Best TV Antenna for Rural Areas: With Installation Guide

If you are residing in a rural area, then receiving TV channels via antenna might be difficult for you. While choosing the best TV antenna for rural areas, you need to consider some crucial factors. This includes the distance between the antenna and tower and the obstacles nearby the antenna.

These two major factors will affect the signal strength of the receiving signals and the short wavelength UHF channels as they are interrupted by obstacles. That’s why a long-range antenna mounted high up on the roof is needed while installing the antenna.

Some antennas come with a 4G filter that can eliminate 4g cellular signals interrupting the TV signals. The outdoor antennas should be corrosion resistant as they will suffer from extreme weather conditions. Many users may need to use the splitter with the antenna because they have multiple TVs in the house. You can further use a distribution amplifier or a preamplifier along with a splitter. 

Our Recommendation: Channel Master EXTREMEtenna CM-4228HD

This is one of the best TV antenna for rural areas because it has a long-range of 80 miles. It has a strong build, high gain, and a built-in amplifier. The antenna is built to withstand poor weather outside and the price is also reasonable.

How Does an Outdoor TV Antenna Work?

If you want to cut the cord and watch free channels on your TV, you need a TV antenna.  Different channels like FOX, NBC, ABC, etc, generate signals over the air (OTA). The purpose of a TV antenna is to receive those signals and change the signal into sound and picture, and finally display them on TV. Buying this device for a single time, you can watch these channels for free.

Best TV Antenna for Rural Areas

If you live in a rural area, then this part is quite important for you. Stay tuned for more amazing Antenna for rural area use.

Best Directional TV Antenna: Winegard HD8200U Platinum VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna

This Winegard antenna is a directional antenna that will focus on one specific direction that can show better performance while minimizing interference.

Key Features:

  • Type: Directional
  • Range: 65 miles
  • Reception type: VHF, UHF
  • No. of channels: 73
  • 75-ohm downlead coupler
  • 4k ultra-high def signal
  • Dimension: 168.25” x 110”x33”

Performance:

It can receive both VHF (Very High Frequency) with channels 2-13 in the frequency range 54-216 MHz and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) with channels 14-36 in the frequency range 470-608 MHz.

The Winegard gives you access to free apps like Local Channel & HDTV Tower Finder Web App or HDTV Tower Finder Mobile App. With this, you can get free channels available in a specific area. You can pair the Winegard antenna with a streaming service where you can save money by paying only for the apps you need like HuluPlus or Netflix.

Build Quality:

This directional antenna has a very strong build designed to withstand severe weather conditions. The steel hardware is zinc-plated that prevents corrosion and the flexible polyethylene boot saves it from bad weather. The downlead coupler has a weather-proof cartridge. The antenna is built in such a way that it will minimize wind load.

Installation

The first step is to determine the place of installation. Here you need to measure how long is your antenna and multiply it by 2. It is suggested to place the antenna 5 to 10 ft. above the rooftop and place it on one corner rather than the middle of the roof.

To mount the antenna on the roof you can use any one of the following ways.

Tripod Mount

These are good if you have a peaked and flat rooftop. You can install the antenna 10 ft from the roof. Securely adjust the tripod mount and guy wires. To make sure the holes are protected, you should use a roofing compound on the side of the base of the brackets.

Telescopic Mast

The diameter of the mast should be 1-1/4. Make sure the Guy wires are at equal distance from each other in three different directions. For every 10-foot of the mast, you should use three guy wires.

Chimney Mount

If you have a chimney, then you can use this. Place the antenna 10-ft above the chimney. Make sure the chimney has a strong build that can hold the antenna against a strong wind. The chimney mount should have a 5 or 10 1-1/4” diameter along with a 2 strap clamp-type bracket.

Pipe and Foot Mount

With Pipe and Foot Mount, you can install the antenna on roof pitches or sides. These mounts are made from galvanized steel and power. They may also be made from e-coated that acts as protection. They are also corrosion-resistant. 

