Best Outdoor TV Antenna Preamplifier in 2022

tv antenna preamplifier

If you’re having trouble receiving the signals of your favorite channels or if you’re experiencing trouble with the stability of your transmission, you’ll definitely need a preamplifier to fix that.

Preamplifiers work on enhancing lower signals to match those of the standard operation level, making your transmission more stable and stronger.

Still, not any preamplifier will do, and understanding all the jargon and nitty-gritty may not be the easiest or most fun job to do, which is why I’ve made this guide on how to pick a preamplifier as well as a list of the best outdoor TV antenna preamplifiers you can find on the market.

At a Glance:

1. Winegard LNA-200 – Best Overall

2. RCA TVPRAMP12E – Best For Rural Areas

3. Antennas Direct CDA4 – Most Professional

4. Reliable Cable Products Lindsay LSA84-EQ8 – Best 4-in-1 Unit

5. McDuory CX-208 Antenna Signal Booster – Budget Pick

6. Antennas Direct ClearStream Juice – Best Multidirectional

7. Antronix MRA4-08/AC – Best for Surge Protection

8. Antra AT-PAA28 – Best LTE Filtration


The 8 Best Outdoor TV Antenna Preamplifier

Now that you’ve taken a glance over the best outdoor TV antenna preamplifiers let’s delve into the details of each and every option.

1. Winegard LNA-200 Boost Hdtv Antenna Preamplifier – Best Overall

wineguard lna 200 hdtv antenna preamplifier

Looking for some top-notch antenna amplification? The Winegard LNA-200 is an excellent choice for an all-around preamp.

With more than a thousand antenna models on the market, Winegard really knows what it’s doing when it comes to everything transmission-related.

You’ll definitely be getting a much wider range than you would with a normal antenna, especially thanks to the Clear Circuit technology that enables it to operate at a noise level of less than 1 dB as well as minimizes pixelation of the signal.

With the preamp itself, you’ll be getting plenty of accessories, including a power inserter, an instruction manual, hose clamps, and a 110v adapter, so you’ll be getting value for each penny you spend with this unit.

Moreover, the Winegard LNA-200 uses TwinAmp technology, which amplifies each of the VHF and UHF signals separately, thus, boosting performance like never before. It’s also capable of picking both signals up at a distance of 65 miles.

What’s more, the unit is super easy to install on any non-amplified antenna, and it comes with bandpass filters that you can install to eliminate the interference of RF signals. 

Pros

  • Ten-fold signal boosting capability
  • Compatibility with all antenna types
  • Maintains signal paths
  • Reputable and trustworthy brand

Cons

  • Not the most reliable technical support
  • Mounting bracket isn’t of high quality

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a great antenna preamp overall, you should opt for the Winegard LNA-200 as it comes from a trustworthy brand, is compatible with all antennas, performs incredibly well, and comes with plenty of accessories that make it an excellent value for money deal.

2. RCA TVPRAMP12E – Best For Rural Areas

rca tvpramp12e digital signal preamplifier

The RCA TVPRAMP12E is a decent choice for urban areas with much density that is known to weaken signal strength.

Enter the RCA TVPRAMP12E with its SmartBoost technology, and you won’t have to worry about signal deteriorating because of density.


This unit comes with the ability to separately enhance UHF up to a 16 dB gain and UHF up to 22 dB gain; the latter is one of the highest numbers you’ll get, especially out of a preamp at this price level.

You can opt for intermodulation, which would give you an average of more than 60 dB.

Moreover, this unit comes with a switchable FM trap that works on minimizing FM signal interference. Designed and crafted in the USA, you can definitely rely on the RCA TVPRAMP12E ‘s quality and performance.

Pros

  • Reliable enhancement of signals
  • High UHF gain
  • Works on VHF and UHF signals separately
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Operates using the power inserter
  • Instructions aren’t easy to understand
  • Doesn’t come with accessories

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a preamp that works with pretty much any antenna, is reliable even in urban and dense areas, and is capable of providing gain for both VHF and UHF signals with focus on the latter, you should definitely opt for the RCA TVPRAMP12E.

