Best Indoor Antenna for 50-60 miles away

I know antennas have been discussed before but I am wondering if there are better options now. My niece is getting a Tablo and moving into a 1st floor apartment. Most towers are 50 miles away and pretty much in the same direction. I am not sure on the apartment regulations for outdoor antennas and obviously she can’t drill through the walls to run coax in. I saw they make a flat Coax that I could use to run outside in if needed.

Previous posts said the Winegard FL5500A is a good antenna but I see they have a new model that
is supposed to go up to 60 miles. -

Has anyone used this model or heard things about it. Or any input for Good indoor antennas that would work for this situation.

A lot depends on the details. The antenna you linked does not have good reception for VHF-Low (RF Channels 2-6).
Obstacles can destroy reception even in otherwise good reception areas.

A TVFool report would give a better indication as to what a reasonable expectation would be for signal reception and optimal antenna choice.

No one is saying it, so I will. Reaching stations 50-60 miles away using an indoor antenna from a first floor apartment could be very very very difficult.

I was only 45 miles or so and got frustrated and went with an attic install.

Not saying it won’t work, but likely only for a few stations and it won’t be very reliable.

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Ya, I was thinking it might be. But if I can get one of these flat Coax below that we can get a decent signal inside. I know HOA’s cannot stop people from setting up antennas but can Apartment complexes stop you from putting one on your patio?

The TV Fool results show the following from her area . Realistically we only care about the main ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX which all look to be in Yellow.

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If your patio faces the antenna direction, that’s probably your best bet. You may have to experiment with placement for best reception. Sorry to get all “Star Wars”, but “I have a bad feeling about this.”

In general, landlords cannot stop you from putting an antenna on “exclusively use” areas. So if it’s a private patio, then it’s probably OK. Here’s the straight scoop:

But I agree with @cjcox, 50-60 miles from ground level is going to be problematic.

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I’ve used the Mohu Leaf with good results. Best results are achieved if mounting high on an outer wall with no obstructions with the antenna facing directly toward the transmitters.

Try this: hold a piece of paper, magazine or other flat object directly in front of you with both hands (just the way the antenna would be mounted on the wall). Now, orient yourself so you are facing the transmitters. Answer this question: Can you mount the antenna flat on an outer (indoors, but unobstructed) wall or window oriented the way you are holding the paper? If not, reception will probably not be satisfactory. If so, there’s a chance.

As for me, well I’m an Amazon Prime member and have never had a problem returning items that did not perform as advertised. I would give it a shot.

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Thanks, I also am a prime member and thought about ordering a few different antennas and see what works. I use the RCA Yagi antenna but am only 30 miles away. I have heard the Clearstream antennas are good but if I remember they don’t have VHF on them. I believe our FOX channel uses VHF and that station is a must to see Packer games.

We use a Clearstream 2V mounted on the rake about 12’ above ground facing the transmitters. The coax run is about 50’ to our cable box (we’re in the suburbs), and there are long runs split from there. We have small, inexpensive amplifiers going to each TV to compensate for the occasional pixelation over the two VHF channels we get. The coax in the family room is amped and split for the TV and Tablo, and I believe it may be causing recording problems with one of our nearby, low-powered stations. I’m considering other solutions like going back to cable … NOT!

With edge signal for 2 channels, and all desired channels in the yellow range, I would not consider the chances of consistently good reception very high with almost any antenna.

This is also a block level report, with a first floor apartment you are not likely to have even that level of signal strength.

Your niece is best advised that OTA reception in those circumstances is best considered experimental… For an apartment setup I would really not expect much without another 30dBm of signal to work with.

(It may require a lot more time and energy to get going than what you or her may be willing to invest)

I would expect to need something like this to get usable signal :

We have Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V mounted outside our patio elevated… Rated highly on Amazon and Best Buy… Couldn’t agree more… Although, it says it can be used for Indoors, but I don’t think it is designed for it… Tested it inside and we get most channels but very unstable… Signals fluctuates a lot and that causes pixelation/error no signal at all… Now outside, no more of those at all… Signals been solid green all the time when I scan channels… You just have to make sure it’s pointing to where your local broadcast towers in the area… Couldn’t be happy… Goodluck!

Sounds like we are SOL for an indoor antenna. I guess the only thing we can do is try a few outdoor ones mounted as high up on her patio post as possible.and run the cable through the patio door with the flat coax. I guess if she can’t get reliable signal my other sister will use the Tablo and finally switch over from Dish.

