Antop outdoor antenna

Antop outdoor antenna DEFAULT

Sometimes, plain vanilla is the best choice: simple and predictable. That describes the $90 Antop ATB antenna, an indoor/outdoor model with more than respectable performance. We found that the ATB even compared favorably to other indoor/outdoor models, such as the ClearStream 2Max, which Antop's device nearly matched in performance, and the Winegard Elite , which is roughly $30 more than the ATB.

Design: Ivory tower

While Antop calls the ATB a "flat panel" antenna, it's actually a white, monolithic, glossy tower of plastic. It stands about 24 inches tall on its supplied plastic, tabletop pedestal. So, it's definitely going to be a conversation piece in most living rooms.

A round, snap-on plastic stand keeps this monster steady on a cabinet or shelf. Antop also includes some hardware for installing the antenna outside. The all-plastic enclosure should prevent the elements from interfering with reception, although this setup may not fair as well in extreme northern winters.

Another part of the ATB is an inline, detachable amplifier. It has an on/off switch, which can be handy given the vicissitudes of scanning for and capturing over-the-air broadcasts. This antenna also boasts a Smartpass amplifier, which is supposed to offer a balance between short- and long-range reception, and a 4G LTE filter to reduce noise from cell towers.

The all-plastic enclosure should prevent the elements from interfering with reception.

Setup: Three options

If you are planning to position the antenna outside, the B comes with enough cabling to get you there — 40 feet of it — and has outdoor mounting equipment, such as a rubber cover for the outdoor coaxial connection to keep the antenna dry. There's also a clamping kit with metal brackets and screws to attach the Antop B to a mast pole, but you have to supply the mast yourself.

The ideal situation, taking into account the antenna's construction, size and aesthetics, would be to install the B in an attic where it would be out of site, out of the elements and yet high enough to get decent reception. Some of the company's literature also suggests that you could use the Antop B in mobile and RV settings. Ignore that; this device is far too bulky for such setups.

As with any TV antenna, we recommend checking out AntennaWeb.org to get a clear idea of what channels are available in your area. For help in positioning the antenna for optimal reception, check out our handy guide to better antenna reception.

Key Specs

Channels Received (indoor/outdoor):41/60
Range:70 miles
p reception:Yes
Cable Length:40 feet
Size: x x inches
Amplified:Yes
Performance:Worthy of respect

For our first set of tests, we placed the Antop B in our usual indoor position. Initial scans rendered 43 channels. We had, frankly, hoped for more given the size of this antenna, but reception was solid, with only two of the 43 stations deemed unwatchable. Another indoor/outdoor model we reviewed, the ClearStream 2Max, captured a couple more channels (44 versus 41) inside than the Antop did.

Some of the company's literature also suggests that you could use the Antop B in mobile and RV settings. Ignore that; this device is far too bulky for such setups.

Everything from Drew Carey hosting The Price Is Right in all of its Day-Glo glory on CBS to talk shows on the local Fox affiliate came in crisp and sharp in p. There were also plenty of subchannels with repeats and old shows from the '70s and '80s. All the community channels also appeared without a glitch. Several Cantonese and Korean channels were also in the lineup, along with major Spanish-language stations.

MORE: Top Cheap TV Antennas (Under $20) Ranked Best to Worst

To gauge its outdoor performance, we installed the Antop B in our standard exterior test spot, still connected to the Samsung KS 4K TV. This time, the antenna captured 67 stations, six of which had too many dropouts to be watched consistently. That still left 61 clear channels, with plenty to watch ranging from Walker, Texas Ranger and retro game channel Buzzr with Match Game to the major local affiliates from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.

The outdoor-only Winegard Elite , for comparison, tuned in more stations than the Antop (73 versus 61), but it costs $30 more.

Bottom Line

The Antop B isn't the sleekest or sexiest HD TV antenna on the market, but it's priced very competitively and delivers more than respectable performance. Pricewise, it falls between the ClearStream 2Max indoor/outdoor model ($79) and the outdoor-only Winegard Elite ($), but both manage to eke out slightly better performance, pulling in two or three additional channels when used indoors and outdoors, respectively.

But if you want a solid performer that has a more compact, contained design than either of those larger aerials, the Antop B is a respectable performer. It's a solid choice for anyone looking at indoor/outdoor models.

Credit: Tom's Guide

John R. Quain has been reviewing and testing video and audio equipment for more than 20 years. He is currently a contributor to The New York Times and the CBS News television program.
Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/antop-smartpass-antenna,reviewhtml

Best indoor TV antennas 6 digital TV antennas worth having

The best indoor TV antennas are a must-have if you’ve cut the cord for good when it comes to cable TV. Buying an indoor TV antenna for your home is one cheap and easy way to get access to many free over-the-air channels in HD for no monthly fee.

The best TV antennas offer a portal into the world of sports, sitcoms, news, and more that are all on offer across America’s most popular TV networks – and all for free. This fact is largely obscured by cable companies because they’re keen to sign you up for an expensive cable plan.

But what you can get with a TV antenna isn’t without its limits. Over-the-air broadcasts offer less choice than any cable package out there. But the plus side is they're totally free and still usually carry many of the biggest sports events (the NFL on Sunday, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup), as well as a solid selection of sitcoms, dramas and comedy shows from NBC, ABC, CBS and more. 

But there’s a lot of choice. So which is the best indoor antenna for your smart TV? That's exactly what we wanted to find out, so we’ve tested a whole range of them from different tech brands and put them to work. What you'll find below is our round-up of the best indoor TV antennas on the market in Keep checking back as we’ll be adding new antennas to this list.

Just be careful you don't fall for misleading product pages elsewhere – some outlets promise outrageous features like a mile range (which isn't possible, given the curvature of the earth). You can get 4K resolution though a regular antenna, though, with the next set of ATSC standards called NextGen TV.

Best indoor TV antennas

1. Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse 2

A pricier antenna, but potentially worth it

Specifications

Range: 60+ miles

Amplified: Yes

Dimensions: x inches

Cable length: 15ft

Reasons to buy

+Strong signal pull +Distinctive design +Long range

Reasons to avoid

-It's a pricier option

The ClearStream Eclipse 2 is similar to Amazon's thin, plastic antenna at its core, but this very distinctive figure-eight design is one of a kind. Whatever engineering Antennas Direct did to pin down this kind of design clearly worked, however, as this amplified long-range antenna does an excellent job of picking up channels.

It's rated for 60+ miles and consistently delivered strong reception while pulling in all of the channels we expected to see. It also comes with curved double-sided tape pads that sit on the upper and lower backs of the design, ensuring a snug fit to your wall. It's a pricey option at $70, but that's an investment in a quality product.

2. Antop HD Smart Bar ATSBS

Huge and pricey, but plenty powerful

Specifications

Range: 80 miles

Amplified: Yes

Dimensions: 30 x x inches

Cable length: 15ft

Reasons to buy

+Maximum range+Can mount to wall or sit in stand  

Reasons to avoid

-Bulky and hard to hide -Most expensive

If you live far from a broadcast source and/or you've had trouble with other antennas, the Antop HD Smart Bar (ATSBS) could solve your issues—if you're willing to pay a steep price and tolerate the very large size.