3. Antennas Direct CDA4 – Most Professional

4 output tv catv distribution amplifier

Although there’s plenty of them, finding professional-grade antenna preamps isn’t exactly the easiest task, but it’s manageable thanks to the Antennas Direct CDA4.

This one is the ideal choice for anyone looking for 4-way splitting as it can enhance and amplify signals up to 7.5 dB for each port.

And though it comes with waterproofing for outdoor use, it can also be used indoors, and it even comes with a dedicated indoor-use power supply.

Moreover, the Antennas Direct CDA4 comes with other accessories than the power supply, including a 3-foot coaxial cable, an instruction manual, and a 90-day warranty on its parts.

Not to mention, the CDA4 comes with 4K compatibility, something that you wouldn’t find on all antenna preamplifiers, especially at its price level.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Designed to be weatherproof
  • High-quality construction and performance
  • Compatible with 4K TVs

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with protection from surges
  • Can run very hot

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for high-quality performance on a professional level and you’re seeking a device that allows for multiple connections, the Antennas Direct CDA4 would be your best bet.

4. Reliable Cable Products Lindsay LSA84-EQ8 – Best 4-in-1 Unit

4 port cable tv antenna hdtv internet digital signal amplifier booster splitter equalizer

With the Lindsay LSA84-EQ8, you won’t be getting just a preamplifier, but you’ll also be getting a splitter, booster, and equalizer with passive return, all under the $50 mark, which is the average price for just a preamp unit.

Besides being budget-friendly, the LSA84-EQ8 comes with solid construction and enables you to connect up to four TVs for signal amplification without loss in quality.

As for the gain, the equalizer that’s integrated into the unit works on enhancing high-frequency signals and providing varying gain ranging from 0 dB (at 54MHz) and all the way to 7.5 dB (at 1000MHz).

Its versatility doesn’t stop there; the LSA84-EQ8 also suits both antenna TV and cable. Not to mention, it’s compatible with both digital cable TV services and standard ones.

However, it’s not compatible with systems that come with preexisting preamplifiers or amplifiers.

With the Lindsay LSA84-EQ8, you’ll get enhanced quality signals if your transmission is sub-par, and you’ll get top-notch performance if you feed it with a clean, high-quality signal.

Pros

  • 4-in-1 unit
  • Great design
  • Easy to set up
  • Robust construction

Cons

  • Not compatible with antennas with preexisting preamps or amps

Bottom Line

If you’re inclined to get a bang for your buck, you won’t find a better bargain than the Lindsay LSA84-EQ8 with its versatility and reliability.

5. McDuory CX-208 Antenna Signal Booster – Budget Pick

mcduory antenna signal booster

Want to amplify your VHF and UHF signals while keeping expenses to a minimum? The McDuory CX-208 Antenna Signal Booster helps you do just that.

It works on boosting the performance of non-amplified antennas, delivering clearer signals with a wider range of available channels, and it works with non-amplified (passive) Yagi antennas.

With the McDuory CX-208, you’ll get 16 dB VHF gain and 25 dB UHF gain, as well as optimization of the reception of your antenna. It also minimizes noise figures to provide you with more range.

Not only that, but this preamp also minimizes pixelation thanks to the 4G LTE filter that manages those signals to stop them from interfering with your TV transmission.

With all the hardware included in the package, the McDuory CX-208 is super easy to set up and install. The preamp comes with a 3-foot RG6 cable and a USB adapter. 

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Excellent UHF and VHF gain
  • Low noise figure
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with a 4G LTE filter

Cons

  • No protection against surges

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly preamp for your outdoor TV antenna that you can get without compromising quality and performance, you won’t find anything better than the McDuory CX-208.

