Which is better, two HDB4X’s or one HDB8X?

Our Xtreme Signal HDB8X antenna is pretty amazing. In the five years since it’s been introduced, there’s been no other antenna that offers the same combination of value and features. You can get channels from up to 70 miles away. You can also rotate the two sections independently. This gives you the ability to pull in stations in completely opposite directions. Few antennas do that, and none can do it so economically.

Sometimes, our product department runs a sale on our HDB4X antenna. It’s essentially half of the HDB8X and you might be tempted to just buy two. Does that work?


You can mount two HDB4X’s on two different mounts, aim them in two different directions and combine them. There’s a whole tutorial here, but really all you need to know is…

1. Equal length cables

Always use equal length cables when combining. If you don’t, the two signals could get to your TV at two different times and cause interference.

2. This combiner

This little combiner is the best one in our inventory for antenna signals. It’s low priced and easy to use. It’s not the same one used in the factory for our Xtreme Signal HDB8X, but it’s quite close.

3. Don’t cover one up with the other

If you’re mounting two HDB4X antennas, make sure that one of them isn’t blocking the other. This may mean mounting them a few feet away.

Let’s get technical

When you combine antennas, there is going to be some loss. You will lose about 3.5dB through the combiner and wiring. This is true whether you use an integrated package like the HDB8X or two separate antennas. It’s just the nature of combining signals, and it’s why I suggested that combining seven HDB8X antennas would end up doing nothing for you. This means that whether you use an HDB8X pointing two different directions or two HDB4X’s, each panel isn’t going to perform quite as well as a single HDB4X antenna. Again, this is just basic signal theory here.

What that means is that if you don’t really need to point the HDB8X in two directions, don’t. You’ll get better performance from pointing the whole thing in one direction.

Two HDB8X antennas?

It is possible to combine two HDB8X antennas if you really want to. Again the results won’t be as good as a single HDB8X antenna but it will let you get signal from four different directions. As I said in that other article, you wouldn’t want to go any further than that because you’re losing signal evety time you combine more antennas. If you did legitimately need to get signal from four different directions, I’d consider an omnidirectional antenna instead because it will be simpler to install and do just as well as long as all your broadcast towers are within 30 miles of you.

Too confusing? Get some help

If you’re looking for a new antenna and this is all confusing to you, check out the great selection we have at Solid Signal. You’ll find every antenna configuration you could possibly want, and if you’re completely overwhelmed you can get some free antenna advice from an expert.

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.