Best Long-Range TV Antenna: Channel Master EXTREMEtenna CM-4228HD

This powerful antenna can receive good-quality HDTV digital antenna and UHF signals. It can support full HD 1080p resolution. It is easy to install and the 8-bay antenna has a gain of 12dB.

Key Features:

  • Bandwidth: 174 to 216 and 470 to 700 MHz
  • VHF Gain, UHF Gain:5dB, 12dB
  • Front to Back Ratio:18dB
  • Impedance: 75 Ohm
  • Dimension: 41 x 33 x 5 in
  • Multi-directional (180 degrees)
  • Range: 80 miles
  • CEA Color Code: Yellow, Green, Light Green, Red, Blue, Violet

Performance

The Channel Master antenna can be considered one of the best TV antenna for rural areas because it is multi-directional with a range of 80 miles.

So if you are far away from the tower, it is best for you and the antenna can receive signals from the tower within a range of 180-degree. However, even after moving the antenna to receive signals, if you are unsuccessful, then you can buy another CM-4228HD and combine them. 

This antenna doesn’t come with a built-in amplifier so you can buy a preamplifier if the cable length is more than 50 ft.  you can install it on the rooftop, eave, or wall. Based on its range, it can be considered as one of the best long range outdoor TV antenna for rural areas.

Build Quality 

To make it weatherproof, the antenna uses corrosion-resistant aluminium and UV-resistant plastic. The coaxial cable connector has rubber boots that are good for the outdoors. The antenna has a 75 Ohm PC balun built-in into it.

Installation

To install the antenna, follow these procedures:

  • Go to www.antennaweb.org. to find out towers
  • Fold-out the right and left part of the antenna
  • The front part should be parallel to the reflector grid
  • Then tighten the 8 wing nuts
  • Then mount the antenna to the mast.
  • Complete the wiring process
  • The front side of the antenna should face towards the tower.

To receive the best signal, make sure there isn’t any source like AC, oven, hair-dryer near the antenna which may cause interference. These appliances may hamper the quality of the signal or may result in loss of signal. Although designed for outdoors, if you use it indoors, place it beside a window or on the side of the house which is closest to the tower.

And finally, install the antenna as high as possible so that it is within the line-of-sight with the tower and obstacles like trees or buildings aren’t causing an interruption.

However, you can have a blast experience with this TV Antenna, if you have a 4k Tv with Upscaling capacity.

Best Large TV Antenna: Antennas Direct Clearstream 4Max TV Antenna C4MVJ

If you are in the quest of finding a large antenna, then this is the right place for you! This antenna doesn’t have a built-in amplifier. It is a large and multi-directional antenna that you can use for outdoor purposes.

Key Features

  • Multidirectional
  • Receives UHF and VHF signal
  • Comes with 20” mast
  • Supports full HD 1080
  • Range of 70 miles
  • Comes with weatherproof material
  • Gain: UHF 11 dBi / VHF 2.5 dBi
  • Dimension: 17.25″ L x 31.5″ W x 4.13″ D

Performance

It can receive 29 channels to 44 channels. The 8-shapes are for receiving UHF signals whereas the dipole or the tube at the back is for VHF signals.

It comes with a decent range of 70 miles so the distance between the tower and your house is less than 70 miles you can easily use it. Some real-life tests show it is best for 55-60 miles.  It is best for areas with strong or medium strength signals. This antenna is futureproofed as it is 4k-ready.

It has a 45-degree wide beam angle. You can use it for both indoor and outdoor use. You will receive a lifetime warranty for the parts of the antenna. It has an Antenna Point app with which you can view the number of transmitting towers in your location and how far they are from your place.

If you are looking for the best TV antenna for rural areas 2020, then you can check the Five Star [Newest 2020] Outdoor HDTV Antenna.

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Build Quality

The Antennas Direct Clearstream antenna has a strong build. Although it doesn’t have coaxial cable included, it comes with sealing pads that prevent rain. It can withstand bad weather, wind, or sunny conditions.