The Antop HD Smart Bar is a hard-plastic antenna that measures feet wide and can be mounted on your wall like a soundbar, or you can use the included base stand to prop it up vertically. In any case, it's much more visible than nearly any other indoor antenna on the market, but the trade-off is a much longer promised range of 80 miles. It also has a 4G signal filter, an FM tuner, and the ability to connect to a second TV, plus the reception was excellent in our testing. However, with a $ price tag, we recommend trying cheaper alternatives first to see if they'll meet your needs.

3. Antop HD Smart Antenna SBS

A feature-rich option for folks who want to spend a bit more

Specifications

Range: 70 miles

Amplified: Yes

Dimensions: x inches

Cable length: 10ft

Reasons to buy

+Extra perks +Long range  

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-indoor-tv-antennas
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Our family has been a part of the cord cutting trend for about 15 years now. I’ve tried a handful of flat indoor HDTV antennas in the past and have struggled to find just the right position to try to receive all of the channels that we like to watch. Once that hurdle had been leaped, they worked well for the most part, yet whenever a car drove by or there were any storms in the area, the reception on some channels would start to drop out. Are there others that work better? ANTOP offered the Gadgeteer indoor and outdoor antennas for review and I was eager to try them out to see how they would perform. I was sent the ANTOP Paper Thin Smartpass Amplified ATB Indoor HDTV antenna and the Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified ATBV Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna to test. In my testing, I found that it was difficult to find the optimal placement for the ATB Indoor antenna (just like my other indoor antennas) and found that it performed better in one room over another but not quite as well as our Clearstream Eclipse HDTV Amplified Indoor Antenna. On the other hand, when the ATBV Outdoor antenna (which can function as an antenna for all your TVs) was installed in our attic, it performed flawlessly. It was able to receive ALL my favorite channels without ANY issues and I even received a few stations that I could not tune in with indoor antennas.

ANTOP PAPER THIN SMARTPASS AMPLIFIED ATB INDOOR HDTV ANTENNA

Package Contents

  • Omni-directional ANTOP Paper Thin SmartPass Amplified HDTV antenna (ATB)
  • AC/DC power adapter for amplifier (amplifier’s power cord connects to power adapter via USB)
  • Three double-sided application stickers
  • Two double-sided application suction cups (for window mounting)
  • Table stand
  • User Manual

Technical Specifications

  • Application: Indoor
  • Amplification: Smartpass Amplified, balanced reception range
  • Reception Pattern: degrees omnidirectional
  • Distance to transmitter: 40/55 mile
  • Frequency Range: MHz, MHz
  • Gain: 26dB Max
  • Output Level: dBuV Max
  • Noise Figure: ≤3dB
  • Impedance: 75Ω
  • Power Supply: DC 5V/50mA via USB cable
  • Cable Length: 10ft integrated coaxial cable
  • Color: Piano White
  • Size: ″ x ″ x ″
  • 4G LTE Filter: Blocks unwanted 3G and 4G signals
  • Suitable for home and RV use
  • Online customer support, installation assistance
  • month warranty

Design & Build Quality

Both sides of the ANTOP Paper Thin SmartPass Amplified Indoor HDTV antenna were made out of shiny white plastic which shows fingerprints easily. The antenna has the Smartpass Amplifier already attached to it which, according to ANTOP, “uses an all-in-one design to allow an easier connection and deliver the correct balance between short and long range reception.” This omnidirectional antenna also has a built in filter to block 3G and 4G signals to prevent interference. It is very thin and about ″ x ″ x ″ and has a 9’11” integrated coaxial cable (total length between antenna and TV).

The amplifier has a switch that allows you to turn the amplifier “On” (green light) or “Off” (yellow light). 

The antenna came with a tabletop stand.

This stand is nice just in case you find an optimal position on top of a desk, table, or bookshelf.

ATB Indoor Antenna Use

TV stations in the Fort Worth area:

When I performed an internet search for TV stations available near me using TVFool.com, I input an antenna height of 22 ft. because I knew that I was installing the ANTOP outdoor antenna in the attic of our home and I wanted to find all of the towers that the outdoor, as well as indoor, antennas, might be able to detect. The above data shows where our TV towers are located in relation to where we live. The stations are color coded to indicate what type of antenna you would need to receive these channels (the image may be clicked on to view a larger image).  The channels highlighted in green can be received with an indoor antenna and those highlighted in yellow can be received with an attic antenna. Those in red require a roof mounted antenna. This is a useful tool to figure out which type of antenna to choose.

This is the tower information that I found from another website, Over-the-Air Digital Television (otadtv.com). Each of the green rings represents 10 miles each, so you can see that most of the towers are about 30 miles away from us.  In fact, the cluster of stations located in the southeast portion of the map are the only stations we receive. The other individual towers are the low powered towers of independent stations that we don’t pick up. This graphic also shows the terrain (the graph just below the map) between the channel 11 tower and our antenna (and would show the terrain between us and the other towers if the towers were selected).

The above list of stations is a small sample of the list of possible stations located near us. The nice thing about otadtv.com is that they provide the following list of information:

  • a list of all the possible virtual channels we might receive (e.g. we receive the Daystar channel and not the infomercial channel )
  • radio frequency (RF) broadcast channel
  • call sign
  • subchannels
  • the angle of the tower in relation to us (degrees off of true North)
  • the range of the broadcast tower (miles)
  • the signal (%) “… based on receiver dynamic range of -5dBm (maximum) to dBm (minimum discernable signal)”
  • the estimated signal power (dBm with respect to 1 milliwatt) – based on a receiving antenna 30 feet above ground level
  • signal bars telling you how well you might be able to tune in that station
  • RF Band
  • Effective Radiated Power in kilowatts (ERP in kW)
  • broadcast tower antenna elevation above Mean Sea Level (MSL).

Guest Room Reception: I first tried placing the ANTOP indoor antenna in the guest room. Indoor antenna setups are easy – you simply connect the end of the coax cable attached to the amplifier (which is attached to the antenna) to the TV, …

… plug in the amplifier and slide the switch over to turn on amplification (we need amplification here where I live but you may not), …

… then pray that you find the best position to receive all your favorite stations within the limited cable length provided by the ANTOP indoor antenna (9′ 11″ from the antenna to the TV). This was the position that tended to receive most channels in our guest room. 

Just after connecting the ANTOP indoor antenna to my TV, I went into the TV settings to scan for all the possible stations that came in using that placement. I then checked to see if all the major networks tune in and if my other favorite channels come in. It never works on the first try so I move the antenna and try it again. And again, And again. And again … (I’ve performed this repetitive process with every indoor antenna that I have tested; it’s something that I’ve come to expect with HDTV indoor antennas perhaps because of issues with the terrain, buildings, and distance between us and the towers). The antenna does have a 40/55 mile range and thus it should receive the channels from our TV towers located approximately 30 miles away. I found that in the guest room I received about 50 channels after the finding the best position.

