Even in today's world of on-demand internet services, sometimes the easiest way to find what you want to watch is on regular TV. You might have one of the best TVs, but if it isn't in a position where you can connect an external antenna easily, you need one of the best TV indoor antennas.
While environmental factors may come into play, the most common cause of poor TV signal is a rubbish antenna. A better antenna, used in the right way, is the path to better signal – and the best TV antennas don't even need the kind of minute position tweaks that the old guard demanded.
There are plenty of options, but we'll help you to narrow down to a great option for you. The best TV aerial for a caravan is probably not the best TV aerial for your living room, though there's a fair amount of overlap.
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Best indoor TV antennas: what to look for
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Indoor TV antennas are usually straightforward to install, and give you near-instant access to heaps of Freeview channels, including digital radio channels and (as long as your antenna is strong enough) over-the-air HD content.
We've moved on from era of wire prongs and bunny ears; modern TV antennas are usually pretty discreet in appearance (they do have to sit right next to your TV, after all), with many taking on a smart hub-esque contemporary look. Admittedly some are more traditional in appearance – these tend to cost rather less.
When picking the best TV antenna for you, it’s worth looking for DVB-T2 compatibility in order to ensure you're covered for HD and DAB signals, and to take into consideration how far you live from the transmitter, which you can check using websites like DigitalUK.
Most indoor aerials can pick up signals from up to 30 miles away, but you should double check before you buy. If you do happen to be a long way from your local transmitter (or even if you aren't) you'll want to look for the highest gain you can find. This amplification is generally listed in decibels (dB), which you'll recognise as a unit of loudness; essentially in this case, it represents how 'loud' that radio signal can go.
You'll also want some kind of signal filtering, because mobile phones broadcast on a similar wavelength. Without a filter, 3G and 4G signals can create noise which distorts the TV signal and can potentially cause glitches and interference.
We’ve put together a list of the best indoor TV antennas below and detailed the important specs to make choosing the right one for you as easy as possible.
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Best indoor TV antennas: what to buy
Designed by NASA Hall of Famer Dr. Argy Petros, RGTech's butterfly-shaped antenna has some serious power to it. Ultra-Wide Band tech, based directly on radar receivers, gives reception a serious signal advantage, with a claimed 50-mile range bringing perfect picture to those parts where others might not reach. You can choose to mount it just about wherever works for you; it's transparent enough to be inconspicuous in a window, and just as happy on a wall.
There's no need for a separate power supply, because the Monarch 50's space-age tech does the job of boosting that signal without a separate amplifier. It's cheap enough, it's strong, and it's barely visible: this is the best portable TV aerial you can get right now.
With a 47dB gain, this indoor TV aerial is pretty powerful, giving you the best chance of receiving a decent picture outside of an outdoor aerial. It should be pretty easy to install, and it’s ready to receive HD reception, which is something you really don't want to be without.
Thanks to its Wide Angle Patch technology, there should be increased reception which blocks interfering signals from nearby mobile phones. Sleek in appearance, it looks like any other modern device you may have in your home, making it discreet and easy to place.
This indoor TV aerial is designed to hang discreetly behind your flat screen so no one will be the wiser to it being there. With a coverage of 41dB, you should receive a pretty good picture and with a 3G/4G block feature, you won’t need to worry about losing your picture if you’re Facebooking at the same time as watching your favourite TV show.
It features a maximum signal range of 15 miles, so it’s worth checking how far away you are from the nearest transmitter before you go ahead and buy it, aside from that, the 4m cable means you won’t be need to desperately search for an extension plug.
This doesn't look a thing like we'd imagine a TV aerial would look. The vibe of the SV9494 is far more 'orb from space' than 'bunny ears'. That means it's probably the most aesthetic option out there, and those LEDs are for more than just show. They'll tell you where the strongest signal is coming from, and help you position it for perfect reception just by twisting the top.
The design does cut the potential range somewhat; One For All suggests a 15 mile maximum from the transmitter. It does include automatic gain control, which will certainly help, and a 4G filter to cut down on unwanted interference. But we'd still suggest you steer clear if you're out in the wilds, because there are stronger (if less pretty) antennas out there.
The key benefit of Amazon's antenna isn't its range (though it's certainly pretty solid) or its signal boosting (there is none) or 4G filtering (again, nothing doing, but there is a more-expensive version that includes a filter). It's the fact that it has a black side and a white side, meaning you can flip this flat aerial to match your room's colour scheme.
OK, perhaps there's a bit more to it than that. As we've said, the AmazonBasics Indoor Flat TV Antenna does have some decent reach to it, and most people don't seem to have any trouble with interference. At the price it's almost a throwaway item: rejuvenating a signal-free TV for just over a tenner is nothing to sniff at.
If your pocket isn’t going to stretch to the pricier options here, this one is a good back up. The only downside is the dB gain isn’t as strong, so there’s more of a risk of the signal slipping away.
However, it’s equally as stylish in appearance, so it shouldn’t look out of place at all on your TV unit, or alternatively, you can hang it discreetly on your wall if space is lacking. You may also need to make sure there’s room in that multi-socket extension plug because the cable is only 1m.
Thanks to its integrated filter, it eliminates interference caused by your 4G browsing.
This one, too, probably loses marks on the prettiness front, but it makes up for it in its functionality. With a built in amplifier and adjustable gain, it gives you the best chance of receiving a good reception, while the designers have tried to eliminate any loss in signal thanks to S-video connectors with gold-plated contacts and solid brass casings, which help to ensure high quality signal transfer.
Handy to note is the integrated 4G filter, which means organising your next venture to the pub over text won’t interfere with your tele schedule.
If you’re looking for cheap and cheerful, you can’t really go wrong with this aerial, just bear in mind that the small details may not be as refined as other aerials (some people have found the sticky pads have trouble sticking to the window).
Like the AmazonBasics example above, it has one black side and one white side so you have the freedom to choose the side that best fits in with your home decor. Good news is, there’s also a 3m cable, so you’re not too restricted as to where you can place the aerial. It’s easy to set up, and thanks to the 25dB range, reception should be good, too. No mention of 3G/4G filtering, though.