There’s nothing worse than not being able to get the channels you want on Freeview, or being able to kind of see them, but with poor colour and sound quality.
It all comes down to your aerial, and many people go for a cheap one based on the assumption that all aerials are created equal.
We’re here to tell you that they’re definitely not.
I’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor TV aerials for viewing Freeview in the UK, and have also provided a quick guide to some important factors to consider before you purchase.
Where you live matters
Where you are located in relation to the nearest transmitter is what determines which type of TV aerial you need.
For this reason, read this first before you go on to consider the type of aerial that is suitable for you.
We all know that it doesn’t matter how nice your equipment is, if you live too far from a transmitter then there will be poor reception. But what about when the signal isn’t great in good weather? I recommend buying an outdoor aerial with high gain because they are versatile and can still provide clear signals even on days where rain or clouds might interfere.
The most common type of antenna is a yagi-type which has the main boom and several straight rods across it. The more elements or rods an aerial has, the stronger its gain will be.
If you live in an area with a clear line of sight to the transmitter and there are no mountains or other obstacles between your home and a transmission tower, a 10-18 element outdoor aerial will usually work.
If you live far from a transmitter or there are obstacles in between, consider using a high gain aerial and masthead amplifier/signal booster.
The Freeview website has a handy tool that will let you know where is your nearest transmitter. This helpful tool can tell professionals whether or not they receive good reception for the channels they watch most frequently and what type of aerial might help them do so even better. If you get green scores, then any kind of antenna we recommend below should suit your needs just fine!
Our Best Outdoor TV Aerial For Freeview Reception in the UK
The Tri Boom HD comes out on top for numerous reasons: it’s reliable, is versatile in terms of where it can be positioned, and it provides a great quality picture. It’s also extremely easy to set up.
Simply connect the aerial to your TV (with a built-in Freeview tuner) or a stand-alone Freeview tuner to pick up all available channels.
It provides all possible digital TV signals, including 4K Ultra HD digital Freeview TV signals and BT TV and has been specially designed for the reception of UHF signals.
Its main selling point is that it has forward gain, which is ideal if you live in a rural area and usually struggle to pick up TV channels.
It also has a built-in LTE/4G filter to avoid interference and channel loss caused by signals from 4G mobile phone transmitters, meaning you don’t have to worry about your TV cutting out mid football game due to another household member using 4G.
Another great aspect of this aerial is its weather resistance: it’s built with strong and durable anti-rust elements and is also waterproof.
- Reliable signal – picks up all available channels
- 4K Ultra-HD digital Freeview TV
- Forward gain for better signal in fringe areas
- Built-in LTE/4G filter
- Connections are not pre-attached and the F cable can be difficult to attach
The SLx DigiDome has thousands of great reviews, and it’s easy to see why. It eliminates the need for bulky outdoor antennas with this innovative, compact design that is easy to install and won’t clutter your rooftop or loft space.
The DigiDome provides omnidirectional technology to pick up as many TV signals as possible with its 360° reception which is capable of receiving VHF and UHF frequencies and all HD Freeview channels.
The built-in 4G filter reduces interference and channel loss caused by mobile phone signals and this nifty aerial also has an A++ energy efficiency class so you’ll save money on your electricity bill. It also has an anti-UV coating and waterproof design making it durable whatever the weather – come rain or shine.
In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get your aerial installed and set up quickly, including a 10m coax cable, cable clips, wall bracket and fixings and an amplifier as well as a handy user’s guide.
- Compact design doesn’t clutter rooftops
- 360°omni-directional signal
- Built-in 4G filter to reduce signal loss
- Weather-resistant and waterproof
- AA++ energy efficiency rating
- Quick and easy to install, with everything you need included
- Despite the lightweight design, it’s not easily portable due to the installation requirements
SLx are industry leaders when it comes to AV accessories, and their products come with a 12-month warranty for extra peace of mind. The 48 Element aerial is perfect for picking up locally available digital TV signals even in areas that usually struggle to pick these up, including loft or outdoor positions.
