So you’ve finally kicked cable to the curb and purchased a digital antenna. Pretty soon you’ll be pulling down a wide variety of high definition broadcasts from networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and more. But before you can kick back and bas in the warming glow of free HD TV, you’re going to have to set up your new antenna.
After you’ve sorted out the best antenna placement, you’ll need to connect your antenna to your TV. All over-the-air HD antennas connect to a TV using a coaxial cable. The coaxial (or coax) cable has long been used to deliver video and audio signals to TVs. But are they all created equal? Short answer, no. So if you want to ensure that you get crystal clear video, high quality sound you’re going to want to get the best coaxial cable available.
Quick Picks for the Best Coaxial Cable
The coaxial cable (also known as “coax”) is the most common cable used to transmit video signals. Coaxial cables have a copper conductor surrounded by non-conductive insulation enclosed by shielding that protects against electromagnetic interference. Finally, the cable is wrapped in a strong, lightweight plastic jacket.
There are three different types of coaxial cables available: RG59, RG6 and RG11. The difference between these cables is the width of the copper conductor. The larger the conductor, the less degradation there is in signal quality over long distances. The most common coaxial cable used for home television setups is RG6. All of our picks for the best coaxial cables are RG6. You won’t find any RG11 cables on this list simply because they’re only necessary if you want to transmit signals over 500 meters, which doesn’t affect the average homeowner.
The best coaxial cables for HDTV antennas in 2019
Looking for a good coaxial cable for your antenna? We’ve got you covered. Below, find reviews and details about some of the most popular cable options for cord-cutters.
Length: 4 – 100 Feet
Amazon seems to have all of their fingers in all the pies, so it should come as no surprise that coaxial cables are part of their AmazonBasics line. The AmazonBasics line is known for high quality yet affordable products, and their coaxial cables are no different.
The AmazonBasics CL2-Rated Coaxial Cable features a durable construction with a flexible PVC outer layer as well as three layers of aluminum shielding which help prevent electromagnetic and radio interference. Furthermore, these cables are CL2-rated, which means that they can be installed outside and inside walls.
One of the more unique features of the of the AmazonBasics coaxial cable are the easy-grip connector caps. These allow users to easily screw the cables onto the connectors by hand for effortless installation.
Length: 3 – 100 Feet
KabelDirekt’s coaxial cables are a bit more expensive than some competitors, but they are marketed as a premium cable with some unique features. KabelDirekt coaxial cables utilize Oxygen free copper (OFC) wiring, which allows the maximum signal power to be transmitted efficiently across the length of the cable. In layman’s terms this means that your video and audio signals will not degrade over the length of the cable.
The boast of gold-plated cables is something every manufacturer likes to use as a selling point, and KabelDirekt is no different. The company’s coaxial cables feature 24k gold-plated connectors, and while gold may not offer superior video or audio quality, they do have one distinct advantage; they don’t tarnish. So if you like a clean and neat appearance, KabelDirket coaxial cables are for you.
Length: 4 – 100 Feet
The coaxial cable from MediaBridge may not look like anything special, but they boast a 4.5 star rating on Amazon from nearly 5000 reviews. This is a testament to the cable’s customer satisfaction since the vast majority of people who bother to write reviews are usually complaining about something.
The MediaBridge coax is an RG6 cable, whereas many lower quality cables are RG59. RG6 cables offer superior performance, preserving signal quality while offering higher bandwidth. This makes the Mediabridge coaxial cable the perfect choice for a variety of applications, including connecting your HDTV antenna to your TV. In addition, the Mediabridge coaxial cable is CL2-rated, meaning it can be installed within walls.
Finally, the Mediabridge coaxial cable comes with rubberized connector caps, similar to the AmazonBasics cable. These connector caps allow users to easily install the cables without the use of tools.
Length: 1.5 – 100 Feet
The majority of coaxial cables on the market are triple-shielded to protect against various types of interference. The coaxial cables from Cable Matters are quad shielded, which afford an extra layer of protection against electromagnetic and radio interference. This could be important for those who live apartment buildings, where a signal could be interrupted by various electronic devices like Wi-Fi routers, cell phones, etc.
One would assume that with an additional layer of insulation, the Cable Matters coax cable would be stiff and rigid. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that this is not the case. These cables are super flexible, allowing users to snake and contour the cables with ease.
Length: 3 – 200 Feet
The Cimple Co Coaxial cable is another RG6 cable with a flexible PVC jacket. But what sets this coaxial cable apart is its durable, weather resistant construction. The connectors on the Cimple Co coaxial cable have a double seal, which prevents water, dirt, oil and other potential pollutants from damaging the connector and interfering with signal fidelity.
Due to high weather resistance, coaxial cables from The Cimple Co can safely be used in outdoor applications, making them a good choice for outdoor mounted antennas. In addition, the coaxial cables are backed up by a 10-year warranty and are made in the USA, so you know that they’re quality. Also, you can get this coax cable in white, which might match your home décor a bit better.
Since coaxial cables are used in a variety of applications from Internet routers to TVs, they’re one of the most common cables found in the wild. However, just because coaxial cables are a dime a dozen it doesn’t mean that they’re all suitable for your over-the-air HD antenna and your TV.
When selecting a coaxial cable to use with your HD antenna, you want to ensure that it is RG6 and has good user feedback. Whether you need a coaxial cable rated for outdoor use or one that can be routed inside of walls will depend on the individual. That being said, you can’t really go wrong with the coaxial cables we outlined above.