Flat, plastic HDTV antennas are something of a commodity these days. But while these antennas may generally look similar, the sensitivity of these rectangular models can vary widely. The $19.99 AmazonBasics 35-mile-range Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna, for example, falls somewhere around the median for receptivity, with some more-expensive models offering nearly twice the performance.
Design: Two color options
To accommodate different aesthetics, the flat, 11.6 by 10.5-inch AmazonBasics antenna is white on one side and black on the other. You can use included pushpins to tack it inconspicuously to a white living room wall, or you can use the supplied adhesive stickers to attach the antenna to a window.
Although the antenna is not amplified, the 10-foot coaxial cable is detachable. So, should you require a longer line — or if Fido or Spot chews through it — you can easily replace it.
|Rated Range||35 miles|
|Cable Length||10 feet|
|Size||11.6 x 10.5 inches|
The flat antenna comes with the usual pushpins (for sticking it to a plaster or wood wall), as well as stickers that can be used for a window installation. To find out what stations are available in your area, check Antenna Web.
Finding the right position for your indoor antenna might take some trial and error, but it will make a real difference in how well the AmazonBasics picks up your local channels. For more advice, see our guide to getting the best reception with your antenna.
Performance: Just about average
We tested the AmazonBasics antenna using the digital tuner of a Samsung KS9000 4K TV, positioning it in our standard New York City location in order to accurately compare its performance to previously reviewed antennas.
An initial channel scan using the AmazonBasics antenna listed 43 stations in 1080i and 720p. However, a careful review of each channel revealed that only 31 of those stations were consistently watchable. Those included local network affiliates, such as NBC and Fox, as well as PBS and local community-access channels that some antennas have trouble picking up. There were also several Spanish-language channels, including Azteca and Aliento.
An initial channel scan using the AmazonBasics antenna listed 43 stations, and 31 of those were consistently watchable.
Unfortunately, the AmazonBasics could not bring in the local ABC affiliate (which has proven troublesome for some other Amazon models as well). And some channels in the middle of the dial, such as Escape, failed to come in clearly.
It's not uncommon for antennas we've evaluated to pull in over 60 stations in our urban test area. Our Editor's Choice, Mohu ReLeaf, for example, tuned in 62 channels and costs just $35, a modest price increase for significantly better performance. Furthermore, if you're on a strict budget, there's the Mohu Leaf Metro, which performed as well as the AmazonBasics model (tuning in 31 stations) but is cheaper and half the size.