The antenna struggled to tune in all of the channels detected by the channel scan using this antenna position (this was the best position). Whenever I was able to tune in ABC (channel in Fort Worth), I had difficulty tuning in NBC (channel ) and visa versa. However, this seems to be a consistent problem with other indoor antennas I’ve tried in this area of the house.

I also had some difficulty with tuning in FOX (channel ), PBS (channel ), and My27 (channel ) although not all at once. Nighttime hours affected the reception, such that stations received during the day did not come in at night and visa versa. These are obviously important channels to me and thus this antenna did not work very well in the guest room.

Living Room Reception: When I placed this antenna in the living room where I was using my Clearstream Eclipse HDTV Amplified Indoor Antenna, the ANTOP antenna performed much better than it did in the guest room. I received 55 channels after performing the channel scan in this room which included all the channels I enjoy watching; however, I think the Clearstream antenna performed a little better – the Clearstream was better at tuning in ABC (I also prefer the Clearstream because it is smaller, has longer coax cable, and has a wonderful removable adhesive which makes positioning it easier). While in the living room, ABC (channel ), channel 21 (KTXA) and ION (channel ) had some pixelation show up during rainy weather using the ANTOP indoor antenna. These are important channels to me and so this was a little disappointing but not unexpected.

Conclusion about ANTOP ATB antenna: The ANTOP Paper Thin Smartpass Amplified ATB Indoor HDTV took patience to find the ideal placement in the guest room especially with such a limited length of coax cable (9’11”) that came with the antenna, but after doing so, I was able to tune in many of the TV stations, but had trouble tuning in stations like ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS and My27 using just one antenna position. When the antenna was placed in the living room it performed much better (there were some pixelation issues on important stations like ABC and ION during rainy weather) but not quite as well as the Clearstream Eclipse HDTV Amplified Indoor Antenna (the Clearstream is also smaller, has longer coax cable, and has removable adhesive which gives it an edge over other indoor antennas in my opinion).

There are factors that can make tuning in stations difficult. We live in a single family home in a crowded subdivision where the houses are very close together. And although it seems that our terrain here is rather flat, otadtv.com shows that there are some contours between me and the towers. So buildings, the surrounding terrain, weather, cars passing by the house, and even different rooms in our house may affect our reception using this antenna. I’m still on a quest to find an antenna that has no problems with these stations even when cars drive by, or during nighttime hours, or during inclement weather. I’ve been using HDTV indoor antennas for years, but how much better are whole-house attic antennas? Are they worth the extra cost?

FLAT PANEL SMARTPASS AMPLIFIED ATBV OUTDOOR/INDOOR HDTV ANTENNA

Package Contents

  • Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna (ATBV)
  • Two plastic coated VHF enhancing rods
  • Indoor Table Stand
  • AC/DC Power Adapter
  • Power Inserter with Smart Switch
  • Wall/Pole Mounting Bracket
  • 39 ft Coaxial Cable
  • Instruction/User Manual

Technical Specifications

  • Application: Indoor/Outdoor
  • Amplification: Smartpass Amplified
  • Reception Pattern: Multi-directional
  • Distance to transmitter: 60/70 mile
  • Frequency Range: MHz, MHz
  • Gain: Switch-OFF: 10dB; Switch-ON: 33dB
  • Output Level: dBuV Max
  • Noise Figure: <dB
  • Impedance: 75Ω
  • Power Supply: DC 12V via power adapter
  • Cable Length: 39ft
  • Color: White
  • Size: 22″ x 10″ x ″
  • Operating Temperature: ° F to ° F
  • Whole house solution: Can feed multiple TVs
  • Enhancer Rods to strengthen VHF reception
  • 4G LTE filter: Blocks unwanted 3G and 4G signals
  • UV coating, weather resistant finish
  • Easy home exterior installation: wall, roof, balcony (can be installed in attic and used on table too)
  • Online customer support, installation assistance
  • month warranty

Design & Build Quality

The ANTOP Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna (ATBV) is encased in rigid white plastic that has been UV coated and has a weather resistant finish. It is a large antenna measuring 22″ x 10″ x ″. It comes with a Smartpass Amplifier and 4G filter for “balanced reception range and blocking unwanted 3G/4G interference”. It also has a white plastic indoor stand for occasions when you may want to set this antenna on a flat surface.

The stand slides onto the bottom of the antenna and clicks in place.

If you should need to remove the stand, you need to depress a small plastic peg located in the center of a hollow area under the stand (in the photo above, you would press the plastic peg up) to release the stand from the antenna.

The back of the antenna displays the metal mounting bracket. The mounting bracket projects out from the antenna and pivots side-to-side on a long screw. We used this bracket to attach the antenna to a column in our attic.

The side of the antenna is rather thick measuring almost five inches.

ANTOP provides VHF enhancing rods with the ATBV model to strengthen VHF signals. The rods screw onto the back of the antenna to a white plastic “box” area.

On the bottom of the white “box” area, is a place to attach the coaxial cable.

Installation

We chose to install the Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified ATBV Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna in the attic for several reasons. First, our roof line is very high and the attic is pretty open (they don’t use trusses in Texas). Also, all our coaxial lines are already in the attic, so it made connecting the antenna very easy. Thus it was a simpler installation compared to installing it outside attached to the roof where we would have had to pull new cable into the house. However, when considering installing the antenna in the attic, we became concerned about its operating temperature. Our attic can get up to ° F (or hotter) in summer on a hot day (the day we installed this it was degrees in the attic and 97 degrees outside). We contacted ANTOP and confirmed that the antenna is rated for an ambient temperature of up to ° F, which is good even for Texas.

The first thing we needed to do before installing the ANTOP outdoor antenna was to take the metal mounting bracket off by unscrewing the bolt located on the underside of the antenna.

To install the antenna we used wood screws and attached the bracket onto one of the vertical attic columns (the highest location within the attic) on the side that would allow the antenna to be swiveled and pointed in the southeast direction toward the TV towers.

After attaching the bracket, we threaded the bolt back through the bracket and antenna, swiveled the antenna toward the cluster of TV towers located southeast of us, and then tightened the bolt holding the antenna in place.

We then screwed one end of the coaxial cable to the back of the antenna (we need a much greater length of cable than that provided by ANTOP, so what is shown here is our own coax).

We then screwed the other end to the female end of the cable attached to the power inserter (this looks like the indoor antenna amplifier; this setup is located in our attic as well). The other end of the power inserter was then screwed into the four-way splitter. The power inserter was then plugged into a nearby outlet (which needed to be installed).

It is important to note that we purchased the splitter at Lowe’s, but we were concerned about that fact that the ANTOP instructions stated that the splitter must be capable of “All-Port DC Power Passing”. The splitters we found at the local stores do not have this capability, however, we purchased and installed it anyway and it worked just fine. All-Port DC Power Passing is a feature that allows power to be transmitted back to the antenna. We confirmed with ANTOP that although the instructions stated that All-Port DC Power Passing was required, that was not actually the case for our application.

The black coax cables connected to the splitter as shown in the photo above lead to the coax ports in each room where we have TVs. The final step was to connect each of our three TVs to the antenna. This was accomplished using a short six-foot length of our own coax cables connecting the TVs to the coax ports in each room and voila! Let there be TV channels!!

