What is the real TV Antenna range and other facts

As more individuals seek to escape escalating cable costs, over-the-air TV Antenna’s and streaming services are gaining popularity.  But if you’ve been searching for an over-the-air TV antenna, you will find there is a lot of misleading information out there.

Have you noticed that a lot of sellers claim their Antenna can receive broadcast signals up to 150 or 200 miles away. Recently, many antenna sellers have been advertising misleading claims that state such things as: “200-mile range”,  “Pay-TV stations”. 

These claims are just not true. In this article, we are going to debunk those myths. We will give you the true facts on what the real TV Antenna range is. 


Antenna Range

First let’s set the record straight, TV antennas can not tune in to channels hundreds of miles away no matter what they say. Most indoor antennas can receive over-the-air broadcast stations from about 30-45 miles away. The average outdoor antennas typically can receive reception up to 70-100 miles away.  

Lets use some math to calculate the real value of LOS - Line of Sight:

H1 - height of the broadcasting Tower - about 2000ft ( Tallest structures in the USA )
H2 - height of your antenna - for 2 stories building about  20ft
R - radius of earth R= 3,958.8ml
LOS = 55 + 5 = 60ml

The radio horizon/service range - is slightly further than LOS .This is due to refractive effect of the Earth's atmosphere, which causes RF signals to propagate in a slightly curved line over long distances, pushing out the effective horizon distance.

Service Range will be about 70ml in our example

It's important to note, reception requires clear unblocked line-of-sight between the antenna and the broadcast tower.  This means no mountains, skyscrapers, or other terrain obstructions blocking the reception can be in the way. Also, with the curvature of the earth, it can block most over-the-air broadcast signal at about the 70-mile range even in the most ideal conditions.

Channels You Will Receive

Back in the old days of antennas there were only a handful of stations available. Today, that’s no longer the case. In fact, in most areas of the United States you can receive upwards of 50+ over-the-air broadcast channels depending on where you live. 

These channels are local stations like NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, and FOX. They are in Full HD 1080p with 5.1 surround sound and are free to watch.

What you won’t receive is basic cable channels such as; HGTV, Bravo, Nickelodeon, Discovery, History Channel, etc. or any of the expanded cable subscription channels like Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, Starz and so on.  

With all the new streaming options available, you have the ability to expand your broadcast TV content with purchased packages that include pay-TV subscriptions, sports channels, cable channels and more just from one streaming platform.

 Tip:  Remember to perform channel scans periodically, every few months. This could enhance the clarity of your existing channels and possibly introduce new ones that weren't previously available.

4K Broadcast

As of today, over-the-air television stations do not broadcast in 4K signal but that doesn’t stop the antenna sellers from claiming they do.  4K-Ready Antenna means that when 4K broadcast becomes available for over-the-air , the antenna will be able to receive it. For now, 4K quality picture is available through devices such as the Blu-Ray® and certain streaming services.

Tip:  We are suggesting to buy 4K-Ready TV antenna to make sure you can still use it in the future.

Now that you have the true facts on what a real TV Antenna Range is, purchasing one should be a lot easier. At SatMaximum, we have several different types of indoor and outdoor over-the-air TV Antennas available to suit your needs. Feel free to check them out.