Beyond a specific antenna - presuming it’s a decent and adequate one - is placement and alignment! An antenna in a room? is defiantly not ideal nor going to provide the best experience even you have a Super-Duper-Premium-Best-Ever Antenna.
Just for starts, here’s a search of Tablo articles about “antenna” Some selected results:
…and a whole bunch more.
True, but there are trade-offs. Me, I’ve always had an antenna with a brief experience from satellite. Some, as you note, just don’t want to bother with what they don’t know.
I had a very large yagi style antenna mounted on a 35’ tower next to my house for 30 years and it worked very well. I had two problems with it. During severe weather the limbs of a nearby tree would sometimes hit the back side of the antenna. This would cause the antenna to rotate a little thus no longer being pointed directly at the antenna towers I was attempting to receive and eventually broke off multiple pieces of the antenna.
When I replaced the old antenna, I purchased an Antop AT-400BV antenna. It brought in just as many channels and is so much smaller and far enough from the tree that it hasn’t been damaged during severe weather.
You know, the /r/cordcutters reddit bans the word “antop”… because of how much self-serving abuse/spam they received. You can’t even discuss their antenna there. It’s the Voldemort name. Just a strange trivia factoid.
I do recall, here I believe, someone pointed out on their product page - it’s obvious they superimposed a pic of their antenna one a balcony rail. Seemed very lame for a supposedly good product.
Nevertheless, here many or several actual users have “good” things to say. Again, I have no experience nor actual knowledge. I still have my 30yr old antenna. It’s not necessarily large enough to get blow around but, yea, it looks antiquey.
The most important factor in choosing an antenna is the size of the antenna. The further a person lives from the towers, the larger the elements need to be to receive the channels (larger elements have higher gain). If there are a lot of obstructions (buildings, hills, trees, etc), larger antennas will also benefit the installation.
About 90% of America lives within a 40 mile radius of the broadcasting towers. Typically a smaller antenna like the Antop Big Boy or Antennas Direct ClearStream series antennas work well in the attic or rooftop for these installations.
From the 40-70 mile range (70 miles is the average maximum distance you can reliably receive stations due to the curvature of the earth), the larger “yagi” style antennas work the best.
If you are lucky enough to live within 20 miles of the broadcast towers, and there are no obstructions between your home & the towers (line of sight - you should be able to see them), just about any antenna will work (VHF may require VHF elements, but usually any antenna will do).
That being said, if you live 70+ miles from the towers or have a lot of obstructions, especially hills/mountains, and you want reliable reception, satellite, cable or streaming via the internet are the best options.
Wineguard generally has the best yagi style antennas. Avoid anything that is made with mostly plastic, they don’t hold up to weather well. Too bad Radio Shack went under - they used to have great antennas - now all the sell online is junk…
Doing very well here with a Clearstream 2MAX antenna indoors, attic height in a two-story house. We get all the network affiliate TV stations, which was our objective…2 PBS stations, and CW and ION, as well as all the traditional ones: ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Plus a lot more, but I don’t really go for the local independents at this point. Tablo scan shows all these stations with the green five-dot signal strength. Great for DVR’ing on a schedule.
You can use the rabbitears.info web site, their “signal check” tool, to see what TV stations are available in your locale, as well as their signal strength, orientation, etc. Very useful information to find out what sort of antenna you need, and where to point it.
In my area we need an indoor antenna for the long term because of occasional very strong winds off the ocean. If you drive around a bit here, you see that the antennas that are mounted outdoors are generally bent up, in various stages of destroyed. The ones that aren’t destroyed yet haven’t been out long :-). Luckily our local stations are close and strong enough to be able to use an indoor antenna, if you choose well and pay attention to orientation.
I do have to move my antenna every couple of years or so, because of new buildings and tree growth I assume. So far I’ve been able to re-position the antenna successfully. And keep all those heart warming fully green dots.
I have 2 long range mix Televes antennas on my roof. One aimed south the other north. I’m 45-50 miles away from the towers in both directions. They perform excellent until atmospheric conditions and leaves on the plethora of trees start their annoying games in the summer. There are a few problematic channels that work great during the leafless colder months but summer can be hit or miss with them. I get 71 channels with 36 in the Tablo guide.
There is no such thing as the best antenna. There is the best antenna for your situation. The Antop is just an okay antenna for certain situations. You have to do a www.rabbitears.info report to look at how far and what locations your towers are. I will tell you, you do not want an Antop if the towers are 50 or more miles away. You will get only a small number of channels. If you have towers 20-30 miles away in multiple locations around you, an Antop will work better. To maximize antenna reception, outdoors and high up make a huge difference.
My example, I live 10-20 miles from my broadcast towers in flat Florida. Years ago I started with a very good quality indoor antenna. I got about 50 stations. My towers are located 360 degrees around my house. I then installed an Antop on the roof and my channel count went up to about 80 channels. I wanted a couple channels I wasn’t getting that were probably to far for the Antop to pick up. I installed a Televes and it picked up the further towers and added another 20 channels. The takeaway is because I get over 100 channels on my scan, doesn’t mean it’s the best antenna. It’s the best antenna for my situation.
My point is do a rabbit ears report and that will dictate the best antenna for your situation. It can be a little overwhelming making a decision and it requires a fair bit of knowledge. I would recommend joining the OTA digital TV antennas, streaming devices and FTA satellites Facebook group. There are many installers and antenna professionals in the group who will look at your rabbit ears report and make the best recommendation for you.