Installation

To begin with, you need to buy a coaxial cable according to your required length. Along with that, you need a #2 Philips screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and a power drill with a 3/16” drill bit with 8 and 10mm ratcheting drivers. With flexible options, you can install it on a pole. 

  • Insert the short tubes into the holes of the antenna
  • Allow the J-mast to stand vertically
  • Place the mast in position and secure it with screws
  • Then install the antenna on the mast
  • The front face of the antenna should be facing the towers. 
  • Locate a place on the roof where there isn’t any obstacle nearby

Best Affordable TV Antenna: RCA Outdoor Yagi Satellite HD Antenna ANT751E

This cheap yet powerful Yagi outdoor antenna is one of the best outdoor antenna for rural areas due to its range and receiving capability.

Key Features

  • Range: 70 miles
  • Supports 4K, 8K and 1080
  • Receives UHF and VHF
  • Dimension: 6.7H x 4.6W x 36D 
  • Up to 43 channels

Performance

Depending on your area you may receive 29, 43, or up to more than 130 channels. You can get popular channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, CW, etc. 

With a range of up to 70 miles, it will show very good performance if you use it in rural areas.  These are unidirectional antenna so for best results, rotate the antenna so that it faces the tower directly. It can receive very low signal strength and remove all noise by filtering.

It is easy to install and although it is built for outdoor purposes, you can install them in attics. You can pair it with other streaming devices like Roku or Apple TV. The RCA Signal Finder app will help you with the installation process. This product doesn’t come with coax cable so according to your desired length, you need to buy it separately.

If you want to install in the attic, then, one of the best attic TV antenna for rural areas is the Antennas Direct 4-Element Bowtie TV Antenna, 60 Miles Range. 

Read: Enjoy this antenna with the best TV from Vizio or LG

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Build Quality

The Yagi antenna has a decent build quality. it is made of aluminium and stainless steel that protects it from extreme weather conditions and makes them long-lasting. The parts of the antenna are said to have superior quality so that they can withstand bad weather outdoor. 

Installation 

The installation is easy and straightforward. For installation, you need the following devices: Antenna rear section, front section, VHF element, mounting pipe and foot, and hardware bag. You also need to buy coax cable.

  • Take the rear side of the antenna and make sure they are parallel to each other
  • Take the front side and lock them into places as shown:
  • Attach the front and rear side
  • Take the U-bolt and attach it to the mast
  • Use the coaxial cable to attach with the transformer
  • Combine the mounting pipe with the foot
  • Place the foot on your desired location
  • Then make sure the pipe is vertically upright
  • Finally, complete the setup by placing the antenna on the mast

Difficulties Faced While Placing Antenna in Rural Areas:

Distance 

The distance between the outdoor antennae and the base station is one of the most important factors. For a distance of less than 20miles, an indoor antenna will work. But for rural areas with a distance of more than 35 miles, a powerful outdoor directional antenna will be good. 

The distance will affect the number of channels and the quality. You should be at a maximum distance of 65 miles from the tower but not more than that. To determine the nearest Over-The-Air station near you, you can check this link. Here you need to input your area code or you can also select the location. 

Obstacles 
  • trees, hills, or valleys
  • tall buildings
  • building materials (metal) 
  • power lines
  • cell towers
  • inclement weather

If you live in a rural area, chances are that you are surrounded by one of the obstacles listed above. While trees are good, an obstacle will hamper the signal strength and line-of-sight between the antenna and the tower. 

To receive a signal without any interference, the antenna should be within the line-of-sight of the tower. So, you should install the antenna where the line-of-sight is clear and you should adjust the mounting height of it.  

Factors to Consider:

Let’s see some of the facts that you should take into account while buying the best TV antenna in your rural areas.

Types of antenna 

  • directional 

Directional antennae come with a 45 to the 90-degree radius. It minimizes interference and multipath and is best to use in rural areas. Directional antennas will be the best over the air antenna for rural areas.

  • omnidirectional 

This type of antennae radiates and receives RF energy from a 360-degree direction. It is easy to install and is best for moving cars.