6. Antennas Direct ClearStream Juice – Best Multidirectional

antennas direct® clearstream™ juice™ preamp

If you’re looking for a multidirectional antenna preamp that’s so powerful that it works well even in rural areas, you should consider the Antennas Direct ClearStream Juice.

Not only is it able to strengthen weak signals, but it can also help you receive a wider range of channels.

One of the most important aspects of the ClearStream Juice is that it comes with reliable weatherproofing, which makes it work well in all types of weather, further qualifying it for rural environments where the wind can be stronger. 

This is due to the fact that it comes in a shielded cast housing, which not only enhances its performance but also integrates a low-pass filter that eliminates interference from wireless signals like cellular services.

With the preamp, you’ll find a 12v DC power supply, a low-loss power inserter, and 2/ea x  36-inch weatherproof coaxial cables.

The unit provides a decent gain of 17.5 dB for VHF signals and 19 dB for UHF ones. Not to mention, it comes with reliable overload protection, which can be a lifesaver in rural, suburban, and urban areas.

Finally, the ClearStream Juice comes with a 90-day warranty that you can use to experiment and try out the unit to your heart’s delight.

Pros

  • Comes with a decent variety of accessories
  • Creates little to no noise
  • Robust and weatherproof design
  • Compatibility with plenty of antennas

Cons

  • A little pricey, especially for just a 90-day warranty
  • Might run into hassles with ultra-4K smart TVs

Bottom Line

If you live somewhere outside the city or away from the city center, you’ll love what the Antennas Direct ClearStream Juice has to offer in terms of signal-boosting capabilities and durability with weatherproofing and solid construction.

7. Antronix MRA4-08/AC – Best for Surge Protection

antronix mra4 08 ac

The Antronix MRA4-08/AC comes with four output ports that enable you to operate multiple TVs in tandem with no issue, with 7.5 dB for each port. And though it boasts a very traditional design, it’s quite practical and suits any use.

Also, with a 3 dB noise figure, you’ll get incredible amplification as well as face no issues with poor noise in converters or TV tuners.

It effectively enhances the performance of OTA signals, even over multiple TVs, as well as improves the performance of cable modems or HDTV reception, leaving no room for snow or pixelation.

An excellent feature on the Antronix MRA4-08/AC is that it comes with surge protection up to 6 kV as well as short-circuit protection, which extends the durability of this unit to outlive the 5-year warranty it comes with.

The fact that the Antronix MRA4-08/AC comes with a nickel-plated, all-aluminum housing means that you get a corrosion-resistant unit and that its durability goes beyond just the performance and includes the hardware as well.

This also includes rust, salt, and fog, providing you with pretty good weatherproofing.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the Antronix MRA4-08/AC only works with non-amplified and non-preamplified antennas only, and it also isn’t compatible with certain antenna models, including the Winegard RV one, for example.

So, unfortunately, with this preamp, you’re going to have to consider several compatibility options before you can finalize your decision to buy it.

Pros

  • Four-way connections
  • Reliable surge protection
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with coaxial cables
  • Compatibility issues with some types of antennas

Bottom Line

If you live in an area with potential for power issues, you would benefit greatly from the Antronix MRA4-08/AC, thanks to its surge and short-circuit protection. And even if you don’t, the four-way amplification with a 5-year warranty is a pretty appealing deal.

8. Antra AT-PAA28 – Best LTE Filtration

antra™at paa28 low noise pre amplifier

LTE signals are all around us nowadays, and they’re advancing by the minute, which is great news, but not for TV signals and transmission, however.

This may be a huge problem for you if your house is far away from a TV transmission tower, allowing for more signals to interfere and ruin the experience.

And that’s where the Antra AT-PAA28 comes in, eliminating all 4G LTE signals with its pre-filter, which gets rid of 4G 700MHz+ signals that typically mess up with HDTV systems, causing both interference and overload.

Not only that, but the Antra AT-PAA28 comes with a 20 dB FM trap that gets rid of FM station interference, making sure that you get pure HDTV signals in the VHF band.

