is sufficient, which often does not even need to be aligned very precisely. Things look different in bigger building, especially when it comes to reinforced concrete structures or metallic shielding. Here, in most cases, a room antenna with amplifier or an outdoor antenna is the better choice.

A good way to get the most out of your DVB-T antenna, is the alignment with the help from another person. One person can test by pointing the antenna in different directions, while the other person keeps an eye on the signal strength indicator in the setup menu of the receiver. From time to time, a readjustment of the antenna may be necessary, so that the reception remains optimal.

What does DVB-T mean?

DVB-T is the abbreviation for Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial. The term “terrestrial” indicates that it is not a satellite transmission, but a terrestrial transmission system. The DVB-T standard was established in 1997 and is widespread in many European countries, but also in Asian and African countries, as well as in Australia and Americas.

What is the difference between DVB-T and DVB-T2?

The successor standard of DVB-T is DVB-T2. It was launched in 2008. DVB-T2 is a lot more powerful than the previous version and allows for the same channel bandwidth and the transmission of a larger number of programs.

However, the far more important effect for users is that the quality of the video signal is significantly better. While the DVB-T standard provided transmission in HD, DVB-T2 transmission is by default Full HD. The transmission in 4k and with even higher resolutions is already possible.

Can I use a DVB-T antenna for DVB-T2?

Basically, any antenna that is suitable for DVB-T is also suitable for DVB-T2. While the DVB-T receivers have to be replaced with newer models, the antennas can continue to be used.

Our Picks: The Best Indoor TV Antenna

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Last product update on 2022-09-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate