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Best TV antennas for cord-cutters, starting at just $10

Looking to cut your TV bill all the way down to free? We tested six antennas to find out which one works best.

BY and JOSHUA GOLDMAN

Even though it’s been with us for 90 years, over-the-air (OTA) TV seems like a well-kept secret: you can watch some of the best TV shows, sports and specials for free with a decent signal, without paying a cable company or streaming subscription. Well, it’s almost free. You’ll need a TV and a very important piece of equipment: a TV antenna. They’ve come a long way since the rabbit ears of yesteryear.

An OTA antenna feed is great for those events you want to watch live — the NFL footballthe Oscars, the evening news and more. Depending on where you live, you can watch anything on the following stations: ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC, as well as PBS and other channels like The CW and My TV. (Editors’ note: CNET is a division of CBS.) While a roof-mounted antenna or outdoor HDTV antenna would do the job, your TV already has a built-in tuner, and adding an indoor antenna costs less than $20 shipped.

The downside is that in some places, the TV signal of some channels is spotty or nonexistent due to proximity to broadcast towers or obstructions that break up the signal. Unlike a live TV streaming service, OTA TV is restricted to a single TV and the signal won’t work on phones or other devices. Unless, of course, you kick it up a notch with an OTA DVR.

We tested six different indoor antennas with prices ranging from $10 to $90. The best were able to pull in more channels than the others and delivered stronger, more crystal clear TV signals, even better TV signals on “problem” channels. We tested in two different locations: urban Manhattan and suburban New Jersey. Here are the six TV antennas we looked at:

We also tested the highly-rated U Must Have Amplified High Definition Digital TV Antenna but it appears to have been discontinued and we have removed it from our recommendations.

Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

The best TV antenna we tested

Best overall: Channel Master Flatenna 35/Duo ($10 + $7.50 shipping)

  • Detachable coaxial cable? Yes
  • Number of channels: 50 in Manhattan, 61 in New Jersey
  • Number of watchable channels: 9 out of 13 checked, both locations

The Flatenna 35 has been upgraded with a removable antenna since our original test two years ago. It seems that signal performance has also improved — it is now the best of our seven models at pulling in channels, beating our previous recommendation, the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse.

And yes, the best tv antenna is just $10 (plus $7.50 shipping) from Channel Master’s website or on Amazon. It’s called either the Flatenna 35 or Duo depending on where you buy it from. Best reception and cheapest price? We have a winner.

Read rest of article with more detailed information of other tested antennas here – https://www.cnet.com/news/the-best-tv-antennas-for-cord-cutters-in-2019/