DON’T BE FOOLED: Antenna scams are everywhere

How can you tell if a scammer is trying to sell you an antenna that won’t work? Let’s start by asking, did you even know there were antenna scams? They’re everywhere, but you’ll find them right up front in three places: drugstores/99-cent stores, Amazon, and late-night TV. Now, I’m not going to tell you to avoid those places. You wouldn’t listen anyway. But they might not be the best places to find antennas. If you are going to shop there, get the facts first.

How can I spot a scam?

Well, start with the web site of the company that’s selling it. Good antenna designs don’t come from nowhere, and a discount-store look to the company web site tells you that they’re picking up something from an overseas manufacturer without doing any testing.

Does the site have any sort of tech support number? Do they have support forums? Antennas are just as much of an art as a science so a good tech support department is critical to deciding which antenna to buy, and from where.

In the last ten years, we’ve started to see new brands in the US like Antop and Televes. These are good, honest companies whose web sites show themselves very well. We at Solid Signal trust them enough to offer them on our web site.

Do they make promises that sound too good to be true?

You should take a look at the company’s claims. Do they promise 100-mile range? That’s just not possible without a massive array. Do they claim massive gain from an antenna that doesn’t need to be plugged in? Just isn’t going to happen. Do they claim to be using miracle materials? Most antennas are made of aluminum because it doesn’t oxidize and it’s almost as good as gold when it comes to conducting electricity. The only material better for antennas is gold, and you won’t find a whole lot of that in an antenna that sells for $19.99 in a two-pack.

Really, just use common sense here. Sure, the world is full of technological marvels. But an antenna the size of a cell phone isn’t going to get TV reception from 125 miles away. That doesn’t even sound right when you think about it. Antenna technology is always growing and changing, but it’s not likely that you’ll see miracles anytime soon.

With an antenna, just like anything else, choose a quality product from a name you trust. Who wants to go back up on the roof in a month to try to fix problems that shouldn’t have happened in the first place? That’s why we recommend Televes antennas, available exclusively at Solid Signal. They’re built out of laminated aluminum and have advanced features that work, as opposed to the miracle claims of some of the other companies. Best of all, they’re backed by Solid Signal’s tech support, which you can find here by going to our Facebook group, by calling 877.312.4547, or by live-chatting during business hours. We stand by our products and we’re here to help you make them work. Let’s hear the infomercial guys say that.

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.