Do Smart TVs Need Antennas?
Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Smart TVs have taken the world by storm with designs you can’t overlook. Though expensive, they possess something that typical TVs don’t — they come with an operating system and an inbuilt antenna. 

The catch is many consumers still prefer free-to-air broadcasting to paid cable TV networks, so they are skeptical if an external antenna would work on Smart TVs. Our experts provide insight here. 

Can an Antenna Work on a Smart TV?

But do Smart TVs need antennas despite having an inbuilt one? This is one question many consumers would like to have an answer to. The truth is many people still rely on watching free-to-air channels rather than cable TV. To answer the question, an antenna can work on a Smart TV.

lg tv oled

Smart TV Antennas

Smart TV antennas are integrated into these TVs to improve the signal, picture quality, and the quality of channels. Some consumers buy Smart TVs to stream their favorite TV shows on Netflix over wireless networks (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). On the other side of the divide, consumers want free-to-air channels to avoid paying any subscription fees. 

If you want to watch free-to-air channels on your Smart TV, you would need to purchase an HD Digital TV antenna and attach it to your TV. You could use an analog antenna, but be prepared to have signal issues. The world has gone digital, so you should too. 

Advantages of Using an Antenna on a Smart TV

An external antenna will improve signal quality, and you can get the information you need without relying on subscriptions. However, the issue here is finding the ideal placement. If properly positioned, the antenna can give you quality and clear pictures. On the other hand, if positioned on the ground, expect to have fewer unclear channels. 

antenna for smart tv

External antennas work best in areas devoid of many trees and tall buildings, as these things can obstruct signals, eventually producing an awful picture quality. During placements, they should be kept on rooftops so that obstruction would be minimal. This is one advantage inbuilt antennas have over the external one because it relies on a wired connection and not over-the-air.

With an external antenna, the chances of hackers accessing your Smart TV are limited. With the inbuilt antenna, hackers can get through via the internet, unlike their external counterparts. This means you don’t have to worry so much about security. 

Unlike the internet, free-to-air channels rarely have downtime. If one channel is down, you can switch it to the next one. This can be done if you are using the internet. When the connection is lost, you will have to sit and wait until it restores. 

How to Integrate an Antenna on a Smart TV

Before integrating your antenna on a Smart TV, you need to consider the location first. Do you live near tall buildings or trees? Second, do you live in an apartment of your own, or are you renting? As our engineers mentioned before, external antennas don’t work well near tall buildings, so your placement should be on the rooftop.

integrate antenna with smart tv

If you are on rent, ask your landlord if you can place the antenna on the rooftop. If no, you should consider getting an indoor antenna. It works as well as its outdoor counterparts. 

The range is also crucial. It determines the number of channels your antenna can get. The higher the number, the farther your antenna can get a signal, translating to more channels. 

You will need a digital tuner for free-to-air broadcasts using an antenna. Fortunately, you may not need to buy this, as some modern Samsung and Sony Smart TVs come with an inbuilt one. 

How to Cover Local Channels With or Without an Antenna

Our team of experts recommends using both the antenna and the cable TV network. When the internet is down, you will need an antenna as your backup. If some channels on the Smart TV are available free-to-air, you should stick to watching via the antenna. If there are not available, watch them on the cable TV network. 

You can also stream local channels online without needing any antenna or cable TV if online broadcasts are available. Local channels like ABC, NBC, and CBS have online broadcasts [1]. The catch is you must have a stable internet connection. 


Which antenna is best for my Smart TV?

The best antenna for your Smart TV is the Mohu Leaf Supreme Pro and Mohu Leaf Metro. Other excellent antennas you can use for your Smart TV include Antop AT-800SBS HD Smart Panel Antenna and Winegard Elite 7550 Outdoor Antenna.


Using an antenna on your Smart TV isn’t bad after all. If you won’t watch TV every day and prefer to stream content online, you are better off with an antenna. But remember, you will have to deal with the placement.

We hope this post by our technical team has answered your question, “Do Smart TVs need antennas?”

For related topics, we have listed the following for you: 

Roku TV having no sound issues 


Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.