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Cable television is the first choice for many, but it is far from the only means by which someone might tune in to their favorite channel. There are many regions too far from a tower for cable, and many may find cable prohibitively expensive.
It is only natural that viewers have found a cheaper method that is more reliable in remote areas. Over the air viewing works at great distances and is often free or at least much cheaper than cable.
This approach brings with it its own set of challenges, even if they are technical instead of financial. Broadcast television relies on antenna reception, a medium that can weaken with distance from the tower. For this purpose, many sources now supply signal boosters to be added to antennas or televisions to sharpen images as well as boost the sound that accompanies each broadcast.
As there are several different types of broadcasts, there are a number of different boosters on the market. A quality one will boost audio and video to a significant degree, without unwanted interference and under a reliable warranty.
We’ve assembled a list of the five best choices to help you pick the right one.
Table of Contents
|2. Channel Master CM3414
|4. Winegard LNA-100
|5. RCA TVPRAMP1Z
Our Best TV Antenna Signal Booster Reviews and Comparisons
This amplifier works through obstacles such as buildings, hills, or telephone towers.
- Parts guaranteed up to 90 days
- Works on high definition televisions
- Less than four decibels background noise
- 47 to 862 megahertz
What We Like About 1byone
This single-piece model installs almost instantly and immediately begins to boost shoddy reception.
What We Don’t Like About 1byone
This model has no exterior settings and cannot be adjusted for specific cases.
- Easy to install
- Universal system bus connector
- Low background noise
- Amplifies signals for a range of 15 miles
- Few external controls
- Is not weatherproofed
2. Channel Master CM3414
A professional model capable of boosting up to four separate televisions at once.
- 7.5 decibels audio gain
- 54 to 1,004 megahertz
- 12 volts direct current at 300 milliamps
- Meets broadcast standards in several countries
What We Like About Channel Master CM3414
This device is recognized and trusted in many countries for its performance and reliability.
What We Don’t Like About Channel Master CM3414
The quadruple ports and multiple power options can make installation confusing.
- Four output ports
- International approval
- Multiple power sources
- Accessories included
- Money-back warranty
- Somewhat more costly than others
- Relatively difficult to install
This model is a simple and impressively powerful amplifier with an uncommonly low price tag.
- 15 decibel audio gain
- 3,200% image quality increase
- Accepts all cable and broadcast channels
- Works with regular and high definition channels
What We Like About PCT
This model is highly versatile and boosts a greater variety of signal types than normal.
What We Don’t Like About PCT
This product is not compatible with satellite televisions.
- Powerful boost
- Multiple input formats accepted
- Effective against snow and tiling
- F-connector power supply
- Compact design
- Incompatible with satellite televisions sets
- Does not ship with all required parts
4. Winegard LNA-100
A small but serviceable booster packed with all the necessary adapters and a solid warranty.
- One decibel background noise
- 20 decibel output gain
- 110 volt USB adapter
- Warranty on part and function up to a year
What We Like About Winegard LNA-100
This booster has negligible background noise and comes with a USB adapter to broaden your installation choices.
What We Don’t Like About Winegard LNA-100
Audio output varies significantly during operation, and may drop after some time.
- Extremely minimal background noise
- USB adapter
- Simple to install
- Extensive warranty
- Accessories included
- Not compatible with all power supplies
- Audio output can be unreliable
5. RCA TVPRAMP1Z
This model is designed to withstand the rigors of being mounted on an outdoor antenna for extended periods of time.
- Frequency modulation trap reduces unwanted interference
- One AAA battery required
- Weatherproofed casing for outdoor placement
- Up to 22 decibels audio boost.
What We Like About RCA TVPRAMP1Z
This model features a casing that can stand extreme heat or cold and all manner of weather that a permanent outdoor fixture entails.
What We Don’t Like About RCA TVPRAMP1Z
There are few ancillary measures and only a single cable port, making a separate unit necessary for each individual television.
- Year-long manufacturer warranty with return policy
- Good audio boost
- Easy installation
- Casing rated for all seasons
- Independent power supply
- Somewhat more expensive than others
- Only supports one screen
Using a signal booster can bring with it a world of potential upsides, clearer viewing at no added cost, more channels available, and more. All of this with a single addition to your antenna instead of a bigger receiver array or moving closer to the nearest station.
That said, there are things you can be aware of to make sure you are getting the most out of your booster. Even a small investment can go a long way with the proper planning.
Perhaps the most important thing would be to check the distance to your local station. Some boosters will require a minimum range to be effective so if the tower is within that range a booster is unnecessary.
No less important is selecting a unit that is compatible with the antenna or home power supply. As an electronic component, the booster can be ineffective or even damaged if it is incompatible with the current in the home.