Should you wait until “next year’s antennas” come out?

Ah, the model year tango. We’re used to it with cars. We’ve seen it with TVs and other appliances. Cell phones — seems like we’re permanently wedded to it. What am I talking about? Every year it seems like there is some awesome new feature, something that’s going to make the thing you have seem like complete rubbish. You just can’t wait to get the new thing, and if you bought the old thing at the wrong time, you’re stuck with it. In the meantime you’re looking jealously at everyone else. This happens all the time.

Next year’s antennas?

Should you worry that the 2019 antennas will wipe the floor with the 2018 models? New antennas come out all the time. It could happen. But I’m here to tell you, it probably won’t. There will be some new antenna models to be sure. I really doubt that we’re looking at a quantum leap, though.

Antennas are built to last.

Antennas are some of the last really “old-school” products. If you’ve shopped for appliances lately you know… even things you thought were “built to last” aren’t anymore. Let me tell you, if you buy a mid-priced refrigerator today you won’t have it 30 years from now. In fact that refrigerator you bought in 1988 might still work 30 years from now but the one you buy in 2018 won’t. Most appliances have become as disposable as cell phones. They have a few new feature improvements every year so they figure after eight years you’re ready for a new one. I guess it’s still not as bad as cell phones. Some people change those out as if they were clothes.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on paying over $100 for an antenna you’re probably getting something that’s going to last for 20 years or more. Many of today’s antennas are built just as well as those 1950s behemoths that still tower over suburban subdivision. Shop well and you’re going to have an antenna that really lasts.

What about technology?

There are going to be improved technologies but they’re going to be incremental. In the last decade, we’ve seen massive improvements in low-noise amplification. Today’s top-range antennas and amplifiers add so little noise that it’s hard to know how they could be improved. Looking at some of the smart amplifiers from Televes, they have auto gain control and smart amplification features that make them so good, it’s hard to know how they would be improved on.

Another improvement in the last decade has been filtering. With cell signals taking up frequencies that used to belong to TV signals, there’s a need for filtering of LTE signals that never existed before. Today’s antennas filter out frequencies at 698MHz, and tomorrow’s will need to filter out 600MHz as well. However, that is a capability you can add later if you have a need for it. Several manufacturers have standalone LTE filters and I’m sure you’ll see more of that as the 600MHz band becomes active in the next 3-4 years. There’s no need to wait for “next year’s antenna” in order to get what you need.

Cut the cord and save now

The best part about a TV antenna is that if you cut out a cable TV subscription and get your live channels from an antenna, you’ve basically paid for the antenna the first or second month. If you think about it that way, you could change out your antenna once a year and still be saving a thousand or so dollars on your entertainment. Not that you’ll have to, because durable antennas from Solid Signal are a great value that’s going to last and last. Check them out now at!

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.