The range of TV antennas seems to increase with every passing year. The last time I checked it was 200 miles.
This year in 2023 we now have 300 mile range antennas 🌟
The number is impressive, but does it make sense? Let’s find out…
To compute the range we use the TV range calculator. This tool uses the Radio Horizon formula.
In general the higher the vertical elevation of the antennas, the longer the range.
To estimate the maximum range, let’s use the height of the tallest TV tower. The KVLY-TV antenna has a height of 628.8 m.
Next let’s use a receiving antenna placed at the same height as the highest skyscraper in the world – 828 meters.
Using these two numbers in the calculator, the maximum range of the antenna is 138 miles. This is less than half the advertised range and that’s for the best signal reception scenario.
If the receiving antenna is placed on the top of a house at 30 feet, the range is further reduced at 72 miles.
What do the users say?
Some users published their reviews on the Amazon product page and have reported ranges in the order of 20 to 55 miles. This makes sense considering the calculations above.
Important to note that the range calculator is optimistic in that it does not account for any obstructions and realistically (unless you are in a desert) there will be buildings, trees and other structures that will impact the range.
In general, a 300 mile range is very optimistic and cannot be achieved in practical situations. The best range that can be achieved is about 70 miles. To maximize the likelihood of achieving that range, install your TV antenna outdoors on the top of your roof.