Best Antennas for Cord Cutters
By Tracey Dowdy
Have you pulled the plug and cut the cord? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans have dropped cable, opting instead to catch their favorite programming on streaming services like Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Sling.
According to Variety, “This year, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. — consumers who have ever canceled traditional pay-TV service and do not resubscribe — will climb 32.8%, to 33.0 million adults, according to new estimates from research firm eMarketer. That’s compared with a total of 24.9 million cord-cutters as of the end of 2017, which was up 43.6% year over year (and an upward revision from eMarketer’s previous 22 million estimate).”
Why? Well, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Digital Media Trends survey, roughly 70% of pay-TV subscribers feel they get too little value for their money. If you’re one of those people, these antennas can make the switch so painless you’ll never look back.
Channel Master Flatenna 35/Duo is only $10 (plus $7.50 shipping) from Channel Master‘s website or $19 on Amazon (free shipping for Prime Members). It’s flexible, paper-thin and designed for indoor use so there’s no climbing on the roof or angling to just the right degree to get the best reception. With a range of 35 to 50 miles and the option of displaying either the black or white side, it’s easy to blend into the aesthetic of your home. You’ll have access to live digital TV networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, The CW, Univision, Telemundo and many more.
The Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse flatenna comes with 12ft of high performance detachable coaxial cable, sticky tabs to attach it to your window, and it works with a $20 amplifier if you’re further from towers or surrounded by tall trees or buildings that interfere with the signal.
Amazon has its own “flatenna,” the AmazonBasics Indoor Flat TV Antenna. With a 35-mile range, reversible with black or white sides, and easy indoor installation, it’s very similar to the Channel Master Flatenna, including its removable coax. It’s priced at $21.12 with free shipping for Prime members.
If you’re in the market for an environmentally friendly option, the Mohu ReLeaf is made of recycled materials and 100% renewable electricity and chlorine-free post-consumer colors. Installation and usage instructions are printed directly onto the shipping box to further reduce waste. It has a 30-mile range, is 080 HD | 4K Ultra HD ready, and comes with 10ft of coaxial cable. The downside is that because it’s made of paper, it’s very fragile and tears easily. Also, at $34.99 plus shipping, it’s one of the more expensive options in this feature range.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.