Greetings crm1975 from a neighbor to your east in Sheboygan county. I have a lot of experience with OTA TV reception in our areas. Been installing antennas since I was a teenager. And I’m pretty old now LOL. The good thing is we are both located about 50 miles from Green Bay to our north and Milwaukee to the south. Ideal reception for me. We currently receive 54 channels. You likely would have a 3rd location to point to that being Madison.

I have experimented with 3 different antennas recently all mounted outside on the roof. My current setup is 2 of the Televes DAT790 LR mix antennas. Performance with them is excellent. Years ago I tried using Clearstream 4 antennas. Just for fun I tried them from inside my ranch home before mounting on the roof. That worked terrible. I think I received only 4 out of the possible 54 channels. I also tried and used 2 of HDB8X for several years.

In order of good to better to best it was Clearstream 4, HDB8X then Televes. The first 2 were close in performance (and respectable performance at that) but the Televes outperformed both of them by a lot. Also the Televes is great for VHF. Channel 11 (FOX) from Green Bay and Channel 10 from Milwaukee are VHF. The other FOX channel 6 from Milwaukee is UHF. Which direction does her patio face? If south you likely have 2 choices, Milwaukee and Madison.

Good luck with your installation. And I agree with other advice about indoor antenna mounting. Likely will not work very well. Outdoors and the higher the better is best for our area.

Thanks @SophieCat, How high is your antenna mounted? I assume this one is mounted outside and is directional right?

My niece hasn’t actually moved in yet but I believe her patio faces East and her Garage North. I guess it is more of a Condo type apartment. So I was thinking I could either put a less conspicuous antenna on her patio post mounted as high as possible (maybe only 7-8 feet high) or maybe put a bigger antenna in her garage mounted from the ceiling.

I wonder how that Televes LR would do inside with that setup. I just ordered 3 different antennas from Amazon to try but I will definitely look into this one. Thanks for the advice. Any other info you have is appreciated.

Thanks to all for the replies so far

My antennas are mounted on a 10 foot mast on a 5 foot or so tripod on the attached garage roof. The south aiming antenna is about 20’ off the ground and the north about 23’. Yes they are directional for sure. I aimed them precisely with a compass considering a -4 degree magnetic declination.

I just looked at a topographical map and wonder if you will receive any Milwaukee channels. Antennaweb shows none. Some very high land altitudes just to your southeast. And the Milwaukee towers are nearer lake Michigan at a lower altitude than all of Fond du lac. Green Bay looks much more viable. Those towers look to be on the edge of the Niagara escarpment at a much higher altitude. Not sure about your chances with Madison as it seems her patio and garage are on the sides favoring Green Bay.

You won’t know til you try. Will be interesting to hear about your results. I do have 2 barely used Clearstream 4 antennas collecting dust in my garage attic. They will not pick up Fox channel 11 from Green Bay however for the Packers. Sounds like a true Wisconsinite deal breaker LOL.

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Thanks, I looked more at the Televes antenna you recommended and it is a monster huh? The specs I saw are about 7 feet long huh? Since she is only renting the place she won’t be able to that big of an antenna up but thanks for the suggestion. It may help someone else on the fringe in the future.

And ya, No VHF for Packer games is a deal Breaker, however, someone closer could pair it with a VHF antenna to get them all.

Also where did you look to get the topical info to see the hills in between FDL and Green Bay? Any other tips for when I try to set these up? Friday is the day I will be trying them out.

I wonder how well others get OTA in Fond du lac. Looking at this map it looks like you are in a bit of a hole. Mounting height is your best friend for sure.

Yes the Televes antenna is really meant for roof top or other higher mounting methods. However it would work in an attic if you have the room. I would call it a baby monster compared to others I have used for analog reception many years ago. My biggest was one of Radio Shack’s best at over 13 feet long. Was very difficult to walk one of those up a ladder. Funny they don’t look that big once they are up on the roof.

I did a google search to check the elevations. Fond Du Lac is at 790 and Green Bay is at 581. Does that help by GRB being 200 feet lower than Fondy? I know the towers are located on that big hill there but I would think that would put them close to the same height.

I think altitudes of the towers and your altitude should work in your favor. Green Bay definitely looks like your best bet.

That 581 foot elevation is likely measured near the bay of Green Bay at water level. The towers look like they are in an area much higher than that.

Another good resource…