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With everything moving to streaming services right now, live TV may seem like an archaic past. But do not count it out yet – it is still programming, such as sporting events and awards shows – that are not easy to find or even available online, and first-time primetime shows are still broadcast over the airwaves before taking the road to all streaming platforms.
This is where a good TV antenna comes in. These days, the best digital TV antennas can pick up all the major networks in hi-def, 4K quality. It is more than just the three major networks, as the best 4K antennas can pick up over 50 channels. No more rabbit ears reaching for the ceiling, or hangers and tin foil or other old school tricks you used to pick up something that looked like a signal. These antennas provide an image that is sharp and clear, capable of HD and 4K.
What makes a good 4K antenna?
Easy installation: The latest 4K antennas are also easy to install, even those that look large and bulky. Connect it to the TV̵
AmplifierWhile they all perform the same basic function, some digital antennas are better than others and offer additional benefits. A device with an amplifier will probably cost a little more, but if you are in a rural area, it can make a huge difference. Also, if you get one with an amplifier, we recommend that it comes with an on / off switch, since running the amplifier all the time can actually destroy a signal if it is in short range.
Signal strength: Remember that things like signal strength and clarity may vary depending on your location and how far you are from the nearest broadcasting tower. Even if an antenna says it is 4K, it still depends on the signal being sent, not the antenna itself. When it comes to channels, an antenna that boasts a high number like 60+ may be technically correct, but many of them will be iterations, radio stations or just not visible.
There are many good 4K antennas available, and different models too if you do not want a big black thing that blocks your window. We have selected a selection of our choices here, so you can start watching live TV without being watched by the cable companies.
1. MUST HAVE AMPLIFIED HD Digital TV antenna
Sometimes a name says it all: If you are looking for a fast, easy and affordable antenna, this is a “must have”.
The flat antenna has a powerful amplifier signal booster with Crystal Clear Filter Technology to pick up signals over a wide range – up to 200 miles. It also filters out mobile and FM signals, which means a sharper picture, lower noise and usually around 50 channels.
This supports 4K and 1080p, and older TVs as well (although you may need an inverter box). Installation is easy, and an 18-foot cable should provide enough slack to get close to a window.
2. Vansky Amplified HD TV antenna
On the outside, it can look almost identical to many of the competitors. But Vansky’s digital HDTV antenna surpasses the hordes of other similar antennas. The number of channels is pretty high, 57, and the picture quality is clean and flawless up to 1080p.
It comes with a power amplifier that is detachable when you do not need it, but acts as a great help with a maximum range of 120 miles when on. It is also weatherproof, protected from lightning and everything else that interferes with the signals. Setup is also easy, and with a 16.5-inch cable, reaching the window should be no problem.
3. WeGuard Amplified HD Digital indoor TV antenna
If you live in a place with natural obstacles such as mountains, or near other heavily used electronics such as a microwave, you should consider this powerful little antenna.
WeGuard’s stingray-looking device has a built-in Smart IC Chip inside, as well as CleanPeak Filter technology to filter out mobile and FM signals for a cleaner, low-noise image.
The amplifier does a great job of picking up signals and setting up a clear quality, with a range of 90-120 miles, high gain and low error, and about 48-60 channels.
4. GE Amplified HD TV antenna
There are some simple but very practical alternative options for setting this up. Usually these devices need to go in a window, which can be an eye and block sunlight. But GE’s smart solution here gives you the ability to lay it flat, along with a stand to put it on a threshold as well.
As far as retrieving transmissions, there is a useful LED Signal Finder light meter that shows you how strong the signal is at every second, which is especially useful when you find the best place in your house.
The highest number of channels a user reported was 65, slightly more than the others here. But at a much higher price than the competition, there was not much improvement in the picture quality – it is the LED Signal Finder that is the real star of this show.