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Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex
A powerful TV antenna with flexible installation options
The Flex pulled in an above-average number of channels in every location we tried it, and it’s one of the few flat antennas that let you use whatever cable you want.
No matter where (or in what city) we hung it, the Antennas Direct ClearStream Flex always ranked among the best in pulling in the most TV channels. Its flat design makes it easy to hang on a wall, and it’s reversible, with black and white sides (it’s also paintable). The antenna comes with a detachable amplifier that can draw power from your TV’s USB port, as well as a long, detachable cable, which is convenient if you want to replace it with a cable of a different color or length. The only downside is that the ClearStream Flex is a little larger than average for a flat antenna.
For easier, quicker setup
The ANT3ME antenna incorporates a signal-level meter that lets you quickly find the best antenna position, but it doesn’t match our top pick in installation flexibility.
The amplifier of the RCA ANT3ME has a built-in signal-level meter that provides a near-instantaneous readout of the signal strength. This feature allows you to quickly find the optimum position for the antenna, a process that could take more than an hour if you instead use the TV’s internal channel-scanning process to evaluate different positions. When we positioned the ANT3ME without using the meter, it received fewer channels than our top pick and was only average in performance—but when we fine-tuned its position with the meter, it became a top performer. The ANT3ME is reasonably sized, with reversible black and white sides, and it typically costs a bit less than our top pick. But the cable is not detachable, and the amplifier requires an AC outlet rather than USB power.
Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro
For finding hard-to-receive stations
The Flatwave Amped Pro’s Bluetooth-connected, app-driven signal meter allows you to get the absolute best reception and the highest possible number of channels.
The Winegard Flatwave Amped Pro is truly a “smart” antenna, with a built-in signal meter that you control through a mobile app and a Bluetooth connection. As you move the antenna around a room, every six seconds it gives you an update on the number of channels you can receive. In every location we tried, using the app to position the antenna helped the Flatwave Amped Pro rank either first or second in the number of channels received. The amp is USB-powered, the antenna is reversible with black and white sides, and you get a generous amount of cable. However, the cable isn’t detachable, and the Flatwave Amped Pro is usually about twice the price of typical amplified flat antennas.
1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna
Good performance at a low price
The 1byone flat antenna pulls in almost as many channels as our top pick does, but it’s not reversible so it doesn’t blend in as easily with some decor.
The 1byone Digital Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna has been our budget pick in this guide for a few years running. It performs almost as well as our top pick; if you’re within about 15 miles of the broadcast antennas, you might not miss any channels with this one. It has an inline amplifier, includes a fairly generous amount of cable, and is relatively compact. The only downsides are that the cable is not detachable and the antenna is not reversible or paintable, so your only color option is black.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Indoor HDTV Antenna