6 Best TV Aerials 2020 | The Sun UK
WE'VE come a long way from the awkward, sprawling TV antennas of old – today’s best TV aerials combine style and function for an affordable price.
If you’re looking to get decent signal in rooms without fixed aerials, or watch TV on the road, we’ve selected the best TV aerials around.
What is the difference between TV aerials?
When we talk about antenna gain, this is a formula used to determine how effective the antenna is at picking up signals, and is displayed in decibels; typically, the higher the better.
Range is how far your antenna can be from the nearest transmitting aerial before it drops signal.
Although there is often an optimum range within the maximum where the aerial will pick up the best signal.
Based on customer reviews, these have been selected to cover a range of budgets, sizes and needs.
Should I get an aerial or is Freeview enough?
Virtually every new TV today comes with a Freeview tuner, an internal antenna that will allow viewers to get a wide range of channels without need for a subscription or additional devices.
Despite a 98.5% Freeview coverage in the UK, however, there are people struggling to get a good signal in certain areas, and that issue can only be solved through an additional aerial.
Rooftop aerials still get the best TV signals, but you may not want or be able to install one in your house, and that's where indoor aerials come to your aid.
Do smart TVs need aerials?
Smart TVs are great to watch online TV channels and to check out your latest social media videos.
However, TV is ultimately a legacy medium, and as such, some channels are still not available online.
Because of this, if you want to get the most out of your smart TV, you'll still want a good aerial to pair it with.
You won't get the same range of channels and shows just using the apps you can access with a WiFi connection.
For instance, The Great British Bake Off wasn't available to watch live on All 4 in 2019.
Plus, from a practical standpoint, it's much less hassle to use your TVs channel browser than having to open up four or five different apps to find something you want to watch.
What are the main types of TV aerials?
In order to get the best possible TV signals you'll want to position your aerial in such a way for its angle to be polarised to match the local transmitter that's beaming the TV signal you're trying to get.
Some aerials have omnidirectional antennas, and in that case you won't need to worry about polarisation.
In terms of types of indoor aerials, there are three main ones.
The "log periodic" aerials are the ones that most resemble traditional outdoor aerials. Most of them have a fan-shaped panel and can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally.
"Rod" aerials, on the other hand, are mostly omnidirectional. Also known as "monopole" aerials, these devices look like car radio antennas.
Finally, the "loop" aerials – another type of omnidirectional aerials – are built in such a way that loops and antennas on the device are folded into a panel, making this type of aerials very useful for space-saving purposes.
1. RGTech Monarch
- RGTech Monarch, £24.90 from Amazon – buy here
Invented by former NASA scientist Dr Argy Petros, the RGTech Monarch 50 is a paper-thin, multi-directional antenna that has an impressive range of 50 miles.
It receives the full spectrum of TV and radio signals, meaning 4K and 1080p content is clear and noise-free.
It also comes with a staggering 15ft, double-coated cable meaning this antenna can help you get signal in all corners of your home, and even your garden, car or anywhere you want to watch TV.
It additionally comes with a filter that stops mobile phone interference messing with the signal.
Available in black, or with a transparent design, the RGTech Monarch is one of the cheaper models in this list yet offers the most bang for your buck.
2. One For All SV9465 Loop
- One For All SV9465 Loop, £41 from Argos – buy here
With a reception range of up to 15 miles and a signal gain of 48dB (thanks to a built-in amplifier), the One for All SV9465 Loop aerial offers great features for a decent price.
It’s HD-ready and can support content resolutions up to 4K.
In order to maintain a good signal, and prevent dips, One For All uses a number of boosting and stabilisation technologies including Signal Clear and Automatic Gain Control.
The former, along with an Active Noise Filter, helps to keep the signal clear from interference, while the latter is constantly checking the gain levels and adjusting where necessary.
An added bonus is a filter that blocks 3G and 4G LTE signals from messing with the reception.
It weighs just 21g and comes with a tiltable antenna to help you get the best possible position.
3. One For All SV9430 Curved Amplified Indoor TV Aerial
- One For All SV9430 Curved Amplified Indoor TV Aerial, £30.99 from Argos – buy here
If the slightly space-age look of the One For All SV9465 isn’t to your liking, its curved cousin, the One For All SV9430 might suit.
It offers almost identical features as the 9465 – full HD support, an up to 15-mile range, a 3G/4G LTE filter and a slightly lower 45dB gain – but is more discreet and will likely suit your home’s general aesthetic better.
It’s marginally cheaper because it doesn’t have the Automatic Gain Control and you miss out on the tilting mechanism so you’re paying a slightly lower amount for more style but less substance.
4. 1byone 0.5 mm Paper Thin TV Aerial
- 1byone 0.5 mm Paper Thin TV Aerial, £11.99 from Amazon – buy here
Offering something a little different at a lower price point, the HD-ready, 0.5 mm Paper Thin TV Aerial Amplified Indoor TV antenna from 1byone is transparent and can be stuck to a window to boost range and signal strength.
In case your windows aren’t by your TV, it comes with a long cable and is easy to set up; just plug it in and scan for channels.
The range goes up to 35 miles, thanks to the fact that being stuck to a window should mean it doesn’t have walls obstructing the waves, and average gain is around 28dB.
You could even lay it flat on a window sill, or table/desk if you don’t want it on your window.
If you don’t like the clear version, 1byone also sells it in black for the same price. The black model is the number one best-selling aerial on Amazon, too (at the time of writing).
5. August DTA240
- August DTA240, £11.95 from Amazon – buy here
Another of Amazon’s best sellers, the August DTA240 is even more discreet than 1byone’s model and has the added benefit of being able to be used outdoors.
Small enough to carry in a handbag, this antenna is ideal for both Freeview and DAB broadcasting.
Its magnetic base means it can be easily fixed to the side or roof of cars, caravans and even boats, while its long cable helps you run the antenna a greater distance, increasing your chances of finding the best signal.
Gain averages at around 3 dB but given its small size, and the fact you’ll likely only use this as a secondary antenna, this isn’t too bad for the price and convenience.
6. SLx Pro Flat Amplified Indoor Aerial
- SLX Pro Flat Amplified Indoor Aerial, £22.99 from Amazon – buy here
Offering a similar design to One For All’s curved model, the SLx Pro Flat Amplified Indoor Aerial has been designed in collaboration with experts at Loughborough University.
Its detachable stand means it can be placed upright, or you can lay it flat.
A built-in amplifier gives a gain of 20dB and its range reaches up to 20 miles.
It additionally comes with a similar 3G/4G filter as the One For All models.
If you’d prefer the loop functionality of One For All’s SV9465, SLx additionally sells an antenna designed around a globe, so it blends better into your home.
This slightly quirky aerial has the same features as the Pro Flat with the added ability to adjust the loop element to boost reception.
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