a 55-mile omni antenna? Why would you need anything else?

Take a look at the Winegard Elite 360, pictured at the top of this article. It’s small, unobtrusive, and kind of sleek looking. It promises range up to 55 miles in all directions at once. Yes, seriously. And it’s a little more than a foot wide.

Why in my day, you’d need a giant antenna to get channels from 55 miles away! What kind of wizardry is this? And if you can get such great reception from such a small antenna, why would anyone want a large directional antenna?

Here’s the deal

I like this antenna. When I was sent one for review, I found it really very good, especially for its small size. It’s going to be a great fit for a lot of people. But it isn’t the only antenna the world needs. It’s a really good antenna, to be sure. But there are reasons you would still want to go with a different one.

Let’s talk about cost

This antenna isn’t terribly expensive if you think about it as a ten-year investment. Truth is, it will probably last even longer than that. But the cost of entry is a little higher than some people are going to want to pay. For an economical alternative, check out the antennas from Xtreme Signal. They come in different sizes depending on what you need, and you’ll pay a lot less. That can be important if you’re just wading into the world of cord-cutting.

There are plenty of antennas that cost less than the Winegard Elite 360, and one of those antennas might be right for you.

The vexing VHF problem

This antenna does pick up VHF signals, but the truth is it’s not really very good at it. If you’re 25-30 miles from the towers, you’ll probably pick up broadcast channels 7-13 acceptably well. Beyond that, it’s possible you won’t. Most markets still have at least one major station on VHF, and that can be a problem if you’re trying to use a smaller antenna.

The lower the channel number, you see, the bigger the antenna you’ll need to receive it. If you live in Philadelphia or one of the other cities where there are broadcasts on channels 2-6, you’ll need an even bigger antenna. The Elite 360 doesn’t pick up those broadcasts very well at all.

Sometimes you need to specialize

I can’t say enough about how good the Elite 360 is as a general-purpose TV antenna. But not everyone has a general purpose need. Some people are very far from the towers. Some are very close, so close that amplified antennas are worse than non-amplified ones.

There are a lot of different cases where specialized antennas are needed. A “utility player” like the Elite 360 might not be the right choice.

How can you know what antenna you’ll need?

There’s a very easy way to know which antenna will be best for you, and it’s totally free! Only Solid Signal has a free antenna request service that uses real technicians. You can get an app that will push you one direction or another, but when you really want a good answer, you want to know that an expert has reviewed your case. Get a no-cost, no-obligation recommendation from the techs at Solid Signal. Click here to get started. They’ll look at all the information you provide and give you back a recommendation that’s customized for you. Then you can decide if that Elite 360 is the best choice. For a lot of people, it is. But is it right for you? The experts will let you know.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.