Best HD Antenna
At Firetvguide.com, we are often surprised at how few people realize that HD antennas are even an option.
Most people know about other cord-cutting options, like internet TV boxes, Kodi, Netflix, etc…
But are you aware that there are totally free, 100% legal network TV streams broadcasting through your home RIGHT NOW?
It’s true! Major networks, local channels, sports, anything broadcast by whatever towers are nearby are fair game to pick up on your TV. For a small investment, you can watch these channels at no cost, forever, in HD quality that is actually BETTER than traditional cable!
All you need to tune into these broadcasts is an HD antenna! Read on for our full guide to these beauties.
What Can I Do with an HD Antenna for Fire Stick or Fire TV?
Ok, so now you’re probably asking “what is the best tv antenna?” Well, as you will see, that all depends on your situation and what you are looking for.
First, let’s look at what the best HD antennas actually do, and what the differences are between them.
Which channels are available on an antenna?
This is a big question. After all, there’s no point in shelling out cash if you can’t find any channels you’re interested in.
Here is what you can expect in MOST places from HD antenna channels:
- Major affiliates – NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CW, and PBS almost anywhere in America. The “Big Six” are pretty universal in the US market except in the most remote locations.
- Local sports will be available when the air on network TV. Keep in mind that anything on cable, or anything out of market will not be picked up by an HD antenna, so consider that.
- You can also usually get Spanish-language channels (Univision, Telemundo, etc…) with a TV antenna for local channels.
- Bonus channels. In a lot of areas you will receive channels that feature classic tv and movies.
So what kind of antenna do I need for local channels?
If the exact channels vary from place to place, how can you know what to expect for you HD antenna?
A great place to start is https://www.tvfool.com/. It’s certainly not the prettiest site, but it’s a powerful resource for cord-cutters.
TV Fool lets you:
- Locate TV transmitters to see which ones service your ZIP code
- Choose antennas that would work best for your situation
- Look at coverage maps so you can orient your HD antenna properly to receive all channels
- Optimize your HDTV setup
- Learn about digital TV options
TV Fool is a great way to get an idea of what to expect when you purchase and HD antenna, and can help you make the correct decision.
Should I get an indoor or an outdoor antenna?
Now that you understand what an HD antenna does you need to consider what kind of HD antenna is appropriate. There are two main types: outdoor and indoor.
Best Outdoor HD Antenna
Outdoor HD antennas are mounted outside your house, and usually have longer range, stronger signal, and higher picture quality than indoor HD antennas. They have better line of sight because they don’t have to receive through walls, and can be positioned to clear trees, buildings and other obstructions.
These antennas tend to be better in more rural areas where houses are further from broadcast towers.
However, they do require a little bit more effort to install, often needing screws to be drilled into your house or roof. They also tend to be somewhat more expensive.
Best Indoor HD Antenna
Indoor HD antennas are smaller units that you can place in any room in your house. This type is more suited to
cities where outdoor options aren’t really possible, and you are closer to the towers always, so it doesn’t matter that much.
You will probably have to try a few spots until you find the best place to position it in your house. Usually near a window facing the tower is the sweet spot in most peoples experience.
They don’t have quite the power as their outdoor cousins but are cheaper, and if you are closer to the broadcast station it really shouldn’t matter that much anyways.
Where To Buy An HD Antenna
We think if you are looking for the best HD television antennas, the best source is our friends over at Antennas Direct.
These guys have the best value HD antennas, and have excellent support and customer service. Any cord cutter should check them out!
Best HD TV Antenna For Fire TV with 4k Ultra HD
OK, so now you may be wondering why a website about the Amazon Fire TV is writing about HD antennas. That’s because we think the Amazon Fire TV and HD antennas complement each other very well.
Imagine having a tv antenna for local channels and watching cable or on-demand content with your Fire TV or Firestick. This method is way cheaper and more convenient than relying on cable providers.
Read on to see how it’s done!
Two Ways To Use HD Antenna With Fire TV
Connect Antenna Directly to the TV
This method requires no extra purchases, you simply attach the HD fire tv antenna to your TV set with a coaxial cable. You should now be able to toggle through the TV’s “Sources” and find where the channels are
External Tuner Compatible with Fire TV
What is an external tuner? Basically, it is a middleman between your TV or computer and your video. It’s a perfect way to bridge the gap between online and OTA streaming on your device.
