Getting decent reception on your TV when you are in a rural area far from the TV broadcasting towers is difficult. Not just any antenna will do! You need something that delivers a strong signal over a long distance. With this in mind, today we are going to share our 5 best TV antennas for rural areas.
In addition to needing something that works over long distances, you need something that will let you get a signal from various towers and something that will stand up to harsh weather, since outdoor mounting is your best option for rural areas. So, as well as sharing our top picks, we’ll share tips on what to look for when choosing an antenna for a rural area.
Spoiler Alert! Our top choice is the PBD WA-2608 Digital Amplified Outdoor HDTV Antenna, which works well at a range of up to 150 miles.
While the antenna is unidirectional for better signal, its direction is adjustable via remote control, so you can move the antenna to receive different channels. It also comes with a complete kit that contains everything you need to watch right away, and you can send your signal to two TVs without splitting the signal.
Top 5 Rural TV Antennas: Feature Overview
5 Best TV Antennas For Rural Areas
This digital antenna is our favorite because it offers the best of all worlds. It has an impressive 150-mile range, and while it is unidirectional, it comes with a remote control so you can adjust the direction of the antenna for different channels.
- 150-mile range
- Unidirectional with adjustable rotation
- Supports 2 TVs without a splitter
Like all modern antennas, it can deliver 1080p or 4K if the channel is broadcast in that quality, but unlike many alternatives, the kit comes with everything you need including a weather-resistant mounting pole and a 40ft coaxial cable.
The rotational control requires a power source and has a small set-top box to support that. The box also lets you connect the antenna to two TVs without a splitter, giving you better reception on both.
If you are a bit closer to the broadcasting towers and you want a wide range of channels, you will appreciate this multidirectional antenna with a 70 mile range.
- 70 mile range
- Weather-resistant design
It has a wide frequency range and delivers 1080p and 4K at VHF and UHF thanks to signal enhancing reflectors. This antenna is weather-resistant and comes with a durable mounting bracket that can be used outdoors or in the attic.
This is just the antenna, and you will need to buy your coaxial cable and splitters separately if you need them, but the signal strength remains good even when split.
This is another powerful multidirectional antenna that should pick up signals from a variety of broadcast towers without you having to spend time making adjustments.
- 70-mile range
- Weather-resistant design
The signal enhancers mean that you get good reception on most channels, as long as you are within roughly a 70-mile range. It has a wide frequency range and offers 1080p and 4K.
While this antenna is excellent, it is not sold as a kit. You’ll need to get accessories like a coaxial cable and splitters separately.
If you are looking for a super long-range antenna, this Yagi antenna might be for you since it covers up to 200 miles. It is unidirectional, though, and it is also very large to get you that extra range. If you are in a remote area, it is still worth it.
- 200-mile range
- 4TV installation kit
This antenna comes as a complete kit with a mount suitable for the roof or the attic and a 40ft coaxial cable and 4-way splitter to support all your screens.
Some people will consider the large size an eyesore, but it is necessary for the range. Mount it high knowing that it is weather-resistant and also comes with lightning protection, which can be important in some areas.
If you are looking for something reliable at a distance that can link up with various broadcasting towers, this multidirectional antenna with a 150-mile range is a great option.
- 150 mile range
- Remote control to adjust direction
Get 1080p and 4K at distance with this wide frequency antenna. It is sold as multidirectional, but it is in fact a unidirectional antenna with a swiveling base that you can control by remote so you can adjust your direction to get different channels.
It does need a power source, and it comes with a 33ft coaxial cable. The box lets you connect with two TVs without the need for a splitter.
This is a great option if you are dealing with both the challenges of distance and direction.
What To Look For In Antennas For Rural Areas
To get an antenna that is going to work for you, where you are, there are a few things to consider when making your final decision.
If you are in a rural area and are quite far from the broadcast towers, you will almost certainly want an antenna that you will mount on your roof, or at least in your attic. This is necessary to pick up a signal that can be blocked by obstacles in the landscape.
You will also want something durable since you will want to install your antenna outdoors at a good height so it will need to stand up against wind, rain, and other elements.
Need an indoor antenna? Here are our recommendations for the best indoor amplified antennas.
You will also need to choose between a unidirectional or a multidirectional antenna. A unidirectional antenna picks up the signal from one direction only but tends to be able to reach further in that single direction. A multidirectional antenna will pick up a signal from a variety of directions, but tends to have a shorter range. Which is right for you depends on where the TV broadcasting towers are, in relation to where you live.
If you are mostly interested in picking up a few key channels, it is worth researching their frequency to know if they are low or high, and making sure that your antenna is suitable for that frequency. If you want to get as many channels as possible, you will want a wide frequency antenna.
How high should I mount my antenna?
As a general rule, the higher the better when it comes to external antennas. Try to mount it at least 30 feet above the ground. You may need to go higher depending on what obstacles are in the vicinity, such as tall buildings or mountains.
Is it okay to split my signal to multiple TVs?
Splitting your signal across multiple televisions does weaken the signal, but unless the signal is very bad you probably won’t notice the difference while watching. Some TVs now come with set-top boxes that let you send the same signal to two TVs, so you can support multiple TVs without splitting the signal.
How do I know which direction to face my antenna?
You will need to do your research and find out where your local broadcasting towers are to get a good idea of which direction to point your antenna. It is then a matter of experimentation to see where exactly you get the best signal, since this depends on obstacles between you and the tower.
Are all TV antennas weatherproof?
No, not all TV antennas are weatherproof, and rain in particular can do a lot of damage to them in terms of rust and corrosion. There can also be problems with freeze and thaw, and extreme UV rays depending on where you live. This is why many antennas are designed to be attic mounted, to help protect them from the elements, but you can also get antennas that are weather-proof and will stand up better against things like rain and wind.
Are directional antennas better than omnidirectional antennas?
Omnidirectional antennas tend to get a stronger signal, but you need to point them directly at the tower so if there are various distributed towers in your area, you have to either choose one or adjust your antenna regularly. Some will come with a swiveling mount and remote control for this purpose. Multidirectional tend to have a shorter range, but can speak to multiple towers at the same time.
Is there a way to boost my antenna’s signal strength?
Location makes a huge difference when it comes to antenna signals. It is not just about distance but also about obstacles, and just a few inches to the right or the left can make a big difference. It is worth taking time to experiment with the location, but remember to leave it in the new location for at least a few minutes to see how good the signal strength is.
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Living in a rural area doesn’t mean that you should give up on the idea of a decent TV signal. The right antenna can make a big difference. These days there are excellent options on the market that work over long distances, can link with multiple broadcasting towers, and won’t fall apart in the wind and rain.
While all the antennas on our list are excellent, our top recommendation is the PBD WA-2608 Digital Amplified Outdoor HDTV Antenna which works over long distances and can be adjusted to get a signal from various towers. We also like that it comes with everything you need, and you don’t have to worry about tracking down various cables and splitters separately.
Do you have any top tips for getting the best TV signal in rural areas? Share them with the community in the comments section below.