It has an integrated 4G filter to protect against interference and channel loss from 4G phone signals, and with your purchase, you get everything you need to get your aerial up and running easily and quickly. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a high-performing aerial with an affordable price tag.
- Ideal for outdoors and loft, even in fringe locations
- 4G filter for less interference
- Set-up is quick and easy with clear instructions
- Affordable price
- Lightweight construction feels slightly flimsy
If you’re looking for a versatile, highly portable aerial that is installed in seconds, look no further. The Chaowei TV aerial will pick up Freeview channels with ease and display them in uncompressed HD.
The omnidirectional signal means you can pick up signals from all directions, while the 60-mile signal range is ideal for fringe areas.
This aerial is a little different to your average TV aerial, and it’s small, compact and lightweight, making it perfect for portable TVs, USB DTV tuners and set-top boxes. The lightweight design means it can be easily carried in your bag without taking up much room.
The aerial’s magnetic base means it can be connected to metal objects for better reception quality, and set-up is quick and easy as the product is made up of just two parts, the base and the aerial itself, which simply need to be screwed together and placed in the desired location.
- Omni-directional 60-mile signal range
- Small and lightweight design makes this aerial portable
- Magnetic base for easy placement
- Set-up is quick and easy
- Ideal for use in caravans or rented homes
- Relatively durable, but not suitable for very strong weather conditions
If you’re on a budget, the August DTA240 provides great value for money. This is a lightweight, portable aerial which has been optimized for digital reception.
With a standard coaxial connection, it can be used with almost any portable or living room TV set and will work equally well for caravans, boats or even cars.
The magnetic base enables you to connect it to large metal objects to enhance reception quality, and with a built-in Smart IC Chip and Crystal Clear Filter Technology, this smart TV antenna is able to pick up signals within the 90-150 mile range effortlessly.
- Lightweight, portable design
- Magnetic base to easily connect the aerial to metal objects
- Excellent value for money
- Can be used at home, or in boats, cars, or caravans
- 90-150 mile range with clear filter technology
- It may not be durable in harsh weather conditions
What to consider when buying a Freeview aerial
The key to a clearer picture with less interference is to install an aerial with a 4G filter. Surprisingly, aerials are designed to pick up the very signals that interfere with them – mobile phones – as mobile communications use the same frequencies as Digital TV.
An aerial with a built-in filter will reduce interference and will provide you with a clearer picture and sound quality. This may cost a little more, but it’s worth the investment.
If you live somewhere with an inconsistent climate, where strong winds and heavy rains aren’t too rare, it’s definitely worth investing in a durable TV aerial with anti-rust, waterproof coatings and possibly UV protection if the sun poses an issue.
Spending a little more on these properties will save you money in the long run, as cheap aerials can be torn apart pretty quickly in adverse weather conditions.
Signal quality vs. price range
Different TV aerials suit different locations and needs. Unfortunately, if you live in a remote or “fringe area” you will have to spend a little more to get better results.
Don’t expect a cheap TV aerial to do the trick if you live far away from a transmitter. If you live in an inaccessible area, you’ll definitely want to look out for an aerial with a broad signal range.
However, the closer you are to a transmitter, the cheaper you can go. If you’re focused on getting HD channels, it’s best to invest in a quality aerial as these will pick up HD channels better than cheaper ones.
Portability and size
While traditionally TV aerials were bulky with large antennas, some of the aerials available on the market today are far more compact.
If you’re using your aerial in different locations and need something portable, look for one with a lightweight, compact design that can be easily slipped in your bag.
You’ll also want to ensure this can be set up with minimal hassle if you’re going to be installing it in different locations.
These work particularly well in caravans, boats or cars, but if you go for a cheaper model don’t expect it to work amazingly well, particularly if you’re in a remote location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an outdoor aerial for Freeview?
While some indoor aerials may pick up Freeview, such as those designed to be portable or positioned in the loft, ultimately, roof aerials will provide the best quality signal and picture.
You’ll need to ensure your aerial is in good condition and that it’s pointing in the right direction towards a transmitter, which is why omnidirectional aerials are beneficial.