Best Antenna Plan for the Winter: Indoor Now, Outdoor Later

In the last few weeks, most of us have gotten quite a taste of winter weather. Areas that hardly ever see snow have gotten blanketed. Among all the other challenges out there, it’s been hard to know what’s going on outside the door.

Snow brings a lot of problems. Cell towers can lose power. Cables can break. Satellite dishes can be covered with the white stuff. At a time like this, you’ll want a TV antenna. TV antennas bring in free TV in all but the worst weather, and reception is always free. If you have enough power to get your TV to turn on, you can use an antenna. This makes it a good choice if you’re running on a generator.

If you don’t have an antenna, now’s a good time to get one…

TV antennas for free television reception used to be found in every store. Today they’re harder to find… unless you know where to look. SolidSignal.com has the best selection of all the major brands. We also have tons of free tech support and a free recommendation service.

Most people who live in the suburbs will want to consider an outdoor antenna. An outdoor antenna will help you get more channels and have better reception especially on stormy days. There’s only one problem with that plan.

…now’s not a good time to be going up on the roof to install an antenna.

This is, in fact, an extraordinarily bad time to go up on the roof, especially if it’s just snowed. The last thing you want is to slip and fall off the roof. Snow may look soft but let me assure you it won’t break your fall. So, it might be best to put off your plans of installing an outdoor antenna for a while.

This would seem to put new antenna owners in a bit of a pickle. Should you wait until the summer, losing out on the benefits for now? Or should you risk life and limb to put up that antenna? There’s a third choice.

Indoor now, outdoor later

If you live 25-50 miles from the broadcast towers, you can choose a small-to-midsize antenna now, keep it indoors or on a patio, and mount it on the roof later. This is a good short-term solution. It won’t necessarily give you all the benefits of having that antenna up on the roof, but it’s a good start.

There are two antennas I recommend for this purpose. They’re both fairly compact so it won’t seem like they take up the whole living room. Yet, they both receive strong signals from far away.

Televes Dinova Boss Mix

This Televes Dinova Boss Mix is a compact amplified antenna which offers astoundingly good reception in both VHF and UHF. It’s fairly small, clocking in a little larger than a large notebook. You can put it up on a table temporarily and then put it on the roof when you’re ready.

Xtreme Signal HDB4X

Our Xtreme Signal HDB4X is a slim, tall antenna that offers astoundingly good UHF reception without the need for an amplifier. It’s also “pretty good” at VHF, more than you would expect.

The benefit of this antenna for indoor use is that it can hang on a wall with command hooks until you are ready to go outside with it.

What about attic mounting?

If you have an attic, you can mount an antenna in there temporarily as well. However, the kind of reception you get really depends on the roofing material you use. Tiles with a lot of red tend to reflect signals instead of letting them in. That’s due to their high iron content. You can test an antenna in the attic, but if it’s not working for you, you may choose to have the antenna in the living room for the short term instead.

Get even more advice

Looking for information on which antenna to pick? Call the experts at Solid Signal! The number is 877-312-4547 and we’re here during East Coast business hours.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 7,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.