The Best Cheap TV Antennas of 2019

Many indoor TV antennas are a rip-off.

Some of the ones that appear on "As Seen on TV" infomercials for $50 or more can be purchased wholesale for as little as $1.25 on AliExpress. Oof.

A decent omnidirectional VHF/UHF antenna can be had for $20 or less. If you have specific channels that you want to receive, I suggest using AntennaWeb's coverage map to see which type of antenna is best for you. People who are sandwiched between mountains or skyscrapers will probably need a different antenna than those who live in open plains.

If you discover that you live in an area with strong coverage, it may be best to avoid an antenna with a built-in amplifier. Amplifying a signal that's already good can make it worse, not better.

Be prepared: even the best indoor TV antennas are frustrating. A channel that looks great today may be pixelated tomorrow because of weather or interference. Consumer Reports has a good guide on how to get better reception, but it’s an art as much as it is science.

Here are the best-reviewed indoor TV antennas that have sold on Amazon for $20 or less in the past year:

Good Price: $17 | Great Deal: $13

The Mohu Leaf is a small, attractive TV antenna, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers had to reposition their antenna to find the "sweet spot;” some say the wall-mount Velcro isn't very strong.

Good Price: $20 | Great Deal: $10

Several Amazon customers are happy with the amount of channels this 1byone antenna receives. The antenna only works well in certain places and positions (and can be an eyesore as a result), according to some reviewers. A few customers got better reception after disconnecting the amplifier.

Good Price: $17 | Great Deal: $8

This small antenna is easily hidden and works well for its size, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers say this antenna's extra-long cord is convenient for finding a good placement; some say they couldn't get decent reception mo matter where they moved the antenna.

John DeFeo