How An External Tuner for Fire TV Works
An external tuner attaches to your antenna through a coaxial cable, which lets it pick up OTA signals. It is also attached to your internet router via ethernet or wi-fi, which allows it to cast those OTA signals to various devices in your house.
Best External Tuners
Fire TV Recast: This is our favorite OTA HD antenna tuner for Firestick and Fire TV users. If you hook this box up to your Fire TV and your HD antenna, you will be able to watch and record cable shows on your TV or phone. Once you have it all set up and receiving transmission from your local tower, you will se a new section titled “DVR” pop up on your Amazon homescreen. This section will allow you to browse available local channels through a menu screen that is very similar to what traditional cable provides.
One of our favorite aspects of this tuner box is that it allows you to record programs and store them on the Recast itself to watch at a later time. This is an excellent companion to the amazon fire tv with 4k ultra hd that could really help many customers cut the cord with their service provider. The main downside to this unit is its price tag. For $230 (or $270 for the model with expanded memory), it’s a bit more expensive, but if you think about it, it will easily pay for itself within a few months if it allows you to ditch cable. Another potential issue is that it is only compatible with Amazon Fire TV products, so may not be the best option if you rely on a Roku or Apple product, for example. You can pick up one of these bad boys here.
Wanna know more? Read our full review of the Amazon Fire TV Recast here!
AirTV Player with Dual-Tuner Adapter: This is an Android streaming box with a focus on Sling TV that can pick up OTA transmissions when you use an adapter (sold separately). This device is clearly aimed at cord-cutters on a budget, priced at $119.99, which is a good bit cheaper than the Recast. Unfortunately, this device only plays content on the device it’s attached to, so you won’t be able to cast the channels to a different room. The dual-tuner adapter WILL, however, allow you to record two OTA channels at once, which is cool. You can pick up an AirTV Player here.
SiliconDust HDHomeRun CONNECT: This is a great option for those looking for the best free hd tv
antenna tuner, but don’t want to limit themselves to only Amazon Fire TV models. The HDHomeRun CONNECT lets you watch all the HD channels that your antenna picked up on your TV with minimal. We managed to get ours up and running in about ten minutes. This convenient box offers two receivers, so you can watch different programming on two different devices, which we thought was cool. It also costs $30 less than the Fire TV Recast
Should I Get An Amplified Antenna? What’s The Difference?
If you are considering what is the best home HD antenna for you, you will also need to think about amplified vs non-amplified. Most cheap HD antennas are “unamplified”, and work totally fine for most
However, if you live in a remote location further from broadcast towers, you may want to get an “amplified” antenna. The best tv antenna amplifier boosts the signal of the incoming transmission,
which can provide a better, clearer connection when the signal is weak.
However, more is not always better. If the incoming signals are decent strength, amplified antennas can push the signal too much, and actually result in the stronger signals “crowding out” the weaker ones. This can ultimately result in less available channels. In our experience, you should choose an un-amplified antenna if you are within decent range of a tower, and an amplified antenna if you are
only getting weak signals for a further away antenna.
How To Connect The HD Antenna To Your TV
No matter which Antenna you choose, they will all connect the same way: Via the coaxial connection on your device. On most televisions, this can be found on the back panel along with other connectors. It can be identified by the fact that it is circular and threaded.
How To Tune Local Channels On Your TV
Once your hd antenna is properly connected to the TV, the process may depend on the exact model of TV you have. However, the menus options are usually pretty similar. You will need to go to the “Settings” section of your TV and select “Antenna” for the channel signal type. Then you will need to let the TV scan for available channels, which will sometimes take several minutes. Sometimes you will need to readjust your antenna position and location to find the optimum spot for reception. See our guide how to tune local channels on HDTV.
How To Connect The HDTV Antenna To Fire TV Recast
Connecting your HD antenna to Fire TV recast is a very simple process.
How To Tune Local Channels On Your Fire TV Recast
See our guide how to tune local channels on fire TV guide in our article best way to set up your fire tv recast for watching and recording live tv (another article based on this
Do you have any HD antenna tv tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments below.