Find out how far a TV antenna can reach so that you can avoid falling for scams that claim a longer reach than possible.
If you have been tasked with shopping for a TV antenna before, then you have most probably come across their ratings, usually in miles. These distance ratings are based on the type of antenna you have.
For example, outdoor antennas have a shorter reach compared to indoor antennas. While the antenna technology keeps improving, you’ll still have to mount an outdoor antenna for better signal reception, especially over long distances.
What is the range of TV transmission from a TV antenna?
Standard TV antennas are typically designed to reach a range of around 30 and 100 miles. But practically, the farthest your TV antenna can reach is between 65 and 75 miles due to the curvature of the earth.
The range of signal reception is down to the use a single frequency to transmit radio signals.
Noteworthy, obstacles such as distance or physical barriers such as trees or hills can limit the antenna’s ability to transmit signals.
How far a digital antenna will work depends on your antenna type.
There are two different types of TV antennas: indoor and outdoor antennas. The indoor ones are usually attached to the TV or close to it, while the outdoor ones are what you see placed on roofs or high points in buildings
How far can an outdoor antenna reach?
Outdoor TV antennas have been designed to pick up signals from about 1000 feet to 100 miles away.
In urban areas, getting a strong signal over long distances may be harder due to all the buildings and obstacles in the way. That is even if you boost the antenna.
For this reason, this kind of TV antenna works well for people in rural areas, where most homes are more than a mile or two away from each other.
The distance an outdoor antenna can reach is dependent on several factors:
- Distance between your home and the nearest broadcast tower. If you are too far away from it, your antenna might have a harder time transmitting signals to your TV.
- Strength of the signal being transmitted by the tower. The stronger it is, the better your antenna will transfer the signal.
- A clear line of sight of the broadcast tower. If there are obstacles in the way, your signal will be interrupted.
A good option for urban areas is an omnidirectional TV antenna, which, unlike regular antennas, uses multiple frequencies to transmit signals.
This means that even if there is an obstacle between your antenna and transmitter, it will still be able to pick up signals from another transmitter in a different direction.
A good example of an omnidirectional TV antenna is the Channel Master Omni+.
How far can a long-range indoor antenna work?
The distance your long-range indoor TV antenna is able to cover depends on the specifics of your setup.
From the brand you are using, your location, and the cable you are using and its length.
A typical long-range indoor antenna can transmit signals over 50 miles, which is pretty impressive for an indoor antenna.
Consider the 1byone Amplified digital antenna if you are shopping for one. Its actual range is about 50 miles.
An added advantage of long-range indoor TV antennas is that they are relatively affordable and among the easiest to install.
Apart from making sure that it is a long-range TV antenna and not just a regular indoor one, your placement is also a huge factor when setting up your antenna.
Place the antenna at a high point in your home, preferably facing the direction of the transmitter, especially if it is a directional antenna.
What type of antenna works best in rural areas?
If you live in a rural area, a long-range indoor TV antenna is not your best option.
This is because, in most rural areas, there aren’t many stations that broadcast their signals, so it might be a little bit more difficult for you to pick up strong enough channels.
They work best for people who live in large cities and urban areas surrounded by many tall buildings. This is because they are mostly omnidirectional, meaning they will pick up signals from multiple directions at a go.
You need to find a long-range TV antenna for rural areas which has the ability to pick up channels from a long distance.
I recommend the 91XG Unidirectional Long-Range Antenna from Antennas Direct.
Is there a 1000-mile TV antenna?
As much as many manufacturers advertise long-range antennas with ranges of up to 1000 miles, it is scientifically impossible to achieve such distance with a TV antenna, whether indoor or outdoor.
This is because of geographical obstacles such as buildings, trees, hills, and the natural curvature of the earth.
TV signal moves as far as the horizon. In simpler terms, the farthest your eyes can see is the farthest the TV signal will go without any interruption.
Even the antennas with the highest ratings in the market do not stretch that far out.
Do long-range TV antennas really work?
The short answer to this is yes; they do work. Long-range antennas are specifically designed to bring in more signals from greater distances than regular antennas.
This means you will be able to receive more channels and better video quality without installing additional cable or satellite boxes.
With this type of antenna, however, you might have a hard time with the installation.
You have to take time to find a spot where the signal is strong enough to make up for the long distance the signals have to travel between your antenna and television.
The exact distance a long-range antenna can reach depends on the brand and your location. But in general, you can expect an additional 20 miles of coverage.
Another benefit of these long-range antennas is their compactness. They are compact and lightweight, making the installation process much easier.