What’s more, its noise figure is excellent at only 2 dB at high gains across the 4 – 694 MHz range, giving you a high signal-to-noise ratio.

And the best part is that you get adjustability over the gain to give you the flexibility to meet several application requirements.

Finally, the Antra AT-PAA28 is quite lightweight, which makes it super easy to install.

Pros

  • Eliminates 4G LTE signals
  • FM trap feature
  • Lightweight design and easy installation
  • 2 dB noise figure
  • Establishes signals as well as enhances weak ones

Cons

  • Doesn’t have surge protection
  • Lacks weatherproofing

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a beast of boosting weak signals by eliminating noise and other interfering ones, you’ll love what the Antra AT-PAA28 has to offer.

However, it’s not the most durable for an outdoor TV antenna preamplifier as it doesn’t come with weatherproofing.


Benefits of Using an Outdoor TV Antenna Preamplifier

You may be wondering just how essential an outdoor TV antenna preamplifier is, how you might benefit from it, and why you need one in the first place. And rightfully so, as not everyone is in need of a preamplifier.

A good way to gauge whether or not you need a preamplifier is to consider whether you’re more than 10 miles away from the transmission tower or not.

If you are, you’ll probably need one. However, if you aren’t, you might end up worsening your signal by adding extra noise or interference.

Also, if the span of the coaxial cable between the antenna and the TV is less than 50 feet (including splitter breaks and the likes of it), then you probably don’t need amplification for your signal to work better.

This is because long cable runs cause a loss of signal, which might interfere with the stability of the connection.


Understanding Preamplifier Jargon

If you’re a complete novice in the realm of antennas, signals, and communication, here are the most important terminologies used when you’re dealing with an antenna preamplifier:

  • Gain: Gain is among the most crucial factors when deciding on a preamplifier, and the number should be either greater or at least equal to your signal loss.
  • Noise Figure: When dealing with digital signals, the noise figure is very crucial. When you add amplification to your system, it will produce some signal noise, and higher noises mean less sensitive tuners, which work on picking up the signal.
  • FM Trap: FM traps reduce FM signals, which usually interfere with the signals coming from a TV transmission tower. However, you’d probably only need those if you want to receive a station on VHF channel 6 or 7, which isn’t a very common occurrence.
  • Auto Gain Control: This feature is really handy on a preamplifier as it works on reducing gain whenever the signals are strong enough to damage the tuners on your TV. Some advanced ones even gauge the strength of the signal, provide maximum amplification to the weak ones, and stifle strong ones that could potentially damage your tuners.
  • Frequency VHF, UHF, FM: There’s nothing much to this aspect. You’ll need a preamplifier capable of passing VHF/UHF signals if your antenna receives both. However, if your antenna picks up only one of them, a preamp with both would block the other. Though the vast majority of preamplifiers are capable of passing both, you should keep a close eye and read the instructions.
  • LTE Filter: In this day and age, LTE signals are everywhere, and some of them work on frequencies that were initially television channel ones, like 52-83. If your preamplifier comes with an LTE filter, it works on stopping those LTE signals from interfering with your TV ones and causing issues with the tuner.
  • Dual Input Amplifier: Dual input amps come with two inputs: VHF and UHF ones, which allows you to join both types of signals with pretty much no loss in signal whatsoever.

Distribution Amplifiers and When You Might Need Them

If you have a multiple TV setup, you’ll inevitably have to use splitters, which also inevitably weaken the signal.

To overcome this issue, you should use a distribution amplifier. A 2-way splitter would require a 4 dB of signal compensation, 3-way or 4-way ones would require 8 dB, while 8-way ones require 14 to 15 dB of signal compensation.

It’s also worth mentioning that just installing a splitter weakens the signals, so even if you don’t connect any cables to the port, you’ll have to use a distribution amplifier to compensate for the signal loss.