  • Range

This factor is discussed above. While choosing the best TV antenna for rural areas, you can choose antennas with a range of 100 miles. Although antennas in the market with a range of more than 70 miles are expected only to be true under ideal circumstances. 

Read: 2 BEST TVs From Vizio

  • Cable length

This is the distance between the TV and the antenna. After a certain distance, there will be some loss. So the distance and the type of the cable affects the strength of the signal. The following shows signal loss per 100 ft.

  • Channel 2 (approx. 60 MHz) …………… 1.5 dB/100’
  • Channel 13 (approx. 216 MHz).………… 3.0 dB/100’
  • Channel 24 (approx. 536 MHz) ………. 4.5 dB/100’
  • Channel 51 (approx. 698 MHz).…..……5.6 dB/100’

You should buy an RG6 coaxial cable as it has thicker insulation and better shielding compared to an RG59 cable. You should use a splitter to ‘split’ your signal if you want it to go for more than 1 TV. To improve the quality of the signal you can use a distribution amplifier or pre-amplifier.  

  • Booster

Consider a situation in a rural area, where you received a mediocre signal and on top of that you want to split one signal to use it for 3 or 4 devices, in this case, a booster acts as a life-savior. Using either a distribution amplifier or pre-amplifier or a combination of both can increase the strength of a signal. 

If the signal is strong at the point of splitting, then you should use a distribution amplifier such as, Channel Master Ultra Mini 4 TV Antenna Amplifier. If the incoming signal is weak, then you need an antenna preamplifier like the Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT HDTV Preamplifier, TV Antenna Amplifier.

  • Mounting height

Since it is expected that your house is surrounded by either trees, buildings, or any other obstacles, it is recommended that you increase the height of the antenna so that it is in line-of-sight with the tower. Ideally, the higher you can mount the antenna, the better it is. For best results, it is suggested to install the antenna 30 to 40 ft above the ‘finished grade’ of the building. 

Other factors:

  • Frequency: TV broadcasts consists of VHF and UHF frequency. Although most antennas support both, you must still look into the specs of the antenna you will buy for this feature. If you want more channels, the antenna should support both. 
  • Reception:  the antenna must have a very good reception. Although you may install it in the attic, it is best if you install it high on the roof.
  • Channels: Comparing to metro areas, you will get access to less no. of channels in rural areas. If you are looking for a specific channel, go to the TV fool website and find out the list of channels currently available in your location. 
  • Durability: the antenna must have corrosion-resistant material like aluminium, steel, etc. it should also have protection against rain and UV.
  • Price: usually, outdoor antennas are quite cheap. You will find some exceeding $100 but they show good performance as well. 

Best indoor antenna:

If you are looking for the best indoor antenna, then this might the perfect place for you. We’ve compiled some of the best antennae for your indoor usage.

Best affordable: GE Amplified HD TV Antenna 

This indoor antenna has a range of 55+ miles and has a very thin design that you can place on top of TV or table. You can also mount it on the wall. You can watch all the popular channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, etc. it supports UHF, VHF, 1080, and 4k. 

It comes with an amplifier and you should check the channels with and without the amplifier. It has a very easy setup process.

Best mid-range: ANTOP Outdoor / Indoor Digital Smartpass Amplifier HDTV Antenna AT-400B 

You can use this antenna for both indoor and outdoor use. With a sleek design and a range of 80 miles, it is one of the best indoor TV antenna for rural areas. It is multi-directional and can receive both UHF and VHF.

It has a multi-way installation procedure which means you can place it beside the TV, in an attic, or on the rooftop. The antenna has sturdy built and comes with Anti-UV & waterproof material. The ABS plastic saves the parts from severe weather.

Best powerful: Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse

This antenna comes with a long coax cable of 12 ft. with sticky pads, you can attach it to the wall and remove it whenever you want. It can receive UHF and VHF signals from within 35 miles.  You can include a 20dB amplifier for further reach.

The sticker-like installation makes it attractive and may also act as an interior design. it is multi-directional and 4k-ready which makes it futureproof.