ATBV Outdoor Antenna Use

The ANTOP Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified ATBV Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna is a multi-directional antenna. This type of antenna receives signals from multiple directions. The above graphic comes from Crutchfield and they suggest that “If the transmitters are positioned more than 20° apart, try a multi-directional antenna”. If they are less than 20° apart, then you can use a directional antenna. Because all of our TV towers are southeast of us, the multi-directional antenna was suitable for our purposes.

After performing channel scans for each of our three TVs, 80 channels were detected and each of them tuned in perfectly using this antenna unlike the 55 channels (or less) that we received when using an indoor antenna. Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW!! Every channel came in crystal clear. ABC is often difficult for us to tune in using an indoor HDTV antenna but comes in beautifully using the ANTOP ATBV outdoor antenna. There were no pixelation issues that I have observed even in the middle of sometimes heavy rain (we have been experiencing the rain brought on by the outskirts of Hurricane Harvey). Cars driving by no longer affect the image clarity and because we have the antenna installed at a height of about 22 feet above ground level, we’ve decreased the number of structures between us and the towers. We even receive stations that I have never received with our indoor HDTV antennas.

Conclusion about ANTOP ATBV antenna: This is by far the best of all of the antennas that I have tried thus far and if I had realized that it would work so well, I would have skipped the hassles of indoor antennas (finding the optimal position, problems with cars driving by and interfering with reception, or problems with storms interfering with channel reception) and gone with the outdoor/attic antenna a long time ago. We had an attic antenna years ago when we lived in a rural area of Wisconsin and it didn’t work very well. Fast forward to our Texas years and my fears were that after plunking down $ for the antenna and going to the trouble to install it, would it even work? Holy cow, it works spectacularly and for all three of our TVs!

Final Thoughts

After trying the ANTOP Paper Thin SmartPass Amplified HDTV antenna (ATB) and the Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna (ATBV), there is just no question that I would pass over the indoor antenna for the outdoor one. The indoor antenna had a very short length of coax cable integrated into the antenna (9’11”) and I struggled to find a good position where it would receive the most channels available to it using a single antenna position in our guest room (which happens to be the room farthest away from the TV towers). While in this room, it struggled to tune in stations like ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS and My27 using just one antenna position. It worked best in our living room and received 55 channels after the channel scan but still had some pixelation issues on stations that I like to watch like ABC and ION while it was raining outside.

The outdoor antenna which was installed in our attic at a height of about 22 feet above ground level, received 80 channels on each of our TVs and each channel came in crystal clear even with cars passing by or when it rained. I was absolutely thrilled with the ATBV outdoor antenna. I had no issues with it and highly recommend it; however, it is important to mention that it is a multi-directional antenna (not omnidirectional) and that your experience with it may be drastically different based on your terrain, distance from the towers, interference from buildings, etc.

Updates 09/11/18

I do not use the ANTOP ATB Indoor antenna since I solely use the ANTOP ATBV Indoor/Outdoor antenna which is mounted in our attic. This antenna has served me very well so far and it has survived the Texas heat for the year that I have been using it.

Source: The samples used in this review were provided by ANTOP. Please visit their website for more information on the ANTOP Paper Thin SmartPass Amplified HDTV antenna (ATB) or the Flat Panel Smartpass Amplified Outdoor/Indoor HDTV antenna (ATBV). Or visit Amazon to purchase the ATB for $ or ATBV for $

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Product Information

Price:$ (ATB); $ (ATBV)
Manufacturer:ANTOP
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • -ATB ANTOP indoor antenna performed very well in our living room and received 55 channels
  • -ATBV ANTOP outdoor antenna (installed in attic) is the true hero and received 80 crystal clear channels without issues (even in rain)
Cons:
  • -ATB indoor antenna has very short coax cable length (9&#;11")
  • -ATB had trouble displaying available channels during the day and night using one position of the antenna in our guest room
  • -ATB performed best in our living room but had trouble maintaining channel clarity on ABC, ION, and channel 21 (which are favorite channels) during the rain
  • -You may need to purchase longer coax cable to install the ATBV outdoor antenna in your attic or your roof
Sours: https://the-gadgeteer.com//09/04/antop-atb-indoor-antenna-and-atbv-indooroutdoor-antenna-review/
Antop Amplified Outdoor Indoor TV Antenna review and installation (FREE TV!)

The ANTOP UFO Antenna was provided to me for review a couple weeks ago. This antenna is a much bigger outdoor antenna, so it took much longer for me to install and test it.

As you can see from the photos below, the ANTOP sleek packaging looks much nicer than some of the other antennas I’ve reviewed. While I am fully aware that beautiful packaging is not always indicative of a product’s quality, in this case it was.

The sleek, shiny and sturdy UFO antenna is certainly a sight to behold. While the shape won’t be for everyone, it is still small enough to tuck onto the side of a deck post or your home.

Installation

Ok, so back to the installation. Installing the ANTOP UFO antenna was certainly not as simple as pinning an indoor antenna up on your wall, but this was still easy enough none-the-less. I decided to install it to on the side of my front porch. I had to find my own screws and washers to use to attach it, but that was a minor problem (I always have extra stuff like that laying around everywhere). This antenna is light enough that I could hold it with one hand and hold my power screw-driver in the other. A couple seconds later, I had all four screws in place and that antenna wasn’t budging.

So I was pretty luck with the next step of the installation. Since I used to have DirecTV, I already had a coaxial cable connection on the outside of my house. I connected the extremely long 33′ foot coaxial cable ANTOP provided right to my DirecTV connection. From there, I went into my basement and connected their amplifier/4G filter contraption to my internal cable system (don’t judge my cable-mess!).

Performance

Connecting everything up to my home’s internal cable system allowed me to feed the channels captured from this antenna to all the rooms that have those TV jacks inside of them. This is awesome, and may actually get me to switch from my beloved Mohu.

In terms of performance, it was just fine at my ~45 mile distance. I was not able to test the ANTOP UFO at the max distance of it says it can handle. Regardless, I got every channel my Mohu gets me, which is all I can ask for with any antenna I test.

Sours: https://nocable.org/reviews/antopmile-ufo-omni-indoor-outdoor-antenna/

Antenna antop outdoor

KW ANTOP

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Sours: https://www.kikowireless.com/
Antop Big Boy AT-400BV Indoor Outdoor Antenna Review

Sometimes, plain vanilla is the best choice: simple and predictable. That describes the $90 Antop AT-402B antenna, an indoor/outdoor model with more than respectable performance. We found that the AT-402B even compared favorably to other indoor/outdoor models, such as the ClearStream 2Max, which Antop's device nearly matched in performance, and the Winegard Elite 7550, which is roughly $30 more than the AT-402B.

Design: Ivory tower

While Antop calls the AT-402B a "flat panel" antenna, it's actually a white, monolithic, glossy tower of plastic. It stands about 24 inches tall on its supplied plastic, tabletop pedestal. So, it's definitely going to be a conversation piece in most living rooms.

A round, snap-on plastic stand keeps this monster steady on a cabinet or shelf. Antop also includes some hardware for installing the antenna outside. The all-plastic enclosure should prevent the elements from interfering with reception, although this setup may not fair as well in extreme northern winters.