Requiring Both a Preamplifier and a Distribution One

In extreme cases, you’ll have to use both a preamplifier and a distribution one.

But that’s if you install a TV antenna on top of a 100-foot tower with a distance of around 50 feet from the recipient antenna.

For that distance alone, you’ll require a preamplifier, while a distribution one would be needed if there’s a multi-TV set up in the house or establishment.


Choosing an Outdoor TV Antenna Preamplifier

Now that you understand the terminologies of preamplifiers and how the different installations work, let’s dive into the features and specs that could actually help you determine the make and model of the TV antenna preamplifier that you need.

Noise Level

With noise level, you want to get lower numbers that will provide you with higher sensitivity and, therefore, enhanced amplification of your signal.

Generally, you want to opt for ones with a noise level of 1.5 to 2 dB on UHF. 4 to 6 dB would be alright but would be a little too high.

Signal Gain

As we’ve mentioned, signal gain is the compensation your preamplifier has to offer in order to strengthen your signal.

To illustrate, a 100-foot cable would have around 8 dB of signal loss. So, in turn, you should get a preamplifier of 8 dB rating or stronger. 

Typically, a preamplifier’s gain would range between 12 to 30 dB, but you shouldn’t always opt for the highest number because, as we’ve mentioned, it could create interference if its compensation for signal loss is too much.

Warranty

Warranty is usually overlooked when shopping for a preamplifier, but it’s really important that you check it. Just like any gadget, if the one you’re considering doesn’t come with a warranty, you shouldn’t get it. At least a year’s warranty is needed to guarantee that you’ll be getting your money’s value.

Supported Frequencies

There are two types of frequencies: VHF and UHF. Some preamplifiers support both, while some support only one type and block the other. To spare yourself any hassles, you should opt for a model that supports both.

Otherwise, you’ll run into unexpected trouble down the line. That is unless you have specific channels in mind and only need one of the frequencies, in which case you could opt for a preamp that supports only one and save yourself some money.

Budget

Finally, you should consider the budget you set for setting up a TV antenna and its amplification equipment. Around a hundred bucks would be a reasonable budget, so make sure you don’t overspend where you don’t need to.


FAQs

How Effective is a Preamplifier at Enhancing Signals?

This is the question that haunts every novice’s mind, and more well-versed users would say that it depends on how far the TV is from the antenna.

If it’s not further than 20 feet, then a preamplifier may not be that effective, and thus, not required.

Unless there’s 20 feet or more between the antenna and the TV, you’ll be fixing a problem that isn’t there at best or deteriorating the signal by adding interference at worst.

Should I Use Two Amplifiers?

You can connect a preamplifier on the TV antenna outdoors or on the coaxial cable splitter. Optimally, you’d want to install them in both areas for the maximum signal boost. 

How Do Preamplifiers Work?

Preamplifiers work on gathering electrical signals that have been split in what is called a “multipath interference” due to bouncing off of obstacles found in the line of sight between a transmission tower or station and the recipient antenna.

Instead of these signals arriving each on their own, causing pixelation, ghosting, or complete loss of transmission, the preamplifier collects them and sends them as one to eliminate all distortions.


Final Thoughts

Now that we’re done with our reviews on the best outdoor TV antenna preamplifiers, I hope you were able to reach a final decision. If not, here’s a quick recap:

If you’re looking for the best preamp overall, you should opt for the Winegard LNA-200 for its extensive compatibility, robust performance, and the fact that it comes with all the accessories you’ll need.

If you’re a resident of a rural area, you should opt for the RCA TVPRAMP12E as it works really well in high-density zones, while the Antennas Direct CDA4 would be the best option if you’re looking for professional-grade signal transmission.

The Lindsay LSA84-EQ8 by Reliable Cable Products is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a good bang for your buck as you’ll be getting the functionality of four units out of one, while the McDuory CX-208 would be the best option if you’re looking for the preamp that’ll save you the most money.

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