Bizatch said: NEVER buy a non-amplified TV antenna. Depends where you live. For me, the amplified versions actually don't work as well as non-amplified. In all reality, I've had the best luck with rabbit ear antennas.
TV antennas are a world unto their own. There is so much more disinformation out there. There are no HD or Digital antennas. They are ALL antennas regardless of what the signal is. Back in yesteryear the marketing BS was color antennas, as if there was a difference. Same thing today. There is a good reason the old rabbit ears are still in use. The design works. Omni directional may not be something you want, ie receiving poorly in all directions. There is just so much more I could add.
Amplified vs non-amplified is really a case by case thing. Amps are good if you have long cable runs. Remember an amp doesn't have magical properties. It simply amplifies the signal your antenna receives. If that signal is full of noise you just get more noise. Sometimes they can help with faint signals, sometimes not. If the signal is strong you can overload your tuner using an amp. Again, everyone's situation WILL be different.
If you're in the market for an antenna and don't want to fill up a closet with a bunch that don't work for your situation there are a couple of things I recommend;
Go to tvfool.com and generate a signal analysis report for your address. This should help you get an idea of what you're shooting for. In my case there are no stations I'm interested in that broadcast on VHF. This means that I can concentrate on a high gain UHF antenna and not even bother with VHF specs.
Next I would check out the thread on avs forums - indoor antenna shootout. There's a lot to read but you can weed out some brands and models right off the bat.
Of course you can also check out the DIY antenna also on that site if you're feeling adventurous. I have a 4 bay bowtie that I've used for years with pretty good results. Didn't cost me a cent since I had the parts lying around. I also have a $15 RCA loop and rabbit ears set that I picked up at best buy and it does adequate job while being easier on the eyes than my DIY job.
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