Another part of the AT-402B is an inline, detachable amplifier. It has an on/off switch, which can be handy given the vicissitudes of scanning for and capturing over-the-air broadcasts. This antenna also boasts a Smartpass amplifier, which is supposed to offer a balance between short- and long-range reception, and a 4G LTE filter to reduce noise from cell towers.

The all-plastic enclosure should prevent the elements from interfering with reception.

Setup: Three options

If you are planning to position the antenna outside, the 402B comes with enough cabling to get you there — 40 feet of it — and has outdoor mounting equipment, such as a rubber cover for the outdoor coaxial connection to keep the antenna dry. There's also a clamping kit with metal brackets and screws to attach the Antop 402B to a mast pole, but you have to supply the mast yourself.

The ideal situation, taking into account the antenna's construction, size and aesthetics, would be to install the 402B in an attic where it would be out of site, out of the elements and yet high enough to get decent reception. Some of the company's literature also suggests that you could use the Antop 402B in mobile and RV settings. Ignore that; this device is far too bulky for such setups.

As with any TV antenna, we recommend checking out AntennaWeb.org to get a clear idea of what channels are available in your area. For help in positioning the antenna for optimal reception, check out our handy guide to better antenna reception.

Key Specs

Channels Received (indoor/outdoor):41/60
Range:70 miles
1080p reception:Yes
Cable Length:40 feet
Size:4.53 x 5.12 x 23.82 inches
Amplified:Yes
Performance:Worthy of respect

For our first set of tests, we placed the Antop 402B in our usual indoor position. Initial scans rendered 43 channels. We had, frankly, hoped for more given the size of this antenna, but reception was solid, with only two of the 43 stations deemed unwatchable. Another indoor/outdoor model we reviewed, the ClearStream 2Max, captured a couple more channels (44 versus 41) inside than the Antop did.

Some of the company's literature also suggests that you could use the Antop 402B in mobile and RV settings. Ignore that; this device is far too bulky for such setups.

Everything from Drew Carey hosting The Price Is Right in all of its Day-Glo glory on CBS to talk shows on the local Fox affiliate came in crisp and sharp in 720p. There were also plenty of subchannels with repeats and old shows from the '70s and '80s. All the community channels also appeared without a glitch. Several Cantonese and Korean channels were also in the lineup, along with major Spanish-language stations.

MORE: Top Cheap TV Antennas (Under $20) Ranked Best to Worst

To gauge its outdoor performance, we installed the Antop 402B in our standard exterior test spot, still connected to the Samsung KS9000 4K TV. This time, the antenna captured 67 stations, six of which had too many dropouts to be watched consistently. That still left 61 clear channels, with plenty to watch ranging from Walker, Texas Ranger and retro game channel Buzzr with Match Game to the major local affiliates from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.

The outdoor-only Winegard Elite 7550, for comparison, tuned in more stations than the Antop (73 versus 61), but it costs $30 more.

Bottom Line

The Antop 402B isn't the sleekest or sexiest HD TV antenna on the market, but it's priced very competitively and delivers more than respectable performance. Pricewise, it falls between the ClearStream 2Max indoor/outdoor model ($79) and the outdoor-only Winegard Elite 7550 ($119), but both manage to eke out slightly better performance, pulling in two or three additional channels when used indoors and outdoors, respectively.

But if you want a solid performer that has a more compact, contained design than either of those larger aerials, the Antop 402B is a respectable performer. It's a solid choice for anyone looking at indoor/outdoor models.

Credit: Tom's Guide

John R. Quain has been reviewing and testing video and audio equipment for more than 20 years. He is currently a contributor to The New York Times and the CBS News television program.
Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/antop-smartpass-antenna,review-6438.html

Now discussing:

  • We’ve replaced our runner-up, the RCA ANT3ME, with the new model, the ANT3ME1, which clearly outperforms the old model but (at this writing) costs considerably more.

July 22,

As streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ grow in popularity, many people are dumping their expensive cable and satellite TV subscriptions. For those who still want to watch the occasional live event or local programming without adding subscription costs, a great indoor TV antenna such as the Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex is the simplest, most dependable way we’ve found to pull in dozens of TV channels for free.

No matter where (or in what city) we hung it, the Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex always ranked among the best in pulling in the most TV channels. Its flat design makes it easy to hang on a wall, and it’s reversible, with black and white sides (it’s also paintable). The antenna comes with a detachable amplifier that can draw power from your TV’s USB port, as well as a long, detachable cable, which is convenient if you want to replace it with a cable of a different color or length. The only downside is that the ClearStream Flex is a little larger than average for a flat antenna.

The amplifier of the RCA ANT3ME1 has a built-in signal-level meter that provides a near-instantaneous readout of the signal strength. This feature allows you to quickly find the optimum position for the antenna, a process that could take more than an hour if you instead use the TV’s internal channel-scanning process to evaluate different positions. The ANT3ME1 is essentially the same as our previous runner-up, the RCA ANT3ME, but with a slightly wider antenna design that helped it to perform roughly equal to our top pick before we used the meter. When we used the meter to fine-tune the antenna’s positioning, the ANT3ME1 sometimes outperformed our top pick. But the cable is not detachable, and the amplifier requires an AC outlet rather than USB power.

The Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro is truly a “smart” antenna, with a built-in signal meter that you control through a mobile app and a Bluetooth connection. As you move the antenna around a room, every six seconds it gives you an update on the number of channels you can receive. In every location we tried, using the app to position the antenna helped the Flatwave Amped Pro rank either first or second in the number of channels received. The amp is USB-powered, the antenna is reversible with black and white sides, and you get a generous amount of cable. However, the cable isn’t detachable, and the Flatwave Amped Pro is usually about twice the price of typical amplified flat antennas.

The 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna has been our budget pick in this guide for a few years running. It performs almost as well as our top pick; if you’re within about 15 miles of the broadcast antennas, you might not miss any channels with this one. It has an inline amplifier, includes a fairly generous amount of cable, and is relatively compact. The only downsides are that the cable is not detachable and the antenna is not reversible or paintable, so your only color option is black.

Why you should trust us

I’ve been writing about TVs since I was senior editor of Video magazine in the early s, where I covered the transition to high-definition and digital TV and was one of the first 10 people certified for video calibration by the Imaging Science Foundation. I’ve been an editor or writer for numerous tech-related publications, including Home Theater, Home Entertainment, and Sound & Vision magazines, and for websites such as Wirecutter, Lifewire, Mashable, and SoundStage. I’ve conducted three previous multi-product tests of TV antennas, and I’ve been a cord-cutter since , relying entirely on broadcast TV, DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming for my video entertainment.

The previous version of this guide was written by Wirecutter senior editor Grant Clauser, and some of this material is based on his testing and research, done at his Philadelphia-area home and in New York City. Grant has written about AV electronics for more than two decades. He was an editor at Dealerscope, E-Gear, and Electronic House, as well as a writer for Big Picture Big Sound, Consumer Digest, Sound & Vision, and others. He is ISF-certified and has completed THX Level II home theater design courses.

