Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Deciding on the right antenna cable can often be a real ordeal. The ever-growing range of products does not make the choice any easier. Of course, this is also due to the different television models and the associated connection types.

To help you with this important and complex decision, we will introduce you to the many differences in the following article. First, we compare a few models to give you an insight into our evaluation criteria. In the next step, we point out important criteria regarding the purchase. Finally, we answer the most important questions about antenna cables.




Summary

  • There are many different varieties of antenna cables, which is why it is important to know exactly which one you need before you buy a cable.
  • The purpose for which a cable is to be used must also be clearly defined beforehand. There are many different cables that are best suited for different things.
  • Different TVs often need different types of cables as well, since not all antenna cables meet the criteria for every single TV equally.

The Best Antenna Cable: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for antenna cables

In the following section, we will show you what you should pay particular attention to when buying antenna cables. This will help you to make the best possible decision when choosing your antenna cable.

Now we will explain what to look for in these criteria so that you have the best basis for making a good decision.

Length

The first criterion you should consider is the length. If you don't, you may end up with big problems. Antenna cables come in many different sizes (from less than one metre to over 100 metres). Therefore, you should measure the length you need beforehand. Otherwise you may have to buy a new antenna cable.

If you have already bought an antenna cable that is too short, it does not always have to be an expensive new, longer cable. You can also extend antenna cables by using the right connector.

Thickness

The thickness of an antenna cable can also be a decisive factor when buying your cable. Many people often want to run these cables through the wall, which has been drilled beforehand with a drill. This helps to make the cables invisible. In addition, cables may need to be routed to other rooms, which is why they need to be routed through the wall.

If this is also your wish, it is important to find out beforehand exactly what size cables you need. The thickness of the cables can vary greatly, so you should definitely pay attention to this.

Connection

As technology advances, more and more technical variations automatically emerge. This is also true for televisions and antenna cables. There are now numerous different connections on the TVs or receivers.

It is therefore very important that you have already bought your TV or receiver before you buy your antenna cable. This way you can check beforehand exactly which connection you need. However, if you already have a cable and your TV does not fit it, you do not have to buy a new cable. There is now a suitable adapter for almost every connection. These often cost far less than a new cable.

Decibel level

The decibel number is especially important for your antenna cable. It prevents signal loss in the cable. This is an important feature, especially for longer cables, and you must pay attention to it. If the decibel level is too low, your TV may start to flicker.

You also have to make sure what signal you are receiving, because the decibel level also plays an important role here. For normal multimedia TV, a decibel level of at least 90 is usually sufficient. For HD television, however, it is necessary to have a decibel level above 120. Otherwise, the quality suffers enormously.

Workmanship

The workmanship of an antenna cable can also be very decisive for its functionality. Some cables are made of rather poor materials, which means that these cables can no longer transmit the signal so well.

Good materials used for antenna cables are usually copper (because it conducts very well), gold or silver. As soon as a cable is made of this material, you can assume that it is of high quality.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about antenna cables answered in detail

In the following section, we give you a brief overview of the most frequently asked questions about antenna cables and explain them. This way, you are ideally prepared to choose and then buy the antenna cable that is perfect for you.

Who is an antenna cable suitable for?

An antenna cable is basically suitable for anyone who owns a television. But only if you also subscribe to the corresponding programme. An antenna cable is useless as long as you do not have a cable contract, otherwise you cannot receive the channels. However, there is also an alternative to the normal TV programme.

If you want to do without the standard TV programme, it is not necessary to have an antenna cable. To use streaming platforms as an alternative, all you need is an internet connection and a device on which you can play them.

To be able to watch TV comfortably on the couch, it is necessary to have the right antenna cable for your TV. However, there are many little things that you should definitely consider before buying. (Image source: Mollie Sivaram / Unsplash)

What types of antenna cables are there?

The first type of antenna cables are those that have an F-connector and those that do not. But first, what is an F-connector anyway? The purpose of F-connectors is to prevent the antenna cable from coming out of the socket.

These plugs can be very useful, but they also have a drawback. They sometimes unnecessarily lengthen the antenna cable. The longer the cable, the higher the probability of signal loss. However, this usually only happens with cables that are not of such high quality.

Connectors also define different types of cables as well. These are usually used for different televisions. What exactly these differences are will be described in more detail later in the article.

What does an antenna cable cost?

Because of the different processing and the different types of antenna cables, the price range is also very wide. Prices range from a few euros to over 20 euros. This is mostly due to the workmanship and the associated quality.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (3 - 6€) Mostly shorter and not so high-quality cables
Medium-priced (6- 10 €) Longer cables with better quality
High-priced (from 10€) All cable lengths with the best materials

Are there differences between antenna cables for different TVs?

The short answer is: Yes, there are different cables for different TVs. As mentioned earlier, there are different cables for HD TVs and for normal TVs, because of the decibel number. But this is only one example of different cables.

You have to distinguish between SAT cables (for satellite TV), radio cables and also DVB-T cables (these are the cables for normal TV). SAT cables are used to transmit the signal between the receiver and the television. SAT cables are usually the highest quality antenna cables.

DVB-T cables differ from SAT cables mainly in the connection. While SAT cables use the screw connector, DVB-T cables have a centre spike. This is then simply plugged into the TV set and holds by itself.

Conclusion

In summary, the choice of an antenna cable is and will remain a complex issue. And the decision should by no means be made within a few minutes. Nevertheless, with this guide we have given you some tips that you should definitely consider.

Choosing the right antenna cable can simplify your life massively and also eliminate some problems for you. The good thing is: due to the variety, there is something for everyone, so that everyone will be happy in the end.

(Cover photo: Max Vakhtbovych / Pexels)

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