Best Alternatives:

Well, if you are not into those antennas, still we have some other antenna alternative that might grab your attention for a while. Let’s see what’s new here!

Best overall: 1byOne 720°Omni-Directional Reception TV Antenna

If you are looking for the best omnidirectional outdoor TV antenna for rural areas with long-range, then you can choose the 1byOne antenna. It can rotate 720-degree so can receive signal easily. It has a very long range of 150 miles. 

 This antenna has a built-in amplifier and can cancel out any interference using the filter. It also comes with a high-quality RG6U coax cable.

Best outdoor TV antenna: Channel Master Directional TV Antenna

This antenna comes with an amplifier with a long-range of 100 miles that makes it ideal for rural areas. It can receive low VHF, high VHF, UHF, and FM frequencies. It supports ATSC 3.0 and 4K broadcast. 

With a gain of 8.6 dB (VHF), 9.5 dB (UHF), you can use it to receive 2 to 69 channels. Although it is very easy to install, you need to buy the coax cable and mast separately.

Best powerful: 8 Element Bowtie TV antenna

This antenna has a long-range of 70 miles. It can catch all the major channels and support Full HD 1080. You can watch 14-69 channels as per your location.  A gain of 17.4 dBi makes it one of the best antenna for TV in rural areas.

It has a reflector that helps to minimize multipath interference. It is easy-to-install, is weather-resistant and is made of galvanized steel.

Parting words:

If you are a cord cutter, then an HDTV antenna will be your life savior. Some of the best TV antennas for rural areas are Channel Master and Winegard. Most outdoor antennas come with protection against sun, rain, and snow. Among others, a directional antenna is preferable for rural areas that will focus on a specific direction. 

As suggested, you should place the antenna 30-40 ft above ground. You can choose your chimney or mast to install your antenna with the help of an additional mast which you need to buy separately. Most outdoor TV antennas have a very easy installation process but if you think it is hard for you, you should seek professional help.

In this article on the best TV antenna for rural areas, we have also discussed some indoor antennas as well as some alternatives to outdoor antennas. While placing an indoor antenna, choose a location near the window. Since in rural areas, it is difficult to get reception, it is recommended to install outdoor antennas instead of indoors.

FAQ

Well, before saying goodbye, just here for you with some of the solutions to the most asked questions all over the internet. let’s hop right into it to find out more!

How to protect Winegard antenna from lighting?

Answer: follow these steps to save the Winegard antenna from lighting:

  • Use the lightning arrestor or 75ohm coax grounding block
  • Mount it near the 75-ohm coax downlead 
  • The mast and downlead should have ground wires made of Cu or Al.
  • It should be number 8 or more
  • Distance between antenna downlead wire to lighting arrestor and mast ground wire should be 4 to 6ft.

What is a signal booster?

Answer: TV signal booster is also known as TV signal amplifier that boosts the weak signal. The weak signal could be due to distance or simply having a weak reception from the broadcasting tower.  If you buy a TV signal booster kit, you will get a TV antenna and a signal booster. There are different types of signal booster:

  • Masthead TV booster
  • Indoor TV antenna booster
  • TV distribution booster

Which cable and connector should I use?

Answer: It is best to use RG6 cable and RG6 connector because it can minimize signal loss due to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), etc. you can connect the coax cable in three ways: screw-on, crimp, and compression. Compression is the best way as it minimizes noise and protects your signal from poor weather.

You can use:

Why the TV isn’t showing any channels once connected to the antenna?

Answer: after setting up the TV antenna as instructed, if the TV isn’t scanning the number of channels, then it might be because of one of the reasons:

  • Any obstacle nearby (tree, building, etc.) blocking line-of-sight
  • The length of the cable is too long
  • Distance is too long between tower and antenna
  • Bad digital tuner

To overcome these problems:

  • Mount the antenna high enough to avoid obstacles
  • For cable length more than 100ft, use the preamplifier
  • Locate the nearest broadcast tower, within 70 miles
  • Change the tuner

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