Who this is for

With so much content available from streaming video services such as Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and others, there’s less need to pay for an expensive cable or satellite TV subscription. But some viewers still want the live-TV experience, be it for sports, news, special events, or local foreign-language broadcasts. For them, a live TV streaming service such as Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV is an option, but that still requires a monthly subscription fee. If most of the live-TV content you want to watch is from local broadcast channels, an inexpensive TV antenna could be the best way to go.

As long as you’re within about 30 miles of the local transmitting towers and aren’t blocked by a mountain range or rows of tall buildings, an antenna will receive free live programs from the major networks, including ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, and Univision. Depending on your metropolitan area, an antenna is also a good way to get free non-English-language channels.

For this guide, we focused on indoor TV antennas, which you can place in a window, on a wall, or behind your TV. These models are all easy, practical, and affordable options to install in any house or apartment. Depending on your location, you can probably receive more channels with a rooftop or attic antenna—for example, in my Los Angeles home, my large, rooftop antenna pulls in channels, while the best indoor antennas get a little more than However, many people can’t or don’t want to install a rooftop or attic antenna. Plus, although a good indoor antenna might not receive as many stations, the stations you can’t get are likely to be small independents with fairly weak transmitters.

How we picked

Four HDTV antennas we recommend.

We assembled an extensive list of indoor antennas that had been introduced since our last major update of this guide in , and we also consulted manufacturers to see which new models they thought we should test. Then we focused on antennas that met most of the following criteria:

  • Both UHF and VHF: All the antennas on our final list were rated for both UHF (channels 14 and above) and at least high-VHF (channels 7 to 13) reception. For many years, an indoor antenna’s ability to pull in VHF signals was less important because most digital TV channels reside in the UHF range. However, recent broadcast-transmission changes have made VHF reception more important. You can read more about this in UHF vs. VHF.
  • Simple to assemble and install: You shouldn’t need tools to put together an indoor antenna.
  • Easy to mount and move: You should be able to hang the antenna on a wall without needing tools or causing major damage to your wall, and the antenna should be easy to move for better reception.
  • At least a foot cable: Because location is the key to good reception, a foot cable gives you more flexibility. (If you need a longer cable, an extension cable with the necessary coupler is available for about $)
  • Unobtrusive design: You may need to put your antenna in a visible location for the best reception, so it shouldn’t be ugly. Most indoor antennas today—and most of the ones we looked at—are flat. And flat antennas are easy to hide.

Most indoor antennas now include an amplifier, either as an add-on or permanently built into the antenna’s cable, to help boost signal strength. We didn’t make an amplifier mandatory, but under most conditions we found that the antennas we tested that offered the amp as an option, rather than as a permanent feature, performed better with the amplifier connected than without.

TV antennas often have a range rating, but we ignored that because it’s bogus. Some antennas carry range ratings in the hundreds or thousands of miles, even though the curvature of the Earth limits range in miles to approximately times the square root of the broadcast antenna height in feet—for example, about 32 miles for a foot antenna tower on flat ground, assuming a clear line of sight. Range is mostly a matter of the transmitter power and location. As one manufacturer told us, “If you had a strong enough transmitter on the moon, any TV antenna could pick it up.”

Some antennas now carry a “NextGen TV–ready” or “ATSC –ready” label, but this too is bogus. NextGen TV is a marketing term for ATSC , a recent expansion of the current ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) broadcast standards that allows transmission of 4K video, Dolby Atmos immersive sound, and high dynamic range (HDR) signals. However, ATSC uses the same transmission frequencies as the previous ATSC standard did, so an antenna that works for a certain channel now will work no better or worse if and when that channel upgrades to ATSC

TV antennas often include a range rating, but we ignored that because it’s bogus. Range is mostly a matter of the transmitter power and location.

Incidentally, all of these antennas should also work reasonably well for FM radio, which resides in a frequency band just above TV channel 6.

As anyone who has looked for antennas on Amazon knows, there’s a huge number of lesser-known brands. We skipped them for this guide. We had to do that to keep our testing process manageable, but if you have any models you’re particularly curious about, let us know in the comments section below.

UHF vs. VHF

We used to be able to ignore, for the large part, an antenna’s reception of VHF (TV channels 2 through 13, or frequencies 54 to MHz) because, in the switch to digital TV, most stations abandoned VHF and shifted to the UHF range (originally, TV channels 14 to 69, or frequencies to MHz). However, the Federal Communications Commission recently auctioned off the radio frequency spectrum above MHz (formerly TV channels 35 and higher) to wireless broadband services, which forced many TV channels to shift to lower frequencies in the VHF range.

This change, often referred to as the “FCC repack,” required existing antenna users to rescan their channel lineup to find any channels that may have moved. Some people may have been disappointed to discover that their formerly reliable antenna could no longer pull in channels that had moved from UHF to VHF. That’s because the longer wavelengths of the lower frequencies are difficult for small antennas to receive. For our latest round of testing in February , we put more emphasis on an antenna’s performance in both the UHF and VHF ranges.

To find out whether you need to worry about VHF reception, visit the RabbitEars Signal Search Map and enter your zip code to see which stations in your area are broadcasting on which channels. The map also shows where the broadcast antennas are relative to your location.

Note that these changes do not affect the channel number listed in your TV-channel guide. TV stations still use the same “virtual channels” as before, so the channel that has always shown up as channel 5 on your TV will still be listed as channel 5—but it may actually be transmitting on, say, radio-frequency channel

How we tested

TV reception is unpredictable. As one manufacturer explained to us, “The antenna that works great for you might not work for your neighbor because their house is constructed differently or they have to place the antenna differently. Maybe there’s a tree in the way.” So we can’t promise that you’ll get great results with the antennas that worked best for us. But in the hope of finding the antennas that would work most consistently under the greatest variety of conditions, we used them in five different locations for our latest round of testing.

I started with two rooms within my house, on the western end of Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley, about 30 miles from the TV broadcast towers on Mount Wilson, which are about 4, feet higher than my house and visible with binoculars from my rooftop. In an effort to test with a weaker, low-VHF channel, I also used locations in Los Angeles’s Los Feliz neighborhood and in Arcadia, California (about 10 and 5 miles, respectively, from the Mount Wilson antennas), as well as a motel in Oceanside, California, that put me within 25 or 42 miles of San Diego’s TV transmitters depending on which TV station I was trying to receive.

I used three different TVs for these tests: a Vizio PG1, a Samsung UNC46C, and a Philips 19PFLD/F7. For each round of tests, I did a channel scan with the connected TV to see how many channels I could pick up. (Note that many of these channels use multicast technology, broadcasting several channels in the space of one.) I also used a Channel Master TV signal meter, which let me measure each antenna’s sensitivity to low and high TV-channel frequencies.

For antennas that incorporated a signal-level meter, I first tested them in the same aesthetically convenient positions I used for the other antennas, after which I tried using their signal-level meters to see if that would help me find a better antenna position that would pull in more channels.

