How far from the towers can you be and still use an indoor antenna?

Folks, it seems like prices on everything are going up. Traditional pay-TV companies generally have price increases in the first quarter of the year and this year they’ve been pretty mild. Still, it may have convinced you to opt out of local channels on pay TV and go to using an antenna instead. With a lot of broadcast content available on streaming apps the next day, it’s a smart way to know you’ll get the live TV you want.

However, not everyone looks forward to climbing up on a roof to mount an outdoor antenna. Not everyone lives where that’s an option. That’s why one of the most common questions we get is, “can I use a small indoor antenna and still get my stations?”

It’s such a common question that I thought it would be a good subject for an article.

Indoor vs. outdoor antennas: the basics​

All TV antennas are really basically the same. They’re pieces of metal that are shaped and sized so they can receive certain frequencies. Indoor antennas tend to be smaller and therefore not as good at receiving TV frequencies. Of course, indoor antennas are also generally not weatherproof, because you’re using them inside.

When using any antenna indoors, it will only work about half as well anyway. That signal has to travel through the walls of your house before it gets to the antenna. Because most people have energy efficient windows that block radiation of all types, antenna signals actually pass through walls more easily than they pass through windows!

It’s worth pointing out that a lot of antennas use amplifiers to make the most of the small amount of signal they get. Sometimes this does help, and sometimes it doesn’t. It depends on the overall quality of the signal you’re receiving, and that’s hard to tell without a dedicated signal meter like this one.

When you look at the smaller size of indoor antennas and the fact that they don’t get enough signal, you end up seeing why they just don’t work as well as outdoor ones.

The answer is…​

The answer is, it really depends. If you have a relatively clear line of sight to a local broadcast tower, an indoor antenna can easily work 25 miles away. But that’s not always the case. Often you’ll find that a small antenna will work “pretty well” with picture that just goes in and out sometimes. If that’s ok with you, you’ll be amazed how far away you can be and still get “some” reception.

But, that doesn’t work for most folks. When you ask for a recommendation from Solid Signal on an antenna for your area, we’re going to recommend one that we think will work all the time. That usually means we recommend an outdoor antenna. But if you want to try an indoor antenna, it may work for you. I think the best one on the market is this Televes Bexia. It’s more expensive than most indoor antennas, because it’s very well built. That makes a difference when you’re trying to make the most out of the small amount of signal you have.

Another option: A small outdoor antenna​


Another option would be to use a small outdoor antenna like this Televes DiNova Boss Mix. It’s about 14″ by 14″ which is bigger than most indoor antennas. But, it’s a lot more sensitive. If you can see your way clear to using it indoors, it might be a better bet for people more than 15 miles from the city center. It’s also going to let you mount it outdoors at some point in the future if that’s what you’re looking to do.

If you want more information about antennas, call the experts! The folks at Solid Signal are here to work with you during East Coast business hours. The number is 888-233-7563. If it’s after hours, no problem! Fill out the form below. We’ll get right back to you!

The post How far from the towers can you be and still use an indoor antenna? appeared first on The Solid Signal Blog.

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