With cable and satellite TV subscriptions getting ridiculously expensive, more and more homes are ditching pricey pay TV and choosing free, over-the-air broadcasts. Digital TV typically provides between 20 and 60 channels depending on where you live, and can save you at least $1,000 a year, based on a typical pay TV subscription.

So, cut that cable, ditch that dish, and join the 14 percent (and growing) of American households that are free from monthly bills for TV service.

Putting up an antenna is easy, but before you buy one you’ll need to figure out what channels are available where you live, how strong the signals are likely to be, and what direction they’re coming from. See TechHive’s guide to choosing an antenna to figure all that out.

As a rule of thumb, indoor antennas are suitable for areas with strong or very strong signals, the attic/outdoor antennas work in areas of medium signal strength, and the larger outdoor antennas in areas of weak signals.

Once you’ve determined your needs, this article will help with your antenna purchase.

Best indoor TV antenna

The Antennas Direct Clearstream Flex is a large, flexible antenna for mounting inside your house against a window or on a wall. It comes supplied with an inline amplifier that gave a good boost to signal levels in our tests. It did well on both VHF-High and UHF reception—the broadcast bands that include the vast majority of large stations in the U.S. (See our full review.)

Runner-up

The Mohu Blade has a unique bar-type design and can sit on top of a piece of furniture with an attached stand or mounted on the inside or outside wall of a house. It also has an inline amplifier and did well receiving UHF stations but reception of VHF-High signals (channels 7 through 12) was a little below our top-ranked Clearstream Flex. (See our full review.)

Best attic/outdoor TV antenna

The Winegard Elite 7550 immediately impressed with its ability to pick up more broadcast channels than the competition at higher signal levels. It has a built in amplifier and performed well on both VHF-High and UHF broadcast bands. Because of its size you’ll want this one in the attic or outside of your house. (See our full review.)



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