As mentioned above, we put more emphasis on VHF reception in our latest round of tests, as the longer wavelengths of those frequencies are difficult for small antennas to receive. For example, optimum reception of the lowest TV-signal frequency, channel 2, demands a foot-wide antenna. The lowest active TV channel in Los Angeles is channel 4 (which TVs pick up as virtual channels 22 and 63), so I used the Channel Master signal meter to measure the sensitivity of the antennas to this channel as a way to gauge low-VHF sensitivity.

I finished by using a TinySA radio-frequency spectrum analyzer to look at each antenna’s performance in the frequency ranges from 50 to MHz (VHF) and from to MHz (UHF). This step let me see how strong each antenna’s signals were within different ranges of the broadcast band, as well as how noisy their output was—a potential problem with amplified antennas, especially, because if the antenna picks up lots of noise, the amplifier will just boost the noise, and the TV will have a harder time picking the signal out of the noise. All of our recommendations produce signals that, with a clear transmission in good conditions, are typically 25 to 30 dB (or to 1, times) stronger than the noise.

Screenshot from TinySA spectrum analyzer

Although the performance of the antennas we tested was sometimes inconsistent and thus difficult to gauge, all of our picks excelled in certain tests and at least placed in the middle of the pack in every other test.

Our pick: Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex

The Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex

Of all the antennas in our latest round of testing, the Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex was the most consistent performer. It always ranked at or near the top in the number of channels received, and in our technical tests it produced a strong signal with relatively low noise. Part of this performance may be due to the fact that it’s a little larger than average, but it’s still small enough to mount unobtrusively, and it’s reversible, with black and white sides. It comes with a detachable amplifier that’s powered by USB, and it includes a total of 15 feet of cable. Among the antennas we tested, this is one of the few that aren’t hardwired to the cable, so you can use a different cable if you like.

The ClearStream Flex did the best overall in my in-home tests, pulling in the most channels (90 out of ) in the first room and the fourth-most channels () in the second room. In our tests in the Oceanside, California, area, it was one of several models that tied for second best, pulling in 21 channels. Without the amp, the numbers were a little lower: 81 and 87 in my home, and 19 in Oceanside.

Measuring 16 by 11 inches, the ClearStream Flex is a little larger than most of the flat antennas we tested, but it’s still small enough that slipping it behind a TV, a curtain, or a framed picture shouldn’t be hard. It’s reversible, with black and white sides, and paintable—which may help it blend better into your room decor.

Amplifier on the ClearStream Flex antenna.

A supplied Sure Grip adhesive strip attaches the ClearStream Flex to the wall, and you can reposition the antenna by gently peeling it off the wall and resticking it elsewhere. You can even wipe the strip off with a damp cloth if it gets dirty, thus restoring its stickiness.

The ClearStream Flex’s foot black cable should be long enough for most installations, and the package includes an extra 3-foot cable to connect the amp to the TV. The cable attaches to the antenna with a threaded connector, so you can substitute a longer, shorter, or different-colored cable if you desire. The amplifier is powered by an included USB supply or by your TV’s spare USB jack. The amplifier accompanying the antenna we received was a 3-inch-long rectangle, different from the amp shown on the Amazon page.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The ClearStream Flex is one of the larger flat models we tested. Plus, it doesn’t incorporate a signal-level meter, and Antennas Direct doesn’t offer one as an option.

Runner-up: RCA ANT3ME1

RCA ANT3ME1 antenna.

The RCA ANT3ME1 is a slightly reworked version of our previous runner-up, the ANT3ME. The new model retains the signal-level meter that lets you fine-tune the positioning of the antenna for the best reception, and in our tests, a subtle change in the size of the new antenna dramatically improved its performance even before we used the meter. However, the ANT3ME1 still has the downsides we didn’t like in its predecessor: The included, nondetachable cable is a little on the short side, and its amplifier/signal meter draws power from a hardwired AC adapter rather than a USB connection, so it requires an AC outlet. In addition, it currently has limited distribution and represents a big step up in price over the original ANT3ME.

The ANT3ME1’s integrated signal-level meter is what distinguishes it from the zillions of other flat antennas. The meter incorporates five LEDs: two red, one yellow, and two green. As you move the antenna to different places in a room, more LEDs illuminate as the signal strength increases. You could use your TV to do a channel scan in each location, but with many TVs, each scan takes a long time—in the case of my Vizio PG1 TV, it took more than 13 minutes per scan, which might mean an hour or two of trial and error versus a minute or two with the ANT3ME1. (Once you’re done, you can turn the meter off.)

In my living room, where TV signals are fairly weak, getting even one extra LED to light up on the meter made a huge difference. When I mounted the ANT3ME1 in the same aesthetically convenient place I used for the other antennas, three LEDs illuminated on the meter and the antenna picked up 51 channels out of , 11 more than the older model achieved in the same position a few minutes earlier. Moving the antenna to an adjacent wall caused an extra LED to illuminate and bumped the channel count up to , tying the Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex and improving on the 92 channels I got with the previous model. In a different room, the ANT3ME1 pulled in channels versus with the ClearStream Flex and only 73 with the original ANT3ME. However, in that room, no matter where I moved the antenna, I couldn’t get the fifth LED to light, so the signal-level meter was of no help. If you already have a strong TV signal in the room where you’re placing the antenna, the meter likely won’t offer an advantage.

Even without the meter, the ANT3ME1 gave us the best results with low-VHF signals of all the indoor antennas we’ve tested—it produced a signal almost eight times as strong as what we got from the original ANT3ME, and with much lower noise. That means your TV will have an easier time tuning in channels 2 through 6, if those are used in your area. (In this case, we’re talking about the actual radio frequencies; as noted previously, the channel indicated on your TV may not correspond with the actual radio-frequency channel used for transmission.) The ANT3ME1 also outperformed the ClearStream Flex and the Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro in this respect—both of those models had strong low-VHF signals but much more noise than the ANT3ME1.

The amplifier on the ANT3ME1 antenna.

At 14⅛ by 11⅞ inches, the ANT3ME1 is narrower than the ClearStream Flex but a little more than an inch wider than the original ANT3ME. Like the ClearStream, it’s reversible—black on one side and white on the other. Four adhesive patches are provided for mounting the antenna; they’re easily removable, though the signal-level meter makes it less likely that you’d need to reposition the antenna. The ANT3ME1 also has holes that let you hang it with thumbtacks.

However, as with the original model, this version’s cable is a little short, measuring just 9 feet between the antenna and the amp and 3 feet between the amp and the TV—and it’s not detachable. Unlike with most of the antennas we tested, the ANT3ME1’s amp is hardwired to an AC power adapter, so you need a spare AC socket, and you don’t have the option of powering the amp with a spare USB port on your TV.

Upgrade pick: Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro

The Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro antenna.

The Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro inspires banal analogies—the Ferrari of TV antennas, the RCA ANT3ME1 on steroids—but those who want to dial up their TV reception to the max are likely to love it, even if it is nearly twice the price of our top pick. The Amped Pro’s Bluetooth-connected signal-level meter lets you monitor through a mobile app how many TV channels you can get in any antenna position—it’s like getting the results of a channel scan on your TV in just six seconds rather than several minutes. Although the Amped Pro is a very respectable performer even before you use the app, we found that using the app let us get dramatically better results in problematic locations. The Amped Pro is a standard size for a flat antenna, it’s reversible, and it has 18 total feet of cable when you’re using the detachable amplifier.

Using the meter requires downloading the Winegard Connected app for iOS or Android and pairing your mobile device through Bluetooth. It provides a count of strong, moderate, and weak stations that it updates every six seconds. In my living room, the Flatwave Amped Pro pulled in 57 stations from the aesthetically convenient position where I also tested all the other antennas; using the meter, I quickly found a position where I could get channels (exactly what the app promised). In my other room, where the five-step LED meter of the RCA ANT3ME1 proved to be no help, the detailed data in the Connected app allowed me to go from 82 channels in my original testing position to channels (three more than the app promised). In our Oceanside, California, test spot, the channel count rose from 18 to 21 channels when I optimized the position. So the meter and the app definitely produced an improvement in every situation. Again, I could have accomplished the same thing doing channel scans with the TVs, but that would have taken hours rather than three or four minutes.

Winegard Android application.

The Flatwave Amped Pro measures 13 by inches—smaller than the ClearStream Flex but still a little on the large side for a flat antenna—and it’s reversible, with black and white sides. It comes with two small, easily removable adhesive patches for mounting; these worked for us, but you might need more. (Fun-Tak adhesive putty will work in a pinch.)

There’s 15 feet of permanently attached white cable between the antenna and the amp, and another feet of cable that connects the amp to the TV. The amp can draw power from the included USB supply or from a spare USB port on your TV.

Budget pick: 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna

1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna

The 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna has been our budget pick for several years, and we’re sticking with it because it remained an outstanding performer for the price in our latest round of tests. Its ability to pull in channels was always respectable, and it performed well in our technical tests. It’s relatively small, and it comes with a generously long (but non-detachable) cable and a convenient mounting system. However, it’s not reversible like our other picks.

On all but one of our tests, the 1byone performed like antennas costing about double its price. During my in-home test, it landed in the middle of the pack in the first room, receiving only 59 out of channels, but in the second room it pulled in a whopping channels, which put it in third place. It was just a bit below average in our Oceanside, California, tests, receiving 19 channels.

The antenna measures 13 by 9 inches, about average for an antenna of this type. However, it’s black on both sides, and it’s not listed as paintable—so if you don’t hide it behind the TV or a picture or something, you’ll end up with a very visible rectangular thing on your wall (unless you have very dark wall paint). Three adhesive patches on its back stick to the wall easily; three extra adhesive patches are included.

With 13 feet of black cable permanently attached to the antenna and another 3 feet attached to the amplifier, you should have plenty of cable even if you decide to stick the antenna onto a window or an adjacent wall. The antenna comes with a USB power supply, or you can use a spare USB connection on your TV if it has one.

What to look forward to

We expect that, just as RCA did when upgrading the ANT3ME to the ANT3ME1, other manufacturers will release new models optimized for post-repack frequencies, and that many manufacturers will release models that are optimized for ATSC /NextGen TV. We will do our best to keep up with those announcements and test those antennas when they’re available.

The competition

We’ve done two rounds of TV antenna testing in different locations, separated by a few years, so we’re presenting our competition list in two groups: The first group features the antennas we tested in the Philadelphia and New York areas in , and the second includes the models we tested in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas in

testing: Philadelphia and New York

Our previous top pick, the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse, worked very well in our original Philadelphia-area tests, but as we mention below, it required the addition of an amplifier to get good results in Los Angeles, where its performance was sometimes exceptionally good but sometimes below average.

The Antennas Direct ClearStream Max is a large, indoor/outdoor antenna that, despite its size, offered no real performance advantage over the small indoor models we tested.

The Antennas Direct ClearStream Wireless antenna device works with your Wi-Fi network to distribute antenna signals around a house so all the TVs theoretically get the same optimized reception. It works, but the Wi-Fi connection was glitchy in our tests, and you lose some picture quality when the device converts the TV broadcast signal to a digital format for distribution on the network.

The Channel Master Flatenna ranked among the top performers in places where the TV signals were strong, but in places with a weak signal it tended to pull in fewer channels than our picks.

The Mohu Leaf 30 is the antenna that put flat antennas on the map. It’s still available, and it performs pretty well, but not as well as our picks. Mohu was purchased by Antennas Direct.

RCA’s Slivr uses rigid plastic to house its antenna element, which makes it bulkier and heavier than other flat antennas. It pulled in only half as many channels as the better antennas did.

The Winegard FreeVision is an indoor/outdoor antenna that looks more suited to attic or outdoor placement. It didn’t perform well in Pennsylvania, but it did well in New York, although it was very sensitive to direction.

Grant Clauser constructed his own “Trashtenna” antenna from a square of cardboard covered with aluminum foil and finished with a length of coax cable taped to the foil. It actually did very well in New York, but not so well in Philadelphia.

testing: Los Angeles and San Diego

The 1byone NA is compact and attractive, but its performance was only average.

The Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse is our previous top pick. It worked very well in our Philadelphia-area tests, as we say above, but in our round, it required the addition of an amplifier to get good results in Los Angeles, where its performance was sometimes exceptionally good but sometimes below average.

The Antennas Direct ClearStream 1Max is an indoor/outdoor design. Indoors, its performance wasn’t impressive—except in our Oceanside, California, test location, where it weirdly pulled in 37 channels when the best any other antenna could do was We also found the even larger Antennas Direct ClearStream Max-V to be an underperformer in indoor settings.

The GE Enlighten is a great design that sits unobtrusively atop a TV and provides a bias light that illuminates the area around the screen, which can ease eyestrain. Unfortunately, its performance was below average.

The RCA ANTE is a flat antenna that doesn’t include an amplifier. It might be a good choice if for some reason you find an amp inconvenient to use, but generally it didn’t perform as well as amplified models in our tests.

We were excited to try the extra-wide RCA ANTE, which we thought might outperform smaller flat antennas, but our picks generally surpassed it.

The RCA ANT3ME is our previous runner-up, replaced by the newer ANT3ME1. However, as of July , the ANT3ME1 costs about 60% more. That difference may be reduced as the ANT3ME1 reaches more vendors, but people who live in urban areas with fairly strong signals and still want a signal-level meter for their antenna may wish to save a few bucks and buy the older model.

The RCA ANTD6ME is a notably attractive, fabric-covered antenna with a hard-plastic body and a curved front, plus an internal amplifier and a three-LED signal-level meter. You can hang it on a wall, but it also has legs for mounting on a table. It would be a nice choice if you don’t want to wall-mount your antenna, but in our tests it didn’t perform as well as the ANT3ME.

The UMustHave 4K-RS55 is an affordably priced flat antenna that worked pretty well in our tests, but we got better results from our budget pick.

About your guide

Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth is a senior staff writer covering audio and musical instruments at Wirecutter. Since , he has served as an editor or writer on audio-focused websites and magazines such as Home Theater, Sound & Vision, SoundStage, and JazzTimes. He regularly gigs on double bass (and occasionally ukulele) with Los Angeles–area jazz groups.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-indoor-hdtv-antenna/


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